This week I got to meet my step-nephew (I think that is the correct term). He’s the little boy who I made the baby quilt for this spring. He’s now a lovely chunky 9 month old. When I knew we were going to be meeting up this week, I decided to do some spur of the moment sewing and make him a gift.
I’d heard via my mum that’s he’s a champion dribbler at the moment, so it had to be a bib (or two)!
I headed for some of the fabrics I’d used in his quilt, including some lovely soft Riley Blake flannel for the backing. I put some batting inside to hopefully make them a bit more absorbent. I toyed with the idea of waterproofing them inside but didn’t have anything suitable to hand.
I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest but decided to scale up the pattern a bit as the original looked a little small.
Here’s the sweet little chap modeling them.
Dressmaking class number 3 involved leaning what exactly a 5/8th’s of an inch is, which wasn’t where I thought it was on my machine. This also lead to a bit of unpicking. There was also some snipping and a lot of concentration not to snip too far!
We attached our facings and I got as far as sewing on the front skirt pieces. It’s all taking shape and I now have the front half of a dress! Sorry for the average photo, I didn’t get a chance to spread it out properly until I got home.
I also found that someone took a sneak pic of us through the shop window!
I was so excited to get back to dressmaking class tonight. During the week our homework was to buy our fabric. I went for this lovely grey. It’s quite pretty and delicate so hopefully I will get whisked off somewhere posh over Christmas to try it out.
Our other homework was to cut out our pattern pieces from the fabric. Even though I’ve done lots of cutting this was a bit nerve wracking! So much more fabric wasted if you make a mistake.
After tinkering with our machines for a while we got sewing.
So, tonight’s instalment of dressmaking school was all about darts. I’ve done a few darts and pleats in bag making but of course there were lots of new things to learn.
First job was learning how to do tailor tacks to mark out our darts. To you and me, these are loops of cotton hand sewn along the dart lines.
Lesley also showed us a simple sewing technique for keeping the darts nice and straight. As we couldn’t find any paper we used bags from the shop.
Before too long the front pieces of my dress top looked like this.
We all took turns to try them out on the tailors dummy. I’m not sure I’m quite as busty as her, so let’s hope it fits!
I have just realised that Sarah, who organised the siblings together block drive that I was sewing for back in September, has posted a photo of the blocks I sent her. Can’t wait to see the finished quilts!
Tonight was the first night of my Introduction to Dressmaking course.
So many of the sewing blogs I read are filled with beautiful handmade clothes. It’s hard resist the urge to join in.
I have resisted for a while, using various excuses as to why it wasn’t for me. I can’t remember what the tipping point was into ‘I have to know how to do this now!’ but it happened.
After a bit of searching around I found a few local courses and settled on a 5 week course at Arrietty, a fabulous vintagey, treasure trove who also offer sewing courses and workshops. In fact my very lovely friend Mary teaches a frame purse worksop there.
So tonight’s session was all about preparing our patterns. We’d sent in our measurements in a few weeks ago, so we arrived to find our pattern pieces all ready for us.
Lots of notes we’re taken
We pinned, measured and snipped. This is me cutting out the facing piece.
Then Lesley (our teacher) talked to us about what kind of fabric to buy for next week and broke the news that we’ll be cutting our shift dress pieces ourselves before next weeks class. Collective sharp intake of breath from the group!
Thankfully Lesley also showed us how to lay out our fabric and pattern pieces. Having used patterns for bags I had a rough idea of all this but there is so much I don’t know about dressmaking!
I can’t wait to go fabric shopping tomorrow.
Next week we need our machines and I’ll try and get some photos of the rest of the group rather than sneaking my phone out and trying not too look like a weirdo.