Well, I said I got on a sewing roll during the holidays, and I wasn’t kidding! My main goal for holiday sewing was to focus on separates: as much as I love sewing AND wearing dresses, they’re just never going to be as versatile as shirts, skirts and pants. And given I had some beautiful cotton I’d bought at the start of the year just begging to be sewn up, and patterns already in mind, there was nothing to do but get sewing!
First up were two patterns I’d worked with before – Butterick 6133, and the pencil skirt from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing.This time, I had a beautiful white textured cotton from The Cloth Shop for my shirt, and another fantastic piece of vintage wool from my great-aunt for the skirt. And I’m pretty damn pleased with how they turned out!
I was looking forward to coming back to B6133; it fit so well straight out of the envelope last time, and I absolutely look how it looks on. It was somehow even more satisfying to sew up this time as I was able to finish the seams with my new favourite seam finish – overlocking! Whilst I still think I’ll be pulling out old favourites such as bias-bound and french seams from time to time, you really can’t beat serging for a quick, clean, professional finish. It’s also been great for things like sleeve seams – it’s pretty daunting trying to french seam a set-in sleeve – and finishing facing edges before sewing them in. Whilst an overlocker/serger definitely isn’t a sewing essential per se (hey, I’ve been doing an awful lot of sewing without one over the last two years!), but even just having been sewing with one for three weeks, I think anyone who is serious about sewing, whether as a professional or just your own wardrobe, would find one absolutely indispensable.
I made a couple of small alterations – I swapped out the gathers on the upper back piece for an inverted pleat, and atteatched the sleeve binding to the sleeve edge without folding it under to elcose the seam. Not much else to say about this shirt except that I love it, and I’m so glad I finally got around to making myself a white shirt – it’s filled a definite wardrobe gap! I’ve liked the versatility of a classic white shirt so much I’ve already made another…stay tuned 😉 On to the skirt 😀
Now, as a reasonably thrifty sewer pursuing a sometimes expensive hobby on a student budget, this skirt really was a dream. Pattern from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, which I already owned and liked; vintage wool gifted to my by my great-aunt; awesome purple lining fabric from my grandma; and fastenings from a little treasure trove passed on to me from a family friend’s mother. In other words, FREEEE SKIIIIIRT.
I made a couple of small alterations to the pattern this time; I shortened the length a little as, at the below knee length, it’s a liiiiiitle long for my taste (and I could afford to shorten it a little more again for the next incarnation), and I eliminated the curve at the centre front of the waistband – although it’s a nice design feature, it just doesn’t sit quite right on me in the last skirt and I think I prefer the clean look of a straight waistband. I added back to the seam allowance I overzealously removed before making my birthday dress, but not quiiiiite enough – I’ll add a couple more centimetres for the next one. But hey, it fits, even if it is slightly tight, and that’s all that matters really 😉 This was my first time lining a pencil skirt and I’m really glad I did! It makes it really comfortable to wear, especially seeing as it’s on the small side. This was also my first time using one of those flat metal closures often used in pants, and I love the flat smooth look it gives. Putting buttonholes in waistbands and things can often be quite an awkward, bulky business so I’m glad to have found this alternative 🙂
It’s times like this I really appreciate being able to make my own clothing – it certainly makes dressing for placement in my preferred style much, muuuuuuch easier (and sometimes cheaper too!). It’s nice too, to feel like I really am transitioning to an almost completely me-made wardrobe, as that’s definitely a long-term goal of mine. I didn’t really participate in Me-Made May this year, but I was wearing at least one or two items I’d made on the daily (mostly thanks to my very large collection of me-made underwear!) – so maybe I’ll get round to some formal participation next year 🙂
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx