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.
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.
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?