Last week I decided to take the plunge and after a gap of over a decade, get back into dress making. Well, I’m happy to say that I’m considering the result as a success.
The vast majority of the dress making I’ve done in the past has been under the watchful gaze of The Old Bat, and done to her strict set of rules. As a consequence, I felt quite rebellious in my own little way doing things the way I wanted to. The first of The Old Bat’s rules I broke was reading the instructions – I never even knew dress patterns came with instructions until I left home – who knew that some clever person has put together a detailed set of clear instructions and included them free with every pattern! So, first I read and decided to follow them to the letter.
My second act of rebellion was cutting along the line for the size of dress I wanted to make – I know, it’s life in the fast lane in this house! Muti-size sewing patterns come with a series of different lines on the pattern, each line being the cutting line for a different size. As kids we always had to carefully cut and fold back the pattern to the line for the size we wanted – which sort of worked on any straight lines but was a real pain on any curves, and always meant you started off with slightly wonky lines and a deep seated feeling that it wasn’t quite going to turn out how you wanted it to. I took the rash decision that if I ever either gain or loose several dress sizes, I’ll quite possibly have more to life to worry about than the cutting lines on a dress pattern.
In all my dress took me two happy evenings of sewing, one to put the main body of the dress together and the second to finish off the hem. I love the foxy fabric I chose for the interfacing, it’s just the right weight of fabric and sits well hidden inside the dress.
I think the most painful bit of the entire process was standing in the back garden trying to get Mr P to take a half way decent photo of me wearing the dress before we headed out to a friends 50th last Saturday. Evidently it was very hard for him to get the exposure right because my skin is “soooo pale” – great!
As I sit here typing, there is already a lovely new bit of fabric sat on my table waiting to be turned into a pair of trousers. I’m going to have to review my new love of following the instructions, as the pattern I’ve ordered online is Danish – I’m hoping that it’ll either come with multi-lingual instructions or very good pictures!
I also just want to say, much as I whinge about The Old Bat’s teaching methods when it came to handing down the wonders of sewing – I am very glad she did. I’m sure my sister and I tested her patience just as much as she tested ours. So, hats off to The Old Bat for carrying on regardless and giving me a skill that will last a life time.