after a couple days break to do shopping and so on, i was back on the sewing machine today. I was determined to get my purple top done this weekend, so i can go to Abakhan Fabrics on Monday to pick up my dress pattern with a clear conscience (I’m really itching to make my dress…) ๐Ÿ™‚ don’t get me wrong, i love the top, or what the top will be when its done, but.. i’m really really itching to make the dress! Also, with Mom visiting on Friday 8th August, i have to have finished anything that i need her help with in terms of hemming the outfit, which includes the dress. So lots of work to do over the next few days.

i was making the same pattern as the model is wearing in the photograph, although with different material.. of the six there, its the one on the top left.

i was making the same pattern as the model is wearing in the photograph, although with different material.. of the six there, its the one on the top left.

The most time consuming part of starting any completely new pattern, for me, is in unfolding the pattern, and familiarising yourself with the instructions. For those of you that have never done this before, patterns come printed on very thin tissue paper, all in one sheet, and the individual pieces all have to be cut apart and sorted out. Since most packets of pattern actually make 3-4 similar items, with variations, there are often pieces you don’t need for the particular one you want to make.. and then you have to put them on the material. You can’t just throw them on any which old way: some pieces need to sit on a fold (so that when you cut it, you open it out and get one large piece). Some pieces don’t need the fold, but you need two of. most pieces you have to put so that it follows the selvedge – the grain – of the material… and if you’ve got material that either has a nap (looks different when stroked down, than from up – like velvet) or a pattern printed on the material that looks different down, than up.. then THAT complicates factors as well. The material i bought with a pretty print at the bottom is an excellent case in point: if i want that pretty print to be at the bottom of the skirt i have to position the pattern accordingly.

To give some idea of just how long it all takes, I think i started work on this around 3pm this afternoon, by 4pm i had the tissue paper patterns all cut out and sorted out, by 5.30pm i was ready to cut out the material, and by 6.30pm i was doing my first bit of machining. With an interruption for a conversation on MSN with sez, dinner (pizza), and making bread, and despite the lightbulb (in the machine) going bang, i just finished doing the sleeve cuffs by 12.20am; at which point i realised i was getting really tired and decided to stop for the night.

Having said all that.. i do hope to get it all finished tomorrow – with a bit of luck i’ll be able to manage it – it looks good so far!

Monday, going to Abakhan Fabrics, to pick up my dress pattern, have a rummage for some more remants, and get some nice material for my dress, of course!! Also, hopefully, get a new lightbulb for the machine, if not, then i’ll have to run up to Ashton Under Lyne to pick up one from a sewing machine shop up there. After that: back to the sewing!!!

Photos behind the cut, as always… (apologies for the quality of the first three photos.. wrong setting on the camera, and by the time i realised.. too late!)

the tissue paper the pattern is printed on.. all piled high on the table before i cut it out

the tissue paper the pattern is printed on.. all piled high on the table before i cut it out

pattern being pinned to lilac plain material

pattern being pinned to lilac plain material

pattern being pinned to main purple material

pattern being pinned to main purple material

top left part of the top, with the collar attached

top left part of the top, with the collar attached

the collar has 3 folds in it, and i wanted to enhance the folds. I thought using deep purple thread on it, which i decided would be too much, then i had a brain wave - grabbed a bit of scrap material and experimented with white thread on top and purple thread in the bobbin. it looked lovely, and this is the result. a sort of dot dot dot along the stitching.

a close up of the collar - which has 3 folds in it, and i wanted to enhance the folds. I thought using deep purple thread on it, which i decided would be too much, then i had a brain wave - grabbed a bit of scrap material and experimented with white thread on top and purple thread in the bobbin. it looked lovely, and this is the result. a sort of dot dot dot along the stitching. The arm cuffs and hemline will have the same stitching.

top two portions of the front part done, with collars attached..

top two portions of the front part done, with collars attached..

top 2 portions of the back sewn together - next is sewing the four parts of the top part of the top together. this covers the shoulder and the bust.

top 2 portions of the back sewn together - next is sewing the four parts of the top part of the top together. this covers the shoulder and the bust.

the top part complete... just the arm cuffs and the part that drapes down from just underneath the bust to do.

the top part complete... just the arm cuffs and the part that drapes down from just underneath the bust to do.

the arm cuffs - not complete yet, i found myself re-reading and re-reading the instructions and struggling with them and then it hit me how tired i was.. and i realised i best stop for the night, before i made any mistakes...

the arm cuffs - not complete yet, i found myself re-reading and re-reading the instructions and struggling with them and then it hit me how tired i was.. and i realised i best stop for the night, before i made any mistakes...

more tomorrow!!

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