Monday, 8 August 2011

Dressmaking, after a fashion

I don't really enjoy dressmaking. I find it a bit too dry, endless and technical, and I have never been happy with the end result. I did a pattern-cutting course recently which confirmed all my fears.

I think I have also been scarred by some early precocious attempts at very complicated blouses, a sort of running-before-you-can walk enterprise that always backfires, like reading 'Lolita' aged thirteen and never understanding what the fuss was all about. I did that.

But, but. The temptation is always there: that you can choose a beautiful piece of fabric and make exactly what you want. Easy, right?

This temptation had me earmarking a couple of pieces of fabric for tops, but I still felt uninspired at the thought of the actual making. Searching for patterns did not help, so many or them seem stuck in the eighties - and not even the good, back again eighties - in a really odd way. The only nice ones I could find were in the US and very expensive when imported.! You get to pore through pages of garments people have made and make them yourself. And, most of them are free. And, and, they are really nice! Not all of them of course, but a lot of them.

My eye fell on the One Piece Kimono Tee, yes, One Piece. Perfect for a very lazy seamstress. 

And this is the result.

It is supposed to be in cotton jersey but I made it in cotton to give it a bit more shape and structure.

And it was a doddle. You could make this in an hour, honestly truly. This one was supposed to be the experimental attempt but I liked it so much I decided to keep it. I made some bias binding in the gingham and put it round the neck and sleeves, just to give it a bit more.

I just overlocked the raw edges - non-essential - and then sewed from underarm to waist. Amazing. It didn't even hurt. I am going to make a few more and am already thinking of how I could adapt it.


  1. I'm with you on dress making and I'm in the middle of making one that I'm sure I'm not going to like when I'm finished. Loved the top, and I too read a book at 13, Lady Chatterley's Lover, and couldn't figure out what the fuss was about.

  2. Oh, this is just lovely! I adore gingham, and am always seraching for quick & dirty patterns - this looks perfect.

  3. Lovely work! I think I've had the same pattern in my to-make file for...oh, at least a year now (apparently I have the same attitude to dressmaking as you do). You're inspiring me to give it a go!

  4. Thanks all. Lady Chatterley's Lover: surely the ultimate precocious read! If you are looking for quick and dirty sewing believe me, this pattern is for you. Think I might try it in jersey next. Miriam x

  5. It looks so crisp and fresh and stylish, it is hard to believe it was made so quickly.Be interesting to see how it will hang and flow in jersey.
    Sweet to be innocent 13 year old readers!

  6. I love gingham and those at 59 who wear it.

  7. Loving the monochrome gingham; very of the moment. And that hanger is fantastic too: "Aux elegants" would be a great name for a blog; or a second album.


a year above the shop

a year above the shop