Whys and Wherefores

The primary purpose of a blog for me, listening to the cries of ‘blogging is dead – let’s move onto Instagram and ever newer means of insta-communication” is to record: my thoughts, my experiences and my ideas; to communicate with a larger world than I have ever experienced and to find others of my generation (not exclusively by any means) who have only ever sewn in solitude.

As I progress deeper into my sewing life, I started when I was 18, some 52 years ago, a lot of needles have been broken and seams ripped. I came back to sewing in 2015 after a lengthy hiatus, to find a totally different world. Technology, whilst it has it’s demons, has huge benefits for all of us who create, not least as a learning tool, but particularly for me as a shopping tool and a diary tool.

So I shall start. I have a 3 year backlog of things to talk about, so I will begin at the end, the point I am at now, and slip in things I made earlier. Some of these you may have seen on my Instagram accounts. Others not.

I recently discovered The Sewing Workshop patterns. They have a style which accommodates my middle age spread, which continues to spread into old age (I like wine and food too much – and my hobbies don’t allow that much time for excercise.

My current favourite pattern from The Sewing Workshop is the Frankie Shirt

Frankie Shirt from The Sewing Workshop

I made a test version from some fabric bought from a stash clearance. It was £1.50 and marked on the selvedge as ‘Tebilized’, a trademark used by Tootal for a crease resistance process in the early 1970s.

I cut size L. Normally I would do a Full Bust Adjustment, but reading comments suggested it wasn’t necessary because of the lowered armholes and loose bodice. I cut the back and under-sleeve sections with a 90° grain line to accentuate the style lines, and lowered the back neck by 1cm, which is a common alteration for me, but in wear I didn’t need it so on the final garment I reverted to the original.

On the final garment I altered the collar so the meeting point was at the centre front rather than at the edge of the front band, lengthened the sleeve 5cms, and reduced the depth of the back pleat by 50% leaving it to fall softly rather than pressing into a sharp pleat

The fabric was a gift from a friend, African Wax print in my favourite colour, purple. The pattern matching on the front took a bit of thinking about so that it would match despite the grown on front band but cutting as a single layer got the effect I wanted.

This was my first experience of sewing with wax print cotton, I washed it before cutting, it released a lot of purple dye into the water but it was still strikingly brilliant afterwards and was very easy to sew and finish.

I have some more in my stash and am busily planning what to make with it. Watch this space!