Thursday, 23 September 2010

my sewing circle

Ravelry for sewing? I know that there are a couple of sites like this around but mysewingcircle seems to be the one that all the cool kids are using. I'm on there too, user name 'amelia', and I've started an alabama stitching group for discussion and sharing of Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style projects. If your a seam-ster/-stress (as opposed to a sewer which just makes me think waste management) you might like to have a look.

And here's something that I've sewn recently:

We're attending a wedding next weekend and little miss bear is very excited as it is her first since she was a baby. This dress is taken from a Japanese pattern book and the fabric is a silk-cotton blend recycled/upcycled from a Sally Smith womens skirt that I once upon a time bought at an op shop in Melbourne just for the fabric. I had to alter the style rather because I didn't have enough fabric to cut the extra flare that the original pattern included. To use up as much fabric as possible I also made it longer.

I left off the front ruching as the fabric is so lovely and I didn't want to break up the print. I also finished the hem with bias tape, again to make the dress longer. Actually, my finished dress didn't end up much like the tunic pictured here at all - the reason that I used this pattern is because it was cut on the bias as was the skirt that I was sewing from.

There wasn't a lot of fabric left over (surprising how much a child's garment can take up from an adult skirt) so I had to make the bias tape from lots of small strips sewn together; came out fine though. No hand finishing on this one except for sewing on the button loop and the button (both from stash).

And that 'decorative' zig-zag stitch? There are no mistakes, just design features (I didn't do a great job of sewing on the bias tape). Same goes for that diagonal seam on the right front shoulder - the fabric went through the overlocker by accident and I couldn't cut the whole piece again so I just had to make do.

I used my overlocker/serger on most of the seams so hopefully there will be no fraying after washing. Impeccable finish is very important to me and I was put off home sewing for many years by the fact that I didn't have an overlocker and I just couldn't bear those raw edges. Funnily, nowadays I actually find those overlocked edges tacky; they are redolent of commercially produced garments rather than hand made. When using a weave, I actually much prefer French seams like I was doing on the (admittedly, yet-to-be-finished) tunique francaise; there is clearly so much more effort in them, the hand of the maker is somehow more present.


Leonie said...

Hey if you don't tell us about the issues (mistakes, errors whatever) not only will we probably not notice them, we'll probably think they're intentional :-) Lovely dress by the way, it will look gorgeous on!

Di said...

Absolutely gorgeous!
I had a conversation with a "recently returned to sewing" friend the other week, about finishing seams, and the pros and cons of an overlocker (which she doesn't have). The unforgiving nature of them (when they cut, it's cut for good) is the main drawback I think. I don't really like it for seaming things (except for some knit garments) but I do love it for dealing with edges on woven fabrics. French seams I do like too- but I reserve the effort for simple (no sharp curves!) garments in lightweight fabrics.
Enjoy the wedding!!