Well, I started in autumn and now it’s winter – tempus fugit and all that. Plus, I showed you a mustard coloured blouse I made a few posts ago which I counted as autumnal so that’s why this post is numbered one and a half. Just in case you have nothing better to do than wonder about the title of a blog post.
Anyway, behind the scenes of patchwork reindeer heads, crochet dogs, aprons made from tea towels and other various makes, I have actually been doing some dressmaking with varying degrees of success.
I bought the two most recently published patterns by Tilly and the Buttons – ‘Nora’ a boxy shaped sweatshirt type of top and ‘Ness’ a denim style skirt – mostly because I didn’t have anything similar in my pattern library. In the case of the top, there might actually be a reason for that.
I’m quite short and top heavy so, if I’m honest, a cropped boxy shape with stepped hem is probably not ideal for me and I feel a bit swamped by the style. To be fair, I used some very heavy 4-way stretch black fabric I had in my stash which doesn’t help with the swamping and it doesn’t really work with this top – in fact, I’m not really sure what it would work with. I think I might have had a wrap dress in mind when I bought it but it’s so heavy it would probably be akin to wearing one of those weighted vests you can get to make you sweat a lot and lose weight which would be both exhausting and not very pleasant for anybody you were spending the day with. Anyway, I might try the pattern again in some french terry or some lightweight sweatshirt fabric which I did intend to do, thinking I had some in my stash, but there wasn’t enough of it when I dug it out from the depths.
A long distance photo (because I’m not happy with it) but you get the general idea from that and the line drawing.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have a classic ‘denim style’ skirt pattern so the ‘Ness’ pattern seemed to fit the bill. I went for somewhere between the mini and the midi length. I used the shorten/lengthen line which is what you’re supposed to do but it seemed to result in a slight pouch around my bum which I could probably fill with one of those ‘make your bum look bigger’ appliances you put in your knickers – and Lord knows I need help in that area – but maybe I’ll just do more squats instead. Next time, I’ll just chop the surplus length off the end. Still in my ‘mustard phase’ I chose some corduroy to make it with – which looks more camel than mustard in the photos. I chose corduroy despite a previous nightmare experience with some black cord which I now realise must have been very poor quality – I found it in a charity shop so who knows where it had been, or how long it had been there, before it came home with me to wreak its black and dusty destruction on my sewing room.
On the other hand – probably because I paid more for it and it was new – this cord behaved very well with only minimal shedding and the skirt instructions – as is always the case with Tilly & the Buttons patterns – are very well written and illustrated. It all went together very nicely and I used some contrast fabric for the pocket bags in a bit of a fancy touch that nobody will see unless they prise those pocket tops away from my body and peer inside which, I can’t really imagine anybody doing unless invited. I was very pleased with the fly front which is my third to date as I made a pair of shorts a few years ago and, more recently, a pair of jeans which will not be discussed here yet as I am still not quite over the experience.
Unfortunately, with just the side seams to sew up, my last fitting showed I needed to come down one size at the waist and two at that hips which then caused a bit of bunching which hadn’t been there before. – mostly due to the fact that the pocket bags were all nicely stitched in place so there were multitudinous layers of fabric being taken into the seams which had been laying very nicely before I actually decided to make it fit me.
(I don’t know why that right hand pocket looks curved on the left bottom corner – it must be a trick of the camera – see below for proof!)
Never mind, it’s wearable but not as perfect as I thought it was going to be with all my nice felled seams, fly front and patch pockets. Mr. T. even put some rivets on here and there.
I was going to tell you about another make in this post but I would think you’ve had enough by now so I’ll leave it until part 2 (2 and a half??) which will contain yet another mustard make and another corduroy skirt – can you see a theme?
In a complete change of subject in an effort to keep my non-dressmaking readers engaged, my blocks for the F2F block swap have already been received by Esther in the Netherlands (a swap partner a little nearer to home for December), so I thought I’d add two of those on the end to show you.
Esther chose colours to match her garden pots which are a mixture of soft greens, mint greens and grey blues.
This is my first ever Churn Dash block which is surprising only because it’s a really popular block in patchwork and I’ve never done one before. I used the central square to show off a unicorn because any excuse to show off a unicorn has to be seized with both hands and a sewing machine.
This is the Zeppelin block I’m making for everybody in the swap as well as one for myself in the colours chosen each month so I’ll have another set of blocks needing assembling and quilting to add to the ones I already have 🤔
Back to the sewing room now to continue with a ‘secret sewing’ project I am hoping to have done in time for Christmas – if not, I’ll be joining up to Amazon Prime for a next day delivery emergency gift to go under the tree 🤞