... that is, a new dress from old fabric. Only, I have no idea how old the fabric is because I got it at the Salvation Army store. (I do know that it has spent about two years languishing in my fabric stash.) Of course, it wasn't sold as "fabric" - it was sold as a perfectly respectable bedsheet.
I enjoy handwork - knitting, sewing, making-it-up-as-I-go-along crafts, etc. But, it's one of those things that I push aside for when I have more time. Cranking out a pair of socks is easy - yarn and needles are nice, portable items I can tuck into my bag and take along. Toting a sewing machine along for use on my bus commute is just a little less practical. So, the sewing doesn't happen, until...
I decide that I've had enough of this pushing aside and seize the moment right then and there!
That's how I found myself camped out on the floor recently, clothing strewn around, scissors in hand, and pins in my mouth (I know, it's not a good habit, but it does keep the pins ready for use at a moment's notice!).
Here's a snapshot of the process:
- I have two (commercially-made) dresses in a style similar to what I had in mind. Each has its pro's and con's: one is a bit short, but the neck and sleevelines fit well. The other has a great length, only you have to gently ease your head through the neck opening if you don't want to get stuck. I carefully positioned the two dresses on top of each other to get a better understanding of their outlines.
- After my outline study, I smoothed the dress with the better overall fit out onto a piece of paper. With a pencil, I started tracing and sketching a pattern, making adjustments here and there.
- I cut out my pattern, making seam allowances, and jotting some notes to myself.
- It was time to "measure twice, cut once." I lay the pattern onto the
- Because the material appeared a bit translucent, I took the precaution of cutting a second "front" to double up the fabric through the front bodice section.
- It was time to sew! I pinned my various pieces together, and began stitching them up in whatever order seemed right at the time. Yes, I did have to rip a few seams back out.
- A dressmaker's dummy would have been helpful, but you work with what you've got, and if it's just yourself, then the mid-construction try-ons can get interesting!
Voila! Here's the finished product. I was prepared to have to possibly send my finished product to the textile recycling bin. Happily, it turned out to be quite wearable! Cost: $1.50, if I remember correctly, plus an evening of happy-as-a-clam time bonding with my