Monday, 23 April 2012

Dressy Designs

Sooooo, I spent today at my Grandma Witch’s learning how to make a dress.
First off, my Grandma isn’t really a witch, well not a bad one anyway.  It’s merely a rumour started when we were little (by my dad I think) and it has stuck.  She does play up to it though – she has a broomstick and a cauldron, and seems to get a spot on her nose every Halloween, that she tells the kids is her Halloween wart.
Anyway, in her previous life, before she was my Grandma, and before she was a nurse (which was her true calling – she’s certainly evil enough, in a good way), she was a seamstress.  This means that if we need anything making or altering, we take it to her.  She’s been looking for someone to take over from her, as I think after so many years doing all our alterations for us, she’s getting a bit fed up, although as she admitted today, she never thought her heir would be me!  She thought it would be one of my sisters as one is really domesticated and the other applied (and got in) to fashion college, before she decided to work for a bank and then go in the Army.
Soooooo, when I decided to get a bit crafty and that I was fed up of never being able to find clothes to fit me due to my total disproportionateness (yes I know its not a real word), I decided to go bug my Grandma to teach me how to make dresses. 
We spent a couple of hours a few weekends ago digging out all her old patterns, and found a few that I like.  Admittedly, there were some delightful patterns in there, but also some dresses that I really liked.  Then off I toddled to the market to get some pretty fabric to make my dress.  It is a dark ivory fabric with little green hearts on facing both up and down.

Today, I had a rare day off and decided I would spend it at my Grandma’s.  As my darling fiancé had taken the car to work, I jumped on the bus with my little sewing box and fabric under my arm, and took myself off to my Grandmas. 
After having the obligatory cup of coffee and being fed (I swear, we are like the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – whenever anything happens, we feed everyone.  Not even a quick visit to any family member can pass without being fed at least once) we proceeded to choose the easiest pattern Grandma had in her little stash.  This was a simple 70s style dress, with a square neck and empire line bodice.  As Grandma pointed out, it would only need a few pieces of fabric cutting out, and therefore only a few sewing together.
She taught me how to line up the pattern on the fabric, with folds in the fabric in the right place.  She measured me to make sure it would be big enough and then we cut out the fabric.  We panicked a little, thinking we wouldn’t have enough fabric, despite the fact that I (mistakenly) thought that I had bought way too much.  Anyway, on measuring the length of the skirt in the pattern and then the length it would have to be on me, we found that we could shorten it by a good 5 inches, and that was the panic over.  We cut out the fabric, and then decided to have lunch.
After lunch, we pinned and tacked the dress together and I tried it on.  Alterations were needed to the arm holes and style of the sleeves.  Darts were also needed in the bust area.  Grandma quickly showed me how to make these alterations, and then showed me how to make interfaces.  Up until today, I didn’t have a clue what interfaces were, so I feel that I have learnt many knew things today.
We’ve left it at that for today, as it was getting a bit late, my Grandma was getting tired and my mother was coming to collect me to take me shopping for dresses for my sister’s passing out parade this week.  So, we have made a date for a week on Sunday to finish it off.  I’ll let you know how it goes . . . . .
Happy crafting!

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