White Top - made by me
Navy Trousers - made by me
Mustard sandals - Fly Girl
I made these trousers and this top a couple of months ago, but somehow haven't got around to blogging about them...partly because I'm only half happy with them. The top I made before I felt properly comfortable working with knits (now I'm half-comfortable and it's a much better place to be than wholly uncomfortable) and the workmanship is fairly horrendous.
I didn't use my overlocker, which is fairly essential on a thin, white jersey as the seams are visible through the fabric. I also never got round to putting any binding on the neck, which is fine as this top is very much a test-piece (it has been assigned this role retrospectively, as obviously when I started making it, it was going to be my favourite t-shirt ever - boundless optimism is always a good starting place in garment sewing, otherwise one would never start).
But none of this actually matters, because it fits in exactly the way that I hoped it might, which means that I now have a reliable set of pattern pieces to work from in future. It also means that it's a jolly good thing that I've taken so long to post this because it's yet another occasion where I am left with no option but to tell you how much I love Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes book and without interspersing my Cal-praise (which a couple of months ago featured in nearly every other post) with other things there's a danger of looking like a sycophant (albeit one with a bulging wardrobe).
But really, I'm so delighted. I have four shop-bought tops very similar to this white one...the only differences being that there's slightly different detailing on the yoke and that the other four are really well-made and fit for venturing out in public. But despite the fact that I have four of them, I worry over them. I worry that their loveliness might be worn away; that their colours will fade and become shabby with washing; and that holes will appear in their threads and that I will be left with a gaping, great irreplaceable hole in my wardrobe and that every day I will go to get dressed and feel like crying over their loss. So now you can see what a wonderful thing it is to know that, if I can find some suitable jersey and improve my skills in working with it further, I can make this top over and over again, until I have at least 30 of them, at which point I might be able to relax properly.
And on to the trousers...the trousers have amazed me slightly. When I was drafting the pattern for them I couldn't quite believe I was even attempting it as they were so unlikely to go right (I say this because I always find it difficult to find trousers that fit nicely in shops)...but weirdly they came out well first time and are the most wonderful fit. The fabric has about 3% of something stretchy added to it and it means that they hug in all the right places and are forgiving in other places. I'm really happy with the way these are made and like the detailing on them, however, I'm not completely happy with the fabric, so again, a garment to be kept indoors, but definitely something to be remade in nicer material once the weather turns cooler.
I'm thinking they must be quite flattering too...as in reality my bottom is actually twice the size of the one in this photo.
So I am left with two unwearable garments, but two happiness-inducing sets of pattern pieces (yes, Cal's fabulousness remains undented). I think this is a good result. There are just two short weeks before the summer holidays begin and I am unsure whether my end of term dressmaking report should read:
"Florence has had a good year and comes to her dressmaking full of enthusiasm and willingness to tackle new things. While her efforts don't always bear perfect results, she learns from her mistakes and we are hoping to see more wearable pieces from her next year."
"Florence is a slightly deluded puppy who approaches each new task with a boundless enthusiasm that is exhausting to behold. Despite never quite catching the stick, she remains undeterred and ploughs on with an unshakable belief that the next thing she endeavours to undertake will be a success in every respect. We believe that her growing catalogue of mistakes are undoubtedly a drain on the earth's precious resources. If seen in the dress fabrics department she should be apprehended and held until her sewing machine has been confiscated and her husband has been made aware of what a grave disservice he is committing by smiling encouragingly at her when she presents him with yet another fundamentally flawed garment."
I feel that the latter report rings more truthfully in my ears...but we both know that I shall carry on anyway.