Sunday, 25 March 2012

Variations on a Theme

Lots of sewing bloggers are taking part in Tilly's great One Week One Pattern challenge and, though I'm not participating, it set me thinking again about a simple, 1920s inspired dress pattern that I have been meaning to draft for ages (story of my life).  It's a semi-fitted shape, with fullness at the hip by means of a slash, which is then bound and gathered. Comfortable, flattering and would easily lend itself to variations in order to make several versions.

I had a sketchbook for Christmas and due to my previously mentioned procrastination and my perfection complex, I had only managed to doodle on the front cover!

But today I decided to plan some variations of my design, to get a little closer to actually making them.

I have some lovely fabrics in my stash that I intend to combine to make the design more striking and quirky.

I have had this floral, shot-silk sari fabric for 20 years (!) and it was a present from an ex boyfriend's sister, who brought it back from a family visit to India.  The other fabric is a pale cream habotai silk, left over from a jacket lining, also years old.

Pale silk yoke, sweetheart shaped neckline, contrasting, bias bound neck and armholes and buttons at back.  The slash at the hip is bound in the pale silk.

The floral, slinky, synthetic print is actually beige, not pinky as it shows in the photo, and it was from Etsy.  The cream lace is from a charity shop.

This design has gathered pockets at the slashed, softly pleated hip, bound in off-white silk.  The sweetheart neckline is bound too and the lace yoke fastens at back neck with dimunitive, red buttons.

This final design and fabric combination is my favourite.  The 1960s bright orange, daisy print, cotton lawn fabric is from Etsy and I plan to combine it with white silk and spotted net fabric, both from charity shops.

The spotted net yoke has the neck line and armholes bound by the white silk and the silk is also used for a scalloped edged where it meets the bustline, which is echoed at the hip slash in the front.

I have, as ever, so many projects that are in various stages of incompletion, including two toiles of patterns from my German pattern magazines, which I hope to finish at some point, so spending time on the above plans does seem foolish...  BUT, I really enjoyed sketching and planning and it has ignited a small creative spark, which will perhaps spur me on towards actually finishing something!

Finally I want to say thank you to 3 wonderful bloggers who have recently given me blog awards:

The Makings of an Urban Rustic

Per bar one Penny

Adventures in Adventuring

All of these lovely ladies seem to like my inspiration posts, which is a bloody good thing as if they were mostly turning up here expecting sewing-related content, they'd be sorely disappointed...  I will do a post about the awards and who I am passing them on to in the near future, honest!


  1. Your ideas for this dress all look very exciting and I especially like the bright orange fabric you are going to use.There seems to be a lot of orange around lately which is nice .
    I wish I could sketch out ideas! Looking forward to seeing how you get on with this dress and I am sure it will be wonderful.

    1. Thank you! Give sketching a try, they don't have to be perfect, and you could even use a template to trace over if you wanted!

  2. Firstly, the doodling is fab! But the design sketches are brilliant. Really good, you need to do more. They look so effective on that coloured paper. Well done! :) xx

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  4. I love your sketches and ideas. They're beautiful!

  5. I've never planned my sewing projects by drawing the sketches but it looks fantastic! I'm amazed how beautiful they are. I have to try it by myself.