Improv dressmaking

I love working with vintage patterns, however, there are those occasions when you love a design but half of the pattern pieces are missing. I had planned to make a very sweet 1960s top, complete with collar and sleeve cuffs. However, after selecting some sweet remnants from my stash I realised that there were a few pattern pieces missing. I really wanted a new top to wear to go and see The Stone Roses at the weekend so I bashed on anyway, with no collar or cuff pieces I decided on a plain neckline and sleeve design. I also realised I didn’t have a zip so had to refashion the neck fastening a bit. Finally, for a bit of a sweet detail I added a white ribbon bow…and here it is. One afternoon and a bit of faffing about later I had a wearable top! It may not be my neatest, most competent work but I am happy that I was brave enough to stray away from the pattern and try something out myself. ImageImage



The Colette Sewing Handbook- Sarai Mitnick

Ok, so my book buying habit might be getting out of control. Mr Postman has just delivered me this delicious looking handbook. It’s stuffed full of gorgeous designs, advice and lessons. As a self taught (and mother taught) seamstress it’s great to get a bit of guidance from a book like this on some of the techniques used in dressmaking. It saves hours being able to follow a shortcut rather than figuring out through trial and error how to complete techniques. I am also very excited by the information regarding the alteration of patterns as until now I have either followed a pattern exactly or gone completely in my own direction (with mixed results). It’ll be good to adjust and alter patterns to suit my fabric/ body/taste without completely free-styling it!

Between this and Carrie Maclennan’s A Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing I foresee many happy hours in front of the sewing machine.  Though I must restrain myself from buying more books, or patterns and allow myself a little time to get started on the projects in the books I already have.