But, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to add some wearable, pretty outfits to my summer wardrobe. Enough, in fact, to wear something handmade every day I was away on holidays.
Way back four years ago when I had just begun sewing, my goal was to one day be able to make clothes for myself. I enjoy fashion, but only if it suits me, and I have quite definite ideas about what I like and what I am drawn to. The prints I like are not easy to find in the shops, and many cuts are questionable. I found that what I really liked was out of my budget, with natural fibres becoming far more expensive in recent years.
I thought I would share with you a piece each week from my Summer wardrobe, both the successes and the failures. I still have so much more to learn, but I am certainly having fun along the way.
So first off the biggest failure of all. Let's get the negative out of the way first. Besides, it is the only one I have the complete pictures for right now.
I began with Dress H from the Japanese sewing book Stylish Dress Book. I wanted something loose, cool and comfortable for days at home and in the garden, while still being presentable enough to pick up the kids from school. Perhaps I had romantic country visions of dresses and gumboots.
Though this Japanese book is translated, there were many pattern lines to contend with as well as adding seam and hem allowances. Take your time though, and you will get there. I trace all my patterns with cheap greaseproof paper, often joining pieces together with sticky tape.
I had sizing issues from the start. My fault though as I had heard that the patterns were very generous, so I cut it out in an 8. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking. Well, the bottom fit with room to spare, but the neckline did not. With not enough fabric left in the print I was using (an op shopped rayon) I cut into some cotton voile I had (this time in the 12). There was a strange diagonal slant to the print and it probably was not the best choice for a straight neckline.
But it sewed up fairly quickly and soon was ready for another try on. But the gaping neckline meant I had to take it in further, which in hindsight I may have taken in too far, and then the shoulders kept slipping off.
It was comfortable, if a little tight up top. Though it did get the "maternity dress" label from the hubby. Something I had tried to counteract with a shorter hemline.
But sadly this tale does not end well. A game of handball with the kids resulted in a huge tear in one of the sleeves. The type of tear that does not mend well. So I had to concede that it was not meant to be. I'm not really sure what went wrong with this dress. Would I attempt it again? Probably not, although I would like to try other patterns in this book. But I will put it down as a learning experience. After a failure there is hope of success.
Have you been sewing these holidays? Do you have plans to start sewing or are you in the middle of a project?