Monday, December 2, 2013

Small Miracles

Over the weekend a small miracle took place. It all started a few days ago when I was looking at some fetching photos on Instagram. Specifically, by Rachelle of Ted and Agnes, she has set forth a wickedly wonderful challenge called Handmade 365 where you pledge to wear at least one handmade thing each day for a year! Now, I haven't joined the challenge, but I did see a dress she made on Instagram and I thought, Ooh, now that looks good!

Now, I must tell you that I am absolute pants when it comes to making my own clothes, funny right?  While I am a whiz with clothes for Pony Girl and other small folk, I just buck at the idea of sewing for myself. So, recently I've been giving myself a talking to, I've been promising to get over the hump and start making a few things for my wardrobe. Not so much a resolution, I've never been much for making those either, but a pledge to make more for myself in the coming year.

So to get started on the right foot, I thought I'd jump in after seeing Rachelle's handiwork.  I bought the Tessuti Fabrics - Lily Linen Dress Pattern. After taping the pattern pieces together and tracing my size, I decided to go ahead without making any alterations, just a test dress, a muslin that with a huge amount of luck might just turn out wearable, but I wasn't holding my breath.  

Here are my observations of making the dress.

1. Requires fabric wider than 45" I used a piece of 60" wide medium weight checked cotton canvas-like fabric that I picked up at a thrift shop ages ago.

2. Only 3 main pattern pieces to cut, easy peasy! (I did not use the pocket pattern piece)

3. All of the pieces fit together perfectly and the sewing was quick and simple. It took me an hour to make without finishing the hem and pockets. I did try on the dress at each stage and I found that there were no adjustments needed. I made it to length even though I am quite short, so it is a long dress on me. I will adjust length next time.

4. This dress has endless possibilities for customizing. Shorten the sleeves, sleeveless, length variation, etc. etc.

5. It is a loose fitting dress that I think would be flattering to most body types and it is so very comfortable!

6. I have plans to make this in a few different versions. So yes, I would most definitely make this again, and highly recommend the pattern!

I did not follow the pocket pattern or instructions, I started playing with vintage linen napkins instead.

When I finished the dress and stepped back, I was surprisingly pleased. I made something for myself that I will actually wear out in public.  My wardrobe may start filling out with handmade frocks after all, small miracle indeed!

Happy Monday all, may your week bring you at least one small miracle!


Penny said...

It's gorgeous and simple and looks so flattering x Thanks for sharing x Penny

sustainablemum said...

That is a lovely, lovely dress I hope it get lots of wear and inspires you to make more, looking forward to seeing what you make next!

andrea creates said...

looks great!
i never really make clothes for myself either-just the smaller kids and babies...

happy week to you :)

Lori ann said...

how pretty! love your dress and the way you've customized it! i feel inspired to sew, if i could only find the time!

Lindsay McCoy said...

Love it! It sounds like a great challenge to participate in, too. I would love to join in on something like this, but do not yet have enough handmade things to wear for a whole year let alone a week, so perhaps that will be my focus this year instead. :)

Yoo Toob said...

I don't often see MEN in homemade clothing that is identifiable by its craft and quirk. I'm tempted.

Before I saw this blog entry, I wanted to tell you about my friend Heather's very successful business that she ran for four years before retiring. She made children's clothes using other clothes: the placket from this shirt (with buttons and button holes already executed), zipper from that, the collar from another, perhaps a sleeve from this and that, and mismatched cuffs. Then she did it with sweaters, which were hugely popular.

Her only tool: a serger.

Her hit piece was a spaghetti strap summer babydoll featuring the waist band and button fly from ancient jeans attached to faded blue check gingham -- made the front page of the style section. Very flirty when she left the fly unbuttoned.

I still have a winter coat she made me out of various wool overcoats. My favorite parts: the sleeve cuffs are from a pair of trousers.

Felt that someone with your creative energies could take this idea to the next level.