These are some hand-sewn tops I made in 2015, from a simple boxy pattern I took from a RTW top I already had. They're easy to make, but not terribly attractive to wear. They fit like hospital scrubs.
Here is another dress I made around the same time as the hand-sewn gray dress. This one is from the same self-drafted pattern, and also hand-sewn. I took this project with me on a three-day camping trip in the woods near Sisters, OR. Yes, hand-sewing in the woods does mean no ironing of seams. But with cotton, the finger-pressing that happens naturally as I work with the seams is sufficient. And my fellow campers got a kick out of seeing me sewing on day one, and wearing the dress home on day three!
This dress takes very little fabric (not a full skirt at all), but due to good color and fit, it always garners compliments. And best of all, people compliment me, not the dress, so I know the dress is doing its job.
Following are some close-up pictures of its construction.
I love hand-sewing. Ever since I was a child, I've loved plying the needle, imagining myself in another time. It's certainly a slower process to hand-sew a garment than to do one by machine, but in the summer, when the weather is fine, I often take my projects to a local park to work on them. A few years back, I was working on drafting a basic dress pattern, and made a couple versions of it. The pattern is not perfect (the armscye is cut too close in the front, the sleeves I drafted for it never fit right, and I'm not crazy about the neckline), but it's a good example of an early stage of my pattern-drafting. And, despite the fit problems, I always get compliments when I wear the dresses.
My favorite blogger and my inspiration in many things is Leimomi Oakes. For years, she has done regular historical sewing challenges designed to help people get out of sewing ruts, finish UFOs (UnFinished Objects!), and learn more about historical sewing. This is the first year I've participated.
Given my current scattered set of sewing goals, and how few of them are historical, I found January's challenge somewhat... challenging. "January: Firsts & Lasts – Create either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit." Thing is, I haven't been making ensembles lately. But as I thought on it, I realized that I have been very interested in nightwear.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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