Sunday 2 June 2013

Sewing for me: Part II

A little while ago, the lovely Jorth gave me an Ottobre magazine.
Now she sews ands knits some amazing clothes and always looks absolutely stunning. If you haven't visited her blog you really should as her writing style is also absolutely hilarious, and recently her knitting exploits have almost reduced me to tears (in sympathy that is, not laughing kind of tears, mind) and I can't knit at all.

Anyway, here was this magazine full of patterns. This one to be exact:

And little ol' me who never sews my own clothes.

Then, along came a huge piece of fabric. I mean, not as huge as some, but too big to be only for kids clothes. I'd bought this heavy weight, blue, knit fabric with a self stripe, on sale from The Fabric Store at the start of the year. I'd asked for two metres, but it was apparent there was a little over three left on the bolt so the lovely salesperson gave me all of it. That would be about 4 each long sleeve T's or dresses for the kids. Or maybe a dress for me?....

How about this one? It's described as being a light jersey which my fabric definitely isn't, but perhaps the weight of my fabric might prevent the dreaded cling...
I measured myself fastidiously and fell at the bottom end of the 46 size range. Oddly, there seemed to be an inch or so in each measurement category that was not covered by the size above or below. I decided a 46 it might be. Long ago, when I was slimmer and widely travelled I knew I was a German 40, a French 42 and an Italian 44-46. Memory fades, waistlines grow, and I hadn't really worked out where this Ottobre mob fitted in the Euro size range.... I trusted my measurements.
I sewed up the dress on the overlocker. I hadn't used Ottobre before and I found the very brief instructions left a lot to be desired. I ignored the suggested ways to finish the shoulder seam after binding the neckline as I thought it would look a lot neater to bind last, thus covering all the seams. Likewise, the pattern suggested hemming the sleeves then sewing the sleeve/side seams. But surely that would leave a visible seam at the sleeve edge. How ugly. So I finished my hems last as I would normally do. I guess I chose the oft quoted "How would Liesl do it" approach.
The main fabric would have been too thick for the binding, so I chose some navy knit leftover from A's "dress H". With the elastic around the bottom it's barely visible, and I wondered if it might be nicer to remove the elastic and wear it as an A-line.
Then I tried it on. My god it was huge. The chest had about two inches on each side that could be pinched in, continuing through the waist and hips and the boatneck was a bit big and baggy. It was a big, blue sack. Oh woe. Only the sleeves were the right size.
Since I'd used the overlocker there was no way I was unpicking the sleeves to trim the main dress back, so I just ran another overlocker seam up each side, through the armhole and tapering to the sleeve seam about 1 inch from the armpit. I think it worked. The neck is still a bit big, but luckily I've got big shoulders (some kind of luck I guess). In doing this I lost the ever so neat alignment of the stripes at the side seam that I fussed about in cutting it out, but the alternative was the bin, so I got over it.
I threw it in the dryer too to try and shrink the neck up a bit but I think I only succeeded in shortening the sleeves and length a little. Darn. Anyway I wore it to a party this afternoon and had a compliment or two, and no-one asked me if I'd made it, which I score as a win.
Cue awkward photos of me, (aargh)

So I'm still not sure about this sewing for me caper, but I have a Lisette pattern cut out and ready to go, and that was a $10 fabric remnant, so how far wrong can I go...

Next up though are some more of those gorgeous Sleepover pyjamas.


  1. The dress turned out cute! I love that color on you.:) Ottobre's brief instructions and lack of diagrams is a bit of a shock when you're used to Liesl instructions but you get used to them pretty quick.;)

    1. Thank you, the pattern made me realise how much I've learned in the last two years!.

  2. You wouldn't know that you had trouble with it. It looks great!

  3. I agree, I wouldn't have guessed you had to alter! Looks good. Ottobre is on my list to try, but I've heard the same about the instructions.


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