August 15, 2014

Working on it...

Has this ever happened to you? 
You think up a project which seems like a bit of fun, nothing too complicated. However, when you get started it increases in complexity, growing and growing until it has taken over all of your day and every available surface in your house...

In fact, it happens to me fairly regularly. I suppose it comes with pattern making. I pick my next project based on an idea in my head and/or a quick sketch rather and then start with my slopers and some blank paper. I start drafting once I have thought the thing out but that doesn't mean I've calculated whether or not it's worth all the steps needed.
On the up side, I usually start thinking of construction and pattern at the same time, so I rarely get surprised while sewing.

Today was one of those days. I had been thinking for a while about what to do with a particular piece of fabric from my stash. Cotton jersey, in a sort of warm brown which looks really good on me. Sounds like a great fabric, doesn't it? Well, it is also a bit thin and hardly stretchy. I made a top from this stuff last year. I've worn it a lot but I always think it would have been better if the fabric were just a bit softer or had a bit more give.
So, I knew I had to deal with those issues when making something from the rest of the fabric. And that made it attractive to think up one slightly more involved and fabric-consuming item rather than several tops.

So, I was thinking dresses. These three were the latest considerations. I started with the bottom two: One with a twist at the waist and a fairly common design with gathers. I wasn't particular keen on either one though. I knew gathers were ideal for this fabric but I wanted something a little more original. Which is why I came up with the third design. Which is what I started drafting today. 

It's not that it's particularly difficult design. It's just asymmetrical and has a lot of gathers. Which means a lot of tracing. And I wanted the back to be interesting too. And the seams to match up at the sides and run smoothly where they join and, if possible, to eliminate some now irrelevant usual seams (like side seams and shoulder seams...)

So, this all started on the table in my sewing room but as soon as I came to slashing and spreading pattern pieces for the gathered bits, I ran out of space there. 

Which is when I moved the work to the floor of the living room. Making large, odd looking pattern pieces. When I was done with the bodice pieces, I seriously doubted I would be able to cut this whole thing out of my fabric.

So, I tried it out. Fortunately, all was fine. I guess I'm just so used to seeing my paper pattern pieces as half of what I need to cut in fabric... 
So, I went on to draft the skirt pieces and the sleeves (without gathers!) and I cut the fabric. And then it was high time to start cooking...

Tomorrow, I still have (inter)lining pieces to cut and I want to create a kind of piping between the gathered sections. And not a lot of time.
I guess it's one of those projects... 


  1. It's fascinating to see your process and I'm really interested to see how it progresses!

  2. Your sketch looks lovely, and I can't wait to see how your dress turns out. Yes, most of my projects do seem to grow bigger, but for me it's time rather than space!