Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Mourning and a New Look

Well Happy New Year to you all (can I still get away with that.........well, my blog, my rules, so I guess so :-D )

My planned forays into sewing were severely curtailed last beloved Janome MC9000 died.  I loved that machine.  It was bought with an inheritance from my grandmother and was a good solid machine of many talents, many which did, in truth, remain unexplored.  However, she dealt with whatever I threw at her without shudder or skipped stitch.......until last year.  I was making a dress for my daughter when she seized up and refused to move.  Luckily Miss Frillymingoe has her own little machine (a basic Janome) so I was able to finish the dress.  I put Lady Naomi (the Janome!) into the menders and luckily it was just a mechanical fault, and she had obviously been poorly for a while as she was positively purring when she came home.  However, a couple of months later I switched her off at night and the next day found her touch screen had gone.  All she would do was a straight stitch at 2.2 size.  A frantic search from Lovely Sewing Machine Man (really known as Rona Sewing Machines) did indeed prove that there were no longer any parts for her, so she has been retired.  I did have Miss Frillymingoe' machine, but it is very lightweight and doesn't have all the features I use and need so no sewing.  Then unexpectedly, I was gifted 2 machines from 2 different sources - an overlocker (the pedal of mine got lost in transit years ago in a house move) and a singer sewing machine.  Joy of Joys!  The machine is heavy, so it won't walk across the table when I rev her up and it has the main functions I require as a minimum.  This lady is back in business!

I had a little trip to Stockholm last September for a friend's Big Birthday and had decided to make a jumpsuit for it (before the demise of Lady Naomi) and found New Look 6413.  I love  multi-option patterns and this is no different - jumpsuit, dress, tunic, and 2 different sleeve options.  I had in my stash a browny-purple satin-backed crepe which I had picked up in the remnants box at Rolls and Rems in Edmonton (Note to all:  always have a look in remnants; you never know what you will find!) but alas it wasn't enough.  However, it was enough to make the dress but then got put on the back burner because of the demise of  Lady Naomi.

I had a bit of spare time over Christmas and decided to start tackling my stash and the New Look 6413 dress was calling me.  As it is a baggy style, I decided not to toile it and just cut my size.  Now I'm going to own up here.  I've been sewing for years......and years.......and years so you would think that my cutting out would be beyond reproach, wouldn't you?  I have no idea what happened, but I had 1 half sleeve that was longer than the others, and worse, the front facings ended up different lengths.  I have no idea what happened whether the underneath moved, it wasn't smoothed out properly or it stretched before I stay stitched it (the facing) but there it is - errors galore.  Mind, it meant my friend who is reasonably new to sewing felt mightily gladdened that it wasn't just rookies that end up with daft mistakes.

The pattern calls for an invisible zip, but I decided to funk it up a bit and make it an exposed zip, not that the dress needs a zip at all.  Then came the problem with the facing; one side fitted perfectly well but the other was short and did not reach where it needed to along the centre front.  Whilst wondering what to do, I remembered the wise words of my tutor from years ago advising to make a design feature of any mistakes so I decided to bind the facing edges in a funky cotton bias binding; a secret pop of colour!

Not my finest work, but it serves a purpose and only I (ok, we) know about it!

The waistline is elasticated (I don't normally do elasticated) and I really wasn't sure about the dress when I tried it on to do the elastic; it felt too baggy and shapeless but as I needed it for a night out, I just decided to go with it.  Having finished it and worn it, I have to say that I love it!  It's very comfortable to wear, not at all baggy or shapeless, with some cute side pockets (I love a pocket or two!) and feels quite chic - effortless chic, that's me! There are a few niggles, eg the front neckline could perhaps do with a smidge taking out of it and I'm not entirely happy with the elasticated waistline; it feels bulky but I guess these are things that only I notice in my full-on critical being!  But I will definitely wear it again and I will make it again, in the jumpsuit version.  It's very easy to long as you don't make silly mistakes!!

Scuse the semi-ferocious face and walking pose.  I was heading towards Miss Frillymingoe to sort out, I mean help her in taking the photo......and this was the best of bad (and rushed) bunch, just as I was heading out to meet the girls!

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