I knit so I don't kill people.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

My mission to May

Well my four days off work turned out to be a snowed in break.  Thursday was bright but with a freezing Siberian wind, then Friday -  well - the sky fell in.  The UK has been hit with snow storms so Friday and Saturday we've been pretty much housebound, oh well what's a girl to do?
My friend sent me a text message to inform me that for this year's girls outing to Chester Races Ladies Day in May we will not be slumming it in the Tattershall stand we are going posh to the County Stands - how decadent!!  This news has set me into my annual panic about what to wear as I love this day out and like to make a special effort with my outfit.  Previously I have always dressed vintage and envisaged that this year would be no exception, I've done 30's, 40's and 50's and need to get my thinking cap on!

Then this magazine arrived on Saturday morning

After wrenching the magazine from the male population of my household, all drooling over Doctor Who's new assistant, I had to get a closer look at what she was wearing here.  The dress is by Tibi at Matches and here it is in detail, I love it.  Hang on though £464 and made from neoprene, that is a type of rubber, the stuff wetsuits are made from.   A tad too pricey and too hot for Ladies Day I think.  So inspired by the shape of the dress I went off for a rummage to my pattern collection as I have decided to make my own frock this year.

I just love this classic neckline

but I want a full sticky out skirt so back in the box for another rummage  - and bingo I found this pattern

I love that this skirt is in fact pleated rather than gathered so figure if I get a heavier fabric I may get the effect I'm looking for.  So I will take the bodice from pattern 1 and the skirt from pattern 2 and will hopefully get the dress that I desire.
Firstly how much fabric do I require?  Isn't it amazing how dress sizes have changed over the years this is today's British Standard  and here is what was given on my 1950's pattern.

I am normally a 10 or a 12 depending on the style or indeed the shop were I am buying clothes from but it looks like I will have to make a 14 to ensure I get a proper fit in this creation.  I suppose that is a good point of making my own clothes, I can tailor it to fit without no give-away size labels.

So a little trip to Abakhan was in order.  Yes I live within walking distance of this treasure trove of all things crafty and have to maintain strict willpower to minimise my visits until I really need to go - oh it is so hard!  The snow didn't even stop me and my hubby volunteered to drive me there as he was bored being stuck in the house.  He'd be even more bored sitting in Abakhan's car park as once I'm in there, there is a danger I forget to come out.
However I knew what I wanted and knowing he was waiting outside I had to be a good girl.  I had a look at what fabrics where available on the rolls but didn't see anything I liked so I dived into the remnant bins and pulled out this beauty

It is a medium weight cotton linen in black and is really good quality, and I got over 3 metres in my remnant for £10.80, plus some lining for £4.00 and a zip.  Can I create a dress inspired by a £486.00 design for under £20.00 , I'll give it a go.  

Back home I was so excited and could not wait to get stuck in.  I pressed the fabric to iron out any stubborn creases and gathered everything I needed.

Now I have not made a dress from scratch for a long time and I want to make a good job of this so took my time preparing and reading the pattern.

All pinned and ready to go 

I cut out the pattern pieces in my main fabric and lining for the bodice - now all I needed was for Irene the sewing machine to come join my party.  Would she behave herself today?  She'd better had .....and she did !!  
So much so I got so engrossed in what I was doing, I put some old CD's on, music while I work.  It reminded me of when I lived at home as a teenager making my own clothes listening to my music, happy times!  

That there in the background is a glass of cider put there by himself to entice me from my sewing to go sit and watch a movie with the family.  I had to admit defeat but I'll be back, I forgot how much fun dressmaking can be.  Now off to my knitting corner with my glass of cider and Four Weddings and a Funeral, another of my favourite films.

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