Mummy Dearest

1t jean bodiceThe Six Napoleon Challenge: I am officially postponing the deadline, for two reasons. Firstly, to enable Ruth and Demented Fairy, our teachers/lecturers one of whom is still marking papers, to join us and to add their esteemed grey matter and wealth of sewing experience into the mix.

And, because I have enlisted the help of Anita from Studio Faro.  Anita is a pattern-drafting expert and teacher who demystifies mind-boggling designs in the Pattern Puzzle section of her blog.  She will write a guest post here once she has cleared her current commitments.  This will be followed by something on the Studio Faro blog.

Guys, we’re in good hands!  🙂

Thank you Anita, I’m very grateful.

Challengers: could I ask you to submit something by the first weekend of August (6-7), which is a few days after I come back from my holiday?  I will aim to put everything together on the 8 August.   Apologies to those who feel like you’ve had to rush it, but I trust this will help you.  Or maybe you’re cursing my name because of the inevitability of Parkinson’ Law kicking in, by which I mean that work will drag out to fill the time available!

I’ve got an exciting little deadline to fill the first part of the weekend.  On Wednesday, my daughter announced we should go to a charity fundraising ball at her school on Saturday night because at the beginning of the event she will be doing a dance she has choreographed with a friend, previously scheduled for the Summer Fair but cancelled.  I’d known about the event for some time but was quite keen not to go, not because the tickets are expensive (the aren’t) but because it’s a ‘formal attire’ evening.  It now turns out it’s the only chance I’ll have to see the dance performed on stage.   Daughter will need a dress to wear once her performance is over and she can join us.  In her innocence she planned on wearing her now very tight and slightly stained Tudor Tyrant costume but I suspect a satin fancy dress isn’t the look the organisers are aiming for!  So I reached again for the cling-film, wrapped her up and made this…

1 connie's cling film form

She is a bigger girl than when I last sewed for her exactly a year ago.  There might even be a bust dart in there somewhere!  I now have just over a day to produce a formal dress, using my petroleum-smelling cheap polyester which happens to be in a colour she loves (it’s still stiffened with gelatine).  She’d like me to make something like the beautiful green Greek Goddess dress you can just about see in the top picture which a friend would like fixed after another dressmaker bodged it (no pressure there then…).  But I can only make something very simple in the time.  If I fail (there are 4 errands requiring car trips between now and then), there is always a chance the charity shops will have something lovely in her size.

1 maskeDid I mention it was a masked ball?  We’re making masks too!  If only it wasn’t so windy today and the spray paint didn’t end up on my toes!!  I bought a pack of paper masks and covered two in glue and strips of gauze before painting.  I like the rough texture this has created.

Did I mention I love an adrenaline rush?  And that I’ve replaced my meals with tea so the time I save on preparing and eating food I spend instead …  on the loo 😯   ?

And oh, look: I’ve rescued the black bodice.  I took the advice of reader Sridevi and levelled the tail-like back.  The zip is an open-ended one used for jackets which makes it easy to get in and out of.  But it’s too long.  I don’t know whether to look for a shorter one – what are the odds of finding a 23.5cm open-ended zip? – or to snip this one and tuck the ends inside.   Available zip lengths  is definitely something to consider when drafting this as a bodice alone.  Bonne chance, mes amis. 1 bodice-horz

15 thoughts on “Mummy Dearest

    • The bodice looks great! I have only worked with an open-ended zip once for a jacket. It was pretty substantial. I think I am leaning towards a dress with a back zip now but that hinges on whether I retain the bodice peak or cheat altogether. I have less of an excuse for cheating now that the deadline has been extended and there will be help with the draping.I have been thinking if using my fabric to make another dress so things might be changing..

      I hope the formal wear extravaganza goes well and good luck to your daughter with the dance. Great stuff.

  1. I love it so far Is that a Liberty print mid-drape?
    Good luck with your petroleum smelling Greek Goddess creation or charity shop searches and try not to cry like a baby when you watch her on stage 😉
    I like the continuation of the horror/chiller theme. There are any number of such titles I could employ for my own sewing adventures – especially being a little out of practice in the dressmaking department lately. I’m afraid you are leaving me further and further behind on your journey to couture queenship to the extent that there are times I no longer understand what you are talking about 🙁
    No matter though, I am willing to learn and will always enjoy the sight of somebody wrapped in clingfilm in pursuit of their art.

    • Don’t worry Lynn, I think you might be heading for the Quilt Queen title so expertise is gradually being gained at your end too (though I am still waiting for some plaid garments from you!)

      The blue fabric is a sarong mum got me from Indonesia in the 90s. Over the years it’s served as a tv table cover, a picnic blanket, a pregnancy-belly cover-up… but it just isn’t long enough to make it as the Six Nap skirt.

  2. Good luck with the dress for your little one. Nothing like a deadline to get you going!

    I’m so impressed with your Six Napoleon challenge and can’t wait to see the results.

  3. Your 6Nap is looking lovely. Thanks for the extension. I haven’t made the bodice yet and am thinking of doing the skirt as flat pattern cutting. So glad to get Anita on the case. It is quite a puzzle.

  4. Oh the joy of in a rush eventwear! I’m glad it went well. I had a rush of my own, related to getting something of the pattern sorted in time for the small window of opportunity to fit it on dd. I have a ‘wearable toile’ of this now, but don’t think it will progress to a garment before your deadline.

  5. Such a relief: the costume work I’m doing is experiencing a higher than normal amount of change requests (essentially I start from scratch again today) and while I’ve wangled a fair amount of time working on this with butcher paper and a stapler on the shipping table….that’s not really draping.

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