I’ve never really been one for arts and crafts, but it seems I’ve found one that I can finally do and enjoy – sewing! It was around this time last year that I bought the cheapest sewing machine I could find at Argos, found a local fabric shop, and begged them to help me when I didn’t understand the pattern instructions. Unfortunately, due to a minor cat incident (apparently Belle didn’t quite understand that she was supposed to play with the strip of lining fabric I gave her…not eat it), I didn’t actually manage to get anywhere with that pattern except for cutting out the fabric until late summer when I became brave enough to give it another go. That dress actually turned out to be far too big for me (I hadn’t yet properly figured out how measurement charts work on patterns), so I haven’t actually blogged it. But since then, I’ve made a whole host of new things many of which, surprisingly, are actually wearable and you can see several here. I did recently photograph every item I’ve made (aside from ones I’ve gifted to people) on Maeve, but haven’t managed to get all those edited and into a post yet.
Anyway, I recently spotted that Simplicity were holding a Blogger Challenge, so decided I would give it a go. We were to choose a category to enter, from the options of: Best Dressmaking Project using shift dress pattern New Look 6145; Best Vintage Make with 1960s blouse Simplicity 1364; and Best Newcomer, mini skirt pattern Simplicity It’s So Easy 2286. I did consider the first two options, but since I realised I won’t have the option to make the Best Newcomer one in any future years (since it’s only for bloggers who have been sewing less than a year), I decided to go for that one. I did however pick up the dress pattern NL6145 with Sew Magazine this month when I spotted it in Sainsburys.
So how did it go?
I actually bought the fabric from the same small fabric shop I visited for my first ever sewing project. I’d picked up this Robert Kaufman Fox fabric a few months ago without a plan for it – it was fairly expensive, I think £12.50/m which is more than I’d usually spend. In the end I used it to make a pair of pyjama bottoms for my sister using this free pattern from Melly Sews but still a fair amount left, just the perfect amount for this pattern!
It was nice and easy to knock up, as the name suggests. I went for the simple view B which had no ruffles but had square pockets on the front. I really liked the way the pattern guided you through sewing these pockets which left them nice and neat. I also decided to add a line of squiggly ric rac on each pocket for a bit of interest. I luckily had exactly the right amount of ric rac for the pockets – my grandma passed it on to me after a family friend found 2 big tins of all forms of haberdashery bits and pieces at a car boot sale but had no use for them. I hadn’t yet used anything from them as I’m not big on embellishments (if I try to use them, I normally go overboard!), but the ric rac worked perfectly here being the exact same colour as the foxes too.
Unfortunately I did have one issue with the skirt in that the only correct length of elastic I had to use was the wrong width – just slightly too wide. I did slightly widen the waistband when I cut it out and sewed it with less seam allowance to get the most out of it that I could, but it was a snug fit! It was some of that non-roll stuff too, and even though I sewed it down in a couple of places too, it did still manage to roll, so the waistband isn’t completely flat.
Even so, I’m still pretty happy with it. It’s already had a couple of wears too – once at work, and last night at a BBQ at Charley’s house where she took these pictures for me. Speaking of which, we had a pretty awesome evening in which the boys barbecued sausages, burgers and stuffed mushrooms, Ben and I provided pulled pork, and we had Charley’s speciality rice salad too. Charley’s younger sister and her boyfriend also spent the evening with us, so we had a lot of fun playing Pictionary, Charley-style charades (ie. very difficult!) and the stick-a-piece-of-paper-on-your-head game (like 20 questions I guess, but we go round in a circle – it’s our old favourite!).
I’ve actually got another handmade piece to wear tomorrow – it’s my cousin Eva’s Christening, so I’ve made up Butterick B6129 in a plain burgundy fabric for the occasion. It’s not actually finished yet (still the hem to do and basting to remove), but I’m excited to wear it. It does have a very gapey back bodice unfortunately, but with the Christening tomorrow and the bodice being lined, it’s a bit late now to attempt to adjust it, so I’ll just be wearing it as it is anyway!