Thursday, 11 April 2013

What I sewed in March and how pride came before a fall!

The approach to Easter is always busy in our house, sewing this month was snatches here and there.

First up was dance show outfits, not for me! I'm not posting them - it was just light refashioning combined with multiple sequin sewing. I will say to anyone thinking of embellishing with sequins on fine floaty fabric by hand, it looses it's allure surprisingly quickly. The results were worth it, but judge me if you will, all I could think of by the time I finished was I want to sew for meeeee!

So instead of tracing the Ottobre fleece coat I decided to make my TNT a-line skirt from some fabric I  bought for £2.45 from my local charity shop. It's not my usual 'thing' as it's floral, but I figured it would be an inexpensive experiment. The pattern cost 25p, it is literally the best pattern I have ever bought due to it's excellent fit. I would guess it's from the late '60's or early 70's. I was totally unaware of the esteem in which vintage patterns are held by some, so after buying it I sliced n diced it and ironed it on to interfacing for reinforcement without a hint of tracing, and the instructions were...recycled.I realise now I should have kept all the bits, especially as it also included a pattern for a 'sweater top and jerkin'. I am still not sure I have a use for a sweater top and jerkin, but it would be interesting to see what they were, as I have long since forgotten.

This skirt cuts out and sews up itself practically. I have to be truthful I was patting myself on the back thinking I would have a new skirt by the end of the evening. Then I got to the zip and realised I had cut the two back pieces the same, instead of mirror images. There wasn't much fabric so I must have been getting creative with the layout and forgotten to turn the piece over. The fabric I was going to squeeze the waistband out of had to be used, there was just enough. Then the zip insertion went wrong and had to be redone. At one stage I felt that revenge was being wreaked for my boastful thoughts, shortly before I realised it was more likely that tiredness was to blame for the mistakes and paranoia...I did finish it, as it became personal! As ever, it fits beautifully, but I will not model it now as I am still sulking!!

The rest of my sewing was stuff I had to do from the pile. I cropped a t-shirt for my eldest daughter (it had those ties on it - neither of us has ever really got on with those), and secured yet more twisted elastic in pj casing (in bygone times I didn't know about non-roll elastic or about stitching it down at the seams. Hopefully this is the last pair with twisty elastic!). I also completed this refashion for her from an enormous dress we bought at the charity shop, a really simple case of chopping it in half at the waist then making a new top and skirt by making casings for elastic (bottom of top and top of skirt), plus shortening the skirt. They are really fun beach pieces for the summer, just looking at them makes me feel cheerful! My daughter's intention is to wear the top with high waisted jeans or shorts. Not the two items together!

I like to keep an eye out for pieces that can be refashioned or used as fabric, it keeps my clothing and sewing costs down, makes unique clothes and obviously the money goes to a good cause. I also enjoy the variety in charity shops, it's much more stimulating than lots of the same thing on a rack (or maybe that's just me!).

The only other thing I found time for this month was eventually tracing and cutting out the Ottobre fleece. I will blog it when it's done. I'm not worried that the weather will improve too much to wear it, as in England it is best to have the following items to hand all year round: a waterproof, a fleece or a cardigan, wellies, flip flops and suncream. It is not unusual for our holiday weather to look like this:

Photograph taken by Roger Lincoln during one of our holidays last year!

I hope you are having fun with your spring/autumn sewing (depending on where you are!), and the sun is shining on your endeavours!

Happy sewing, 'til next time!


  1. That sounds like a great skirt pattern, I love an A-Line skirt and 25p is such a bargain. I wouldn't worry about being too precious with your pattern, they were made to be used after all.

  2. Oh, I know just what you mean about how finishing some projects becomes personal. It's like this awesome challenge to not just complete them, but make sure they really knock your socks off when all is said and done, because you devoted so much thought/time/effort to them. Fantastic job on seeing through and wrapping up that skirt, dear Philippa.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Love my new skirt and top, (my new favourites), thank you mum!
    Your talents don't go to waste in this house!
    Charls x

  4. I love seeing re-fashions from op shops! I've also managed to finish off several projects that were in the works that I can now wear. It's always such a good feeling finishing things off!

  5. Hi Jen, thanks for stopping by. One of my main sources of fabric is from charity shops (UK term - are op shops the same?) for lots of reasons - cost, environment, fun, originality...did you see that Dress A Day blog, some of the stuff she did was amazing!!