We made it! The dreaded first week back at work is safely under our belts and normality is slowly beginning to return. January is a month of reflection and setting goals for the New Year, so I thought I would take a moment to look back on how far my sewing has come in 2014. In January of last year I completed my very first project, the Hazel dress from Colette. This dress will always be one of my favourites and not just for the sentimental value. It was the item that inspired me to keep creating and wearing my own, hand made clothes. From there, I have pretty much lived a life of eat, sleep, sew, repeat!
Here are my top 6 makes of the year. Looking back over the year is really great way to get yourself motivated for the year ahead. In 2015, I am determined to create a capsule Wee&Twee wardrobe for myself, then who know what will happen from there.
For Christmas I received some beautiful sewing books, so what better way to start my sewing year than using a pattern from one of them. I decided to make one of the garments from “Casual Sweet Clothes,” by Noriko Sasahara. This book is filled with pages of beautiful items which have classic shapes, typical of Japanese style. I decided to go for the shift dress which was on the cover of the book as I thought it would be a quick and simple make. Famous last words!
The actual pattern itself only has 5 pieces. However, all the patterns in the book are printed on top of each other so working through the pattern maze made for an interesting task. I recommend using a highlighter to make the pattern stand out before you start tracing. The patterns also don’t have and seam allowance added to them, so I also added this to the traced pattern pieces before cutting out my fabric.
I decided not to make a toile for this pattern as I thought ‘it is a shift dress, with not a lot of shape, it’ll be an easy sew.’ Once again, famous last words! I got my fabric from Remnant Kings Glasgow for a grand total £12. Gotta love January sales! I went for a checked navy / grey demin and a Navy viscose for the skirt. You can get similar fabric here and here.
The actual sewing of the garment was really straight forward, but when it came to fitting this bad boy, OH MY GOD, what a nightmare! When I first tried on the dress I was wearing a big, ole sack of potatoes. Maybe adding on that 5/8″ seam allowance wasn’t such a good idea. I unpicked all the side seams and got to work pinning and basting seams until I got the fit to how I wanted it. I ended up having to take 2 inches from the waist, on either side, and graded the seams to the arm holes and down to the skirt hem. But after hours of unpicking and repining, my work was finally done!
I finished the back with a velvet ribbon to create a bow. I love this little detail as I think it gives the dress the perfect finishing touch.
I really do love this dress and it’s so versatile. You can either wear it for a night out or to work with a white shirt underneath. I will definitely be making more of the garments from this book, but I will definitely be making up a toile to help with fit and pattern adjustments. One very important lesson learned with this sew! Even the easiest looking of garments have their challenges. Have you made any New Years Resolutions? What are you working on this month?