Before I became more than a little obsessed with knitting, I used to sew. I made lots of things; trousers, tops, shirts, dresses etc. And at some point I became more interested in my knitting than my sewing. I haven’t sewn more than one thing a year in probably at least five years. In fact, aside from a dress I began last year, and which I still haven’t finished, I don’t think I’ve even posted any blog posts about constructing a garment.
Last weekend Doug suggested that I make a dress. He has a sewing machine at his so I chose fabric and a pattern which took a couple of hours, came back to his and prepared to sew.
I chose Burda 7698, an empire waisted evening dress cut on the bias. The bias, plus gathering of course, helps create a lovely curved drape at the bust. It’s simple but elegant.
Notice I said that the pattern was simple. The hardest part of the pattern is the insertion of the zip and the gathering at the sides but I’m still quite rusty so to be honest, the whole thing was a challenge for me. Firstly, I didn’t realise that the front and back bodice had to be cut on the bias so I had to cut those again. Then I managed to sew the bodice front to the skirt front upside down and didn’t realise my mistake until after I’d trimmed the seam! Ripped out the stitching and tried to fix it but should have just cut a new front bodice piece since I became so frustrated trying to fix it that I ended up bending the needle on the sewing machine. My next mistake was when sewing the front and back together at the right hand side not to match the waist so on one side it was noticeably out. Argh!
I do want to sew more but I find that I’m either too cocky when reading a pattern and go wrong or I misread something. I need to try again because I would like to find my sewing muse again. I’d quite like to try and make at least one dress a month. As summer gets underway I’ll no doubt be busier and busier in the garden but the prospect of having something new and unique to wear every month is appealing. Plus I’d have twelve handmade dresses over the course of a year.
BurdaStyle is a great sewing resource and through it today I found this site – The Sew Weekly I love it! It’s by Mena Trott, one of the founders of TypePad, and I used to read her original sewing blog Sew Wrong years ago. She started her current blog about a year ago with the aim of sewing a new garment each week. It’s now more of a sewing community/group blog. I’ve only had a little look at it but there are lot of people making some fab stuff from vintage patterns and fabric that they’ve mostly bought in charity/thrift shops. It’s very inspiring and I certainly think I’ll be looking out for old sewing patterns in charity shops in the future.
I’ve joined their community The Weekly Sewing Circle so feel free to add me as a friend if you’re on that site.