I thought that I might like to return to dressmaking this year. In my teenage years, I made a lot of my own clothes, but that desire slowly waned because I had a number of fashion disasters that did not encourage me to continue; my french seams and the fit were just fine, but the fabric colours I chose made me look ghastly. I became discouraged.
Feeling brave (and a little bit desperate to try to replace a favourite work top), I bought a handful of sewing patterns in the Christmas and New Year sales. Thanks to
age maturity, I am a little more confident about the clothes that suit me, and I plan to play it safe with colours and fabrics that I know I wear. To avoid fashion disasters, I am also doing something a little unusual: I am taking my husband with me to veto my crazier ideas when I go to buy dressmaking fabrics.
To start, I chose a very simple shift dress pattern, McCall’s M6102. The pattern says it can be sewn in an hour, but it takes mere mortals like me that long just to hand stitch a hem. It took me longer than one hour.
It is, however, so simple that it requires neither buttons nor zips. I just pull it on over my head. By necessity, therefore, it is a bit loose, but I wanted a comfortable and cool linen shift for the summer heat. Because the linen is white, I fully lined it with a soft cotton voile to minimise transparency.
Hubby’s help at Fabulous Fabrics was vital. I knew I wanted a printed linen. I eyed a gorgeous floral fabric longingly; he pointed out that it did not suit me, and I bought the spotted linen instead. Teamwork.
As I was cutting out the dress, I realised that I had enough fabric to make a top too, so I cut out New Look 6344 at the same time. I knew if I left the fabric for later, it would be forgotten in my mountain of UFOs or cupboard of shame. What a deal: a dress and a top from 2.2 metres of 135-centimetre wide fabric!
I am now feeling much braver about making my own clothes again, but two questions still puzzle me:
- Are the spots on my dress navy or black? I have peered at them and peered at them …
- Why do I pronounce voile like toile or voila and not like toil?
If the spots are navy, I made a complete fashion faux pas by wearing it with black shoes today. As for voile, I have checked my dictionary and both pronunciations are listed, but why am I such a rebel when it seems that everyone else says it differently?
I am still on the hunt for the perfect fabric to replace my favourite silk blouse for work.