Posts tagged dressmaking

Ashamed, ashamed, ashamed……….

My last post was in January, and since then I have stitched a grand total of………

NOTHING!!!!

How bad is that?  No, I tell a lie – I have turned up a further two pairs of jeans.  Does that count?  No?  Thought not.  Granted, a lot of my time this year has been spent shooting with The Pix Factory (I am the lighting monkey, the bag carrying monkey and the transport monkey – my husband is the super-talented photographer).  However, that is no excuse.

So.  I’m getting myself organised.  I’ve been in touch with local designer Helen Rhiannon about signing myself up for a pattern cutting workshop.  She’s in Oz until March but she says that she’ll have her workshops up and running as soon as she gets back.  I’m also simply going to pull my finger out and so some stitching again in the meantime.  I’ve had two ladies suits hanging up in my sewing room since July – they just need hems altering.  So I’m going to do that today (the poor woman must think she’s never going to get them back!).  A good excuse to blow the dust off my machine.  And then I have a skirt for myself that needs finishing – all it needs is the lining to be inserted, facings added and turn up the hem.  How long would that take!  A couple of hours – including coffee breaks.  Get on with it woman!

I’m also hoping to get myself signed up for a Photographic Make Up course at our local college.  Hoping to be a very busy bunny in the very near future.  Watch this space…..

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Finally happy with the dress

At last!  I’ve finally made a version of New Look 6207 that I’m happy with.  I’ve altered the shoulders slightly so that the back lies (almost) flat.  I’ve worn it in public and I felt comfortable in it.  Success! 

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Costumes for school

Ok, I’ve finished playing the drama queen over my linen dress.  I’m still not 100% happy with it but I’ve had lots of lovely and helpful comments about it (http://www.thesewingforum.co.uk/photoplog/index.php?n=3313 and here of course – thank you everyone) so I don’t feel quite as rubbish about it as I did.

Onwards to my next project.

Jen and Yvonne (teachers in our Year 1 class) have asked me if I’d make two costumes for their class assembly next month.  The children are going to perform the story of “Mary Jones and her Bible” so I need to make a costume for Mary and her mother.  The story takes place in 1800 so I’m looking forward to making my first “historical” costumes.  I’m using Simplicity 3725 – view B for Mary and view B but with view A’s bonnet for her mother.

The story of Mary Jones and her Bible is the true story of a poor young Welsh girl who saved for six years and then had to walk barefoot the 25 miles to Bala to buy her very own Welsh Bible.  Wikepedia gives the factual details of the story but I prefer this version –  I can remember being told this version of the story as a little girl in my own school assembly.

I’ve just ordered the fabric from Online-fabrics.co.uk – they’ve got a really good offer on crepe at the moment – ideal for the dresses.  I’m itching to get started!

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Crisis of confidence

I’m feeling pretty down about my abilities as a dressmaker.  This morning I felt pretty positive but my emotions with regards to sewing are like a roller-coaster.  Why do I feel so miserable?  This is the culprit ..

It looks ok on the dummy but when I wear it the back gapes out.  It wouldn’t feel so bad but it’s actually the third time I’ve made it – I made two “test” pieces before cutting into the actual fabric and thought I’d altered it properly.

The problem lies mainly with my bust – I’m a DD cup.  The first attempt I cut the top in a size 14 and graded the skirt section down to a 12.  I sure those of you experienced in alterations know that that wasn’t going to work – it fit across my bust but nowhere else .

My second attempt I cut the pattern out as a 12 and then added a little at the bust seams.  On the test this seemed to work but for some reason on the dress proper the back still gapes.  I can’t work out what to do about it.  Do I take a little off the zip edge seam or do I cut it in a 10 and add more to the bust?  Or do I just not bother?  Give up?  Admit defeat?

I sometimes feel that I should just give up and find a new hobby.  I love sewing but I rarely seem to be able to make things fit properly.

I’m not really going to give up of course but I worry that I’m never going to be as successful as my heart wants me to be.

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Finally – pics of Chloe’s top

Piccies as promised!  I took them a couple of weeks ago – it’s taken me until today to get round to uploading them!

