Friday, April 23, 2010

So far so good!

So far the dress is coming along nicely. I have cut out all the pattern pieces. I have made the bodice, sewn the darts on the main material and am now up to drawing and sewing the darts onto the lining. After that the piecing together will begin!

So far the dress has not been as challenging as I thought it was going to be. I'm hoping this will change as this week I get to use an invisible zip in for the first time :)

Here are some photos to show my progress. I apologise for my lack of photography skills!

tracing the pattern

preparing to cut

the bodice - lined and all

the many darts

So far in my short sewing career I have also not had the opportunity of sewing something with lining. I am lining this whole dress, even though it only requires the top to be lined. I am doing this because the wedding is in winter and I figure the lining will make it warmer to wear on a cold day, plus it will help it sit better.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Dress!

Before attending my Monday night sewing class this week, I thought I had a pretty normal body type, however relative clothing sizes are these days. I usually wear size 10 tops and am somewhere between size 10 and 12 when it comes to pants. I am always wishing that more shops made size 11 pants, because so often the 10 is just a bit small and the 12 is starting to fall off. This is one reason I like sewing. I can make clothes that fit my body size, and that also suit me. Because of this disparity in clothing sizes I often tend to shy away from shopping. It is also because I rarely find anything I really like.

Last year, for instance, Daniel and I attended a 'formal' wedding. I wanted a dress that was not too short, did not show too much skin, had a unique style and nice fabric. I dragged Daniel around every dress shop I could think of in Hobart and eventually found a dress that I liked that filled most of the above criteria. And $170 later I had a dress. At the time I purchased the dress I thought I was going to be able to wear it a few times. However, thus far I have only worn it twice. Such a waste!

Due to this unproductive experience, I decided that for my sister's wedding, which is in June, I would make a dress. I had a few reasons for this. Firstly, I did not want to go into every dress shop in Hobart again and come out disappointed. Secondly, if I made my own dress it would be made to my size, with my choice of material, plus it would be A LOT cheaper. The third reason, came from a desire to wear a dress that no-one else would have.

I chose a dress that is a little more formal than I usually wear but I really like the style and the shape of the dress (Simplicity 3673, blue one on the right). I was also, to my surprise, able to find some lovely material (very much like that in the picture). At $27 a metre the material was a little more expensive than usual, but add the zip, the lining and the cotton, I think the whole dress is costing me about $70-$80, which I think is quite reasonable.

So on Monday night I set out to make this dress. After many measurements and referrals to the 'final measurements' chart, I was surprised and maybe a little worried when I was told that I need to make the bottom part of the dress out of size 14 pattern pieces. I did not realise I had such huge hips. However, it is not really my hips, it is my thighs. When measuring around the hip area, it is important to take the largest measure, which for me happens to be around my bottom and thighs. So size 14 dress here I come! I am still excited about making the dress, and at least I can take solace in knowing that I will be able to walk in it :).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My first ever blog!

First off, if you are reading this, I would like to say welcome to my 'creative corner'. In this little corner of the interwebs I am going to keep a record of some of the things I enjoy doing: from making clothes, household items and toys, to my attempts at gardening, making chutneys, jams, cordials and other wonderful things.

I have been crafting for a little while now. Ever since my sisters and I were little, my Mum has been encouraging us to do crafty things. I remember making cards for birthdays and gum nuts with eyes on them :) My Mum is very talented herself when it comes to being creative. She taught herself how to sew, and since we were children she has been making us clothes. From cute frilly dresses when we were kids to wedding and bridesmaids dresses now that we are adults.

Actually, now that I think about it, a lot of people in my family are very creative and talented when it comes to sewing and other creative pursuits. This means two things. First, it means that there is always someone around to answer my questions and to find inspiration from. Secondly, it means that I never quite feel like I'm very good at what I do because there is always someone better than me :). But this is not such a bad thing, because there is always more to learn.

I really enjoy sewing and have been learning for a few years now. I have started sewing a bit more independently of late, especially now that I can sew a lapped zip without any assistance :) This year I am going to attempt to make my first quilt, and curtains for our house. I am also making a dress for my youngest sister's wedding in June and hopefully some more stuffed animals :)