First up is a dress that I worked on for what felt like forever. I really like the fabric (it’s a 20s or 30s reproduction print on heavy cotton) which I bought about 8 years ago from an American online shop I now can’t remember the name of and the pattern is nice too but for some reason I just kept losing enthusiasm along the way, then I lost one of the underarm facing pieces (the pattern was pinned to it so I couldn’t re-cut) for a couple of weeks and then it seemed like the next bit would be a bit difficult so I put it aside, you know how it goes sometimes!
The pattern is Simplicity 2017 which is one of their individual patterns. I believe it’s marked as ‘Easy’ but I wouldn’t recommend it to someone as their first dress as bits of it were a little fiddly. As my cotton was quite thick I didn’t bother with any of the interfacing, if I had I think the dress would have been able to stand up by itself!
The bodice is lined and the edges are turned in and top-stitched together. As the top-stitching was already happening I carried on and did it around the neckline to hold it all nicely together and also under the arms to hold the facings down.
You can just see in that picture the ties a bit below the yoke. I didn’t realise where the yoke would end on my body when I cut the dress so I went along with the pattern as was and followed the instructions on the placement of the ties. When I tried the dress on I was almost hysterical with laughter when I realised that the ties were very neatly placed directly on top of my nipples. Not really the look I was going for! I moved them down by two and a half inches to just above waist level and they look fine there I think.
The dress has pockets and I used some silver cord thingies on the end of the ties (that’s probably not the technical term for them). I found that the underarms really gaped on me and was pretty discouraged about it, however, after taking in 2 inches on each side and tapering it to the seam a few inches down it fits really well now and I was proud of myself for actually doing something about it rather than giving up on the dress again.
I had an interesting moment when trying to put the dress on the dressform to see how it all hung. I was in the habit of using my dressform more for construction than for fitting as it wasn’t quite right for my measurements. I’d not adjusted it in a while and it seems that the bust was set 3 inches bigger than my bust and the hips around the same, I couldn’t get the dress on it! Now that my measurements are smaller I can actually have it set to the right sizes in those two places (it doesn’t go big enough on the waist for my post two babies belly) which is pretty great.
Next up I finally made up the Simplicity 3692 t-shirt that I cut out ages ago and mentally planned as soon as I’d finished my first version.
The fabric is a thickish cotton internet which is heavier than the last fabric I used for this pattern. It pulls the neckline wider when I wear it due to the weight of the fabric so I have to work to keep the bra straps hidden. I love this t-shirt though and I’m sure I’ll make the pattern again and again. As a note to anyone thinking about using it, the ease is huge, I made this in a size smaller than usual and the fit was great. Saying that, next time I make it I will probably go down another size as this is verging on a bit too big.
The final project is the Kirsten Kimono Tee which is a free pattern available online. I wasn’t sure of the sizing on it and it is a little bit too tight for me but hopefully won’t be for long. If my fabric had any real stretch it would fit fine but it’s a jersey with hardly any.
The fabric is actually the skirt of a dress I made years back that just never looked good on me, the style was all wrong. Luckily there was enough fabric that it could be re-used for something I can wear as I love the print of it.
I did the FOE neckline version using this lacy FOE that I have no idea where it came from. I think it looks nice and hopefully isn’t too much with the really loud print!
I have also finished off a small shawl but it needs to be blocked so it won’t appear for a little while. I actually ‘put it somewhere safe’ as my Mother would say and didn’t locate it until this morning so now I do know where it is I will get on with the blocking soon, there isn’t a lot of room in my house for that sort of thing so I will be stepping over it for days once I do pin it out.
I sewed another garment over the weekend too and will take pictures if we ever get enough daylight. I’ve not decided what to cut out next, I’ve got thread and buttons for the Darling Ranges dress and I keep going back and forth over whether I want to sew a simple denim zip up jacket (the sleeve length and width are stopping me adoring the pattern completely). Hopefully next time I venture into the sewing room a pattern or some fabric will demand my attention and I’ll know what to make next. I made a rather large (cough cough) purchase from Abakhan during their sale (nothing I bought was more than £2.30 a metre, you can’t turn that down really) so I’m going to really have to get on with things if I want to break even on fabric in and fabric out this year. I ordered some batting for the quilt that has been sitting there half done for years now, no exaggeration I sewed the top 2 years ago, and that I suddenly want to get done, probably because I’ve started collecting fabric for my next quilt and I won’t be able to start that until this one is done, plus all the fabric in the quilt will help with the stash balancing!
Back soonish with more hopefully!