General ramblings

Love at First Stitch-Make #1

I made a scarf!
From my new book.


You know, the one that’s going to turn me into a dressmaking whiz, and enable me to make all my own clothes ๐Ÿ™‚

Iย don’t really wear scarves, but I wanted to work my way through the book properly, and not skip bits.

I am really, really trying, to be a neater sewer.
I am more than a little slap-dash, and I am slowly coming to realise, that with sewing, this is not the best approach.
I am trying my hardest to be careful and methodical, but I am always rushing to get to the end, as I want to see what it looks like, and then it looks a bit rubbish, because I’ve rushed it.
I have heard people talk about not being able to sew in a straight line before-my big issue seems to be marking and cutting in a straight line. Who knew this was so hard?
I can cut two bits of fabric from the same pattern piece, and they will be different shapes/sizes-how is that even possible?

Anyway, this is what I was aiming for:


And this is what I ended up with:

Tilly skirt3

You can barely notice a difference can you?!

One issue I had was finding some fabric I liked.
I have a pretty impressive fabric stash, but somehow never the right type/colour/pattern combo that I want/need.
I ended up cutting up this skirt that I attempted to make last Summer, and that ended up being too big (you see, rushing again!)

You are all going to shout at me for not ironing this first...

You are all going to shout at me for not ironing this first…

But then I had a piece of fabric that was round, with a circular pattern, that I wanted to cut a straight piece of fabric from. And I was supposed to fold the fabric and cut the pattern on the fold so that I ended up with one long piece, but t was hard to find a piece that I could fold, and still fit my pattern piece onto.
Crikey, using pre-loved fabric does seem to make dressmaking more complicated!

Anyone got any top tips for shopping for second-hand/vintage fabric, and then for using it?


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  • Reply #mmaw2015-My First Make! | My Make Do and Mend Year February 14, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    […] in complexity as you work through the book. I made the very 1st project-a simple headscarf- a while back, and project number 2 was these drawstring PJ trousers (Margot Pyjamas). I procrastinated, and […]

  • Reply potentiallylisa July 12, 2014 at 7:52 am

    You’re not on your own .I am looking into adult learning courses to learn how to sew.After watching the show ‘This old Thing’ ,I’ve been inspired to rethink my wardrobe.How fun to be able to use old fabric or refashion something .Good luck with further projects .x l

    • Reply Jen July 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

      I’m loving This Old Thing-so pleased to hear that it is inspiring people to rethink their clothes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply ladyclarington July 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    That’s a fantastic scarf! I must find a pattern to make some myself – my fringe spends more time in the way than it does looking all graceful and girly especially when I’m out in the garden and buying a scarf just to use when digging up onions seems a little extravagant. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Jen July 13, 2014 at 11:05 am

      It’s basically just a rectangle of fabric-you could do it without a pattern! Or just hem a square and do the whole headscarf thing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply thehomemaderoad July 11, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for this. I always assume that everyone else is completely comfortable sewing – so it’s good to know that we’re all just having a go and trying to learn more!

    • Reply Jen July 11, 2014 at 9:38 am

      I am definitely just muddling along..! Come and join me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply tiasmum12 July 10, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    No tips I’m afraid, but what a awesome looking book! I need that in my life, I’m a very very new sewer and need some ideas/patterns. This looks great, would you recommend it?

    • Reply Jen July 11, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I would-it’s very clear, and talks you through everything step by step, as you are doing it-really helpful!

  • Reply mommyemu July 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Your scarf looks great

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Thankyou lovely!

  • Reply lovinglymadeltd July 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I have to say that reading your piece, I laughed as it was me all over. Wanting to finish before I started. But I loved your scarf and will be showing our Fabric Friday girls just how easy peasy it is to make

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Trixie! Glad it’s not just me who is like that..!

  • Reply julie July 10, 2014 at 8:50 am

    lovely scarf ,well done I haven’t actually sewn anything for myself yet but have made waist coat for one of my sons and make most of my daughters clothes she is 3 so still small items I have just finished making her an Elsa from frozen dress out of an old prom dress , I can be a bit slap dash with what I cut up for fabric but it always turns out just fine. cant wait to see what else you make so much fun.

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Thanks Julie-Forzen dress sounds very ambitious ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply lindaswildlifegarden July 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Lovely update thank you for sharing have a blessed day my bobbin case has turn up so may be I might get the confidence to try and use it now

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Yay! Do have a try Linda ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply accordion3 July 10, 2014 at 8:14 am

    First resort is the bedding in op shops. Sheets & quilt covers often make lovely dress fabrics. Then hit the blankets for coating and cape fabrics. LAST resort is clothing that is way too big & can be altered as mentioned above.

    It is a learning process!

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Thankyou so much-really helpful. So glad to know other people are doing the same thing!

  • Reply Nat @ Made in Home July 10, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Great choice of fabric – it is a great scarf! I usually buy second hand fabric on ebay – either actual fabric or 70s bedding – as it gives you plenty of room. I have also been in vintage fabric swaps on Flickr but you get fat quarters rather than actual fabric.

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Great tips, thankyou! Will check out E-bay ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Hilary July 10, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I think you’ll find that serious reusers of the ‘fabric’ from thrifted garments take the garment apart wash and iron the fabrics, so that they have ‘fabric’ as opposed to something to chop at! Can’t believe you chopped in to a skirt that could have been refashioned if it’s only problem was being too big!! But hey ho! I’m sure if you ‘Take Your Time’ your skills will improve and you will have a wonderful selection of new clothes before very long.

    ps. If you think sewing is slow don’t try and knit cos that takes forever… you can’t tell which I prefer!

    • Reply Hilary July 10, 2014 at 7:47 am

      And what I should have said at the beginning was, Lovely scarf! And yes it does look just like the pattern pic! Well done.

      • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

        Thanks Hilary

    • Reply Jen July 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Oh crikey, I feel thoroughly admonished.
      In my defence-the skirt started life as a tablecloth. I tried to make it into a lined 50s circle skirt, and failed, but still wanted to use the fabric for something as it makes me smile!

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