Dressmaking plans are afoot

I’ve been busy planning great things for Mari.  I enrolled on a 10 week Dressmaking course at the Venn School of Sewing ages ago, and, finally, it starts next week.  I have attended a couple of Angela’s courses previously, a 10 week Skills and Techniques course which I absolutely loved, I learnt loads of new skills and techniques (as the course name suggests) but also saw what I had been doing wrong which was wonderful, and a 1 day course on adjusting commercial patterns to fit which, to be honest, made my brain melt a bit.  I think I have the information and tools to have a go now, but I won’t really know until I get down to it and make something using my new pattern-adjusting skills.

I love to sew, so I sew as time allows, mainly clothes for the girls, soft toys or household-y sewing stuff that fit isn’t too crucial for.  The times I’ve tried to sew for myself have, with the exception of an elasticated waisted skirt (which I only wore once before discovering it went see-through in the sun) resulted in appalling fit – too tight around the belly, bust, shoulders, back … just too small, but also too long, because I am a shortie.  But stout.  Robustly built.

I now know that the dress sizes given by pattern manufacturers do not match with off-the-peg dress sizes.  Sewing pattern sizes are tiny.  And they have very set proportions, so if you’re an apple shape, like I am, you’re doomed.  Or if you have a generous bust.  Or curvy hips.  Basically, any humanly proportioned person is unlikely to fit an unaltered dress pattern.

I know this now. And I’ve been shown how to make it right, at least in theory.  Now I’m going to put that theory into practice by making a pair of trousers that fit and a top that is flattering.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Sewing patterns May 2014

These are the patterns I intend to use for my top and trousers, Simplicity Pattern 1696 for the trousers and this pattern for a doesn’t cling-to-anything top from Burdastyle magazine (issue 4/2014).


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