Exorcising some (very old) sewing demons

Packing away all your stuff and then returning to look at it six years later is kind of fun. It’s like a weird Christmas, so many boxes, what could be inside? Huh, what is this?! It’s strange the things I chose to keep and packed away, a lot of things I thought I valued then which mean very little to me now. In amongst it all was a bag of old sewing projects, some unfinished, and a few I hardly remember making so if you can keep in mind most of these projects are between 6 & 10 years old, I’ll share them with you.

I definitely remember making this skirt, it’s a New Look pattern #6843, such a popular basic skirt pattern you can still buy it! I think this is probably view E in a light weight denim cotton that has a pin striping and polka dots over it. I embellished it with applique hearts in a pink cotton.

I only vaguely remember making this top, I think my brain has tucked the memory of the hideous fabric print deep down in my subconscious, thank goodness! I probably decided on the idea and wanted to use a printed jersey but having little money and relying only on Spolight this is the best I could find. It feels more like a Lycra than Jersey but who cares because nothing can save this print. It’s possible the basic shape comes from OOP Simplicity 7013 and I added ties to the sleeves and side seams to give a ruched effect.

This skirt I LOVED when I made it. It’s possibly a bit too flouncy for me to wear now. It’s from a Burda magazine, back in the days when I would get them from the library and painstakingly trace the patterns I liked in my size for later use. I’m pretty sure it’s from October 2003 and it’s Skirt 118a and had a matching jacket which I didn’t make. How cool is the denim? I’ve never seen the likes of it again but it would have been from Spotlight. It has a cross-wise stretch to it and is two sided! Perfect for this skirt where you get a glimpse of the inside of the flounce as you walk and look at those pockets! I’ve taken a photo of it inside out so you can see it a bit better. I still love this fabric and wish I had some in my stash RIGHT NOW. Do you like my neatening zig-zag to the seam edges? No overlocker for me way back then but I got by.

Scarlett isn’t designed to wear pants so if these have a weird crotch thing going on it’s not my sewing, it’s Scarlett’s lack of legs, there’s an adjustable dial located in a very unfortunate position 😉

These pants were cut from my own pattern. I bought a pair of pants from Shantons when they used to be in Cuba mall and I wore them to death and like everything that you love, by the time you realise that you should have bought an extra pair, they can’t be bought any longer. So I got out my unpicker and I remember making two pairs identical to the shop bought pair in black with back invisible zipper and zippered pockets at the thighs and shins and I must have started these as well. The originals never had hip pockets or domes so I’m quite impressed with my ingenuity. I haven’t tried them on (it’s far too cold to be whipping off the clothes for sewing) but they only need the back zipper to be completed so maybe…

Now for the big guns! Are you ready because it’s pretty sparkly!

This was my 1998 Senior College Dance dress (High School for all the Americans and Australians) It looks pretty terrible on Scarlett but my memories of it on myself (I am NOT digging out photos for you guys) are quite flattering. It has elastic at the sides to keep…things…in place 😉 This is actually the second version of this dress.

The original was made earlier in the year for a competition that was also part of a project in my 7th form Graphics and Design class. For the project it had a wavey hem and an overdress of paper clips painstakingly hand pieced by me and a little hat. My dad cut out fish and other sea creature shapes that I drew on a thin aluminium sheet. The whole outfit was mean’t to be about the sea but when I reflected on it later on I realised it looked more like a protest against drift net fishing, but I guess that’s also a worthy topic.

I have no idea what pattern I used for the main dress but it underwent heavy alteration, I think it was loaned to me and I traced it. I remember being really amazed at how easy it was to change a purchased pattern and being taught about facings so I could make my cut-out in the chest. Here is what it looked like then, modeled by my friend J:

We had a class parade at school assembly and again during the Variety Show, then we had photos taken (I remember it was worn at least 4 times because every time my model took it off parts of the paperclip dress had to be repaired, my fingers hated me).

It was really fun and my first real taste of that kind of sewing experience, a bit of Project Runway before Project Runway existed.

I remember getting a good mark in class and then we submitted photos and design boards to the competition people. I was chosen for the finals and my Mum took me to Christchurch for the award ceremony but that’s as far as I got. I was pretty proud of myself though. Here are the rest of the entries from my class taken before one of our school parades:

So that’s all that was inside the bag of shame, not too shameful really.

I’ve also finally stopped messing with my room, here are a few pics. It’s pretty small so hard to get a good shot and the light was terrible so excuse the poor quality images.

Sewing machines? Check!

Fabric hoard? Check!

Sewing patterns? Check! Ohh what’s that that Scarlett’s wearing? Maybe I’ll share it with you after the weekend!

I guess now there are no excuses left to not do some sewing! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Exorcising some (very old) sewing demons

  1. I have to admit, I actually quite like the jersey top….I think it might be as a lover of both paisley and rose prints, I find it very difficult to turn my nose up at something that has BOTH!
    And I seriously adore the sea dress!

    • Thanks Geri 🙂 I think the paisley looks better in the photograph than in real life. I guess i’m just in a pink mood at the moment and it’s more the colour that I am not into right now but the print is nice with a vintage feel to it

  2. I love the way you write! I always smile while reading your posts! I look forward to seeing what Scarlett is wearing!

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