When I took the pics (sorry about the poor quality – I was rushing) she was on her way into town shopping with her friend.  She was beaming when she came home – “guess what happened today” she said.  Apparently a lady had approached her in a shop and asked her where she’d bought her top.  When she told her that her mum had made it, the lady asked if I made and sold them to other people!  Made my day!

I made her go and tell her dad then because he kept telling us how he really didn’t like it (I think the colour put him off more than the top itself).  Bless him – he thinks there are even more nutty ladies in the world now.

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A Very Good Week :-)

Well, just over a week really …….

……. starting on Good Friday

Hubby took me away for the weekend for my birthday.  Ok, it’s not actually my birthday for a couple of weeks but it was the only weekend he’s not going to be working for a while.  He doesn’t normally take me away for my birthday (not to mislead you that we’re very posh and do this sort of thing all the time) but it’s a big one this year 😦

So to soften the blow he booked us into the Castle House Hotel in Hereford.  Oh it was gorgeous!  You can take a little peep at the suite (yes, I did say suite!) we stayed in here.  What a treat! 

We stumbled across some lovely little sewing/fabric shops while we were there.  Doughtys have three shops in Hereford – one for quilting fabric, one for dressmaking and one for habi.  After a lot of agonising I eventually chose some lovely fabric to make myself a couple of summer dresses.

I got this:

Amy Butler’s “Wildflowers” in Navy.  And this:

Erin McMorris’s “Freespirit” in turqoise.  Yum!

Since I’ve been home I’ve worked on Chloe’s flourescent yellow top and I finished it this afternoon (pic to follow).  She loves it but her dad is rather unimpressed with the colour.  As I pointed out to him, we were wearing the same colours back in our teens and our parents probably thought the same.  (Although I was chatting with my mother-in-law last night and she told me how she wore those colours in her teens too!  Fashion doesn’t just go full circle – it loops the loop!).

And last, but certainly not least, we went to a couple of car boot sales this morning and I picked up som real bargains!

Bargain 1 – teenage girl books for 10p each!  I bought 7 for Chloe so that should keep her busy for a day or so.

Bargain 2 – BRAND SPANKING NEW Fiskars Softouch 21cm scissors for – wait for it – £5!!!!!  Amazon are currently selling them for £14.99. 

The packaging was seriously ratty but the scissors themselves are perfect.  It looks like the people selling them are buying damaged stock because they had lots of different types of Fiskars products for really silly prices.

For those of you living in the Swansea area they go to Singleton Hospital car boot on a Saturday morning and Julian’s (Garngoch) on a Sunday.

We’re off to Gloucester for the day tomorrow – maybe there’s a little fabric shop tucked away ……….

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Home-made bias binding

It’s been a funny sort of day.  Firstly, I didn’t go to work today, which is a very rare occurrence for me.  I’ve not been very well since last Friday – nothing major, just a bit sniffly with a sore throat.  By yesterday afternoon my voice had started to sound very Bonnie Tyler-esque and by 4pm my boss sent me home.  I imagine he’d had enough of the coughing and the raspy voice coming from the office next door.

By this morning I had no voice at all so, considering a lot of my job is carried out over the telephone, I called in sick.  Hooray for text messaging!  Without it my colleagues would still be wondering where I am.

I decided to use the time by trying to make my own bias binding.  I’d already tried making some last night but had somehow managed to make it on the straight grain!  So, with the help of two books (Simplicity’s “Simply the Best Sewing Book” & Cavendish House’s “Guide to Basic Sewing) and a Youtube video (I won’t bother referencing it as it was rubbish) I set to work again. 

Success!!!  Flourescent yellow continuous-strip bias binding made by me!  Yes, I did say flourescent yellow.  Chloe chose a lacy fabric in said colour to make view A (New Look 6660). 

Now I managed to track down matching thread – after a lot of trawling of the internet I eventually picked it up in Swansea Market – a five minute drive away!  However, flourescent yellow bias binding does not exist.  Ah well, a new skill learned!

Well, the voice still isn’t back properly and the bottle of Robitussin is nearly empty, but hopefully I’ll have enough of a voice to go back to work tomorrow.

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