Well Ruth, what did you learn from your adventures into Indie land?
I learned that there are some really interesting, unique and wonderful designs out there, made by passionate people. From beautiful, almost collectible packaging to instant downloadable PDFs – I’ve covered the whole gamut. I had some outstanding success but, I did hit some drawbacks too.
In a few words, what would they be?
Sizing, sizing, sizing.
Will you be returning to Indie land in the future?
Oh most definitely, a foolish man learns from his own mistakes while a learned man learns from others’; I’m a fool for a pretty pattern. In the meantime, I’ve comforted myself with the familiar and returned to my beloved Vogues – the global Big4 who size for the entire world, the Starbucks and MacDonald’s of the pattern world, yet I cut a 14 straight from the envelope and know that all will be well (mostly).
What’s your latest attempt then?
This is Vogue Vintage 2401. I’m a sucker for 1950/60 styles, mainly to annoy DH who hates women’s wear from this era, but also because I really like it. We actually don’t have that much in common, the two of us and I often wonder why we ever got together. I remember a day when we were looking for a house before we married and after viewing a particularly shabby apartment, he walked down one side of the street while I walked down the other and we had a full blown ‘discussion’ across the traffic. We met at the end of the road, went to a pub for a drink and bought another house. However I digress…. The fabric was a gift for my birthday this year and it is a rather classy navy and white jersey. The sort of design that would be fine at work and also at more dressier occasions too. Can’t beat navy and white as a colour combination and I think it is particularly suited to early autumn and spring – the transitional seasons.
I believe you acquired a new piece of machinery this year. How have you got on?
Ah yes, the overlocker (serger). Within 10 minutes of opening the box, plugging in and testing it I’d broken it and it took me a hour and half to fix it. This did not endear the machine to my heart and I was resentful of it taking up space in my sewing room, added to that the guilt of not wanting to use it but feeling like I had to ’cause I’d bought it. Anyway, the two of us had a little chat and we got a lot of issues sorted out. We are kinda friends at the moment though it is a very tempestuous relationship. Bit like DH and me, oh back to sewing…..what else do you want to know?
Well, do you use the overlocker now?
Gosh yes I do!
I mean this is a vintage dress and all that but I don’t have to use vintage techniques, so I overlocked all the seams and for the straight up and down ones, I actually sewed them entirely using the overlocker. I even covered my shoulder pads in one easy sweep.
Tell us a little about this dress. We’re all really interested to know…
Did you just stifle a yawn there?
Emm no, honestly…..
OK then. I’m sure when this dress was first conceived they didn’t think it would ever be made in jersey, but hey, I’m a rebel and I did. Believe me, it made the sew-and-pivot thing at the kimono sleeves so much easier than with a woven – I just stretched the fabric to fit. Making this dress in a stable woven would be really difficult unless you have lots of patience and know what you’re doing – me? I just blarge ahead usually and hope for the best.
The design runs like this: 3/4 length sleeves – great for showing off bangles and the like.
An acceptable below knee length, though this of course can be altered for individual tastes.
A stand up collar, which looks just as good folded down.
Shoulder pads for just a little bit of shape and intimidation and gives this jersey something solid to hang from.
A separate front panel to the dress that is held securely around the waist with an old fashioned waist stay.
Vogue said to use tape, but I used a strip of self fabric instead : 1, because it matched and 2, because it stretches. I just added two hooks at a comfortable distance around my waist and when I drop the dress over my head (no zips or nothing) this is the first thing that is fixed.
Next the two side ties are pulled tight across the tummy and knotted. So the side panels of the skirt are completely separate from the front. Fine when I’m standing but I do need to take care when sitting as the panels do have a tendency to go their own way.
That’s it really. The pattern envelope shows a full petticoat under the dress to give it lift and fullness but after my recent discovery into My Shape and Full Skirts, the tulle was out of bounds.
Would you like to see some pictures?
Do we have to? How much time do we have left? Oh go on then….