Thursday, 8 May 2014

my first trip to dressmaking-dom

Item Made - Simple Skirt
Time Taken - Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace (approx 2 and a bit hours)

 
When I saw this post about sewing your own skirt over on Jojo's blog - Miss Jojangles - I simply knew I had to have a go! I'm sure along with everyone else who watched the Great British Sewing Bee had dreams of making her/his own clothes (or at least giving it a try) and I was looking for the right pattern or waiting until I could afford the GBSB book! But the tutorial that Jojo found over on Pintrest, coupled with her glowing review, persuaded me to take the plunge and so on the Sunday just gone (STARWARSDAY) I gave it a go myself.


Armed with the instructions (follow this link), materials required, a cup of tea, and a bowl of popcorn I got to work.

I won't take you through the details as they are all to be found on the above link but I can tell you that this was definitely a great tutorial to use to have my first go at dressmaking: simple, easy to follow, lots of pictures, and a fashionable finish - I can't recommend following this tutorial highly enough (coming from a dress-making newbie) if you want to dabble too!


Here I am in the finished number and my slippers - this was after a long day at work and I hadn't washed my hair so it is taking a lot of courage to share this with you! But the fact that I wore this to work is testament enough I feel to the effectiveness of this pattern.


What I reeeeally want to make is a Roald Dahl skirt using one of these fabrics. However I felt it prudent to try the tutorial out with some fabric I already had in my stash - which was a good move because somehow I made the waistband too large (even though I measure 4 times - what does that say about my self-esteem?). But I now know how to re-measure for my next try at the skirt (a plain pink one next!) before I splash out on some lovely fabric!! - the tutorial also has a recommendation on how to reduce the amount of fabric used which I think I will give a go as this one just poofs out a wee bit too much.

And, inspired by this post from Leanne over on Knit me a cake (and with her kind permission) I would like to share with you some things I learnt making this skirt!
  •  Sewing with a film you love and popcorn is invaluable for ones morale, particularly when you've never tried this before!
  • An iron is the most important tool when making an item of clothing (hemming, flattening, pressing, looking good)
  • Pinking shears come a very close second
  • Take the time to measure accurately and if in doubt take the time to look up more hints online further than the tutorial
  • If, like me, you make a mistake (the waistband was too big) don't feel down - you're so close! Calmly look up how to fix it and bonus you learn a new technique - for example I know now how to alter an elastic waistband
  • Pull elastic a little tighter on waist when measuring than what you think - but not to an uncomfortable point!
  • Find a pattern or tutorial you know will work - read it, do you understand it? Or did a source you trust recommend it? 
  • It is more enjoyable and less stressful than I thought it would be! Though I definitely wouldn't present this to Patrick & May!!
 Have you ever made any clothes? Would you like to try?

10 comments:

  1. Wow! That skirt is beautiful, well done you! I've always wanted to make clothes too. I'm thinking that maybe I should start now - it looks fantastic! x

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    1. Gee thanks Amanda :) if you have a good sewing machine and a Sunday afternoon I would really really recommend this tutorial as a first go! Xx

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  2. Well done on such a successful first skirt! I don't sew, but I've just looked at those Roald Dahl fabrics and they're brilliant!

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    1. Aren't they just! I saw them through 'sew sensational's blog and almost bought some on the spot but stopped as I didn't have a decent project...but now I do hehe

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  3. Beautiful skirt! I love that you included popcorn in the picture of materials xx Ayumi

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    1. Thanks ayumi :) popcorn is very important of course :)

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  4. I am an avid follower of GBSB and have both the books and am still yet to make anything. Seems at the minute I cannot be torn away from.my crochet hooks. The skirt is lovely, I think that fabric works really well with the floaty-ness of the skirt :)

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    1. I know that feel! That's why one of my 'what I learned' points is the importance of a good film when giving this a go as I LOVE knitting/crocheting with tv/dvd and so the only way to pull myself away is to replicate ;) thanks very much for your compliment :):)

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  5. I would love to be able to make my own clothes, that skirt is fab. Well done you.

    Emma (http://channelislandsblog.wordpress.com)

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    1. Thanks Emma :D If you ever do dabble do consider the tutorial!

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