The Olive Skirt – Simplicity 4236

Hooray! One of the abandoned projects is finished! 
As I’d planned to make this as a full circle skirt, I was pleased that the half circle was suitably flippy, and presumably less likely to get caught in the wind. 
I was a little concerned that the fabric wasn’t really to my taste anymore, but as my boyfriend pointed out, I’d probably buy this in a shop. I wore it to work today and it received a positive response, which is always nice. 
The pattern was fairly straightforward, although the zip was quite poorly explained (maybe because I had no idea what I was doing). As I couldn’t work out how to attach the zipper foot to my machine, I sewed half of it in with a normal foot, and hand sewed the other half. Despite some paranoia, it is holding together well. 
The pattern sizing is GIGANTIC. I took it down a size from my measurements anyway, because it just seemed a bit much, and I could easily have gone down another size. In order to make it fit my waist (instead of dangling off my hips), I made a pleat to one side, and covered it with a button – actually quite a nice effect. 
I think I’d use this pattern again in future. It’s very straightforward and the twill tape waistband is a piece of genius. Not only does it look quite professional, but it’s also dead easy to fit. I’d use a thicker fabric next time – this one is ok when on, but a little worrying when held up to the light. I wonder how the draping would work with a thicker, more wintery fabric – maybe a light weight corduroy, or wool. If I didn’t make this exact skirt, there are five other options on this pattern to choose from. 
For the next project:
– I will learn how to insert a zip
– I will take more time to achieve a nice finish

The Arrival of Alan

This is Alan, my dressmakers dummy. He’d been gathering dust in my mum’s loft for some time, but with the advent of my new interest in sewing, I lugged him back across the channel with me, and he’s now quite contentedly watching the world go by from our sitting room window. He’s wearing my first project – the summer dress, along with some nice holiday accessories. Yes, I’ve got a bit carried away.
After pinning the dress on to my model, I was able to see where I stood with the project, aside from the missing zip, and I promptly got to work making some improvements.
I’d cocked the bodice up a little bit – it was originally basted together, and those stitches showed when I attached it to the skirt. Also, the top was a bit wonky – I think I got a bit enthusiastic with the pedal on my sewing machine. Aside from my mistakes, I was also unhappy with the way the fabric was looking when joined together – the weird black under-bust splodge being a particular cause for concern.
I’d hunted high and low for some ribbon to use for the cover ups and the straps, but, considering the amount of colours on this dress, it was surprisingly hard to find a match. Eventually I settled for some bias binding which I found in Veritas. I presume the middle line will be less apparent on the straps when placed against my ghostly pale skin, rather than the maroon.
Sadly I didn’t have enough binding to add detail to the bottom of the skirt, which was another idea I came up with mid creation. Nor was there enough to make a bow for Alfie. He put on a brave face, but I think he was secretly devastated.
Remaining concerns include the underarm bulge, which I’ve decided to just leave for now and fix once the zip is in, and the slightly odd looking bust. This doesn’t look so bad when I’ve pinned in up against myself, so I think it might be more of an Alan based issue.
Although Alan’s set up to my measurements, my boyfriend and I were a little baffled by his strange shape. He’s a lot rounder than me, and has no bust to speak of, just an incredibly wide frame up top. He’s also not quite long enough. After measuring the length of my back (a gangly 18″), I attempted to adjust him accordingly and managed to detach his bust completely from his bottom. Bugger it, it’s probably close enough.