My Mum. Where to begin? She’s kind, caring, efficient, hardworking, etc etc, but one thing I didn’t know about her until recently is that she has a HUGE stash of unfinished projects (UFOs). Take, for example, the cardigan she’s yet to finish for my brother. She started it before he was born. He’s now 38. She recently gave me a package she’d found in the loft containing everything needed to make this incredible vintage pattern. It appears to have been a freebie from Woman’s Weekly, and contains four different skirt views and a pair of trousers. The pattern is a size 12, and is for a 26″ waist. I like to think of myself as a size 12, but my waist hasn’t been 26″ since I was a teenager. Or earlier. I won’t be finishing this project. From the accompanying Co-op paper bag, we can deduce that this zip was bought in Hull Co-op in 1976 for the princely sum of 23p. I love the Co-op’s by-line on the bag “The Sign of a Modern Store”. The most nostalgic part of this find for me is the orange tailor tacks. You see, when my Mum taught me to dressmake in the early 1990s she instilled in me the importance of marking darts and other features with tailor tacks. We had a huge spool of orange cotton that was used in every garment I ever made as a teenager. Mum thinks it came from her great-aunt who was a seamstress. I can still remember feeling a bit sad when it eventually ran out. Are you a starter or a finisher? Can you beat a UFO from 1976?
Can you believe it’s been a whole year since I decided to join the online sewing community and start a little blog of my own? I can’t tell you how much pleasure, friendship and general sewing knowledge and experience I’ve gained along the way. But then if you’re a blog reader or writer, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!
Despite my anxiety over being separated from my sewing machine for a few months, I had been happily enjoying my sewing sabbatical. That was until I saw Tilly and The Buttons’ new sewing pattern – The Bettine. As I saw my Instagram feed fill up with Bettines, my eye was caught by this gorgeous number by Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’ and I knew this was the dress for me. Social media can be blamed for many things, but its ability to compel you into action is phenomenal!
I was on holiday in Hong Kong when the pattern was released, so I swung into action with a special trip to Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong’s fabric and garment district on the look out for viscose/rayon. Here’s what I found! I didn’t want to wish away the rest of the holiday, but by the end I was losing sleep thinking about getting stuck in!
I studied the pattern sizing and went for a size 5 on the top and graded down to a 4 at the hips, hoping that I hadn’t needed to do a FBA. I also added 2cm to the skirt length, noting other bloggers were finding it a tad short. I was a little nervous as to whether the elastic waistline and blousy fit would be flattering or whether I would prefer a more tailored look. I was really pleased with how it turned out – there’s not too much ease on the hip and the viscose drapes beautifully. It’s the perfect hot weather work dress and was a lovely simple garment to ease me back into making my own wardrobe. In this climate I’m wearing dresses most of the time and I need more! I love my Bettine and I’m looking forward to see all of yours next weekend on Instagram #sewingbettine!