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Tabatha’s April Challenge 2012 – Week One

April 9, 2012

Last year, some of you may recall I set myself the challenge of sewing for two hours every day in the month of April, except for the days I was on holiday.  It didn’t occur to me until April 2nd this year that I could try it again (coveniently, as April 1st is Mr Tweedie’s birthday and we were otherwise engaged).  After completing my new sewing room, I had been hesitant to get started on a new sewing project for fear of messing up the perfectly clean and tidy space, but I thought that embarking upon another April Challenge would give me the push I needed to get back into sewing and make myself some new clothes ahead of Me-Made-May 2012.  This will be the second time I’ve participated in one of Zoe’s ‘Me-Made’ months, and to make it more of a challenge for myself I have this year pledged as follows:

I, Tabatha Tweedie of Thread Carefully, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12.  I endeavour to wear a different item of me-made clothing each day for the duration of May 2012 (i.e. I won’t wear the same thing twice).

So, here’s how I got on in the first week of this year’s April Challenge…

Monday 2nd April

During Little Tweedie’s naptime I cut out the pieces for Butterick B4914, pictured below.  I have a similar dress from Topshop which I have worn a lot and I fancied making myself another version but with long sleeves.  Having consulted the labels in my RTW jersey dresses, I discovered that most of them are made with viscose jersey, so towards the end of last year I bought some from Calico Laine in plain green specifically for this dress.  I did 1hr20 mins of sewing during Little Tweedie’s naptime, and filled the rest of my quota in the evening after she had gone to bed.

Tuesday 3rd April

Little Tweedie goes to nursery on Tuesdays, so I spent 2-3 hours sewing in the afternoon, during which time I got the dress finished except for the sleeves and hem.  I stopped there because I noticed that the fabric was marked and needed washing (I never pre-wash jersey – it rolls and curls up something chronic!).  I tried it on without sleeves and I’m pleased with the fit – not too clingy.  Let’s just hope it comes clean!

Wednesday 4th April

Instead of spending Little Tweedie’s naptime sewing today, I had a good rifle through my patterns and fabric stash to see what I could put together.  I managed to match patterns and fabric for eight projects which I’m hoping to make this month.  But perhaps that’s a tad ambitious!!!  I just about had time to prepare the sleeves for insertion into the dress before Little Tweedie awoke from her nap.  After she had gone to bed, I set the sleeves in, but I couldn’t finish the dress yet as I need more green thread for hemming the sleeves and skirt.

It needs hemming. And it doesn't look as good on Delilah as it does on a real person. But you get the idea!

I went onto my next project – a maxi dress using New Look 6933.  I cut out the pattern pieces ready for pinning onto the fabric.  I’m quite excited about this dress!  I am making View C – the one shown on the left of the image below, but all in the same fabric (i.e. no contrast).

Thursday 5th April

Hurray!  Mr Tweedie is officially on holiday for Easter!  Today I did my two hours of sewing in a straight block, starting when Little Tweedie had her nap as Mr Tweedie was there to get her up and entertain her post-nap.  I got all the fabric cut out for the maxi dress, and unexpectedly had enough left over to also cut out the fabric for a top – Burda 7798.  Bonus!  I made that top in last year’s April Challenge (see below) and have worn it a lot so wanted to make another one.

The Burda 7798 top I made in my April Challenge 2011

Friday 6th April – Good Friday

Little Tweedie’s godparents were coming to stay for Easter so I had to get my two hours done in the morning before they arrived, which meant sacrificing my usual pre-guest cleaning marathon!  Tsk!  I spent FOREVER cutting out interfacing and lining for this dress – every piece except for the skirt pieces are interfaced and lined!  I chose to use the main fabric as lining as it’s a light and floaty crepe-type fabric, and I used sew-in interfacing.  The latter takes significantly longer to apply than iron-on, but I’ve never liked the wrinkliness you get with iron-on and pre-shrinking makes very little difference in my experience.

Saturday 7th April

Little Tweedie kindly woke us up at 06:30am today and I knew our guests would not be getting up for a while so I did my two hours of sewing early in the morning.  Now that’s dedication!  I got the bodice and straps assembled for the maxi dress so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself!

Sunday 8th April – Easter Day

Although Little Tweedie came bumbling in early this morning, I couldn’t bring myself to get up early again and sew!  The rest of the day was very busy, making a roast dinner for our guests and then packing Little Tweedie up for a week’s holiday in glorious Stockport (!), where her grandparents live.  Our friends were transporting Little Tweedie grandma-wards, and when they left I was quite distraught.  Little T can drive me up the wall sometimes, but she is so good/sweet/beautiful/clever/adorable, I did not want to let go of her and put her in the car.  It’s a silly way to feel because we get to have a break and actually go out places for a change, which is what we have been longing for, and she gets to spend time with her adoring grandma who will take her out and spoil her rotten, so it’s good for everyone involved.  But handing over your child to be driven away somewhere else is bloody difficult, even in these positive/happy/fortunate circumstances.  Anyway, I digress.  As soon as we knew they had all arrived safely I just wanted to get out of the house, so we went to see The Hunger Games at the cinema and then went out to a lovely Thai restaurant we discovered last year when we had a similar ‘staycation’, and I did not do any sewing at all.  Oh well!

Monday 9th April – Easter Monday

Mr-Tweedie-the-unstoppable-academic was desperate to write something about The Hunger Games today, so after a long-awaited lie-in, he got to work on that and I did my sewing.  It took him a good four hours to write his piece, which meant I more than made up for yesterday’s lack of sewing, and I got my dress more or less finished!  I just have to insert the zip and hem the skirt.  I haven’t tried it on yet – I’m too worried it’s going to be too big as I frequently over-compensate when it comes to making clothes due to my paranoia about having to squeeze into a dress!

This still needs a zip and to be hemmed.

And that’s all for now!  I will update again soon in a week or so and hopefully I will have actually finished something properly by then!

  1. April 9, 2012 9:27 pm

    You have really sped through some projects there! Great tip on checking the labels of items you currently wear and like for fabric content suggestions for future makes. Probably should have thought of that earlier! Thanks!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 10, 2012 8:45 am

      Yeah I was surprised to find my favourites were viscose jersey rather than cotton jersey! I’d definitely use it again too as it has a lovely drape.

  2. April 9, 2012 10:43 pm

    What determination you have! I enjoyed hearing how you managed to fit in your sewing time and it brought back memories for me of when I used to wait for nap times too. I love both dresses and what a skill you have to pass onto your daughter. I learned to sew from my grandma when I was quite young.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 10, 2012 8:49 am

      Thank you. I would love to be able to teach the little one how to sew, even if only for minor alterations. It is a useful skill at its most basic level, and she can be creative with it if she wants to. But right now I wouldn’t let her anywhere near the tools!

  3. April 10, 2012 8:23 am

    What a good idea, and it looks like it’s paid off really well so far. You’ll be all set for me-made-May.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 10, 2012 8:51 am

      If I get to actually finish something, yes! 🙂


  1. My Me Made May ’12 Pledge! « Thread Carefully
  2. Thread Carefully does Me Made May 2012: The final round up « Thread Carefully
  3. Completed Project: Butterick B4914 « Thread Carefully

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