Sunday, 10 February 2013


OK so I've been a bit absent - life has a tendency to just get in the way sometimes!  So what have I been up to?  Not all that much really but I have taken up dressmaking.

Inspired by Jo's gift with fabrics and having read this blog where Manda's love of fabric is all too evident, I thought I would see about making Penelope some clothes - girls' clothing being a bit more, well, interesting than boys'...

I was looking on Pinterest for a bit on inspiration and a link to a pattern on Etsy led to me buying two dress patterns.  Paper patterns seem to be very expensive these days and the joy of Etsy means that you can get a pattern for about a fiver or less and have it delivered to your inbox.  OK so you've got to factor in the cost of printing it out but I think they represent excellent value.  One of the patterns I bought was one that I thought I could adapt to being a top as well as a dress. 

So after picking Jo's brains for good fabric websites, I ordered some fabric on Saints and Pinners and Seamstar.  I realised I needed some matching cotton and, not being one to hang about, I colour matched from memory whilst in John Lewis.  Now I wouldn't recommend trying to colour match thread without the actual material but, surprisingly, all my matches worked out.

I started off simply and made this top for Penelope

Then because Jo had mentioned reversible trousers for Rowan, I made these trousers for Rowan using this pattern for the trousers and this tutorial to make them reversible.  Once I had worked out what needed to be done to make them reversible it was surprisingly easy.

Finally I made this dress using one of the Etsy patterns

To be honest this was a bit of a trial, partly because of the pattern (bubble skirts are NOT easy), partly because of the material (cotton voile, however pretty, is a bit of a b*gger to sew) and partly because I didn't read the pattern instructions properly which meant I had to remake the bodice - ho hum. 

I've made a few other bits and pieces for P but unfortunately haven't photographed them - ah well.

I also decided to make myself a dress.  Every year we have a girls' xmas night out and this year I haven't been able to find a dress that either a) I liked or b) didn't cost the earth.  So I thought I'd see what patterns for adult sized dresses there were on Etsy and came across this one.  The dress was finally finished about 30 minutes before we went out.  I was fairly pleased with it but I wouldn't say I loved it.  I think it was more to do with the choice of material than anything else.  I think I should have gone a bit simpler and made it in black.  I can't get over the fact that I think I look a bit like an Xmas turkey wrapped in foil....

Mind you I was extremely pleased with the fact that I managed how to use the blind stitch on my sewing machine (which had previously eluded me) and also put in a zip.  Although I did have to email my Mum a picture and ask if it was a zipper foot.

My next project is a mini quilt - mainly because I ordered some fabric and it wasn't quite what I intended.  And then I am going to try a scrappy trip around the world quilt which Jo has talked about on her blog here - as she says resistance is futile.

Oh and Max has requested that I make a miniature Happy Meal for one of his bears - that could be interesting!

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