Monday, 3 August 2009

Good sewing, bad sewing

Yesterday was very much a day of two halves. I decided to hack up the nice drapey knit I had bought for my Hot Patterns Metropolitan Good Times dress, expecting to have a lovely finished wardrobe staple at the end of my sewing session.

how the dress is meant to look

I've done a bit of dressmaking in my time, but have to say I found the instructions a bit sketchy, assuming a bit more competence and experience than I have! I ended up making a tiny version of the yoke as I just couldn't see how it was possible to do it the way the pattern seemed to show. I also had to resort to my trusty Dorling Kindersley sewing bible to clarify some of the steps (like understitching the yoke facing and inserting in-seam pockets) which weren't described in the pattern. In spite of this, though, the dress was relatively straightforward to put together as there's not much shaping, and not too many pattern pieces. Therein lies the problem though, as far as I can see.

the one-sleeved sack
pose adopted for the sake of comparison with the pattern envelope
I cut my head off to avoid further comparisons!

I tried it on after attaching one of the cap sleeves and found it was a bit boxy to say the least! I seem to have American footballer shoulders, and a lot of spare fabric around the middle - space to hide a multitude of sins (or a multitude of tins if I ever decide to embark on a career in shoplifting).

I know it's not hemmed, only has one sleeve, and I haven't made the belt yet, but this one is being put to one side for the moment until my mum comes up. I'm hoping she'll be able to help me with some radical dress surgery. I'm thinking that I definitely need to take a bit of the very square yoke at the shoulders, and probably either go sleevless or draw up a different sleeve. And no, I didn't make a muslin, so I only have myself to blame!

So needing to lay the ghost of horrible sewing and wasted time to rest, I thought I'd play around and make a rag doll just for fun, recycling the stuffing from an old failed attempt at a soft toy that had been malingering in the scrap heap. My boy came in whilst I was doing it and asked for it to be a boy doll for him, so I happily obliged.

Tom the boy doll

Meet Tom - likes messing around on the computer, running around in the nude, and cutting his own hair with the kitchen scissors, apparently.


  1. Oh Helen, you made me laugh with some of your comments on this post. Love the potential career in shoplifting!!! So frustrating when sewing turns out to be disappointing isn't it? Lovely to have a mum who may be able to help though. x

  2. This is exactly why I find clothes sewing so frustrating and rarely make anything...too much hard work!

  3. The dress might look ok if you add the belt. :) Let see what your Mum says.

  4. I agree the addition of a belt might help it look less like a tent. not sure about the shoulders though

    you could hide a few books under it, never mind some tins. Could save hundreds on craft books :D (not that I am condoning stealing lol)

  5. I found myself referring to the bible as well, but I don't see that it's been wasted sewing time. Once you add the belt the middle will be different anyway. As for the sleeve I think I'd just draft a different one. Or elongate it. Or something. Trudy wouldn't mind :)

  6. I am of no help as my last sewing attempt was so bad I couldn't even blog it!! The doll is cute!


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