With my first market only a few weeks away, I really should be concentrating on sewing for that.
But I haven’t been…
Instead I’ve been doing a little selfish sewing and sewing a few dresses for ME.
Usually all my time, energy and money goes into the children or the house, so it was nice to reward myself for a change.
It started yesterday when on a whim I decided to sew up a new party frock to wear to my Uncle’s 60th birthday last night.
I chose a sis boom pattern peasant dress pattern that I had sewed up several times in the past already and knew would be a quick sew, chose some pretty fabric from my stash that I bought years ago on clearance especially to make myself a new dress, and got to work at 3.30pm.
Despite the fact that I had a close friend skype me for 45 minutes in the middle of making it, and made a few silly mistakes to unpick due to my foggy medicated brain, I still managed to finish on time (just*) for 5.30pm in time to quickly get ready and leave.
So I definitely recommend this pattern for a speedy make!
*(I was literally clipping the last thread just as my parents arrived to pick me up and the babysitter arrived – no hair and make up done and afro hair from an earlier swim. Hmmmm, it might have been cutting it a bit fine which wasn’t the most relaxing time LOL)
Both times I made this pattern in the past I hadn’t really liked the results. Mostly that was down to the fabrics I chose, but it was also due to the fact I didn’t like how it fitted me on the hips and elastic was way too tight for me. The dress fit me well everywhere else so I decided to persevere with it and just make a few minor adjustments to make it fit my body better…
Firstly I omitted the step where it says to shape the skirt part of the dress and instead I left the sides straight. I like it MUCH better on me this way. The curve just wasn’t the right shape for my body at all (probably because I’m so short) therefore it sat really funny on my body, and I like the extra room that I have without it anyway.
Then I measured the elastic off my body rather than following the guide on the pattern. I wanted the waist elastic very loose and comfortable so that made it much better for me.
Oh, and I didn’t bother with elastic at the bottom of the sleeves. I just wanted loose sleeves.
The first time I made this dress I made it from a quilting cotton type weight. Then a very light denim. But this time the fabric I chose was very very light. Much lighter than quilting cotton. It is a similar weight to voile but not as shiny so I suspect it is a lawn fabric?
It was a pain in the neck to sew with, but it drapes beautifully and I really love how it feels to wear. It was the nicest I had sewn so far and I will definitely be on the look out for more fabric of this weight.
The only catch is that it’s a little sheer for my liking so I will need to always wear a slip or leggings under it. But that’s ok. I’d figured that would have to happen before I made it.
Every single woman I saw at the party last night complimented my dress and they were impressed I made it, so I really felt very pleased with the result.
Then today, spurred on by yesterday’s success, I decided to give the pattern another go but only this time in a knit fabric for more everyday wear and comfort (read – I wanted something I don’t have to iron!)…
I only had 1 knit fabric in my entire stash so it was either that one or nothing.
I’m not all that familiar with sewing with knits, but it worked out fine. It’s really such an easy pattern that there is not a lot to go wrong. I didn’t even refer to the instructions this time, just choosing to sew from memory.
To accommodate the knits I changed a few settings on my overlocker and increased my sewing machine stitch length to 3.5, stretching the fabric a little as I went.
Halfway through I realised I should have changed to a stretch needle but hadn’t. Luckily the universal needle I was using held up to the job well.
I amended the sleeve pattern this time by shortening it because I wanted to add a bit of lace to the sleeves, just to give the dress a bit of interest.
I really like how it came out. It’s comfy and fits well. I think it will work well as an everyday dress by itself in summer, or over tights in spring/autumn.
There you go, my 2 dresses in 2 days…
These were both made using clearance fabrics for only a few dollars per metre. So I think I may have change from $20 for these two, even taking into account the price of the pattern.
Pretty great value really!
Now I need to make myself some skirts and tops.
Any good pattern recommendations?
Preferably not just ones for tall, straight people, because that’s certainly one thing I’m not 😉