I never had the opportunity to learn how to sew at school and dressmaking was never something I had thought about until my younger sister started studying Fashion and Textiles at school and making her own clothes. The moment I seriously decided I should be having a go at it myself was when I saw the prom dress she had made for her end of Year 11 prom at the age of 16! She looked stunning and had made her dress herself so no one else would be wearing the same as her!

After I finished studying at university, moved to a new town and started work, I soon befriended a colleague who was interested in joining a dressmaking class and asked if I’d like to join her as we both enjoyed sewing. This was the start of my investment into sewing as a hobby and not just as a one off occasion. We joined the class and I had a look through my friends dress patterns as I had never owned any myself. I picked out a blouse as my first project and chose the fabric and coordinating thread to go with it and got started…

Blouse Pattern

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There is quite a steep learning curve at the beginning to understand what the instructions are telling you to do. It is honestly like reading a different language at the beginning. The phrase that initially threw me was “machine baste together” and my thought were… “you baste a chicken, what are you talking about?” I learnt about tailor tacks as shown above with yellow thread to stand out from the fabric and my pattern required me to create a lining for the bodice, doubling up the pieces and sewing them together and turning them inside out was all very complicated with under-stitching and top-stitching to hold things in the correct place.

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Now the sleeve is not my style… Later on I did adjust the sleeve to be more streamlined and straight rather than flared. We’re not in the 1970’s anymore!

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Tried on the bodice to check the fit and then the rest wasn’t too complicated. Here is the final outcome on the mannequin…