Wednesday, 24 April 2013

My Dressmaking History - Part 1

Recently I have been thinking about making some of my own clothes, as I often struggle to find clothing in the shops that fits properly.  That's not to say that anything I make is going to fit well!  I have also been watching The Great British Sewing Bee on television, which has been very inspiring.  At the moment I have a bad back so getting my sewing machine going is out of the question, but I have been looking at the patterns I have and this lead me to think about my dressmaking history.
It all started at junior school, when the girls (I don't know what the boys were doing) had to make a garment.  I chose this pattern and made the baby doll pyjamas in this polka dot cotton.
 Still at junior school, I made a skirt in pink - a very bright pink!
Moving onto senior school - I know I also made the short version of this, but I can't remember the fabric. (Edit: Navy brushed cotton dotted with tiny white flowers with red centres.)
I made a nightie in this pretty cotton.
In my final two years of senior school I took GCE Fashion & Fabrics.  I still have my needlework binder and have been flicking through it this mroning.
Slip hemming is still a favourite of mine, as are French seams.
I certainly wouldn't have given an "A" for this as the stitching isn't straight!
Year Two work included fastenings

and pattern alterations.
I wish I could remember all of this, but it was such a long while ago! :)
At the back of the binder I found my mock exam papers.  We used papers from past years - my exams were in 1981, not 1977!
How did they know I would turn out to be "short and plump." :)
For the exams we had to make two garments that included as many different techniques and pattern parts as possible.  I made this kaftan (what was I thinking?!) to show a collar, sash and sleeves.  I've never worn it!
My second garment was this skirt.  It had a waistband, zip, button, pockets and a pleat.  I did wear this.
After school I made this skirt,
this sundress (which I loved)
and this blouse.
I also made my Mum a gored skirt in this fabric.  No surprise at her choice of colour - green has always been her favourite.  My Mum can do dressmaking - I remember her making a cord pinafore dress with a front zip when I was young and she also cut up her wedding dress and dyed it blue to make a party dress for me.
At sometime I, or my Mum, must have bought these.  As yet they are unused.
Then I got married and turned to making curtains and cushion covers.
Next, along came my children and a new phase in dressmaking - fancy dress and ballet costumes - the subject of a separate post as it is bound to be photo heavy.
Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me.
Best wishes, Pj x


Mac n' Janet said...

I took Homemaking in 8th grade (I was 13) only because I had to. The sewing phase required me to made an apron with 3 pockets across the front and a waist band---took me forever, and a skirt with a zipper, I never could make the zipper fit right, almost failed.
Didn't sew again until I had a daughter and then I finally learned to sew.

thesnailgarden said...

Hi Janet, when I look back I am surprised that we started needlework so young at school, but I guess it was a sign of the times. Best wishes, Pj x