Tabatha’s April Challenge 2012 – Week Two
Tuesday 10th April
Today Mr Tweedie and I went to Harrogate for the day, so I didn’t do any sewing, but I did get to go to Duttons for Buttons (they have a branch in York, too), where I bought a few bits of haberdashery including a sewing guage which is SO handy! At first I thought it would be useful for my pattern cutting class but it’s also great to have on hand when using commercial patterns too, for marking hems etc.
Wednesday 11th April
Mr Tweedie and I had a spa day today, which makes us sound really frivolous but we booked it with Groupon and basically got the use of the health club facilities for the whole day, plus three 30 minute treatments each of our choice, all for £55! It was lovely. We both started in the gym, then went in the jacuzzi, then for a swim (and I discovered I can swim better than I thought I could!), then to the steam room and finally for our treatments. I had a Guinot facial, an aromatherapy back and shoulder massage and a G5 leg treatment, which is where they use a range of contraptions to vibrate the hell out of your thighs and bum, helping to break down cellulite! I would need about 500 more treatments to do that successfully but it was fun to try it. In the evening we went for dinner at an award-winning pub called the Pipe and Glass in South Dalton, and basically that wiped out the remainder of our holiday money. But it was SO worth it! We’ll have to stay in tomorrow, but that’s ok because I’ve got a whopping four hours of sewing to catch up on…
Thursday 12th April
I can hardly believe it, but it took me FOUR HOURS to finish off my maxi dress and the jersey dress. LAME. The maxi dress needed a zip and hemming and the jersey dress needed evening out and hemming too. It took me forever, and I’m not sure why. Do you ever get those days where you just seem to be sewing incredibly slowly? It’s kind of frustrating, but I know rushing would only make matters worse. Anyway, I eventually got the zip inserted into the maxi dress and I bias bound the raw edges, which I haven’t done before around a zipper but I like the finished effect.
I’m pleased with both finished projects on the whole but I can’t say I’m over the moon with them. Maybe because it took so long?! Anyway, they’re both perfectly fine and I will get a lot of wear out of them. I spent a further two hours cutting out pattern pieces for the Colette Pastille, Licorice and Hazel dresses and the Taffy blouse, and I also cut the fabric for the latter. I am not a fan of working with chiffon! Aaarrgh! I wish I had some stabilizer spray – in fact I may have to get some for my Vertigo dress, otherwise it might just be the death of me! So, after a six hour day of not much sewing, I’m at least up to date and ready for more.
Friday 13th April
I didn’t think I was going to get any sewing done today, as Little Tweedie and her grandma were due to return, and the general plan before then was 1) lie in 2) go to the cinema to see Cabin in the Woods 3) tidy up. Everything went according to plan, but what we hadn’t bargained for was that my mother-in-law would fall fast asleep on the sofa at about 8pm (hardly surprising after a week of looking after a two year old!), which meant we had to find other ways of occupying ourselves. Part of my two hour slot was spent mending my sister-in-law’s chiffon maxi dresses – torn hems, seams come apart, straps broken – you name it! Fortunately it only took about 20 mins to mend them both and the experience was not wasted as I used my rolled hem foot for the first time in, ooh, about three years! After I’d finished the dresses I stuck with the chiffon theme and started sewing my Taffy blouse. I’m finally back with the Sew Colette crew!
Saturday 14th April
In the evening today I finished my Taffy blouse.
I used ready-made bias binding, which made it a very quick and easy project. The main challenge of the project is being able to handle the chiffon – something which I’m not sure you could say I did very well as somehow the front piece ended up 1.5” shorter than the back. Erm, yeah, not sure what happened there! I had to shorten the back of course, and then so as not to make the top too short, I used a rolled hem, as practised last night! The hem looks all over the damn place in the photo, but when the top is actually on a person it looks much more even. I’m really pleased with it – my favourite make so far.
Sunday 15th April
Today I went to meet the lovely Elena who writes the Seamless blog (where we had a guest post last week). She is on a work placement inYork, so naturally we arranged to meet for cream teas at Bettys. We had just enough time for me to introduce her to the wonders of Boyes (which I’ve raved about before here), where she snapped up a couple of dresses worth of fabric! My gallivanting meant I had to sew in the evening AGAIN. I pre-washed some fabric and put together my Burda 7798 top using the leftover fabric from my maxi dress. I only sewed for an hour, but the top is almost finished. I’ll have to make up the other hour over the next few days.
Monday 16th April
Today I only did an hour’s sewing during naptime, which was all I needed to finish Burda 7798. I made this exact top last year and have worn it loads, so I used the same pattern pieces and didn’t make a muslin or anything (I mean, why would I?), only to find when I tried it on it’s a bit tight! I can only assume that the top from last year has stretched over time, as it is made from a cotton voile, whereas the newer version is made from a polyester crepe with zero give. DAMMIT.
Tuesday 17th April
Little Tweedie was at nursery today and I was absolutely determined to be productive and make something nice. I sewed for 5.5 hours whilst she was gone, during which time I made a toile for the Colette Licorice dress, then cut the lining, main fabric and sewed it all up. By the time I had to go and collect Little T, I only needed to insert the zip, hem the dress and make the belt, which I did after Little T had gone to bed in an hour and a half. I am SUPER pleased with this dress. The fabric is lovely, it has a really nice drape to it, and I lined it with an old fitted sheet which had become surplus to requirements. I used my overlocker for the first time in ages to finish the seams, and I remembered how much I love it – I’m not sure why I haven’t been using it lately! I made the toile with a view to it becoming the lining fabric – so I basted it all together super quick and basted the zipper in too to check the fit. After the Burda 7798 debacle I wanted to avoid potential disappointment! The fit was loose-ish but more of a ‘casual loose’ than a ‘too-big loose’ (if that makes sense) – pretty much how it looks on the model in the book – so I felt alterations were unnecessary – and I knew that by the time the dress had been sewn up with the shell and the lining together it might have a tiny bit less ease than it does at this stage.
It came together without any hiccups and I really enjoyed making it. Lining it with a bedsheet was pretty good too because it smelt just like freshly washed bedding, and when I put it on it was like slipping between the sheets for a nice sleep! It’s such a comforting feeling to be wearing your bedding!!! Perhaps it’s psychological, but anyway, I’m totally in love with my new dress and I’m pretty darn pleased with my productivity today. So, take that, last Thursday!