Challenges

 

Although I started this a few months ago, my sewing has not been continuous.  How come when we have ideas and thoughts, life seems to conspire against us so that we are taken off course?  Not everything is negative because most of the interruptions have been pleasurable and joyous but nevertheless, taken off course is what I have been!

So it was a real pleasure to spend 2 days at the Midhurst Sewing Rooms with Claire Tyler.  I thought it completely decadent to spend two days enjoying myself when Christmas is looming and especially when I am expecting the whole family to descend for our annual pre-Christmas party only 36 hours later.  Strangely I think I was able to re-charge my batteries through it all.

But it was nearly not so!

I decided to make this dress: Vogue 1401

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It wad designed by Koos Van Den Aaker. I was completely drawn in to the detail on the front, the pretty sleeve and the fact that it seemed to hide a multitude of sins!

Before I make anything, I read a lot about the patterns and styles on www.sewing.patternreview.com and on any blogs I can find.  The general consensus seemed to be that the dress was enormous when it was cut.  So I did what I always do……….. I ignored the sizing and worked to my measurements.  This meant that my size was actually 3 sizes smaller than the one I usual work to.  I still suspect that I might be removing more from the side seams!

What I did not reckon on, was that the pieces needed to be cut from single unfolded fabric.  As I was using 150cm wide linen and 150 cm wide georgette for the sleeves, I was exhausted before I had cut it out with trying to anchor the wretched fabric to the table when actually it wanted to fall off at any moment. Thank goodness for Claire who cut the linen out on the floor while I battled with the georgette.  It took all day to cut it out.

I am using a medium weight red linen and cotton mix by John Kaldor.  I bought it from Minerva Crafts but the pretty georgette I am using for the sleeves came from Marcy Tilton.A5F06FEB-185A-4FBC-ABD0-1FDC4A983CFE.jpg

I decided to use a glazed cotton from Bloomsbury Square Fabrics  for the appliqué bias strips.  Although there is a small difference in the photos here, the top red (the glazed cotton) is more of a tomato hue whereas the linen is a blue red.

The appliqué is what this dress is about so I set about assembling it.  I have made a good start although I seem to have yards and yards of hand-cut bias binding!!

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Let’s see how it all works out!

It’s a wrap!

My first post is about this dress.  It is a Very Easy Vogue pattern: Vogue V8784.

The dress was made for my mum who no longer finds it easy to buy clothes.  She has arthritic shoulders and despite shopping for a new dress, none could be found to suit her.  I decided to make her one which would be able to be fitted to her shape and also address the problem of needing to fasten at the front for ease.

I will post a photo of her wearing it in the fulness of time but it is for a special occasion so will wait until that takes place.

The pattern is a lovely shape.  The fitted pleats/darts at the waist give it a beautifully fitting shape.

Mum chose to have the three-quarter length sleeves and collar with the full skirt.

The fabric is John Kaldor from John Lewis and is a linen and cotton mixture.  The dress is fully lined (as per the pattern) except for the sleeves. I used the standard John Lewis lining and sewed using Gutermann thread.

What size did I make?  I cut a size 16 but added extra to the waist as mum is short waisted and always needs extra added at that point for comfort.

Did I make any major pattern adjustments?  Yes.  I added  an extra 7 cm at the top of the arm.  I adjusted the pattern so that the sleeve-head and cuffs remained the same.

Where there any difficult stages in the making of the dress? No.  It went together very well and I am pleased with the outcome – as is Mum!!!

Any thoughts for next time? Yes. The pattern can be made in a knit and I shall make it again for her in a knit for the winter.

Reasons and Purposes

I decided to start this blog for a few reasons: I love sewing and making and I love sharing those experiences with others.  I also enjoy writing and miss the discipline of marshalling my thoughts to put them in coherent form (hopefully).

I have sewn and made items with fabric since I was 8.  My mother taught me and then I was taught by the wonderful Mrs Mortimer at my school.  I have had (and still have) triumphs and disasters.  I expect you will be the judge on how that works out in the future!  Now I am in my later 60s and blessed with a non-standard size.  I have learnt a few things over the years but still have still have masses to learn.

My purpose is to share my journey with you, giving you information on the fabrics and patterns used, the challenges and successes along the way and would value your responses to all of that.  Nowadays I sew for myself, my family and other special friends. I learn from Claire Tyler at the Midhurst Sewing Rooms and the many blogs which I visit.