Like a lot of crafty creative types, I've been crafting (sewing, knitting, painting, beading... a huge variety of things) since I was a tiny dot. I remember making tiny, knitted jumpers for barbie dolls, clothes for me, and things for my parents like this pot holder:
(What happened with those lines of stitching at the top? Did I run out of wool and just couldn't be bothered getting more to finish the last line? Or was I trying to get as much out of one piece of wool as I could, so it's actually an achievement that it stretched as far as it did?).
I also have a whole heap of creative bods in my family, some of whom make a living from it, others who do it for fun. Not many of us have had formal training.
I have learnt practically all I know from my mother and my nana (my father's mother), and I've learnt a lot from trying stuff out for myself.
Before Christmas, I was sewing madly for van Rose, my clothes business, and decided to reward myself after the Christmas rush with some clothes for myself. I was given a heap of stunning vintage patterns by my nana. I've chosen this one to start:
In the past I've been gung ho in my approach to clothes for myself, and more often than not it hasn't really paid off with dresses. I think being short (I'm about 5 ft 2) makes a huge difference when making dresses whether I want it to or not!
I've found some delicious vintage material (the spotty one) and some new quilting cotton for this dress, so this time I can't afford to mess up.
I've also been exploring the interwebs of late and have discovered a treasure trove of sewing sites and blogs, so I've picked up ideas that I think will improve my dress. One of the ideas is to make a 'muslin' - a kind of practice dress - to figure out any changes that need to be made before starting on the good fabric. Genius!
I picked up about 10 metres of material ages ago from the Super Secret Secondhand Shop for next to nothing but only decided recently that I don't like it. Ta da! Material to make my muslin.
The measurements on the pattern are too small for me by about 4 inches in the bust, waist and hips, so I added about that amount in the middle of the front and back pieces before I cut out the material.
This is the making of the front:
I think in the final dress I'd like to line the 'bib' on the back. I like clothes to be 'closed units' - I'm not big on being able to see the workings.
I whipped up the back (pretty standard - gap for a zip and two long darts to shape the small of the back) and tried on the dress:
Eek! I've created a massive SACK.
More to follow on how I resolve this, um, BIG problem. When I figure out how to that is.