Oooh it is nice having an uninterrupted block of time to spend on sewing!
Don't get me wrong, I do get to spend plenty of time sewing, but it's often punctuated with little bits of real life creeping in, like ironing to be done, meals to be prepared, dust to be chased round the house...
Well today I just concentrated on the one thing, and look - it is done!
I got started yesterday afternoon by being a good girl and tracing the pattern off the original, carefully.
I normally plough right on in to the pattern, cutting the size I wish to make, but with the pattern costing £13, I thought I'd make sure I can easily make every size, as and when gifts are required. It always seems a faff, but to be honest, the hardest thing about it was finding a felt pen that worked!
Next came some sneaky placing of the pattern to make sure I used as little as possible. With a child's dress, the whole width isn't required so folding a new straight grain line the length of the fabric means that what isn't used is one wider length rather than two narrower pieces.
Will you look at that sunshine!
Next came pinning...
...and then a break for a nice bit of real life, dinner at a local hostelry with Mr U-t-B (we are daughter-less this weekend as Miss U-t-B is on a geography field trip).
Today as Graham Norton got started on the radio, I fired up the sewing machine and knuckled down.
First came some pintucks - I do love a pintuck or two!
I found the instructions on the pattern really excellent. Certain techniques were suggested which I had not come across before, such a sewing a gathering thread close to the edge of the facing in order to achieve a good finish. I think that with instructions as detailed as they are, these would be good patterns for someone who is relatively inexperienced with dressmaking. In fact, and I'm not being paid to say this, I think that the quality of the instructions actually makes the price bearable.
The hem has a facing, a technique which I have used before and which I think is excellent on children's clothes as it makes the hem less likely to get caught and fall down.
The instructions suggested extra lines of top-stitching near the hem-line, and I was happy to do this! I find that the key to neat top-stitching is to use the presser foot as your best friend - keep your eye on the presser foot edge going down the line, never on the needle.
I chose flower buttons to both embellish the centre front tab, and for the back closure...
If you follow the instructions, you get a neat finish outside and in...
By the time Graham had solved workplace and pet-related problems, chatted with Angus Deayton and Rupert Penry-Jones, and played some rather excellent music (notably Jack Savoretti, Gabby Young & Other Animals, George Wilding and London Grammar) and Tony Blackburn had played the best of 1974 and 1985 (did that REALLY include The Wombles? Seriously...) I was done!
Good thing I bought that extra length of cloth, eh?
Thanks again to The Village Haberdashery, for the excellent service which allowed me to while away my time so pleasurably!