warning: if poor photography offends you, please look away now. This post contains several scenes of offensively poor photography.
If I am ever asked what I would like for a birthday gift my answer is obviously “Oh you needn’t bother” SWIFTLY followed by “but if you insist – fabric, please…” and my favourite thing is to leave the choice up to the gift-giver – I just love to see what other people think would suit me.
So back in the days when I had decided that I wanted to sew, but had not really got into it a few of my friends got together for my birthday and bought me 5 patterns, 3 metres each of 3 lovely fabrics and some ribbons for good measure. I was a very happy girl that day.
One of the patterns, Simplicity 2245 (the Lisette Portfolio tunic, which I think is now OOP), I immediately made up in a loose weave, kind of linen-y, dun-coloured fabric I had sitting around.
Now you make up a cute but undeniably sack-like pattern in a cheap and undeniably sack-like fabric and what are you going to get? That said, I actually kind of like this and do wear it sometimes. It suits me better than it suits my dress form. I can sling it on over jeans, or wear it with tights and boots, add in a scarf and you’ve got yourself and outfit.
In fact I liked the pattern so much I immediately went on to make the short version in one of the fabrics from the same gift bundle:
I particularly like the buttons on the neck of this one – they came from my Grandma’s stash:
And I was always very pleased with my finish inside:
I invented that style of seam finish, you know? Of course I was not the first person to invent it, but I don’t think I’d read about it anywhere at that point.
But what has all this got to do with UFOs or frocks or, indeed, October? Very little, really; I’m just having a slow day at work.
Ah no – the patterns. As part of the same gift I also received Cynthia Rowland’s Simplicity 2215, which I started to make in one of the other fabrics (a V&A print, I think, but I no longer have any of the selvedge to check). I made up the bodice – fully lined – tried it on and it looked awful on me, so a UFO was born.
Some time later I came back to it, re-made the bodice so it was a better fit and at that point decided that instead of the button bodice with buttonless skirt of the pattern I wanted a button through pinafore, so I cut up the skirt pieces, realised that I would need to line the skirt (as the lining for the bodice is also the facing – are you with me?), found spare lining fabric and then could not decide what order to sew it all back together. So a UFO it remained. Until now:
Now, the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that it is not I modelling this dress. Unfortunately in the time since re-fitting the bodice I have put on a few belly pounds and it is not currently particularly flattering.
Which is a real shame as I really like it. But tummies come and tummies go – it’ll fit me again one day.
And what of the other patterns I received that fine day 3 years ago? Vogue 1084 is currently cut out in a heavy grey suiting fabric, and has been for a couple of years now. UFO. Simplicity 2219 is currently cut out in a rather cheap, stretchy, highly patterned knit and has been for about 3 years now. The pattern does call for knits, but I am not sure my choice was a wise one. UFO – and may well remain so.
So there we have it. Thanks to Andrea, Sarah, Katy and Marion for the fabric and patterns.