Friday, 13 April 2012

Thinking Outloud


I`ve been thinking quite a bit about my quilting recently and it dawned on me what a crazy hobbie it really is for a climate such as Morocco and particularly Marrakech.  I`m sure it`s a thought that has crossed many a visitor to this blog. You see, in the winter it`s way too cold for a quilt and in the summer, a sheet is way too hot let alone a quilt.  They are good for the `demie seasons` but sometimes the cooler weather only lasts a short few weeks.

Add into the mix the cost of importing fabric, notions and so forth, it`s expensive too.

My first sewing love was dressmaking, which I did quite a bit of as a teenager...knocking up eighties style skirts over night and wearing them to college the next day.  I even made ball gowns for `dos` at university - think hot pink, big shoulders, sweetheart neckline and leg o` mutton sleeves and a big full skirt.  It was the `80s.

Claire Hummel, Ariel
 I really want to try my hand again at making some clothes..I want to be able to take accurate measurements, make adjustments and perhaps...just perhaps make my own patterns.  The secret apparently is that you have basic blocks and then adapt each one to change a style. It`s just a question of knowing how.

So recently I found the most fabulous one on one tailoring and pattern cutting course with an amazing woman in London but fabulous courses come at fabulous prices, and for the moment this has to go on the back burner.

I`ve always thought of myself as a lifelong learner and have often usually had to rely on the self-taught method and now is no exception. So today I ordered two books, which have great reviews on amazon.

This one (which has the longest title known to man)  - How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns: From Shop-bought Patterns to Drafting Your Own: A Complete Guide to Fashion Sewing with Confidence by Lee Hollahan available here


and this one  - Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit by Steffani Lincecum available here.

Don`t get me wrong, I`m still going to make quilts - I have a bucket list of things I still want to try but practically speaking I would like to try my hand at something I haven`t tried in a while and perhaps make something to wear for the FQ Retreat! Probably from a shop bought pattern. Of course, if it all goes wrong, we won`t mention it! We booked our flights to England yesterday...now I really can get excited!

Watch this space.

27 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

I love making clothes! I have skirts, blouses and even a summer jacket I made this year! Good luck, I'm sure you'll love your dressmaking journey!

Laura @ Needles, Pins and Baking Tins said...

I've been wanting to do a bit of dress making recently too. I started with AMH's Socialite Dress, and then this week I made the Megan Nielsens Darling Ranges. Hopefully I will make another DR dress this weekend because I LOVE this pattern!

I know nothing about dress making... nothing at all. So I am in awe of you wanting to make your own patterns!

susan said...

As much as I love the idea of making clothes I always made things that looked handmade - versus just looking good. Ad admire anyone who can make nice, unique clothes for themselves. But a little part of me is thinking, 'Oh, great. Most will have handmade bags, tags and machine covers at the retreat. Now half will be in their own clothes too!'

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

oooh maybe you can set me a good example. I have grand intentions but so far I've been scared off by anything bigger than children's sizes (less fabric at stake ;) ). But I'm getting better so there's hope for me yet.

And EEEEK I can't wait to meet you :)

Dolores said...

I've tried a couple of skirts, both a huge fail but I think it's more to do with the body than the actual sewing! HA! I hear The Colette Sewing Handbook is supposed to be excellent.

If you're looking for blogs to follow on handmade clothing check out my friend Christy who makes most of her own clothes:

http://www.littlebettydesigns.blogspot.com.au

and I've come across another one recently, much more glamorous:

http://www.juliabobbin.com

Katy Cameron said...

Yay, I was just thinking earlier that when I get my current quilty list out of the way I'm going back to some clothes! I have that first book, and the Simplicity book which shows you all 20 something places to measure yourself for patterns etc, but I think I'm going for a skirt for the FW retreat first. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Cindy said...

I have the same feeling about knitting in Texas.

Isisjem said...

I would love to be able to dress make properly. I made a skirt from a pattern back in my early twenties but it always looked like a home made skirt. I'd like to actually make clothes that look professionally made. My trouble is whenever I want to start my measurements never quite match those on the pattern and then I look at the cost of fabric etc and I think to myself: There would be a lot less expense and heart ache if I just went and bought something.

two hippos said...

