This is the first pattern that I've made from my Great British Sewing Bee book, the lovely Tea Dress (p138). I downloaded and printed the pattern at home and then once again, used calico to have a go at my first dress! The 'invisible' zip was the biggest challenge (yes, my zip isn't quite invisible!!), but that may be because I don't have an invisible zipper foot. The dress is a lovely shape though and surprisingly, fits me very well! (Watch this space for my calico photo shoot snaps that we hope to take this weekend!) The cap sleeves were quite fiddly but the neckline is such a lovely shape. The pattern suggest sewing two little buttons to each shoulder to, which I think would be really sweet. My husband, Will, has been encouraging me to have a go with one of my 'real' fabrics soon- perhaps this will be the shape!....
Inspired by the BBC's most marvelous 'Great British Sewing Bee', here begins my very own blog to track my creative paths. First to share my sewing adventures...pattern cutting and construction to make my very own c l o t h e s!! Whilst I spent three years studying textiles and embroidery at university (a few years back now), I've never actually ventured into 3 dimensional construction; I've been missing out! Over the last two weeks I have bought my first pattern, cut my first fabric jigsaw and have LoVeD constructing a number of different garment shapes; I have a brand new (calico!) wardrobe!!
So, let the journey begin...
Project number 1:
For my first attempt, I thought I would make use of as much help as I could get my hands on! So, after spotting a fantastic tutorial on one of my favorite blogs, noodlehead, and buying the corresponding pattern (Simplicity Learn to Sew 2226), here is my very first Holmes-made skirt! I battled long and hard to insert the zip at the back, but I'm really pleased with the finished results. The pockets are lovely and would be great lined in a contrasting fabric to the main part of the garment, and the belt tabs on the waistband add a lovely detail to the overall effect.
What can I say, I'm hooked. There really is something quite wonderful about taking a piece of two dimensional fabric and giving is a three dimensional shape. Let the stitch addiction commence...
You may notice that my fabric is a little plain; you'd be correct. Since I'm learning to construct garments for the first time, I've decided to use calico only for now. Calico is a brilliant practice material as it's cheap to buy (I got mine for £2.50/metre), lovely to handle and generally very forgiving!! (Especially for folk like me who like to spend a lot of time with their unpicker!!)
Skirt, tick, top half- next stop! My second pattern of choice was Simplicity 2892, a fantastic pattern that comes with all the pieces and instructions that you'll need to make six different tops! I decided to try view C first (above), and I quite like the result. The pleats on the neckline are lovely (if slightly tricky to master at first!) and the band at the bottom adds a great shape.
Onwards and upwards; sleeves and e a s i n g, here I come!
Whilst watching the Sewing Bee I've definitely noticed that sleeves can be quite tough. But, they look wonderful and they were the next technique I strove to master! Here is my little sleeve, having being gathered and stitched into place. The sleeve is lined and since the lining is smaller than the outside piece, the patterns allows you to create a garment with some brilliant shape. Again, I am AMAZED at how wonderful it is to make something 3D!! Below is my finished sleeved top with a little belt that I made to tie around the middle. I think it looks quite sweet with the skirt to match!!
Here is the pattern that I mentioned above. Having given views C and B a good go, my final task was to master the tricky-looking gathered neckline of top E/F. I decided to go for F so that I could have a go at gathering the bottom hem with some elastic (I've not done that before).
Below is my yoke with the ruffle edge attached...
Da da! It took quite some time to get my head around the instructions for attaching the yoke to the rest of the top (I did, in fact, come to the point when I was pretty confident that the pattern was incorrect). However, with a good night's sleep behind me and a fresh look, it finally made sense! This is such a different look from the other two tops in the pattern, but I think it's my favorite to date. I'm slowly becoming more and more confident with reading the patterns and making little adjustments (for example, slipping in the odd French seam) where I like. I'm running out of hangers for my craft room wardrobe!!