One thing about being given a lot of fabric, it gives you the opportunity to go out of your comfort zone and make things you're not comfortable with knowing you haven't spent a fortune on fabric. Making clothes used to terrify me, but over the last couple of years, it's a lot less frightening than it used to be. With each item made, I'm learning new things and developing skills to take onto the next item. I know they're not perfect and I know where I've made the mistakes, but on the whole, no one else notices them which means I'm happy to wear them. I think there has only one item that wasn't wearable which isn't too bad.
I have a Pinterest board of sewing patterns to try. Actually, most of them don't used proper patterns and that makes it much more doable for me. It's the patterns that scare me more than the actual sewing. With each one, I tend to adapt it and bring in different parts from previous items I've made, so pulling all the different parts I am comfortable with together.
The new feature for me on this one, is a crossover v neck and the cap sleeves. Although it wouldn't be my first fabric choice, it does look ok on and it's good quality. It feels lovely to wear. There was some left over which, I think, will be just enough to make a top.
I'll be making the top today and working up the courage to have have a go at making some trousers. Don't hold your breath, it might be a little while
Are you noticing a theme? I'm testing patterns and it always means at least two makes before I'm happy with it. This time, I'm looking at dress patterns. I do have one I'm happy with, but thought I'd try something different. This one has lots of variations available, so, if I can get the basic one sorted, I can start playing with sleeves.
I found the pattern via Pinterest and all the details can be found here. It's definitely a page I will be visiting again and again.
There are two basic parts to the dress, the top and skirt. The pattern gives a seam in the back, but I decided to do the back in one piece. For some fabrics, and once I've got the pattern suited for me, I will do some with a pieced back.
I need to make some adjustments to the top pattern. I fall between two sizes, depending on which part of the top you measure. I've adjusted the paper pattern and will try it again.
The skirt on the dress is a circle skirt. I've got to adjust the waist size on this one too, although that isn't much of a problem. The skirt isn't as long as I would like it, but I was restricted by the amount of fabric I had.
There were a couple of techniques I've not used before. Narrow elastic has been sewn across the shoulder and side bodice seams, as well as the waist. It looks like a nice finish, and it does give some stability to the seams.
It has it's flaws, but I really do like the style. This is perfect for wearing about the house, and if we get a summer, it's the perfect summer dress. I've already picked out the next fabric to make a second version, I'll let you know what happens.
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I've been back on the crochet hook finishing the little tutu bodice. It's full of little details which are so adorable in small things. Having great strapping teenage boys, it's sometime nice to concentrate on the more delicate and girly things.
The shoulder straps are adjustable, so I've added the buttons to the inside of the top. The trusty button tin to the rescue again.
The top needed blocking to get the shape correct, but I did enjoy seeing all those lovely pearl buttons in a row. They didn't come from the button tin. I think asking for eleven matching, small pearl buttons was just a little too much.
The bodice has now been sent off, and the tulle will be added to make the skirt. The tulle is attached to hidden loops around the bottom of the bodice. The weight will open up the pattern and I'm sure pictures of a little princess will follow.
If you would like to make your own tutu, the pattern was from here. I'm quite happy to make the bodice for you to add your own tulle, just contact me for details. Much as I fancy making a whole tutu, it's not something I can do at the moment due to the CE certification required. However, I may be doing some little tops from the pattern to wear on their own.
This picture gives a more accurate view of the colour. This is the first time I've done a facing on the neck and I love how it's turned out. Noe I've done it once, I think this is the way I'm going to be doing them from now on. I've used the selvedge as the hem as I love the effect of the darker edging.
After a wash and a press, I'm sure this will look so much better. The next garment will be a skirt. All being well, that should get done this week.
After my forays into making clothes last year, I had every intention of making something on a regular basis. I've been very fortunate to have been gifted huge crates of fabric, it was a good opportunity to use it.
Despite all the good intentions, months would go by, and I was busy, and nothing got made. I think I made three dresses and a pair of pyjamas last year. I needed a kick start to get going again.
