Some random bits and pieces

Well, the comments on my last post surprised me – I thought I was a bit odd for not liking the feel of bias cut clothing, but it appears I am definitely not alone.  I’ve started sorting out my wardrobe and have already found three garments that I never wear, all bias cut. Two of them (tops) I have put on to wear on more than one occasion and then always change my mind and wear something else – now I know why.

I found a solution for the navy bias cut top I posted about last time – give it to someone who really likes it – my mum:

(Ignore the fact that the trousers don’t really match – they are what she was wearing when she came over to see me today.)  It looks so much better on my mum than it did on me, I think because she’s taller, and bias cut doesn’t feel twisty to her at all.

I may give this pattern (Burda 05-2012-110) one more try in a woven. I have a very drapey viscose that I bought with the intention of making this top so I think I’ll try it anyway – but this time cut on the straight grain.  It’s so simple to sew – just two pattern pieces – no facings, bindings or any other fiddly bits so I’d like it to be a TNT.  I might try and work out how to make the cowl neck a little wider and bit more drapey.  As I typed that, an idea popped into my head – I wonder if I could use the cowl neck from My Image MI1152 and the main body pieces from this pattern.  Maybe that’ll be a challenge for this evening.

Talking of challenges – my Burda challenge has gone completely out of the window.  I just got too far behind and there are other projects calling my name way more than the Burda projects.  That’s not to say that I won’t be sewing from the magazines I haven’t yet sewn from – in fact I think I’ll still use the original premise of the challenge when I can’t decide what to sew next.  Also, I’ve already bought fabrics for quite a few of the challenge projects and I’m looking forward to eventually having some of the garments in my wardrobe.

Now some random stuff, with photos.  After posting about my muu-shroud (credit for that brilliant description goes to Anne from Pretty Grievances) I thought I’d show how lucky I got with my first few patterns.  The very first thing I sewed, around six years or so ago, was this skirt:

It’s too big for me now, and the zip looks horrendous, but I was so pleased with it at the time. It was made from self-drafted pattern that I created using instructions from the book “Yeah, I Made It Myself” by Eithne Farry.  I used a second-hand quilt cover (second-hand quilt covers are going to appear quite a bit in the rest of this post) that cost me £2.00 and a zip that cost about 50p.  I only used one side of the cover so this first ever garment cost me the grand total of £1.50 and I did actually wear it quite a few times.

I then sewed a couple of other simple skirts, mainly using Simplicity 4137:

and I wore these to death.  Most of those that have survived (I ended up sewing something like a dozen of these) have now been turned into a simple Burda A-line skirt, so they got a second lease of life.

My absolute favourite early garment was a dress I made using Simplicity 4265:

(click on any photo for a larger version)

I used a second-hand quilt cover for this that only cost me a few quid.

Looking back, I can see where I made loads of mistakes.  Based on my measurements at the time I cut a size 20 but this made it too big around the neckline and under the arms.  I also widened the straps so that I could wear a bra and never did get the right strap to sit straight on my shoulder – you can see in the photos that it is trying to fall off Dolly’s shoulder.  I also got an annoying pattern twin on the front.  However, even with all those problems I did wear this dress quite a bit, and it gave me a huge amount of confidence for making future garments.    The main reason for posting about these is to show that a new sewist can get lucky with the right pattern and doesn’t have to end up with a muu-shroud!

The next dress is a bit random – it’s something I made pre-blog and really like.  It’s a little bit frumpy and the fabric isn’t the greatest, but every time it appears back in my wardrobe after being washed and ironed it almost immediately gets worn again, if the weather permits.  I class this more as a house dress, than a going out dress, but it’s so comfy that I can’t resist wearing it.   It’s made using Simplicity 2615:

The fabric is a very drapey viscose so it creases horrendously and is horrible to iron, but I don’t do the ironing 🙂

The main reason I’m posting about this is that I think this is the pattern I am now going to use for my lovely orange peacock-feather-print crepe-de-chine that I originally intended for the muu-shroud dress.

It’s not a very glamorous dress, but I know I’ll wear it – which is far more important.

Lastly, I took some photos today of my previous versions of Simplicity 2888, mainly because it is difficult to see the lines of the dress in the black cherry print version.  I don’t know why I bought this pattern in the first place because it doesn’t look very inspiring on the pattern envelope:

but I’m very happy that I did.  This is the first version I made (using, guess what, a second-hand quilt cover).  I think it’s a bit bridesmaid-y and it’s a smidge too small around the midriff so I rarely wear it, but it’s cute enough that I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.  It’s fully lined, using the lining from second-hand curtains.

The second version I used another second-hand quilt cover, and more of the ex-curtain lining fabric.  This one came out a smidge too big (basically it was a second muslin) but I do wear this version – I’m wearing it right now as I type.

The third, and best fitting version, up until the cherry print, was this next one – and I bought new fabric for it!.  I lined just the bodice because the cotton fabric was dark enough to not need the skirt lined, and I found that fully lining the skirt on the first two versions made the dress a little heavy.

This one gets worn a lot and the cotton fabric is getting softer with each washing which is making it nicer and nicer to wear each time.

I have bought a load of new patterns and fabric recently, but I won’t post about them – instead I will attempt to go and actually sew something, instead of just writing about sewing.  I think three posts in three days is enough for now.

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6 Responses to Some random bits and pieces

  1. prttynpnk says:

    You have such a good pattern collection for classic shapes. Better keep the sewingroom locked or bettr yet, just put the feather fabric and about 5 of those patterns in a pile outside your door- I’ll do a drive by filching!

  2. T. Sedai says:

    You do have a lot of great dress patterns, and I bet the orange feathers will look great in that Simplicity pattern (especially if you already know you like the fit). It will be a lovely dress – can’t wait to see it made up!

  3. Love all your patterns, and what you’ve done with them. Great job.. And your mom looks beautiful in the blue top.Perfect!!!

  4. mrsmole says:

    How fortunate to have a mother who will wear your boo-boos! She looks just great! I have to laugh at all your muslins and their fabrics…they would surely do well as costumes in a play about the 50’s and all you need is to add some aprons and you have the moms we recognize from our youth. Love that last dress and I expect you will get compliments when you wear it out!

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