Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sew what have I been up to?

So, no posts for a while, but I have been sewing quite alot, in short bursts.

I started a dress making course in September. All the courses I was interested in, in Cambridge, were full with extremely long waiting lists, however I found one run at a village college near Cambridge so signed up for that. I appear to be the first new person to start for a while, and most of the ladies there all do the pattern drafting course that the runs for the previous 2 hours, so they get a good four hours sewing done. The dress I have chosen is Simplicity 2591, a favourite of Karen's from Didyoumakethat? She has made several lovely versions of this. I have chosen the gathered v-neck version - which doesn't look that great on the pattern cover, but will suit the fabric I am using. Finally, I have cut into another of my Fabric Fandango purchases, at last. This one is my favourite from that haul and I didn't want to get it wrong even though I bought 4.5mtrs, so have room for mistakes if necessary!

My instructor took all the relevant measurements which resulted in my cutting out a size 12 on top and a size 16(!) for the skirt. I have never worn that size anywhere, but my measurement were firmly in that size column. The fabric I am using has a loose weave, so I wanted to underline it. I followed Tasia's instruction's for this, but ended up hand basting some of the layers together, because what ever I did to the tension on my machine, the stitching was too tight and distorted the shape of the pieces slightly.

The next thing my intructor wanted to do was have to the whole dress hand basted together to get a feel for the fit. This was surprisingly soothing to do as I could do it in front of the TV, while Husband worked on the computer. The size 16 skirt required more gathering to fit the size 12 bodice, but it came together very nicely and gave me high hopes for the finished dress! The only fitting issue was that the back is too wide at the top of the zip, which my intructor wants sort out at the end of the construction process rather than putting the zip in halfway through as per the instructions. Having now almost finished the dress, we found the the front gaped at the sleeve seam, so some very careful unpicking had to be done in order to take it in a little.

So far I don't feel that I have learnt anything new - I am re-acquainting myself with some techniques that I learnt when I did 'O' level Home EC textiles. It is good to know that what I am, or have been doing is correct, though.

I have also been sewing some dolls.

The whole process has been intensive. The girls Primary School had a Table Top sale soon and I rashly said I would have a table. I had a vague idea that I would make some dolls for this having seen the dolls that Jorth has made, and following the tutorial from the original maker. I used mostly material that I've had lying around for a while, but unfortunatley I didn't sell a single one. I wasn't the only one who didn't make their pitch fee though.

Middlest daughter has been after a new pencil case since the beginning of term. We had a look at the offerings in our local WHSmith, but she didn't really like any and I didn't want to spend upwards of £5.99 on something that she didn't like. Having gone through my collection of fabric, she settled on some cupcake material I found in a rememnant at And Sew On near Dunmow in Essex. I did a quick Google of pencil cases and found this which seem to fullfill requirements. This blogger also has a tutorial to make these rather sweet little things called Sarubobo plushes, so I made one out of the lining material. Middlest seems very taken with the pencil case and the plush.

Half term found me in London for a few days. Unfortunatley, I was laid up in bed for the first day, but felt sufficiently recovered to go to Goldhawk Road the next day. This time I went with a shopping list, looking for specific things.

I am planning a denim Portfolio dress, a corduroy Beignet/trousers and some jersey for tops (not that I have used up the jersey that I bought at the Fabric Fandango yet). Having seen Karen's latest 'Star Wars' skirt, I think that I have bought the same corduroy she has just made her latest Beignet from - great minds think alike, or something like that !

Well, that's enough for now. I'm off to start the muslin for a shirt for husband (that has been cut out for a couple of months). I sat down last night and wrote a list of what I would like to sew. It was quiet long. Subject for a different post perhaps!


  1. Hello!! You have been busy. So many different sewing projects. The "pixie"dolls look great in numbers!! Look forward to seeing your fandango finished makes. How lovely also to find a sewing group close to you. I'm sewing a shirt for my man's Xmas pressie too. I'm always proud to see him wearing things I've made him. I should make him more- but don't!

  2. What a busy bee you've been. I find it quite surprising that she is making you cut a size 16 for the skirt, especially as its a flared skirt, hmmm, looking forward to seeing the completed dress. I've never made dolls before, but yours look so cute. I'm surprised they did not sell.As for shirts for the Mr., I still need to work up the courage.

  3. Please may i have one, you dont have anywhere else to put them...