Jen Gale over at My Make Do and Mend Year decided to take part in Make Me a Wardrobe 2015 and has invited everyone to join in. The idea is to make one garment every month. I thought it was the perfect challenge to get me making clothes again.
This is my first item for #mmaw2015, although it was a day late. I made it on Sunday. Another simple dress, just needs a wash and a press and it's ready to go.
There is still some more of this fabric left, so for February, I'm hoping to make a top. I may even get a bit adventurous and add some sleeves.
Will you be joining in?
I took the dress back and it was tried on, and we think it's ok. I wasn't that happy with the way the shoulder seam, so I decided drastic action was required.
I undid the finishing around the neck and restitched the shoulder seam. This gave a better finish to the shoulder seam. Once that was done, the neck and armhole edges were again finished. Hopefully, when it goes back today, everything will be as required, I've already seen more of this dress than I'd hoped.
Despite the previous fitting, when the dress went back, it was decided, it was too low under the armhole. The neck edge was fine, so I'm going to have do a little alteration on the shoulder seam to reduce the size of the armhole. This is the reason I will never be a seamstress!
I unpicked the armhole edging, marked the shoulder seams and restitched, Before I go cutting the excess and finishing the edge again, it's going back to be fitted again. Hopefully, this time, it will be ok, her holiday is getting closer with every passing week.
I'll never profess to be expert at making clothes, it's something new, and although it's ok for me, I'm well out of my comfort zone doing it for anyone else.
A friend, after seeing the dresses I'd done for myself, was adamant she wanted me to do her one or two for her holidays. After repeated requests, I gave in and said yes.
We went fabric shopping, but only found one she liked, so, I think I get away with making one dress.
With some trepidation, using one of her own dresses, I cut the fabric, and did the side and shoulder seams. The first fit on Tuesday went well, so back home to finish the neck and armholes.
With previous dresses, just folding the edges over and stitching worked well, but not with this fabric. It wouldn't run smoothly under the presser foot. I tried the specialised foot, but it didn't like the seams, it was too thick to run through smoothly. After about four attempts and unpicking, I got out the walking foot. It sewed like a dream. In no time, the neck and armholes had their finished edges.
It's now been hemmed, and has gone back. I'm hoping it will be the right length now, or I could be having it back to do some adjustments.
All in all, I'm happy with my first dress making session for someone else, although it's not one I'll be looking to repeat too often.
I had to go and get some more bobbins for the machine yesterday, so while I was there, I got some ribbons to finish the crocheted dress. The buttons were from the trusty button tin, and go perfectly with the ribbons, I just love the back of this dress.
This dress is to fit aprox 1-2 years and fastens on the shoulders with ribbons. I've left them long, so they can be adjusted. Not having a little model, I didn't want to cut them too short. The back is fastened with buttons, and the ribbon around the waist ties at the back.
Later today, I'll get some better photos, but I was struggling with the cat. He's come in from the rain and would like nothing better to put his mark on the dress. Every time, I lay it out, he thinks I'm putting it there especially for him.
I fancied a change from knitting and decided to do a bit of crochet. For some reason, this little dress took my fancy.
The skirt is worked separately and was the first piece to do. I loved it, the pattern made it easy to keep the stitch count correct. All the time I working on it, I was a bit concerned about the bodice. Although double crochet is supposed to be an easy stitch, some days, I just can't seem to keep the edges straight!
I needn't of worried, the bodice pieces were quick and easy to do, the shaping a lot quicker and easier than it is when knitting. Now I need to get some buttons and ribbon for the finishing details, but I'm so pleased with how it's turned out.
After the success of the dress, I'm onto something a little more ambitious. I can't help thinking I may have bitten off more than I can chew!
I have had a lifelong love of crafts which started with being taught how to knit at a very young age. It didn't take long to realise that great joy and satisfaction came from making things. Even now, I get a thrill seeing something that started just as an idea, becoming a finished product, whether I make it, or teach someone else how to make it.