New look

When I was a teenager, I made a lot of my own clothes, but over time ready-made clothes became less expensive and fabric became more expensive. Also, I had a knack for choosing fabrics that looked amazing on the bolt and ghastly against my skin, so my dressmaking efforts slowed down to a halt.

Recently, however, I was inspired to buy a few sewing patterns – there was a three-for-$15 pattern sale – and a new shipment of Liberty arrived in the shop that included a teal lilac print. To avoid the ghastly against my skin problem, I sought trusted second opinions from my fellow Calico and Ivy girls before buying the fabric I loved.

Simplicity pattern 1253 made up in Liberty fabric

The tree is wearing my top as this weekend’s weather is too hot and sweaty for me to be trying on new clothes.

Using Simplicity pattern 1253, I did not have any problems putting the top together, apart from a struggle to find time to sew. I have gone back to studying this year, and free time is in short supply, so a top that should have been finished in a weekend took a couple of weeks to complete. In the quiet hour before bed, when my brain is a fog, I tend to knit or do English paper piecing while mindlessly watching telly. I am too tired to cut or do anything complicated that late. I only allow myself to make things that can be easily unpicked or frogged in the clearheaded light of morning.

Once the problem of fabric choice is settled, the frustrating thing about dressmaking (and clothes shopping) is the sizing. Every time I make or buy clothes I find myself muttering about how it would be wonderful if we had standardised clothing sizes. It seems that dressmaking patterns have stayed the same over the years, while ready-made clothing sizes have grown – what used to be a 12 is now an 8. When I go shopping now, I am a couple of sizes smaller than when I was a teenager thanks to vanity sizing, but when I sewed the top, I cut out the same size I used to use in my teens. All the variations make me doubt, measure my bust and the pattern 16 times before cutting, etc., and that adds to the construction time.

Simplicity pattern 1253 made up in Liberty fabric

I would say the colour is a bit too green in this photo.

The wonderful thing about sewing clothes with Liberty is that I can now use the scraps in my other projects. Hurrah!

I am not the only thing getting a new look. My blog now has a snazzy logo thanks to Lindsie. Did you notice?

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18 thoughts on “New look

  1. That’s a great top, and I’d certainly wear it myself – only of course my very large shoulders would stick all the way out and everyone could see I had Man Shoulders… Beautiful fabric, and I bet you’re going to have fun with the leftovers. Love the new look and strapline, too!

  2. Sorry about the spelling in the abovw comment. Typing on a tablet in the dark is not a good idea. Comment should read.

    Your top is lovely. Plus the added bonus of the scraps for other projects. What are you studying?

    • To photograph me in it, Sharon, I would have had to brush my hair and try to look presentable, and that simply was NOT on my agenda for a lazy Sunday. 🙂 It was a scruffy house dress, no makeup and no hairbrush kind of day.

  3. I am also returning to dressmaking after a long break and am having a great time with it. Getting the sizing right is a challenge though. I use my pattern making blocks as a gauge for commercial patterns to reduce messing about with the tape measure.

  4. Nice! The shirt and the logo =) I struggle with sizing, too. I’m learning to grade patterns to fit my measurements. It’s a bit challenging and time consuming at first, but so worth it in the final product. Enjoy the process!

  5. I love everything about this blouse, from the fabulous colour to the neat neckline! My ‘made-by-me’ clothing certainly fits better since I bought a dressing making dummy! Now she gets to be the only dummy in the house…well, for sewing reasons anyway!

  6. Congrats on the top and the new look blog! The fabric is gorgeous and it looks like a comfy top to wear. One of my friends is a pattern maker/dressmaker so she’s fab at helping me to size my patterns (and makes it look so easy but I know it’s not!!).

  7. I am so impressed by your recent foray into garment making. I’m such a fraidy cat … You wouldn’t find me cutting into some precious Liberty, for fear that I’d botch things up. But this is truly lovely — I hope you enjoy wearing it and sewing with those coveted scraps!

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