While Stuart was at training, I used the opportunity to cover the living room in all my sewing bits and set about making a kaftan or two to take on holiday.
I really should have just gone with my first instinct to sit in front of the television and finish the tub of Ben & Jerrys that was calling to me from the freezer.
I had left my pins at mum's house but decided to forge on anyway, so the fabric was slipping all over the place while I was trying to cut it and sew it, resulting in wonky edges and seams. So I gave up on that one and got out the gorgeous John Kaldor fabric that I have been too scared to cut into for years. Big mistake.
It is slightly heavier than the other (cheap polyester) fabric I had been using and didn't slip around so much. I was doing really well, sewing slowly and carefully, until Stuart came home.
Now, this may sound like of a bit of boyfriend-bashing (and believe me, I went a bit over the top with it in the moment - something I deeply regretted straight after) but really it was mostly my fault for allowing this to happen.
Anyway, the tutorial I was following called for me to cut down the front of the kaftan I had just spent so much time and care on. I thought the easiest way to do it would be to wear the kaftan and ask Stuart to cut it for me after giving him what I thought were clear instructions - 'cut down the middle the curve out towards this leg slightly then straight down'.
He cut down the middle, then curved out towards that leg slightly.
Me: Now straight down the leg
Him - curving out more, and more
Me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? STRAIGHT DOWN THE LEG!!
Him: You told me to curve out
Me: YEAH, THEN STRAIGHT DOWN THE LEG
Him: Well how am I supposed to know what you meant?
Cue an argument about how he's an idiot and I wasn't clear enough and me storming out, throwing myself on the bed and sobbing.
Overreaction? Hmm... maybe.
The kaftan's ruined though, and I'm not sure what to do about the fabric situation. Need to cool off for a couple of days before I can look at it again I think.
...when you've spent the past week pouring your blood, sweat and tears into making a dress (that you aren't exactly head over heels in love with after all that graft) and you slip it on and show your darling fiance the finished article and his overwhelming reaction is...
It's fine, it looks nice
Aren't those the words that fill your heart with joy and make you realise that you really are the luckiest woman alive to have such an enthusiastic, encouraging, sensitive man.
What do you mean sarcasm?!
(I do actually like it now, it looks much better with a belt - I really need to start accessorizing)
Anyway, even as I was sewing this dress, I didn't really think it was very me - I'm more of a knit girl than a woven girl, but as we were taking these photos I decided that I did like it, especially with the belt and heels, and it made me feel like the girl I used to be before I had a baby and tuned into a bit of a slob!
I've not done a dress anything like this before - princess seams, circular yoke, proper adjustments to the bodice. The armpits are a bit baggy, but I'll probably be wearing it with a cardigan anyway, so I think I can live with it.
When Stuart bought me a Singer 127 for Christmas last year, I was over the moon - I have spent years coveting old sewing machines, dreaming of owning one. It honestly is the best present he has ever bought me. So why have I let it sit in the corner of the kitchen for so many months doing nothing? Well, because it was a pain in the backside to lug out every time I wanted to do a bit of sewing, and I just could not get the hang of getting the shuttle set up properly. The past couple of weeks, however I have had it set up on mum's kitchen table and have made Faith's shirred dress and am in the process of making a dress for me. I now thread the machine almost without thinking, including the shuttle that has caused so much frustration and have even stopped automatically going for the foot pedal when I start sewing a new seam (seriously, after using it for an hour you'd think I would remember that THERE IS NO FOOT PEDAL!).
I am now even more in love with the thing than when I first got it. I though it would be a bit of a ball ache making whole garments with it, especially adult ones, but I much prefer it to my modern one. Its just so easy and reliable, and I feel more in control of it - I have a tendency to speed up way too much on my Brother just do get it done quicker, unfortunately the results are rather wobbly.
Anyway, the point of this post was that it is so nice to be able to take my sewing outside to take advantage of the lovely sunshine. If only it were like this all summer!
As part of my quest to use up all my fabric and make clothes for our holiday, I made Faith a simple stirred dress. Unfortunately the only elastic thread I could find in the local shops was black and as the fabric was so light I decided to cheat a bit.
Instead of winding the thread around a bobbing (which would show through on the front of the dress, I used cotton thread to stitch 13 rows 1cm apart and just fed the elastic thread through the channels and tightened it to get the shrewd look.
I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out. Even Faith decided she likes it now that its finished (she was not impressed the two times I asked her to try it on to check the fit, in fact, she said she didn't like it and immediately disposed! Aren't kids great at knocking your confidence!)