The last few weeks I’ve been increasingly inspired to sew. It started when I shifted around my workspace again; the space had never worked for me how it was – it just felt dark and disconnected. So, a few weeks ago we spent a rainy day shifting around all the furniture, and moving the double bed out of the space into Hannah’s room. The end result feels light-filled and spacious.
With all that fabric goodness on show, and the space spic-and-span, I couldn’t help but want to spend time down there. Especially as the change of season has meant a few weekends of rain, giving us a much needed rest from all the landscaping projects we have on the go outside. But what to sew?! I was feeling at a bit of a loss.
Way back months ago I had gone to a huge knit fabric sale, coming home with metres of discounted knit fabric, only to have it sit there staring at me with it’s “intimidating-ness”. In the shift around I’d decided to unpack it out of the box it was in, and in doing so gave myself a pep talk, told myself to stop being silly, and decided it was about time I tried to sew garments for myself again. Not having had a great amount of success sewing things that flattered my curves in the past, I’m sure you can understand my hesitation – I mean who wants to waste their pretty fabric on something they feel frumpy and revolting in!
Hours of research for patterns that seemed to flatter other curvaceous women later, and I settled on The Charleston Dress by Hey June. There are 2 styles to choose from for the dress, and I chose style A to make first; A-line with pockets. I picked out some plain black knit that I had plenty of and wouldn’t be too upset if it was a flop, and away I went. I’m happy to report that not only could I follow the instructions faultlessly (which trust me is a big deal for me – I usually can’t follow instructions to save my life, or rebel against instructions), but it also turned out awesome!
I really love the shape of this dress. It will be a really great winter staple that can be dressed up or down depending on the mood.
Feeling brave with that huge success under my belt, I decided to attempt making style B. I say I was feeling brave because I knew the pencil style didn’t usually flatter me as much. I also tried to be really adventurous and push the boat out by making the second dress partially in woven fabric, mixing woven and knits. My theory was that I have so much pretty woven fabric, but only limited knit, and it’s pretty much all plain colours. So I knew if I could come up with some successful mixed designs, I could really have a lot of fun with fabric combos. Here is my second dress:
I don’t love this style as much as the first, but I’m still happy to wear it. It’s not as unflattering as I feared. I made the centre panel at the back in the pattern fabric as well, and I think if I was to change one thing about this dress, it would be to only add the panel detail to the front.
The kids were all feeling a bit neglected by this point, looking up at me with their big doe eyes and asking me in their most charming voice if they could sew with me now. So I let them loose in my fabric stash and let them pick some fabric to make them something out of each. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing they both ended up choosing the same fabric; a very cool pink, sparkly, pink animal print. I purchased this back when Hannah was doing dancing competitions, intending to make her a costume out of it, but she stopped dancing and changed to cheerleading soon after I bought it.
These are made with the Imagine gnats Tumble Tee pattern. The girls were very specific – Hannah wanted the top and Abbie wanted the dress. Abbie wanted the crushed velvet and satin AND buttons. She chose them all herself. Hannah wanted just pink and black. They think I’m cool and clever for being able to sew them clothes. Long may that live haha. I had to pry these off their backs after several days so that I could wash them.
I’ve also made another couple of tees for myself, and I really love those too, but you’ll have to wait until next time for details of those (or check my Instagram feed).
It feels great to be back sewing. I needed the break, but now I have renewed inspiration. And I’ve decided that sewing for grownups, and sewing with knits, isn’t that intimidating or difficult after all. All I needed to do was give it another go.
Bye for now