Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Blouse started but stalled; wedding dress plans; ex-sewers

After all those blouse muslins, I reckoned I must have a perfect fit. I felt ready to start the real thing.

First,  though I practiced darts after getting a further demonstration. My tutor had commented on my poor darts previously so I wanted to find out where I was going wrong. It seemed basically that my angle at the end of the dart was too great and I needed to end exactly on the point. My tutor backstitches on darts and produces lovely darts. In the end,  I decided that leaving long threads and tying off was better for me. I practiced double ended darts, too. Some things I've read say to start in the middle and work towards both ends. My tutor starts at one end and works to the other.

My practice darts looked beautiful.

I also got a demonstration of inserting piping. I managed okay on the short samples I did but have some concerns about firstly the curves and secondly having to put buttonholes in.

I have cut out the blouse pieces. I nearly forgot to increase the cuff width to match the widened arm. I remembered to alter the facing. I haven't cut out my interfacing yet. I thought I had everything ready,  then realised that I haven't bought buttons. Mmm,  pink blouse with fuchsia piping - do I do my buttons to match blouse or piping and how about buttonholes? I don't know. Opinion?

I sewed the darts,  thought they looked lovely and so went on to sew side and shoulder seams.  I tried on and am not happy with the darts. I'm not sure if it's my sewing or the fit.

I'm currently in a hotel in the Lake District. I'm here for a few days because of a Golf championship over 4 days, 3 plus a practice day. I'm here as secretary of our county group, but not to play golf. I had always hoped to leave on Thursday morning with a view to catching the second half of my sewing group, to get some advice in the last week before the holiday week.. It's a 3 hour drive. Unfortunately, one of my friends lost her battle with leukaemia and her funeral is on Thursday afternoon. So I won't be able to get comment on my darts. I'll go ahead after I get back, though,  and hopefully get finished to enter the PR competition. It'll be very tight, though, as I hadn't fully anticipated more than a week away from sewing. I'll post photos when I've finished.

I haven't brought my sewing with me,  other than the link with the blog. I had planned to call into Linton Tweeds on Carlisle on the way here but then decided not to as I don't want to buy expensive tweeds at present and I thought I might be a bit tight for time. I decided instead to visit a fabric shop in Penrith;  I found it via Google search. The rain was torrential and my windscreen wipers weren't coping,  so I went to Penrith to shelter and for lunch. That's when I realised I should have had a sample of my fabric with me - I couldn't match buttons. The fabric shop was staffed by pleasant knowledgeable people. They had loads of quilting materials and a selection of dressmaking fabrics, a decent haberdashery and some pattern books. Upstairs, they had a selection of bridal fabrics. I found air soluble marker pens, which I haven't found elsewhere and bought some machine needles.

Last weekend my youngest daughter came up. We went bridal dress trying on. She looks good in them all. The dresses tended to be a standard size UK12 (US 8) and all were too big around the chest apart from one which wasn't wide enough across the shoulders. However, she is interested in the idea of heirlooms and tradition and would like to wear her sister's wedding dress (I would then make a more pared down dress,  but still a wedding dress,  for her to change into).  The trouble with her sister's dress is that the top is too big and it's strapless which H dislikes. We agreed I'd try to find a decent dressmaker to see if the dress is alterable  - the top needs to be made considerably smaller and straps added. I believe that a well fitting boned top would stay up and she'd manage without straps,  but we'll see. The dancing dress would be bum hugging.

Tonight at our meal, I found that one of the golfers in my group is an experienced dressmaker and she'll give me the name of a dressmaker to discuss the wedding dress with. She's also going to look through some of her patterns. She is about to alter a spare bedroom into a sewing room and start sewing again.

It's interesting, I regularly meet ex-sewers.  At bridge recently, one of my opponents was an ex-sewing teacher. I met loads of women who've done a lot in the past but no longer sew. Eyesight was an issue with some.

My daughter has a reasonable idea of the colour she wants for her two sisters' bridesmaids' dresses. I contacted a silk supplier by email to see if they could provide by Pantone colours. They responded very quickly to say no,  but they had 400 shades of silk dupion and would send me samples of what they thought might be suitable based on my info. However, today in Penrith I found some of the non-silk satins etc gorgeous and much much cheaper so it might be better to consider using them.  I'm no further with my sample outfits.

I'm going to bed now. Tomorrow I have some duties in the morning and evening but have arranged to meet an old friend who lives in this area in the afternoon. She does volunteer hospice work (she's a doctor too) and is actually working in this self same town tomorrow morning. So it's worked out well.


  1. I'm so sorry you have lost your dear friend....but she is at peace now and not suffering.
    I hope you get the buttons sorted, honestly I haven't a clue which colour you should have......if you want to make a statement I suppose the magenta and if not then to match the fabric...you'll know when you see them in reality.
    All the best - trust the weather behaves....and Rory missed his cut this weekend...wow.....!! Have you ever played at Royal County Down? I'm not a golfer at all but it is in a stunning location.
    Bye for now.

    1. Thank you. Another friend died on Friday there, so another funeral. I need to make something appropriate; I realised this when I attended my first funeral in a long time and now I seem to be attending regularly. These friends are mainly a lot older; two acquaintances one my age and the other younger are terminally ill.
      I've bought some buttons for the blouse and hope to restart sewing it this weekend. I'm going to alter the darts as I'm not happy with the fit.
      I've never played Royal Country Down - maybe one day! I played yesterday. It was a beautiful day, good company.


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