Monday, 6 August 2012


Only about six weeks to go until the Jane Austen festival in Bath, and I've only got one dress done.  Cripes, eh?  Every time I make a start on an evening of sewing something goes a bit wrong (my thread gets all tangled in the machine, and I cannot fathom what I have done wrong) and it takes me much longer to finish bits than I would like.  I've still got four dresses to make, with linings and handmade button holes, and lace and ribbon trimmings.  I've also got to make a couple of hats, a spencer (jacket) and a couple of reticules (bags).  I think that's all.  I've just ordered boots and white tights.  I've also got to try out some ways of doing my hair - it's a bit short so it'll be tricky to make it nice.  I've left it a bit late really.  But I am in the mood to sew, so perhaps in the next couple of weeks I'll make some headway!  My mum has finished her six dresses - she's much faster than me, obviously.  She's also sewn up two of my jackets, as well as finishing two hats of her own and a spencer and a couple of reticules.  I wanted to do everything myself, but time was getting rather short!

I've only got one photo at the moment - this is of the Green Dress.  You can't tell from this picture, but it's covered in a print of tiny green flowers and leaves.  Can you see my trainer poking out at the bottom?!  I didn't have the right shoes when we made this dress.

Actually, I think my mum sewed most of this one up.  I haven't put sewn a skirt onto a bodice yet - that's what I'm going to try to do tonight.  It's all a bit trial-and-error with me and sewing.  I get there in the end, but I usually get the first attempt wrong and have to unpick the whole lot.  I had to do that last night, when I sewed the lining into my Black Stripe - it was a mess, the material was pulled in all kinds of directions that it shouldn't be pulled in.  But I learn from these mistakes, and I was able to put it right by myself :)  I really enjoy it.  It's very satisfying to take lengths of material and turn them into something you can wear.  And I think I'm quite neat ... in the end.  It's very time-consuming, but there's no need to rush, really - if you're willing and able to take your time over the process and not panic if things go wrong (which they will), it's a gorgeous thing to do.  I am very eager to make more after the festival for next year.

Tonight I will be sewing up the Blue bodice and attaching its skirt, as well as attaching the skirt of the Black Stripe.  I think I can do all of that in one night.  Then I will have four dresses with skirts attached.  The trickiest one is the Black Lace: that has a cream cotton lining, with black lace overlaid, so instead of just sewing together two pieces of fabric, I have to sew together four pieces each time.  Fortunately, I do like tacking pieces into place before sewing them on the machine, and this is what I will need to do in this case.

I'd love to get on and sew right now, but the boys get too curious and want to have a go - of course, they can have a go on the machine, but that doesn't get my dresses done!

Next time I blog about the dresses I'd like to have some finished ones to show you :)  So many things to do - I do so dearly wish I didn't need sleep.

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