Junk Stitching

You might hear runners talk disparagingly, or concernedly, about “junk miles”.  These are runs during which one does absolutely nothing to try and improve.  No bursts of speed, no hills, no attempts at furthering the distance: just putting one foot in front of the other and staying safely within one’s comfort zone.

junk miles 🙂

I also sometimes like the sewing equivalent and this dress is it.  Junk stitching is the best sewing I can do while the kids are on holiday and pulling themselves up by my hair for amusement!  This is a TNT (tried ‘n’ tested) pattern from prehistoric times that’s given me one highly wearable dress after another.  I have waxed lyrical about the New Look 6459 before but it’s now only available from Ebay, through theft or borrowing!

View D, The Halter Neck

I’d decided that if this summer was truly going to last (what brilliant luck, eh, UK?), then I needed a halter dress, like, already.  Why everyone else isn’t wearing one, I don’t know.  Maybe because these require a special bra adjustment, but it’s worth the hassle as they’re so flattering and tend to accentuate the one area of a body –  the collarbones and shoulders – that looks pretty good on most of us.  Sewing halters from woven fabrics can be tricky  though.  As the back is held up by nothing other than the wearer’s ribcage, if the fit isn’t tight enough, the whole thing can sag towards the butt!

The Fabric

I had 1 metre of some rather unusual perforated and dyed cotton left over from the first Laurel which was lying around almost unused!  For the sake of decency, I underlined it with a lightweight and very bright green acetate.  The layered dark and light effect worked out brilliantly.  When the light hits it right, this dress reminds me of the intricate, exotic patterns on Moroccan lanterns.   

Do you have a favourite junk stitching pattern?

 Location: Crystal Palace Park

16 thoughts on “Junk Stitching

  1. The dress looks gorgeous and it fits perfectly! My local park even looks good in the sunshine. I’ve been trying to use up some of my fabric hoard by using tried and tested patterns. Easiest ones are the gypsy skirts / sundresses for the granddaughters, just shired waistbands / bodices with increasing tiers of various contrasting fabrics, great for using up bits and bobs and the girls love swirling around in them. For myself when I want to I play safe I use patterns I have made or adapted as I know they are going to fit and I don’t have to go through the toilling stage. I do have a favourite Vogue dress pattern which I must have made in various guises about 5 times.

  2. The picture on the pattern would never have enticed me, but your finished dress looks a million dollars, as do you. If I had to guess your age from those pics, I’d say about 21. I was very impressed with the way your long, graceful arm is holding the dinosaur’s paw in the first picture – it took me a couple of looks before I realised it was actually a stick – sorry!

    • Thanks Megan! I’m delighted that I’ve fooled you into thinking I’m younger. Maybe it’s really true what they say:

      If you want to look younger, hang around dinosaurs!!

  3. “Junk Stitching” is a new term for me, but after your explanation, it sounds pretty good to me!:) I think it’s wonderful that you’ve found a pattern that has been used numerous times, that every version is so flattering on you! You’ve definitely found a winner!:)

  4. LOL “junk stitching” – I love that phrase and may well borrow it one day! If you don’t mind that is.

    Halter tops and dresses are indeed very flattering and I have a muslin to get fitting come spring or summer. Its very unflattering at the moment and you’re absolutely right about ribs holding the thing up! I don’t have any curves so it is going to be an interesting time getting it right. Might need a fit buddy me-thinks.

  5. My junk sewing pattern is New Look 6805 (sadly no longer available). I have one made out of upholstery fabric, one made out of a silk sari, one with Ed Hardy-esque skulls and roses, one in some mid-weight bottle green…stuff. This pattern gives me the confidence to try quite a few amendments, so even though I’ve made the *same* thing many times, I’ve become more confident with other projects because of this one.

    Yours is a very flattering pattern, and I love the bright green with the navy, excellent choice!

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