You put the left seam in, the right dart out
In, out, in, out, you sew it all about
You do the hokey cokey and you bodge the hem
That’s what it’s all about!
Want a reet good laugh? Go to your local park with a camera and tripod on a sunny Bank Holiday. My god, you’ll make new friends! People are fascinated. I took my tripod out of my pannier and a man stopped dead in his tracks to watch me ERECTING THE TRIPOD. That’s how interesting photography is to other people.
So this is the Style 2667 dress, made from a vintage pattern bought for £2 and fabric bought for £6.60 from The Textile Centre, Walthamstow:
The best thing I can say about this sewing experience is that it’s over. Phew boy, I can’t say I enjoyed making this dress. Kerry has this same pattern and Colleen remembers it from the first time round. Is it Eighties, Colleen? It looks it to me. Colleen wisely warned me about this skirt and breezes. Dust off the nice knickers, ladies!
Okay, so why was this so tricky? It’s that ruddy bodice. I made two toiles, the fitting was so difficult. I still ended up taking in darts and side seams on the final make like there was no tomorrow. I didn’t even bother trying to adjust the upper chest because a bodice with drawstring ties at the shoulders doesn’t leave much room for accurate fitting in the upper chest department.
This is a reversible gingham, so I used the small check on the bodice and the huge check on the skirt. I did my best to match up the rows of stripes at the skirt seams, but by and large accurate matching was just impossible – I think because this very breathable and loose weave was more than a touch prone to stretching and distorting.
I think this fabric is double weave. It’s two thin layers of fabric melded together. I believe it may be similair to the fabric Handmade Jane recently used on her gorgeous blouse:
Hemming this skirt nearly tipped me over the edge. There was nowhere to put the excess on such a distinct curve and I was making a real bodge job. There has to be a way, I thought, hotfooting it to the computer. Thank you, Gertie – not for the first time in my life! Lovely Gertie supplies this video tutorial for hemming a circle skirt. Bless her – she’s clearly stuck behind an ironing board in a cramped New York apartment. How lovely of her to go to so much trouble for an idiot in Walthamstow. Now, I love my hem and am curious to make one of those circle skirts with the horsehair braid. Wheeeee! I bet it’s so much fun to wear.
Close up of hemming the circle skirt
I really recommend this patchwork foot for if you want an accurate line of sewing. You can just see that there’s a little metal ‘wall’ guiding the foot along the edge of the fabric.
I think that, against all odds, I’ve managed to make this dress a success. But we really weren’t singing from the same song sheet. I swore blind I’d never use this pattern again but I might be tempted to change my mind. As I wandered past the play area in the park I heard a toddler calling: ‘Look, Mummy! That lady’s wearing a pretty dress.’
On some steps. This picture’s an homage to Dolly Clackett!