A few weeks ago (OK, it was before Christmas...by quite some way, but I've only just got around to writing about it) I had a couple of people from work over to my little flat to get a little workshop on making their own (little?) clothes.
Neither had much experience, but they both had a clear idea what they wanted to wear and that shops weren't coming up with the goods, so I offered to see if we could make the stuff instead.
So they rocked up with lunch, I provided a sewing machine or two and we set to work.
Louisa is rather a splendid individual, with excellent taste, and therefore she wanted a replica of the Fantastic Mr Fox 'Mrs Fox' dress. And you can see why - it's totally marvellous!
Challenge number 1 was how to find fabric that could come even vaguely close to the original's bright yellow apple-bespekled splendor but have no fear, spoonflower came up trumps. Whoever angel_mio is, they're a legend.
Next, pattern! I'm not yet proficient enough to draft something this complicated from scratch - far from it in fact - so google was the obvious solution. I came across this lovely blog post where someone had done exactly this before, and the pattern she had found was spot on. It's out of print but thankfully Etsy had one and after a bit of back and forth on email we had purchased fabric, pattern and set a date for the workshop.
Hannah, workshop attendee number two, wanted to make coulottes out of a lovely African style print fabric she had bought at Walthamstowe market and so, again lacking a pattern, we opted for copying an existing pair brought along by Louisa.
I've got to the point where I can mostly copy other clothes as long as they are simple and thankfully these were fairly simple. The tricky bit was going to be the pattern matching because the fabric looked like this...
Yup - gorgeous but - well - you could see there would be some issues. It's fairly 'stripy' - if that didn't line up on the front these were going to look a bit eye wateringly confusing.
Thankfully Hannah had bought plenty of fabric (it was super cheap too!) so we didn't have any worries about running out but still matching up the pattern was going to be a challenge.
Well look what she did! That's pretty good for a first timer I reckon - and with quite challenging, slidey, light weight fabric into the bargain.
She's also in India in this photo, and looking amazing generally, so you know, that helps :)
So that's all marvellous and successful.
"But!" I hear you cry, "but how did Mrs Fox turn out?
Well - this required some stealth pattern work too - you don't want apples cut in half at the yolk or going wonky down the middle of the front of the dress. The fabric was a bit of a biatch to work with, stretchy and slippery - but Louisa managed to handle all of that brilliantly and.....
I mean, come on - that's pretty much the greatest dress ever made right?
Here it is again with a bit of a close up on that print...
Ahhhhh - it makes me so happy!
We had a super day, it was fun introducing friends to some of the things I enjoy spending my free time doing.
Louisa experienced the rollercoaster involved in making something from scratch. She articuated it something like this:
This is the best thing I've ever done!
I hate this bloody fabric
Oooooh!!! That seam almost looks like someone in a shop did it!
Actually this looks like it's going to be OK
It's a totaly *&!!ing disaster!
It's more than OK
We've all been there.
Thanks to both of them for diving in and managing about 8 solid hours of sewing without having a melt down.