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The Sew Weekly

Sew Weekly UK Meet Up

I started writing this on Monday but I’ve been too knackered after the weekend to post about it earlier!

On Saturday I and thirteen other sewers headed to the V&A museum in London to meet up, see an exhibition, chat and do a little fabric shopping shopping at Goldhawk road 🙂 It was a fab day but also an exhausting one. We’d all agreed to make outfits specially for the occasion and I didn’t finish mine until past 1am Saturday morning!

I made Burda 7556, a sleeveless dress with a full skirt in this cherry print fabric from eBay. I’m a big fan of cherry print.

 

 

Here’s a bad photo of the finished dress

 

After my late night night, I was up around 6am in order to catch my 7.55 train to London. Magpie Mimi got on the train at the next stop and we got to the V&A for 11.20am. Before looking around the exhibition we all had photos taken in front of the fountain at the museum. First as one big group and then in groups of similar height! I wore a cardigan to hide my dodgy zip, more on that later,  but I’m not sure I should have kept it on for the photos since it and my belt appear to have become one in the pix!

 

Left to right - Me with Mimi and Stevie

 

I need to add everyone’s name in here!

 

 

 

So many gorgeous dresses! And all hand made too.

After the exhibition we headed over to a pub on the Goldhawk road for a pattern swap. I completely forgot to bring any patterns with me. Despite that, it had been very generously agreed that there were enough patterns or everyone to take part in the swap, even if they hadn’t brought any themselves.

 

As a result I ended up with the following

 

 

I’ve already cut out the New Look pattern in the lower right hand corner 🙂

We had to dash to get back to Paddington so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time fabric shopping. But it’s funny, it’s not that I wasn’t in the mood to buy fabric but I had the same feeling that I get when I shop for yarn. I’m aware that I have so much already so I only want to buy something if I absolutely have to have it. So I was a very reserved shopper and, even in that fabric mecca, I only made two purchases. Two meters of a silky teal fabric and and half a meter of bright fuchsia knit fabric. The knit is destined to become a shrug. There’s more than enough to make two shrugs.

Overall, it was an amazing day and it was fabulous to meet other sewers. I couldn’t stop admiring all the amazing dresses that they’d made. It was really incredible.

Oh, and here’s Mimi (left) and Kirsty (right) examining their purchases on the tube afterwards.

 

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn sewn clothing that I’ve made myself since I normally knit it. It was also such a big deal to not only actually finish a sewing project but to have it, mostly, fit as well. I had some scares that the bodice wouldn’t fit once I’d sewn in the zip. As a result the zip ending being a visible zip rather than an invisible one.

The dress hasn’t had a happy ending ending though. There are several fitting issues. Most notably there’s too much fabric in the back of the bodice, I also need to shorten the bodice so that so that the bust line is actually over my bust – it’s too high at the moment. Plus I need to take fabric out at the shoulders of the bodice, re-sew the zip. I also need to finish the hem of the skirt – I only overcast it because I didn’t have time to finish it properly.

Basically I need to take the dress apart again and redo a lot of it. But at least after that it will fit and I’ll be more likely to want to wear it again.

But, before I do that, I want to make something else. 😉

Sewing the Week Away…

Yesterday, I made blueberry muffins

I’ve been neglecting the blog, again, there’s a surprise!

I’ve had four days off this week which has been great. I needed them so much. Plus I’ve been focusing on sewing and have made one and a half dresses so far. It’s not quite the target of four dresses that I’d set myself but then that was a little ambitious. My main reason for spending most of my time sewing is to make my dress for the Sew Weekly UK Meet Up this Saturday.

As I wrote in my last post, I’ve been fretting and stressing about this dress which defeats the whole object of the project! Tuesday night I cut out the Burda pattern I’m using and then yesterday I cut out the fabric. I sewed the lovely, full skirt first. I find sewing the skirt is a great way to start off a project because it’s usually fairly simple and gives you the boost of knowing that you’ve already completed half your project! Things went a bit slow after that because I realised that I’d forgotten to make dinner. I ended up sewing bodice darts until 1.30am.

Things have been a bit slow again today, not surprising really after a late night, but I’ve sewn the front bodice and have one final dart in the back bodice. Now, to finish the rest!

Vintage April…

Some lovely finds...

Some lovely finds...

 

What a fabulous afternoon I had today. I met up with Magpie Mimi, a fellow Welsh member of The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle, and we went fabric shopping. An arduous task of course but somehow we forced ourselves. 😉 First we went to John Lewis where as usual they had lots of nice but rather expensive things. I limited myself to buying a white 60cm zip, more on that later, some hooks and eyes and a pack of machine needles. Next was A Vintage Affair in the Morgan Arcade which has lots of vintage patterns, fabrics, trims and notions. I found the lovely full skirted dress pattern above and the hooks and eyes (yes, I know I already had some!) plus a red buckle. The pattern was £6 and all the pieces seem to be complete and unused. I may have to add a couple of inches to the waist but the sizing doesn’t seem too bad. They had several other patterns that I loved but which just weren’t near enough my size. Some were twice the price of this one too. But patterns go for similar prices on ebay.

I had intended on buying some more fabric from the stall in the market but we were so busy chatting over tea that by the time we got there it had closed! Probably a good thing really since I should be focusing on trying to do more sewing before I buy even more material.  I’m taking part in the Sew weekly UK Sewing circle meet up next month and everyone is making a dress to wear to the trip. I’m unbelievably nervous about this and although I have one pattern and fabric in mind – which involves the 60cm zip – I’m just worried as to how it will turn out.  I used to be a lot more confident about my sewing.

Anyway the only way around this is to sew, so I’m planning on making the meet dress as early as possible. At the moment I’m going to see if I can have it ready in time to wear to a pinball competition that Doug and I are taking part in on April 29th. At least that way if it doesn’t work then I’ll still have a couple of weeks to make something else. With that and the other two dresses I’m making at Doug’s I may well have sewn four dresses by this time next month!

That Old Sew and Sew

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.

Here are some of my favourite dresses so far – The Obedient Seamstress Dress, The ‘You Can Do it’ Dress, The Support of my Friends Dress

I’ve joined their community The Weekly Sewing Circle so feel free to add me as a friend if you’re on that site.