Sunday, 25 January 2009

Everywhere the Carnabetian Army marches on...

Well, encouraged by the lovely Isabelle on our trip to Glodhawk* Road with the also lovely Melissa, I have decided to start blogging my sewing type goings on.

So, first a wee disclaimer. I have only ever actually sewn four or five garments, as I was just starting out when I went into massive venlafaxine-enhanced/induced fibroflare and couldn't even find the energy to wash up, much less do sewing (not least because the couple of projects I did get halfway through last year kind of ended up in Stuff Soup, aka the very muddled contents of my flat, which were bagged up fairly randomly but extremely efficiently during the speed cleaning provided by the dratted social services who wouldn't have had to pay for such a thing if they had in fact given me the ongoing help I should have been receiving all last year. But I digress**.)

The things I have made are:

+ a lovely slightly A-line skirt made from beautiful but probably unwise quilting fabric with an all over intensely red rose pattern, with silk organza underlining and french seams. I don't do things by halves, me.

+ a satin frock with half-circle skirt and matching princess-line cape thingy for DD's school dress-up day last spring. She got a mention in the newsletter as having the best homemade costume in her class. I suspect it was the only homemade costume in her class, but I was pleased. It had green bias binding on the hem, and little ribbon flowers sewn around the bottom of the skirt with little green thread 'stems'.

+ a very quick and cheerful dress made from ready-shirred (elasticated 'smocking') blue fabric with floral print, with ribbon hastily hand stitched on as straps and a very dodgy hem. Oh, this was also for DD - I am 30 and busty, shirred frocks are hardly a good Look for me...

+ a super quick holiday dress for me, made by folding a 2m piece of some lovely patterned cotton in half, cutting a hole for my neck, bias binding it, cutting approximate Anwen-shape sides and seaming them, then getting in a bit of a muddle about the sleeves. It ended up sort of mildly kimono-styled, and very cute with matching fabric sash thingy, if I say so myself.

Just before I got Very Very Ill, I did a pattern cutting class which was excellent, as it was quite enlightening both to observe the differences between everyone's blocks [the class involved drafting custom 'blocks' - a basic bodice and skirt pattern according to our own measurements]. I think I have quite a good spatial imagining brain thingy, as everyone was going 'oh no, mine doesn't look anything like yours' to each other and I was the only person who seemed to grasp that this was because, well, we were all quite different shapes, and obviously my muscular arms would result in a different armhole compared to a very slender lady sitting opposite me. Anyway, this is quite handy, obviously, especially if you go round doing daft things like trying to make dresses by cutting rather random shapes out of fabric based on safety pin markings...

So, anyway. I have lots of fabric (luckily I was able to find the energy for a couple of fabric shopping journeys last year, and one yesterday!) and patterns and ideas to make up, and thankfully I am much improved since realising that the medicine was doing me Absolutely No Favours and reducing the dose drastically. So, the flat is returning to some semblance of order (those who have known me a while will fall off their chairs at that, but seriously, before I started going downhill, I did have a couple of months of having 'cracked it', tidywise, and the flat was looking spiffy), which means I can actually see enough of the floor to sit on it and cut things out etc.

Tomorrow, I am planning to make some wool-mix knitted fabric into a very simple, probably sleeveless, pull-on dress, with a silk devore (devoré?) overskirt, or possibly overdress. The plan is that the wool will be snuggly and also, you know, not seethrough, while the silk will be beautiful and swishy and floaty.

The wool will be fairly straight and knee length, while the silk will be mid-calf or so and A-line with probably some godets. My camera is borked, but if I manage to get anything actually done and wearable, I shall attempt to take photos with my mum's camera and show them at some point. I'd do the same with the skirt and dress, except a) they probably won't fit me right now and b) I have no idea where they are in the Soup...

*(there are certain words that I can't help but misspell, not for reasons of dyslexia but because it makes me giggle to myself. Glod, slat and housinge are the main ones. Slat = salt. I am either very, very sad, or highly awesome, depending on what mood my darling daughter is in...)

**I do this a lot. I also go in for horribly run-on sentences, multiple parentheses, etc. Sorry.


Isabelle said...

Anwen, I bet this dress is going to be awesome! Have fun making it today.
Thank you for letting me know about your blog.
That A-line skirt you made sounds fantastic - and yes, you are right in not doing things by halves. Your comment yesterday really struck home.

Meeting you on Saturday was lovely
(I didn't tell you BTW, but I *loved* your hair colour!)
Keep us posted on your wool dress! :)

Melissa Fehr Trade said...

ooh yay! I'm so glad you've started a blog, even though you're going to be sans-purple cane now! I hope your daughter got a Very Special Treat Indeed for being so patient on Saturday...

Anwen said...

Isabelle - thanks, I'm contemplating trying to get the dye out, as it's such a pain having really obvious roots after three weeks... My natural colour is pretty much the same as J's, and it grows quickly (though strangely it never seems to get much longer than this).

Melissa - she certainly did, Cinderella heels from the Disney store *and* a blue Cha Cha Cha dress (looks slightly more Can Can to me, but definitely has an Eartha Kitt vibe, ie it is awesome).

Have realised that tomorrow is the better choice for dress, as I have to wait in all day for veg box delivery, and J is staying at my mum's, so I will be indoors all day. Am still not quite sure whether to make the silk into a dress or have it as a skirt thingy attached to the wool underneath layer, and then I can wear tops over it.