Ride ’em cowboy! 

I have finally finished my V2960 vintage pattern and I’m ready to share. 

  
What an incredible learning curve it’s been. 

When the theme for our end of season party was announced as ‘Country and Western’ I knew immediately that I wanted to get hold of this fabric and make myself a dress. Deciding on the pattern took a bit longer. I love the 50’s look and was already in possession of the net under-skirt but I was looking for a pattern that had a hint of cowgirl. I found Vogue V2960 just about right. 

I say just about because the pattern has a button front that I’m not a fan of, so cue my first ever pattern hack. 

  
It’s been a while since I made a dress, what with moving house and life, so I really enjoyed preparing the pattern pieces, marking the stitching lines and getting everything ready. I decided to make a muslin to check fit as the fabric was quite expensive now that I’m a part time worker so I didn’t want to waste any. In actual fact the bodice hardly needed any adjustment but I was so focused on that that I failed to spot a more fundamental error that had bigger consequences later. 

  
I went ahead with the bodice, using up old scraps to make the facing. I had a bit of trouble getting the facing to fit accurately – another clue to my niggling issue that I failed to take heed of. 

Next I tackled the skirt. It was clear that the vintage 50’s pattern needed WAY more fabric than I had so, another first, I drafted my own patern pieces to make the biggest circumference I could round the bottom of the dress. I managed to get six lengths from my remaining fabric so did the maths and made a six panelled skirt that fitted the waist size of the bodice. Success. 

But this is where my earlier mistakes came back to bite me on the bum. When I tried the dress on there was a massive issue with the fit on the arm holes. It appeared I had attached the back pieces of my bodice to the wrong sides! 

After several days ignoring the problem and mulling it over I decided there was no option but to unpick the whole thing and change them round. So that’s what I did. I learnt that unpicking isn’t as awful as you expect and it actually only took one afternoon to unpick and re stitch the entire dress. 

  
I took my time hand stitching the bodice together around the shoulders and, although I’m not the worlds neatest hand stitcher, I’m pretty pleased with the finish. 

   
I traced the original issue back to an incorrect marking on my muslin, so of course the fit now needed some adjustment which I took care of when reinserting the zip. After adding a hook and eye and hemming the skirt it’s finally ready. 

   
   
It’s far from perfect but I thought I’d share for all the other intermediate sewers like me out there. I am always inspired and in awe of other sewing bloggers, but occasionally a little intimidated. 

I hope you like it. I’m certainly looking forward to wearing it later in the year. 

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Trousers!

Today I started my first proper trouser project, Burda 6873.

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I’ve had the pattern for a while and have been itching to get started on it. I bought the fabric before Christmas and I am keen to get going using my new over locker too.
I had been thinking about making a muslin of the main trousers but was tempted to dive straight in with the fashion fabric. However sense prevailed and I spent today making adjustments to the pattern for a perfect fit.

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All I need to do now is rip it all apart and get started on the main event. I have to admit a sense of trepidation as the pattern seems a little complicated on first glance. I feel I’m going to be on quite a learning curve over the next couple of weeks.

Ever Closer

Yesterday I began the process of pinning my muslin pattern to my fashion fabric. This was the first time I’ve pinned fabric as a single layer and attempted to match the pattern. Despite the fact that it took some time, I really enjoyed the process. I had a small panic about the amount of fabric that was required due to the size of the pattern and how often it it repeated on the fabric, so this is something I will need to bear in mind when buying fabric for this project again.

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Then today I have cut out the fashion fabric and marked the pattern pieces. Again, there was a certain pleasure in seeing the pattern pieces separate and pile up ready for making. I am also grateful to Father Christmas for putting a pattern marking wheel and carbon paper in my stocking. I wasn’t really sure what to do with them before now but love being able to mark the pattern onto the fabric quickly and easily.

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Hopelessly devoted to you.

I’ve been very busy, but over the past week have found a moment here or there to continue with my muslin. It’s surprising how much can get done little and often.
So, over the past 10 days I have stitched my muslin together and looked at it many times over from different angles. Happy with it on the body form, today I ventured into the dress myself (with the help of a willing husband.) There were one or two final adjustments before it was all ‘ripped at the seams’ and trimmed neatly, leaving me with a pile of new pattern pieces.
Now I’m going to break from the path of my Craftsy lesson. I am dispensing with the silk organza underlay. This if for two reasons: number one I am impatient and want together on with using my fashion fabric (that sentence will probably come back and haunt me at some point) and, two, I’m using a light weight cotton fabric so want to minimise the bulk.
I’m hoping that tomorrow I get time to start working with the fashion fabric. I have it out on the ironing board waiting and am eager to get started. This fabric was a gift from a friend so I hope I can do her justice.

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