Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sewing on Sundays


Every year we have about a month of Sundays here, with public holidays falling on Mondays and Fridays -  and Tuesdays and Thursdays (further freeing up Mondays and Fridays, obviously). I was determined to use the time well.

A few years ago I stumbled across an amazing fabric shop somewhere in Montague Gardens, and bought 6 pieces of fabric. Starting with my least favourite piece, I slowly started butchering the stash, trying to make clothes 'quickly' and 'easily'. Miserable way to do things.

Now down to the last pieces, the ones I really liked, I sorted through my vintage patterns, cleared the decks, and started cutting into my least favourite of my favourite fabrics. The first dress, on the left, took 3 weeks of weekends and evenings, unpicking and adjusting. I set the sleeves in 3 times - and no, it doesn't get any easier. But the other 2 dresses took a day each!

I had to do a 'narrow shoulder adjustment' to the pattern (dress made, try on, sulk, research online for hours, mark adjustment, redraw pattern, unpick entire dress, recut pattern pieces, sew it up again) and it made all the difference. This is the tutorial I used - sheer genius, concisely explained.

I also sewed the zips in by hand, because it's quicker than doing it twice with a sewing machine and still it's wonky. Genius tip (from Ruth Singer) for a straight stitching line: masking tape!

What else have I learned? Transfer all the markings, every single one of them, from the pattern, and draw the stitching line on to the sleeve cap. And 2 metres is just about enough fabric for a dress. These are the length they are because that's exactly how much fabric I had; I barely had enough for the sleeves.

8 comments:

Seamingly Sarah said...

lovely! patterns intimidate me. so what little clothing i've done i've just copied from something already made, mostly just dresses and skirts for my 4 year old.

heleen said...

WOW! I like the roses!!
I am turning around my japanese pattern books since weeks, eager to start, but also hesitating.

painted fish studio said...

the process sounds painful but the end results are fabulous!

Sonya Philip said...

Hurrah! You found time to sew!! They're lovely. The striped fabric is especially delicious.

Jane McLellan said...

Great dresses, worth the effort involved. In a previous existence I had a New Look pattern very like this that I used over and over. Thanks for the link to the tutorial, it's very clear without going overboard!

Asiye Ivedi said...

lovely dresses!

LIESL said...

Wanted to tell you how much i adore your blog. And also hate to point it out, but you may want to check your spelling of "public holidays". :) I had to chuckle.

Jesse said...

Yikes! Thank you!!! I can't believe I missed that - and I proofread my posts.