Monday, 21 January 2013

Time to let go...

A tiny piece of wool tweed (hoarded for more than two decades)


cream silk charmeuse (harvested from a blouse which has been hoarded for almost as long)


silk thread left over from my wedding dress (and hoarded etc)

high-stakes sewing.

I could have raised the stakes still further with an ultra-complex pattern, but luckily that just wasn't an option: any extra seams or tucks or flounces would have eaten too far into my scraps of fabric.

So instead, we have a super-simple pinafore made from super-sentimental materials.

I sewed it up just like the Cloth-kits Peekaboo dress, though this time I traced around an existing dress with a particularly lovely shape (it was passed on by a friend who had her children in France, and it seems to bear out that stereotype about French clothes always being perfectly cut).

Perhaps a confident French seamstress would have left it unembellished, but my nerve failed and I added some cotton lace, appliqued (apologies if that isn't a word) just below the waist. It came from the stash as well, of course. The loss of nerve may have been linked to the phrase 'oh no, that'll be like sack-cloth' which my husband may have let slip during the cutting out. But it seems a happy addition, either way.

So, photo-shoot over. It's time to see if my daughter likes it. 

And if she does (and I do hope she will) it will soon be encountering paint, glue, mud, glitter, hot chocolate, toothpaste and tomato soup.

Now I need to let go...

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A New Year naptime dress

A belated happy New Year from runcibledays!

And two new year sewing resolutions: to properly master buttonholes in 2013; and to sew only things which make me feel happy (because really there are enough pressures and deadlines in life without generating sewing angst as well). 
Few things could make for happier sewing than this little Peekaboo dress from Clothkits, which almost assembled itself during the children's naptime on New Year's day. 

Cutting and preparation took hardly any time as the pattern was printed on the fabric, and the kit included buttons, lining and thread. Bliss! I only had to use the seam ripper twice, both times because I had sleepily deviated from the instructions.

My favourite thing about this pattern is its button placket - super simple to construct, and so elegantly finished with all the raw edges hidden away. I was sewing snoozily after a late night and didn't take photos of the construction process, but luckily the lady at Clothkits has made a video tutorial for the Peekaboo dress, and the placket construction is here, starting at about 2m20s. It's worth watching even if you're not making this particular dress. If only I'd watched this before starting to sew, perhaps the seam ripper might never have been needed at all.

The lovely button placket (from the inside)

The buttonhole resolution came about when I realised that I was holding my breath for the duration of stitching each one. No wonder they felt stressful! Although they turned out quite well, especially considering that they were created without the benefit of oxygen. 

Wishing you all very happy sewing for 2013.