Tuesday, May 18, 2010

my sewing history

I've been having a look around some of the Me-Made-May blogs, and it has really fueled my desire to sew some more wearable clothing. I got into sewing last year, because I wanted a multi-layered petticoat and a couple of swirly skirts for a slightly 50s look. The petticoat actually worked pretty well, as did the swirl-skirts - no pattern needed and if they fit better a couple of centimeters more towards the waist or hip, it doesn't matter. After that, I had some ideas for cute dresses and sketched them out, some 50s and 60s-inspired, some more modern, and I prowled the Internet for inspiration. I found this site had some gorgeous dresses: 


I hadn't ever sewn with patterns, though, and couldn't abstract the shapes well enough to find similar ones. Also, it was winter and I really wanted a black woolen everyday sheath dress... so I tried drafting it without a pattern. I won't go into detail, but it was very frustrating and did most certainly not work out. So I bought a pattern, labeled "easy" by Burda, made the skirt more A-line to get a slightly 60s, more fun and less elegant feel and actually got a wearable dress out of it (apart from not reading the instructions right, forgetting the interfacing thus having to top-stitch the armholes and neckline to get the facings to lie even remotely flat. Also, I probably picked out the black wool fabric with the highest affinity to cat hair, dust and other light clingy stuff...) Anyway, it was wearable and I decided to make another version, out of a nice green and pink woven fabric with the cutest green and pink plaid lining. I go overconfident, though, and made more mistakes than the last time. Apart from the neckline not being quite symmetrical, the fabric was very stretchy, which made fitting an lining veeeery difficult. I cut it out a little short, too, and tried to hem it with the lining - bad idea. When I had finished it and tried it on, my boyfriend called it a green potato sack. Yay. I wore it exactly two times for a little while before stuffing it in the back of my closet.

Version number three in a nice black and white checkered fabric actually worked pretty well. I didn't line it but used facing and interfacing, fitting was complicated but ok in the end (since I don't have a dress dummy and try to do it on myself in front of the mirror)... I forgot how to attatch the facing to the shoulder seams, though, and with all the sewing, picking stitches and resewing, the straps/sleeves got too short, resulting in the back zipper sticking away from my neck. Hmpf. (I might try to put in a couple of darts to remedy that sometime in the future.) I vowed to myself not to start another dress/fitted project before I got myself a dress dummy to my body measurements and to read all the instructions carefully the next time.

That was in February. I spent a good two months at home without a sewing machine and the start of uni was enough work to forget about sewing for a while, but Me Made May put me into the spirit again! I've got ideas for a couple of skirts, I'd really like some summery Carmen-blouses and Zoe from 'So, Zo...' has inspired me to try my hand at some knitted fabric for sleepwear or undies. I'm thinking of green and white polka-dotted jersey... Also, her sailor trousers (in the second to last picture) are really cute. The buttons!

So yes, I'm going to work on the me-made dress dummy pretty soon, and think about what kind of projekts I can do well without one until that. Me Made May has really inspired me to broaden my wardrobe and maybe be able to participate in the next similar event (or the one after that). :-)

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