Thursday, 12 May 2011

Katies adventures into dress making land

So last night I began a dress making course.  Although when I say began, really was gatecrashing a three term course with only 9 weeks remaining!  Everyone else had been attending from the start, so had been given tutorials in how to do button holes, collars, cuffs, zips etc etc.  Me, I was going in pretty much blind.  Sure, I have given these things ago, but I lack serious confidence in these areas.
I must say first and foremost, that Janet, the tutor, and all of the other 'students' were so friendly and helpful.  I was even brought a cup of tea and a biscuit! 
I was rather optimistic about what I could achieve in my two hour session, which is nothing unusual (hence why I pack away unfinished projects to 'complete later' when I get bored or frustrated with them, and they never see the light of day again).  I took along a skirt pattern from Sew Hip magazine; buttons, bow, enough detail for a challenge, but not too much that I end up throwing the sewing machine out of the window.  I cut out all of my pattern pieces, although I need to do the waist band piece again as I clearly can't measure properly!  At the weekend, I aim to buy some more fabric and get my pieces cut out ready for the second lesson, so I can spend the time getting my skirt constructed and then start another garment.  Ambitious much?!
As I will be going to these classes for the next nine weeks (with a one week gap for half term), I thought I would make this into a little feature on What Katie Found, so pop back every Thursday for my sewing updates!
So here's a summary of week one...

  • 'Pull' the edges of woven fabrics to create a straight edge.
  • Apparently Fenwicks sells the best interfacing you can get your hands on.
  • Cut out your fabric with the scissors flat against the table.
  • Dropping the tutors tailors chalk on the floor, and breaking it.  Cringe.
  • Buying a fabric that will not only shrink if put in the washing machine, but will also fade.
  • Cutting the wrong size for my waistband.
  • Having some serious issues with accurate measuring.
Today, I woke up just aching to make something.  Unfortunatley, I had to go to work first, but on my return home I began to cut out another skirt pattern (again from Sew Hip magazine).  This one had no buttons or zippers, just a simple elasticated waistband.   Overall, I am pretty pleased with myself :)  I love the yellow polka dot fabric, but it's polyester (just like all those beautiful vintage 1980s dresses I always see, but can't stand to wear), and I'd much prefer it in cotton.  I will definitely be buying some more fabric to attempt this pattern again.  I need to chop off some of the elastic around the waistband too, as it's a bit too loose.
So here are a few photographs, please excuse my grumpy looking face, that's just how I look after intense concentration whilst sewing!
I LOVE the big bow (but I want to make it BIGGER).
So what do you think?  I'm still not feeling that confident about my sewing abilities, but it's certainly a step in the right direction :)


  1. Go you! That skirt is amazing! It combines two of my favourite things... polka dots and bows! xx

  2. i think the skirt looks great! it's so perfect for summertime x

  3. Wow, I love that skirt! I think I have a similar habit of starting projects then putting them away and not finishing them :/ Dress making classes may be the way forward

  4. Katie, your skirt is amazing...I LOVE it!!! What course to you go to? I've tried a couple in Leicester, but haven't found a great one yet...

  5. Well done! You've done a fantastic job, especially loving the bow.

  6. This is brilliant! I love the bow, it's so cute! xx

  7. That skirt is so cute! I need to check out Sew Hip magazine more often!

    P.S is that a hula hoop in the background? I only ask as I'm a hooper and love it :o)

  8. the skirt looks amazing.

    hope to hear from you soon,

  9. I think it looks great, that skirt is totally cute!

  10. This skirt is adorable, well done! I really wish I was good with a sewing machine! xxx



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