Sewing block and a dress made from grandma’s old curtains

It’s been a long time since my last update, due to a sewing block among other things.

I’m always struggling to decide what to sew next – which fabric combined with which pattern and so on. In addition I try to figure out which patterns would actually result in a flattering and wearable garment. Procrastination is a way of life, although not the most effective one.

Sometimes I take a chance, and sometimes I make a muslin. As a compromise I also make garments using cheap or leftover fabrics which could still be wearable when the garment is finished, provided that they fit. That way I haven’t “wasted time” doing a muslin which I won’t wear.

This is what I did this time around. During the clean-out at my parent’s attic I came across grandma’s old velvet curtains, and decided to take them with me and wash them in order to use them for some sewing project or other.

The pattern was the BurdaStyle sheath dress from September this year. I was very uncertain about the fit. I lengthened the sleeves a bit, and decided to do a lapped zipper just for the practice (the full guide with background, pattern and tutorial at Fashion Incubator can be found here, here, here and here).

It was fun to do a proper lapped zipper in the back, and I love the feel of the velvet fabric. Working with velvet, however, was just as demanding as I remembered, with dust everywhere.

The dress could have been a better fit. On my body, it’s a bit like an old sack hanging there. But a comfortable sack by all means, lovely to wear around the house. Not a great pattern for my body, and that’s fine. I’ll just find someone who would look better wearing this than I did, as I honestly don’t think it would benefit much from addition of more darts – it would disturb the clean look of it in my opinion. I think on me it would be great as a maternity dress, but I’m not planning to have kids. I’m pleased with my first attempt on a lapped zipper, though.

I really love dresses though, and I’ve come to terms with doing a more complex construction (such as princess seams) to get a dress that I’m happy with. Preferably something I can feel just as great wearing as I did in my wedding dress.

I’m also in need of a new winter coat. I found some other old curtains during the attic clean-out, which I think will work as a muslin or possibly finished coat when I test the pattern I’ve decided to use.

In addition I’m looking into Sewing With Knits, a craftsy course by Meg McElwee of Sew Liberated. As a knits virgin, I hope to get the hang of it sometime in the future, once I’ve got all the supplies I need. After watching all the class videoes, I can only recommend it – I think Meg McElwee is a great teacher, and the basic patterns provided in the course material seems to be great for endless variations.

And of course Christmas is approaching. I’ve already prepared some christmassy pieces (they’ll get their presentation next time), and hope to make most of my presents this year in order to do something with a personalized touch and save money, which unfortunately do not grow on the trees where I live.

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