Sunday, September 16, 2012

More sewing (but for a good cause)

I think I have an addiction. Actually, I know I have an addiction ... and it is sewing. Pretty obvious from the posts here that it is taking over my life. It's not a problem at the moment because I have quite a lot of spare time until TFA starts. Even though money is tight I have such a large stash already to sew and I have discovered a few awesome op shops that sell fantastic fabrics at even more fantastic prices (1 metre square of new, non-pilly, thick blue broderie anglaise for 20 cent! 20 CENTS!!!!!!!)

I also have many cottons leftover from Mum's collection that needed using up. All I required was a cause - because people only need so many aprons and bags and other goodies. Mum loved her apron by the way - and I can finally release the pics of it:

Patchwork one side, and brocade on the other.

So what next??? ... Bring on the shorts, skirts, so many many skirts, and Dress a Girl around the World.

Shorts - not my strength

I made myself a pair of shorts. I believe the term used is 'camel toe'. So while they are super comfy, they will be simply house shorts for the moment. The material was lovely, part of the first op shop find so only a dollar or two slightly wasted.

Then I made the lovely other half a pair of shorts. I used the blue and brown striped materialfrom the op shop pile:

  I believe the term in this case is 'Hammer Pants'. Even with a pattern made from his own pants, I guess I underestimated and overestimated his actual dimensions and then ended up with a short-crotched, overly-gathered mess. But with a crotch lengthening they've been happily included in his 'around the house' wardrobe. Awwww, he is so lovely. Again only a couple of dollars of op shop material, so not a big waste, and they are supposed to be very comfortable.


First off I finally defeated that pattern, the pattern of doom, the pattern I had twice pulled out of its wrapping, made a confused face at the 'instructions' and promptly repackaged and placed back in the drawer. Once I used the old grey matter (and translated the instructions in Prueish) I made not one, not two, not three, but 4 versions of this skirt! Three were for me. The first was a green tartan practice version to get sizing (this material was more amenably priced than muslin.) I don't have a picture of the skirt, but look at the green tartan in the previous picture of op shop materials, and imagine it in a longer version of the other skirts.

The second was a wonderful purple number, which was a bit shorter and looks better on me than in the picture.

The third was op shop material in a black, grey and white swirly pattern. It has a little stretch to it. This is a terrible photo as it is folded over on one side, but it is the only one I have and it shows the material well.

This blue version is for a much skinnier friend - which means I need to work out how to put a zip in (the skirts in my size put over my large backside scarily easily, though never seem to fall down.) I'll get mum to show me when I next visit Adelaide because my sewing machine instructions for zips were the only thing more confusing than the pattern instructions (yes I have a PhD so I'm not entirely daft, sewing pattern instructions are simply gibberish.)

 I have some amazing medieval lady fabric that is too small to make me yet another version, so I have plans to use this skirt pattern to make it for a dear friend who helped me work out how to weight them hems properly. You see as comfortable as these skirts are, and they really are comfortable, and as amazingly flattering as they are on my oddball (emphasis on the ball) shape, they weren't perfect. None of the materials used had enough weight to stay down in the breeze, and more annoyingly, the static or just the material itself keeps catching on my stockings and pulling the skirt up. I am not keen on flashing Melbourne on a daily basis so I needed a solution. The lovely friend suggested 20 cent coins as weights, so I'm going to give it a try

(* I should note here that my lovely other half had already suggested weights, and he was certainly right, it was simply this friend who suggested the kind of weights to use. Although if he wished to be made a skirt to say thankyou I'd definitely oblige.)


In the last post I showed you little pillowcase dresses I have made for friends and others. Given most of my friends either don't have or want kids, or only have boys, I quickly ran out of people to sew for. And goodness know little girls don't want that many Prue-made dresses in their collection (though I am very heartened that the dress I made for a uni friend's daughter was much loved, and even though it was a little too big she wore it all night when she first recieved it!)

But I still had to scratch the dress sewing itch. And I wasn't up to making me any yet (If you saw my shape, and the troubles my amazing sewer of a mother had in fitting me you'd understand that it involves an everest sized leap in skills.) So I just kept sewing, and sewing and sewing these little pillowcase dresses. I made patchwork ones, ones out of the 20 cent material, the amazing 50 cent thick cotton paisley material, from ribbons and lace and anything I had in the stash. But I wasn't without purpose because I had stumbled upon a cause, a worthy cause. One which I will contiune to sew towards - Dress a Girl (around the world) Australia. Here is the local webpage.

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my first batch to send off tomorrow. But I'd suggest if you have time to sew, sew a few dresses for this great cause (yes its a bit gendered, yes there is post-colonial issues written all over it, but I don't care, I think it is a wonderful cause regardless and will donate and donate again.) If you can't sew then you can donate to it too (fabric, pillowcases, money for postage.)

Once the dresses are sent, I'll post about them in more detail. Until then, enjoy this little dress, which I won't be donating to Dress a Girl but gives an idea of the kinds of dresses I've been sewing. If you can't work out why I am not donating it then look at the Victorian era children playing in the centre panel and refer to earlier comments on post colonlial issues.

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