Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Just a little bit frightening

Thank you so much for your comments on the little Hedgehog, you really blew me away with such a spur of the moment make but maybe they are the ones that tell the real story of crafting in a household.

Anyway, Big Sis wanted a go on the over locker, I had offered before but she said she was scared of it because of the cutting blade so when she asked me this time I guessed she must be ready to have a go.

Firstly I immobilised the cutting blade so that she could get used to the louder sound, stronger pull and faster speed of this machine without worrying about the blade like some kind of perilous part in a movie. The biggest problem was that she was stretching the jersey as it went through because she was pulling her fingers back to keep them out of the way but this improved with confidence. 

She made this dress. She completed the side seams, yoke seams, overlocked the hem and bombed out trying to fit the curved sleeves but gave it a go. We found out lots about her size. She is tall but narrow in the shoulders so we had to make a gather in the back before we added the neckband and take some off the neckline so that the shoulder seams were not hanging down. We need to take some more off the shoulders on the pattern sheet for next time too. She enjoyed this part of understanding construction and why some clothes are not comfortable or don't fit properly.

I grappled with the 'fun' that is an Ottobre magazine pattern. I know I rave about them from a style point of view but the down side is having to trace off the pattern pieces from this mind blowing maze of colour...

...especially when I accidently ordered a Finnish version of the magazine! I knew I could construct the pattern based on previous experience of how to sew a dress/tunic/t-shirt but I couldn't tell which lines to trace...

Sure, I could follow the numbers but four double sided sheets come with each magazine. I laid down a challenge for Big Sis.

OK so at least I knew my 'magic eye' was zooming in on the green pieces. I cut, she sewed, I finished the sleeves and neck bindings.

She is not standing very still in the photos and this was a duller day, sorry

I also made the polo neck from Ottobre to match which was a dream to put together and is coming in handy with another garment but more on that next week.



  1. What a lovely job you have both done. The end result looks brilliant. Fits well and the colour suits too K xXx

  2. Oh you two ladies, you are amazing. I am too scared to use my overlocker, it has been beckoning me since Christmas but I just can't bring myself to use it. Maybe you fancy a quick trip to Glasgow?

  3. Dear Jo
    What a brilliant job you've both done. I know that looking at a pattern like that would put me off completely (but then I am a beginner at clothes making!) You should both be very proud!
    Best wishes

  4. What a great team you two make! Well done Big Sis, the dress is lovely. :-) xx

  5. Fab , she has done a great job bless herxx

  6. How great that she is sewing things at such a young age. She will be brilliant when she grows up.

  7. How brilliant is your daughter? You are encouraging her and giving her skills that she will be so pleased she has later on. I was sewing clothes at 11, but not a dress like that (a relatively simple tiered skirt comes to mind). I was kind of left to get on with it as my Mum didn't like the machine very much but had lots of hand sewing skills etc. to pass on. All the stuff I learned from her is ingrained. Also some off the stuff I did then was pretty fearless compared to my more cautious grown up self, who can be frightened to cut into fabric. To be able to use an over locker and make such a great dress at your daughter's age is pretty amazing really. The dress is so pretty and it's not a basic one either. She has done so very well. As have you, for supporting and enabling her.

    As an aside, you deserve a medal for unscrambling the nightmare pattern pieces!

  8. Wow!!! How fantastic!! Great job Big Sis!!! You did really well!!! It looks so great! xx

  9. Oh, Jo, your sister is lucky to have you! Both my sisters cannot thread a needle. Together. :-)

  10. Oooooooooh i LOVE this post!! Well done to big sis!!!! My daughter would love to have a go at dressmaking! She us just getting to grips with the sewing machine.she us nearly 9 and long abd slim i really struggle with finding patterns for her. Wgat age group do ottobre cater for? And which issue is this dress in??

  11. I forgot to tick the notify me of replies button - apologies for a second reply!

  12. Following a "regular" pattern is mind-boggling to me, but to sort out what is what on your pattern is a monumental puzzle that I am so impressed that you can do! I love watching some of the process that you and Big Sis went through to produce her pretty dress. Inspiring! xx

  13. I think your darling girl would look good in a paper sack. I love the dress and I think I might have to get some sewing lessons from your daughter.