Dressmaking revisited

I have recently joined a Facebook group which sets itself sewing challenges, the first challenge I am joining in with is sewing a dress. It is a long time since I sewed an item of clothing for myself – in fact it was in my school days studying GCSE needlework (20 + years ago!). I gave up dressmaking as I struggle to envision the fabric into the item, and then myself wearing it.


Over the Easter weekend we had a lovely trip to Yorkshire visiting my parents, I had some time for charity shop shopping and picked up two patterns. A child’s nightdress which I will make a perfect summer dress for my daughter.


Starting with a dress for her means I have some practice at pattern cutting, reading a pattern, and choosing suitable fabric, before I start on more expensive fabric for myself.


This red and white fabric is very much my daughters bright style, although I have a sneaky feeling she will reject the finished dress as it is a crisp cotton. She loves soft draping fabrics.


The second pattern has some rather wonderful sleeve which I had decided to omit. Next decision, fabric. Yesterday I visited a new local craft and fabric shop. A rather eclectic place, with a notice on the door for a hairdressers, never before have I been to shop which sells haircuts alongside cotton fabric!

The mother and daughter were extremely helpful, along with stocking affordable soft cotton. They were genuinely interested in my old pattern, but helpfully suggested I check all the pieces were there! Sadly not… but we enjoyed comparing the quality of the pattern pieces.


So after quite a bit of deliberation, I have finally gained my pattern and fabric:) It includes an invisible zip down the center back.

Any suggestions for making the dress gratefully received (I have to admit it rather irks me that it costs more to dress make than buy off a peg, with no opportunity to try before you buy!!)

You never know this challenge, which takes me out of my comfort zone, may transform my future wardrobe into handmade items.


I hope you have had a creative week, as usual I am popping over to Handmade Harbour to see what everyone else has been up to this week,

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12 thoughts on “Dressmaking revisited”

  1. I agree, it doesn’t seem right that you have to pay more to make an item of clothing yourself. I bought all the bits to make a dress for Izzy and it cost £17! It wasn’t even an elaborate dress or pattern. I think the fabric you have chosen is lovely, can’t wait to see the finished product.

  2. That is a big step to make a dress after so long. Take your time, tack the dress together before you sew and try on. If you can find a handy sewing friend to give you some help if you feel a bit wobbly. Even though i sew lots I don’t make my own clothes any more. As you say it is expensive but can be addictive.

  3. Looking forward to seeing your sewing projects. I have been dressmaking this weekend, and also was amazed at some of the material prices. Not to mention the £7.99 pattern! A good idea to find some old patterns.

  4. Good luck with your dressmaking. I was always taught the argument for sewing rather than buying ready-made were quality, uniqueness, and good fit. But, I always hated trying to fit myself. Sewing for others was much easier.

  5. It is strange how making something yourself works out to be more expensive than a shop bought one – a nice feeling though that it is all your work work. Looking forward to seeing the finished item. Hope you have a good week.


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