You'll have fun dressmaking - what are you planning on making first?

Flying Blind... said...

I did Dress at school and was good at it, but now the thought fills me with fear! I wish I could try again without worrying what a waste of fabric it could turn out to be!

Good luck.

So pleased the flights are booked! I can relax now ;)

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

I LOVE dressmaking too - but don't get round to it as much as I should. I've just started Amy Butler's Liverpool tunic in turquoise and purple Soul Blossoms - can't wait to see how it turns out!

diane said...

This has been on my mind too, quite a bit. I made all my clothes through high school and in my 20's, but have not since. I want to join you on this quest.

Jan (The Aunt) said...

Go for it, Bella. I recently decided that I really ought to make a start using up some fabrics I've had for ages, but I used to be able to make a size 10 dress and know it would fit.
Not any more. Am I brave enough to make a start and would I ever wear it ?
If you need some helpful hints on designing,pattern cutting and making, ask Dora.
Jxx

Catherine said...

Liberty used to do really good value courses: not sure if they still do , but anyway, you will be more than capeable of teaching yourself. I used to make all the girls dresses when they were younger but obviously not now!! My SIL makes a lot of her own stuff too-she said the best thing she did was buy a dressmakers dummy (not cheap though)

Sarah said...

I love seeing people blog about making clothes, as for the actual act of it, I'll pass ;-) Yay London!

Elizabeth said...

What a super idea --
I'm impressed. I always found dressmaking rather challenging --though we did make 'shift' dresses in the 60's!

Indianna said...

I made clothes when I was a teenager - but now with clothes so cheap.... And fabric so expensive - I am giving it a miss for the time being. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you make.

Cindy said...

How interesting. I am so curious to follow you on this little adventure. Please, please please tell us all about it!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I used to enjoy making my own skirts but hated finishing off the seams, especially when a skirt had 8 or 12 panels!! Oh for an over locker! I can't wait to read about your adventures in dress making and pattern cutting - good luck!

Jenelle said...

I just signed up for The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje on Craftsy (they had a sale on the class) so that I can learn how to make clothes from start to finish. The lessons are very thorough since it is based on learning the time consuming techniques of couture sewing. I think if I can become proficient in this way, I'll learn how and when to take short-cuts as I make more things. I have some Colette patterns I would like the tackle first.

Cherie said...

That sounds like a fantastic idea! I can't wait to see where you go with it!
I've never made any clothing items so congratulations to you for trying it out and possibly creating your own! =D

Suz said...

The problem with clothes is that you don't get to experiment with colour combinations that you wouldn't wear. Quilts can always be used more as a topper for lighter or heavier bedding. Or what about doing the hawaian thing of quilting with just two layers of fabric and no batting to get a super light quilt?

Kris said...

I love any kind of sewing and love to sew clothes too. I have always looked at it as a way of getting something you can't find in the shops. (Colours, prints, fit or sizing) It's lovely to have unique clothes rather than what everyone else has! Having said that, I haven't sewn clothing much of late (except for grandchildren) and MUST get back to it!

Leanne said...

Who said you actually need to use the quilts! I put them on top of the down comforters in the winters, no way a quilt would be warm enough here in winter. I love those beautiful gowns, by the way. You should definitely make clothes, and it will be great to meet you in London, in your own makes or not.

Dianne Neale said...

I have madeclothes in the past but like Susan, mine always look handmade - or made for someone else. I admire you guys who have the knack, and look forward to seeing all the wonderful things you create

Very Berry Handmade said...

Good luck with your dressmaking - it sounds exciting.. Think of all those lovely voile tops you will be able to make to keep you cool in the hot summer weather. I am making myself a shirt at the moment in Kerry's Tova sew along... but I haven't actually started sewing yet... oh dear!

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated with your blog. Your quilting is beautiful and I enjoy seeing your photos about life in Marrakesh. I know the blogging takes a lot of time so thank you from a quilter in Canada.