It all started when I thought Trevor should get new handkerchiefs, big ones, since his old ones are getting tattered. But then looking through the shops, there weren’t any large handkerchiefs, but only tiny totally useless ones. How odd!
So we went to the fabrics shop and I got a meter of cheap printed fabric. It was about PhP49/meter (just a little over US1.00), a fabric cut to about 60 inches in width. I wasn’t sure what kind of fabric it was, but it had a nice print (that bled quite a bit when I washed it). So I cut this fabric into 4 square pieces and sewed the edges by hand. I took a few days and I thought it was fun and relaxing.
3 pieces of cloth, the brown one I made into four large handkerchiefs for Trevor.
Because of that, I wanted to sew some more. We went back to the fabrics shop and I got two pieces of cloth, probably printed polyester, quite sheer, but lovely prints. I got one in such delicate blue and another in light and lovely yellow with gold patches. These were more expensive, about PhP89/meter (US$2+) and cut to 80 inches width. I got two meters of each, more than enough to make a dress in my size.
I got these cloths to make garments…
After I got the cloths, I looked through my textbooks on sewing patterns. I have no training in sewing or pattern-making at all so I can only barely understand these drawings but I thought that looking through the various sewing patterns could help me figure out a simple design to start with.
A sewing pattern for camisole dress.
I thought that the shape and design of a camisole dress, like this one (above) would be perfect. I actually have an old silk printed dress, bought from a second-hand shop, that is just like this pattern, but without the low waist ribbon.
I also had a look at two new dresses that I bought recently, not very expensive, these two amount to about US$8. I wondered if I could sew a dress like these by hand. Part of my goal was to learn to sew by hand and learn to do it better, to make my own clothes.
Two dresses and a hat!
These dresses are quite simple but not simple enough for beginners like me. I think I will try these on my second project. For now, it will be a simple camisole dress.
So, I drew out the pattern on the fabric, using that silk printed dress from the second-hand shop. The pattern consisted of two sides – front and back, with the front neckline a bit lower than the back. The hard part here was actually cutting the cloth with a margin for sewing along the hand-drawn lines.
The finished dress!
After cutting, I started sewing the edges of the cloth. It was repetitive work but I loved it. When the two sides were done, I sewed them together along the sides. After that was the straps which I made by sewing a strip and then turning it inside out.
After a few days, I finished the dress. It is very sheer, so this will need to be worn with a lining (yet another skill to learn! sewing a lining) or – my solution for now – wear a white slip under.
I still have enough large piece of the cloth to make another dress! So now I know that a meter is enough. The two smaller pieces cut from the dress were useful too. I used those to make a skirt. Just a simple skirt consisting of two sides – front and back – sewn together, slightly flared, and with a garter waist.
The hard part was sewing the hem. I made tiny hem stitches all along the edge of the cloth with only a very narrow fold. I wanted the hem to wave through the tight stitches but that didn’t work out. I have a skirt that does this but the hem was machine-sewn of course. Also, the skirt I have was made of very soft fabric which somehow draped beautifully and then the reinforced/stitched hem turned into these gentle waves.
The finished skirt!
Here is a photo of the skirt where you can see how sheer it is! I love the fabric so much but this will definitely – of course! – require a slip. I wanted to sew a lining but I got intimidated. Maybe next time.
The fabric is really quite sheer – will need a slip or make a lining for this!
So there – lots of sewing and not much crocheting (and lots of poetry writing too). Since all the distractions from the earthquake and typhoon, I don’t feel like crocheting much. Before the earthquake I was planning on designing crocheted lingerie but now I just can’t seem to pick up on that again.
Well, perhaps, I will just have to do other productive things and let the momentum return in its own time.