May is a great month for dress making: the weather is getting warmer without the endless need for coats, cardigans and boots (although they are still close by, just in case) and it is Me Made May month. This is Zoe's- 'So Zo What Do you Know?' wonderful initiative and is a chance to be inspired by a whole range of clothes' sewers from beginners to highly skilled. Follow the hash tags #mmmay14 #memademay14 on Instagram and Twitter and look out on blogs.
I have been dress making for the last week and I am nearly finished. Oakshott Fabrics have released a new fabric range- 'Calluna Herringbones' two tone shot cottons which are lightweight but a little heavier than the usual Colourshott, Lipari and Impressions. I am using Calluna 01. The fabric is incredible soft with a matt finish rather than shimmery and each side is a different tone which gives great contrast potential. It is particularly nice to use for clothing and I am making a Pauline Alice pattern, the Cami dress to showcase the drape and the contrast possibilities. I have been sharing my progress on Instagram. the dress has been sewed on my Singer Featherweight as the Janome is having a service. I haven't made a full garment on the Featherweight before and I am loving the experience. It is a very responsive and intimate machine and the stitching is beautiful.Next on my list is something from a new pattern book, 'Grains de Couture' by Ivanne Soufflet. I found this rather randomly and follow Ivanne's blog and its inspiring visuals- French dressmaking seems to have such wonderful attention to details, and a lot of Liberty lawn too! The book is lavish, beautiful presentation and all in French so it is a rather challenging puzzle. It is a large hardback book with enormous pictures. Each garment has variations and there is a detailed 'how to' section at the back which each pattern refers too for the essential garment processes.
There are men's garments too and I may be tempted by them but my real motivation is the women's wear. I would like to make a coat for Me Made May and the trench (top right) is my plan. Here is my pledge- it also references my Gertie slip plans which are waiting for the return of the Janome and its zig zag stitch.
Although dressmaking was my first real love in sewing, I feel more a part of the quilting community than the dressmaking one but Me Made May is an especially welcoming experience. Online, dressmaking can sometimes feel like a rather young sewer's experience and I can only imagine my 20 something self producing dress after dress and loving the endless information and help online. Now as a 40 something, I have the same feelings but my occasions for dresses are fewer and the reality of a day job wearing a company t-shirt and jazz pants for many hours each week do rather take over and I sew more separates as I know that is what I wear the most. I am suckered in by dress patterns though and I am guessing there may be another dress made along with the coat, slip and some knicks- ambitious plans as usual. I have a rather elastic attitude towards time and what I think I can achieve in it. If you haven't taken part before, step on with a gentle pledge and enjoy the ride.