The finished Colette Crepe

Do you see that? For the first time ever in my entire life, I have finished sewing a dress for myself. This is the Colette Crepe dress and the fabric comes from two rather thin but lovely sheets from the Salvation Army op shop right here in Wetville. I highly recommend sheets for sewing this frock given it uses almost five metres of fabric. It was a bit cold for wearing in summer mode this morning, so there is a t shirt and leggings underneath.

The dress is quite wearable but not quite the right fit. What I really want is to make a dress that I can wear to work. I had cut a size 16 straight from the packet after much umming, ahhing and endless reading of blog reports by other people who have sewed this dress. Actually, if I had listened to many of them, I would have downsized, but I fear the dress too small more than the dress too large. It is a little big all over but the wrap function hides that effectively. The front darts are strange. They are so long that they completely cover the bust apex and there is a baggy piece about five centimetres north of my actual bust apex which is presumably where my boobs lived in my extreme youth. So today I got out my tracing paper and traced off the front bodice piece. I've cut a 14 with much shortened horizontal and vertical darts. I've resisted the temptation to lower the horizontal dart as some blogger sewists reported that this mucked up the armhole sizing. I have also lowered the neckline by 4 centimtres. That still creates a modest neckline by my calculations. Now I am eyeing up my other sheets (all single sheets with only one of each pattern) to make another dress. Five metres' worth of complementary fabric is a lot to find.

This sheet is my favourite, but it is going to be hard to find something to match it for the skirt part.
No go. I think the dress is too curvy for the geometric sheet, and the other green is too thin.
Impossible to match. A bit on the large side print-wise.These aren't sheets but some lovely gifted linen/cotton mix fabric (thank you Susan!). I have enough for the skirt part with these two together, but I think white linen/cotton for the top is the only matching option and the combo would create something pretty but very easily creased and probably not as figure accommodating/flattering as I would prefer. I think I will turn this into a skirt later on instead. Probably Simplicity 2451 which I already own, but it would need lining, which is a skill I've not yet got to...

While I was wearing my dress and gearing up for making a new, changed Colette Crepe, I began making Brighid a dress - Simplicity 2989. Also from a sheet. Two pink patterned sheets, with a contrasting pattern on the bib part. I think the pink patterned sheet fabric looks great on kids. Not so on me. I've stopped sewing for today though. When I realised I had sewn the wrong sides together for Brighid's dress, I took that as time to stop. Today I did try out cutting on the kitchen table with weights (jars of anchovies actually) instead of pinning the pattern to the fabric and cutting on the lounge floor. Much much speedier and easier on my back.

That's it. There is garden news, but that can wait for another post. Just as well I'm upskilling on making clothes out of sheets. Now that flour bags are made of paper instead of fabric, we'll have to sew clothes out of something else once the economy falls apart completely. The Guardian Weekly arrived today and I'm bewildered as to how the US, which almost defaulted not many days ago, can flood the market with its dollars to avert a crisis if Greece defaults. How does the US have those dollars if they almost couldn't pay their social security and wages obligations last month?

I'm off to bed now with The Colour of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe. I haven't left the house at all today, and neither have FH or the children. It has been wonderful.


Ruth said…
Congratulations on your frugal sewing, Sandra! It's definitely time to stop when you realise you're doing the wrong thing. It sounds like you'd already achieved a great deal.
Heather said…
Do you eat much rice? It's our main starch (my husband grew up in Thailand), and we buy it in 25kg cotton sacks from our local Indian grocer. The sacks are so handy for sewing (although the dyes tend to run a fair bit, so they need a good wash or two before use) - I use them for all kinds of things :-)
Sandra said…
Thanks Ruth. Heather we don't eat a lot of rice. For the most part I've shifted us back to spuds, though it is wheat rather than rice that I am trying to reduce. Thank you for the suggestion though.
Anonymous said…
Where did you get your model? You STILL have long black hair in my imagination!
Anonymous said…
oh, that was meant tor ead long black STRAIGHT hair
Sandra said…
Ah yes. The end of the illusion Rachael!! I've long preferred not to put my photo on Letters from Wetville. My reasoning for doing so now is an appreciation for the wonderful women of all sizes (and particularly larger sizes who HAVE posted pics of themselves in their sewing creations and how very much that has helped my own sewing. Also, you cannot capture the shape of a wrap dress on a hanger at all.

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