A Collection of Misfortunes

At work, I am in charge of birthday gifts, including my own. Sounds sad, but realistically is pretty good for me, as I can eliminate my own disappointment. Or so I thought. This year, my gift to me was fabric from Shaukat. Shaukat is amazing, have a look.
Self-drafted skirt
I got a metre of this cotton twill which reminded me of a skirt of my Nana’s that I butchered and ruined many years ago, that is before I took notice of my sewing and put thought into what I was making.
This skirt was self-drafted, badly. Ages ago I used an online tutorial for a pencil skirt and was fairly happy with the results. I figured that I could re-use the pattern without any major hiccups.
I wanted one of those 60s style high-waisted a-line skirts that my Nana had probably worn.

The pattern I should have bought.

I made a straight waistband, and lined the skirt with some grey silk/cotton. The button is from my button stash.

A lot of alterations were made, too many to go in to, but I’m reasonably happy with it now. My main problems were the back darts and subsequent pointy bits and wrinkling. My self-drafted pattern was quite frankly, rubbish. I am not practiced in pattern-making and cannot just wing it like I usually do. I would like a basic skirt block though, so may buy some books and reassess. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Very Easy Vogue 1878/Calvin Klien blouse

This pattern was another Etsy find, I got really excited when I found it featured in my Vogue sewing book. It’s from the late 70s, I’m not too sure when. The muslin fit went really well, I could only find it in a 32″ bust, and I usually take a 34″, but I’m all for using this pattern again, in an easier fabric. Hellish fabric aside, it’s really simple shape-wise and would make up a few nice variations. When I finally felt confident enough to cut into this silk satin, my favourite of the birthday prints, I regretted my decision almost immediately. It was awful. It moved about everywhere. The pieces, once cut seemed to shape shift almost immediately. Determined to not let it upset me, I pressed on.

Then I had problems with one side of the collar, it wouldn’t lie flat. After unpicking and re-sewing the whole collar, it lay perfectly, and the other side wouldn’t lie flat. I did this three times, all the while worrying about leaving needle holes in the delicate fabric. It sat on my dress form for weeks, nay, months. Occasionally I’d walk over to fondle the collar and to casually re-align it in the hopes of a miracle, only I’d inevitably curse it and walk off in disgust at my own ineptitude.

I tried my hardest to make this beautiful on the inside too, with french seams and bias tape for the armhole (armsyce?) seams. The buttons I earmarked were a perfect match from my extensive stash. But I’m at a loss, I just don’t know what to do with it, I can’t currently bring myself to finish it for fear of tearing it apart in frustration. I don’t have enough fabric left to cut out a whole new collar, unless I piece it together weirdly. I’m assuming that this will cause me even more grief which I wish to avoid right now. I’ve already created enough needle holes in it. Any suggestions?

Sadness befell me when I realised that I’m destined to misuse the fabric that I have coveted the most. The saddest part of this being that I had already used/wasted all four pieces of fabric before I acknowledged and accepted this. I had done this before, years ago, with some Liberty lawn from eBay. I made a dress, badly. With the remainder I tried to make a skirt before realising that the Burda Marie skirt didn’t really work for me. I had made it years before and disliked it then, I wasn’t sure why precious, expensive Liberty lawn would make a difference, let alone a wearable skirt. It’s as if the print overwhelms my brain and stops me thinking about what I’m doing. I’m concentrating, but not on the task in hand. Ah well, I’ve lived and learned now.

The other two birthday Liberty fails, in case you’re interested involve a jacket lining (I hated the jacket once made up), and a Victory Patterns Hazel. As a sidenote, the Victory Hazel was really nice to make up, I just made it look like something I’d wear to work rather than something fun.

I spent a good portion of my weekend unpicking the under collar piece, cutting a new one and re-inserting, only to discover that that isn’t the problem. It lies in the same wavy way. I may have identified the problem though. I believe it’s the front right of the shirt, although where I go from here is beyond me. I don’t have enough fabric left over to cut a new piece…


  1. […] other stash fabric – my nana’s old skirt, the one I butchered years ago. I recently tried to make up for it with some Liberty fabric, but this border print is so much better. It’s a […]

  2. […] so they went to a new home. I have attempted a self-drafted pattern before with mixed, mostly bad results. The darts gave me pointy, wrinkly issues around the […]

  3. […] when I was cutting out and I believe that is where the problem lies. I’ve blogged about it before and had written it off, but I’m going to sit down one day and work it out. I’ve just got […]

  4. […] blouse was made after this mess to redeem myself. Redeem myself I did not. It wrinkles like a bitch and doesn’t get worn […]

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