Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Little Helper

Greetings readers! As promised, I am starting my journey to being a seamstress extraordinaire. And lucky you - you get to come along for the ride. Of course I'm still squeezing in all of my other activities and interests as well. Apparently sewing clothes shouldn't be too much of a bother. 
And with the support of the lovely Gertie, I'm sure to learn lots of new things. In fact, just reading her new book has provided me with some very valuable information, not least of which is how to fit a pattern to my curves.
 Gertie has a wonderful blog - Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing, which is well worth following if you are into sewing vintage styled clothing. Plus she loves animals and is an entertaining writer.

I have already had a go at two projects from her new book, The Portrait Blouse, and The Pencil Skirt, which I will show you once I've got the skirt completed. Now I've got a more ambitious plan in mind- The Shirtwaist Dress. I can imagine summer days in this dress, and Gertie has promised this is an everyday, do most things dress with a very comfortable fit due to shirring across the lower back. I was drawn to the delicious fabric she has used, which is a Liberty tana lawn.
 Making clothing from multi-sized patterns in a book involves rather a labour of love because you have to create your own patterns. Now I don't know what people usually do around here, but I don't have huge sheets of tracing paper handy. I was having a poke around wondering what I could make my patterns out of when I found a big roll of frost cloth in the garage. It is a bit like a very light interfacing fabric and I discovered that I can see through it to trace, and write directly onto it with a pen. It can be pinned onto fabric very easily, and doesn't crease or rip when handling it. What a brilliant discovery!

 My little helper was on hand, and needed a lot of reminders that scissors are sharp, pins are not toys, and that grabbing the edge of the frost cloth when I am tracing does not make him a popular wee critter.
 But everything is so exciting!
 In spite of the dabbling paws, tools being stolen and patterns being dragged onto the floor, I now have the patterns I need for two different dresses, a skirt and a top.

You can't make dresses without fabric. And because I am concerned about the possibility of disaster, I did not want to buy expensive fabric. Tana lawn was definitely not an option. Out of the thousands of bolts of fabric (mostly revolting) at Spotlight, I did find three poly-cotton (yes- polyester- send me straight to Hell) dress fabrics that were cheap and cheerful for my trial dresses.

Now Gertie has a remarkable collection of tattoos and is clearly working her way towards having two full sleeves. When I shared my Gertie book with my gorgeous Mummy, she said she hoped I'm not planning to get any of those, which made me laugh, knowing my pathetic pain threshold and extraordinarily high self-preservation instinct. Then The Crafty Neighbour said she can imagine me with tattoos like Gertie has, which made me laugh even more. So when I saw this nautical themed fabric, it reminded me of traditional seafarer's tattoos, so I had to have it. My own fabric tattoo in a dress.
 Of course, florals and spots appealed.
 And all over blossoms are very pretty. I think this one might not be particularly slimming, but who cares when the print is so sweet (and the price is right).
I do have to make a bodice toile - which is a little trial run in cheap fabric (cheaper than poly-cotton?- yes, an old sheet). I thought about cutting into my fabric immediately, being an impatient soul, but I really need to make sure I can cram my generous bosom into the dress bodice, because gaping buttons are not pretty. Then I can adjust the pattern if necessary. Clever!

Life has not been all about slaving over the dining table making dress patterns. I also managed to sneak in a treat for Johnny - macaroons. My baking skills do not stretch to creating these sweeties, so I cracked open my purse and chose some flavours I thought he'd like. Lemon, rose and raspberry with vanilla. We loved them all, but the rose ones were amazing. Aren't the colours just perfect!
 Today was a great day. I zoomed out to see my darling Zanny. I don't think I've shared my wonderful horse news with you!!!! Once Zanny has weaned her foal Viv is giving her to ME!!!!!! She will be my very own horse. She will continue to live out at the farm with all of the other horses, but I can officially have her. I still have to hope all goes well with her birth and recovery. She gives everything she has to her foals, and becomes shockingly skinny, in spite of lots of extra food. I keep giving her time to graze on the best grass on the farm, and give her as many treats as I can to fatten her up. She has about 1 1/2 months until her due date. I keep giving her big cuddles and snuggling my face into her warm neck, which she doesn't seem to mind. She was in a bit of a cheeky mood today, which is always fun. Today the farrier came and we decided to take her shoes off, and she had a pedicure. I am so excited that I will be able to have Zanny because I love her so much and even though it is obvious that we are perfectly suited, I had the fear that we would be parted next year, and some other lucky person would get her.

Mousie has been busy making a new friend too. Miss Molly May (The Crafty Neighbour's dog) and Mr Mouse have been playing together. Mousie is as big as she is now, and he loves chasing her around the coffee table and chairs. Miss Dog was being lazy outside, so Molly though Mousie was a lot more fun.
Who know what tomorrow will bring, but I'm hoping for great things, as always.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The fabrics look gorgeous...I love the dress...very "in" this year!! I am very excited to see it produced for you to way my awful sewing skills could stretch that far!! I would rather get full sleeve tattoos than wear a dress I attempted to make!
Exciting news about Zanny..very cool.
Sounds like your holidays have been going really well,

Love to you both,