Had that sinking feeling when you look at the fabric you purchased for a project and thought ‘Ooops‘?

Never one to shy from a challenge, I decided to not only slightly modify a pattern but to do it with a stripe fabric for the Colette Sewalong 2.0 – Hazel. Yes I’m having yet another crack at Hazel.

crikey stripes everywhere!

Nothing like a challenge!

OK not so bad, except when the stripes run in one direction and are all different widths. Not so good.

I almost ditched this project, however the time I spend in the sewing room after putting my girls to bed saved it. I spent a lot of time looking at the pattern and the fabric, moving pieces around before I started.

All sorts of things have gone wrong, I’ve cut out some pieces twice, jiggled and wriggled the pieces, had more than a few moments when I thought “I’m an idiot, I can’t do this” but I’ve hung in there and the stripes are lining up. Hooray.

I cut all the pieces out on the ironing board as they were all small and/or narrow. I wanted to achieve a cheveron effect at the seams so I was very precise about the position of the patterns pieces on the fabric before cutting. Once I had a pattern piece down exactly where I wanted it on my fabric, I wanted to anchor it securely before cutting. Standard pinning did not give me the result I was after and pattern weights were also not secure enough.

Solution? I pushed the pins directly down, through the pattern piece, the fabric and the ironing board itself. As my ironing board has a cover, a thick felt layer and then a metal grid, the pins went through easily (errr, except for when I hit the metal grid bits, minor detail).

Cutting out on the ironing board

Pinned down!

I pinned a little in from the edge so my scissors could easily slide along the edge. I have a rotary cutter and mat, however I found this method much easier for little pieces. (excuse the dodgey iPhone photos – the only thing at hand at night – but I think you get the idea. All you can see is a pin head, no pin shaft.).

I also found the height of the ironing board and the ease of moving around it very helpful.

Unlike many sewing projects, I have cut out the pieces as I have gone along. I knew I had enough fabric so I took my time. I cut out the bodice and pieced it together. Then cut and pieced the skirt. I spent quite a while deciding what to do with the stripes on the straps. I cut the facings from the scraps towards the end.

It’s been fun. In fact it reminds me of making a patchwork quilt, putting time and consideration into each step. Thinking about the placement of each piece and how the fabric works in context of the larger project. Sometimes it is nice to know your destination, other times choosing a different path is just as rewarding.

Still more work to go on this stripey challenge, I have to shift the straps a little, do some understitching and then the hem.

Patience is a virtue…

Stripey bodice

More stripes!

12 thoughts on “THE ONLY WAY IS UP

  1. Looks like its shaping up! The purple stripes are lovely, I think this is going to be a great dress when you master it. I stoked to see the final product, patience is the key

  2. I’m MADLY IN LOVE with your dress, it’s just too cute for words! I’m glad you saw the project through. A tip for the future: Burda always advises to draw the lines on the pattern piece and then to cut single layer. Helps a lot!!! Can’t wait to see the finished dress. I need this pattern so badly, my whole body itches but I’m waiting for them to go completely e so I can go crazy (I’m saving as we speak, LOL!)

    • I did try tracing but my tailors chalk was hopeless and was dragging the fabric out of shape. The upside of this fabric was it had no apparent right or wrong side. After cutting out one piece, I used the cut fabric to cut of the second piece, lining up the stripes exactly. Worked perfectly!
      I really want to make Oolong & Jasmine.

    • Here’s hoping! I hemmed it last night. And even though I’m early for the Colette Sewalong 2.0 I might post in a few days. I’m doing the Simplicity 1880 Sewalong too… if I can pick a fabric!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.