Left: Poplin Cotton, Right: Lawn Cotton
If you’re anything like me, you’ll often struggle to discern between poplin and lawn cotton. I believe people often buy poplin, believing it’s lawn cotton. But there are some distinct differences that can make all the difference to your dressmaking.
Did any of you watch the recent dramatisation of the Brontes, To Walk Invisible? It was greatly reviewed and I adored glimpsing the Yorkshire moors and those cobbled streets on my small screen. I grew up reading the Brontes, worked at the parsonage as a student and even once wrote a (sadly unpublished) time slip novel inspired by the sisters. So, you could say, I’m interested.
My recent trip to Haworth inspired me to contact The Bronte Parsonage with a request for a blog interview about the Brontes and their clothes. I was delighted when Ann, Principal curator at the museum, agreed to answer some of my questions. If you’re as fascinated as I am by the twin topics of the Brontes and sewing, read on!
Well, if you’re a dog owner – show some love. I used this tutorial and the iron on patch came from Stoff & Stil.
I think we can agree this is the cutest sewing I’ve ever done.
Nothing more you need to know. Go forth and sew kerchiefs!
I’ve sewn a second Yuki! (Where does that name come from?) This time in gingham cotton for the shell and black silk for the drawstring collar. Goyjus! The drawstring was much easier to turn in this finer silk, and it makes for a really lovely detail. Top tip – don’t press your drawstring tie. You want a nice bouncy cylinder.
Interesting to see the back collar details
Good gingham is like a good man – hard to find. There’s a lot of school uniform poly cotton out there. So I snapped this up from TMOS, especially at £3 a metre.
If I’m going to use my sewing blog to review wines for In Vino Veritas, there’s one inevitable question.
Do you drink and sew?
On Monday, Minerva Crafts sent me some of their famous Prada Self Lined crepe. (And yes, it stands up to the hype.) On Tuesday, Tessuti Fabrics released their Yuki pattern. By Thursday, I had a new dress.
Remind me. What did I say recently about slow sewing?
Yesterday was a good day. I cooked lunch for three friends, including one who is pregnant with her first baby. I have lived on this planet for so long that I am now going through my second generation of friends who are having babies! It’s a lovely time.
Want to sew a shirt dress with interesting details, but without sleeve plackets or a gazillion buttons? Welcome to the M6885 shirt dress!
This is a dream to wear. I can say that with confidence because I’ve already worn it for a meeting. The true test of a successful make is whether or not you sit twitching, fidgeting and tugging when you should be erudite, focussed and professional. I’m not saying I’m any of the latter, but at least I wasn’t twitching.
“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” Confucius
The M6885 is a GREAT pattern. But for now, you’re going to have to take my word for it.
Life has seriously got in the way of this make, and progress has been achingly slow. It’s been worth it, though. If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll have seen most steps along the way. The lawn cotton is from The Sewcial Studio. It’s been a dream to sew with, and I don’t say that lightly. (Though I recommend a microtex needle, and it’s best not to leave pins in the fabric overnight.)
There’s been a distinct lack of sewing at Did You Make That Towers, largely because there’s been a distinct lack of home time at Did You Make That Towers! I’m 200 miles from home in Haworth, West Yorkshire.
Haworth was the home of the Brontes. As a student, I spent a summer working at the Bronte Parsonage, and two of my university friends would come and visit me. Little did we know that this cobbled village would become our lifelong mutual touchstone; the place we returned to as our lives scrolled through marriages, jobs, pets, children, homes, journeys and adventures.
So, what better way to celebrate our latest reunion than with a bottle of something cold, crisp and fizzy.