Monday, March 21, 2011


So today I'm working on a commission, I'm turning a toy into a puppet for a client. It's very cute, but a bit fiddly. And I realise I've hit professionalism because I made the mouth and it looked ok but not perfect, so I tore it out and started again.

A younger me would have decided that it was close enough and just kept going.

The problem with puppet mouths is that a) everything revolves around them and b) they're really the start of the project, so if you have to start again, you have to start ALL over again. But the new mouth is much better, so I'm off and running again.

The other interesting piece of news is I'm embarking on dress making. Although I can whip out a toy, puppet or sculpture with the best of them, I have to admit that I've never made a piece of clothing from a pattern in my life. During uni I met a fashion designer by the name of Scott Cameron and he's been making anything I need since then. Which is great, and he's an awesome designer, but right now he's super busy. You see, my sister's getting married and she asked me to be a bridesmaid, which is awesome, but one of the first duties of being a bridesmaid is to get a dress. Bec, my sister, has asked Scott for his help (that's all I can say about that) but since he's so busy at the moment, he only had time to help one person. Because Bec is the bride and I'm only a bridesmaid, Scott is helping Bec and I had to seek alternative routes of dress getting. I went into a bunch of vintage stores but couldn't find anything in the right colour, size and material. So I contacted another dress maker I know, but she's currently working on Mary Poppins and doesn't have time to take other clients.

So I decided that this was all a sign that I should make my own dress. Something simple but pretty that would suit me.

We went into a material store the other day and found a pattern I liked, that looks pretty and will be flattering and looks sorta vintage but at the same time is SIMPLE. I figured that simple was a good place to start this whole making-my-own-clothes adventure.

It's taken me ages to find the material though. Bec wanted the bridesmaids in powder blue. She thought that would be a simple colour to find, but she was... well, wrong. I've been searching all the material stores I can find for weeks now and I've FINALLY found some beautiful material in a white and blue pattern but I had to go to the quilting section to find it! But now I have 5 metres of beautiful cotton printed material folded on the back of my chair and I'm all ready to go. Except I wanted some lace for the sleeves which I haven't bought yet, nor the zip.

And I think, since I've never made a dress before, that I should probably make a practise one first, before I use my hard searched for perfect material.

Sewing from patterns seems to me to be like baking. Cooking, and sewing like I sew, is just belting things together to make pretty. Sewing from patterns is like baking, that stuff has to be precisely measured or everything will go to wrack and ruin.

I just need to keep reminding myself to do it properly and not just be the bull at the gate my mother always said I was!

And somehow, that ties in with the start of this post! Amazing!


jellibat said...

yes definitely make a muslin first. then you can see if it fits right then make any adjustments needed on the pattern, before cutting the lovely new material (i always fear cutting nice material the first time:)

im gathering some patterns at the moment and thinking i should start sewing some again, so i can get what i like

Sayraphim said...

I was going through my stash the other day and found an old white sheet that's about the same thickness as the proper material, so I'm going to make the practise one out of that.

You'd be a whizz at sewing patterns, surely?