Saturday, 21 December 2013

2013 Sewing Adventures

This year I have really made a stab (pun intended!) at sewing, partly inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee BBC programme, and all the brilliant sewing bloggers I subsequently discovered (Tilly, Karen, Gertie, Rochelle to name just a few). Here is a summary of the few things I have made this year, hopefully the learning curve is evident!

This is the first garment I have made, or at least that is wearable! A simple gathered skirt, using the tutorial on Tilly's blog. I made the front as one piece and put a zip in the side seam, and put a pocket on the other side - all clothes should have pockets! I also lined it as the white was a bit see-through. I have worn this lots so I call that a success.

I then gave my first proper pattern a go, the Hawthorn dress by Colette, following the sewalong that followed the pattern release. I made a dress version using this fun floral print, then later made the plaid/tartan shirt (below).

Cuff with proper sleeve placket, the learning curve continues!

After starting my sewing career on a hand-crank Singer 99k from 1946, I got this beast after sewing up the Hawthorn dress. It is a Singer 401G, made in 1965, and it is brilliant machine! An ebay purchase, including shipping and a service cost less than £100, much less than a new machine that is so well built. As it has lived for this long I hope it will last for many more years. It is an all-metal construction, and does lots of fancy stitches. It also came in the original case with most of the original accessories, so I think it has been well looked after. I love it!

Next up, I made a bridesmaid's dress for my sister's wedding. That is me on the left of the pic! It is based on the Elisalex dress by By Hand London. I braved some expensive silk, which unfortunately my camera does not like photographing! I made a circle skirt and an underskirt, to fit with the style of my sister's dress. I also added lace sleeves. I am fairly pleased with the outcome, although the silk stretched a bit during sewing so the fit wasn't as good as it could have been.

More wedding fun!

As an aside, my beautiful sister runs a catering business in the French Alps, if you ever find yourself there and in need of delicious food. Have a look here if you need convincing of whether you should visit!

And this is my Christmas party dress! This is a proper Elisalex with the tulip skirt. The construction of this dress is a joy, the bodice is really clean in the inside, and the princess seams give a lovely fit. I love the fabric, found in Cardiff on sale, supposed to be for curtains I think, but the weight works well with this pattern.

As well as attempting dress-making, I also thought I'd give quilting a go, I have loads of clothes anyway! I like quilting, it is a little less stressful than dressmaking as it can be quite repetitive, which is good when I only have evenings to sew, after using my brain for science all day.

My first quilting adventure, blogged in more detail here. Purely self-indulgent, now has a permanent spot on my bed :)

This was a wedding present for my sister, more details here. I think it was liked!

So, I am quite pleased with everything I have made this year, I feel that I have learnt a lot and pushed myself, and I know that everything I have made will be worn. I think it is safe to say that I am addicted; next up, Grainline Archer shirt! Lots of fabric to work through...


  1. Sarai @ Colette Patterns21 December 2013 at 18:14

    Wow, so lovely! Those quilts are impressive!

  2. Thank you! It has really struck me this year how useful the internet can be for learning new skills, so many good sew-alongs and tutorials out there, it makes anything seem possible :)


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