Monday 7 June 2021

Monday 7th June - NOT 'the sewing bee'

 I promised you a post - or did I threaten you with one?

Last week I decided it was 'now or never' to make up the material that I had bought back in 2019 (or maybe 2018?). I bought the red flowery material because I couldn't make up my mind how to make up the blue embroidered material - this makes perfect sense to me, and to anyone who knows me.

The problem with the blue material was that I couldn't work out which side I liked better; the right side, darker, with thicker embroidery, or paler, with thinner embroidery. 

One solution was to sew the seams in such a way that it would be reversible... so I bought the red fabric to try this out.

And then NOTHING happened; every so often I would get it all out, look at the pattern pieces, and put it all away again. 

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.... On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

And that time had not yet come... until last week...

So I decided to 'game' it, and play 'The Sewing Bee'.

Tuesday afternoon - I was so over-confident I included a clock in the photograph

Ready to start cutting out

Several hours later

And later still

After we got the tension sorted out (that was a pretty tense hour)

It took two days in the end, not two hours... interruptions ranged from 

a welcome telephone call from a friend which probably saved the project from being thrown out of the window as I think it was about then that I discovered that I had snipped a hole in the fabric by accident, and also made a bit of an error when cutting out the sleeves - however both problems proved to be 'bodgeable' after a 'time-out' to regain my sanity.

a problem with the sewing machine - I persevered for half an hour keeping a firm rein on gathering frustration, before calling in the heavy brigade. He diagnosed the problem and the solution - a lump of fluff was keeping the tension spring for the upper bobbin thread open (you wanted to know this, didn't you)

a visit to the dentist the following morning

Ta-Dah!   (with thanks to The Son who alerted me to the existence of a timer function on my phone a few weeks ago) 

And then, guess what - I did it all over again the next day!

Without making any of the same mistakes! That is to say I made different ones. For some reason the back piece turned out to be an inch too narrow - but that was bodgeable and doesn't show from the front. This also took two days to make, mostly because arranging the pieces on the embroidery required thought and fettling.   

Note; in the interests of sanity, expediency, and just Getting It Done, neither top is reversible. That's a joy saved for the future! 

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly:

Quotes are always better 'out of context'...


  1. I LOVE that blue dress! Are Merchant& Mills patterns easy to follow?

  2. I'm pleased with the blue dress too - there's a bit of a gape at the back of the neck because of the mistake with cutting out - I think I put the wrong line on the fold of the fabric but who's looking?!
    This pattern is not bad, I haven't tried any others but I've done this five times now. Joining the back yoke onto the front shoulder seam always feels a bit non-intuitive, but if I manage to get all the pieces sorted out and trust the instructions it does work. You do the front neck facing first, join the shoulder seams inside the seam allowance (sort of like basting with the machine), and then do a weird thing where you sew the shoulder seams again on the seam allowance, pivot where you meet the front neck and set off along the back neck seam... then turn it all right side out muttering 'Hey Presto' and 'Abracadabra' and then say 'wow!' if it works, which it usually does. (This was the first time I've actually done the front neck properly - it does help if one follows the instructions!)
    The pattern was expensive; £18, but I am pleased with it.