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01 April 2013

Domini's 2013-2014 Dressmaking Goals

As mentioned in the "No New Clothes Challenge" blog post, Jodie's example has made me realise that I recently reached my original sewing goals. What were they? When I started sewing in London my plan had been to have a tested well fitting pattern for a skirt, a pair of trousers, a dress and a jacket so that if I needed to run up something in a hurry I could. Well thanks to Janice's Speed Tailoring Course in January & Kate's help in adapting a 1940s skirt pattern to my 'fuller figure' and input from others along the way, I now have all of those. Hence the plateau. So I guess it's time for a new set of dressmaking goals.

So here are my 2013-2014 Dressmaking Goals publicly stated, so there's no going back:

1) to make a top from my favourite 1940s pattern which I can then replicate as a matching set (cf. Goal 2 below).

2) to replicate my beloved 1940s skirt in a summer fabric twinned with a matching top so it can be worn as either skirt or dress (the perfect fabric hunt is now on!). Reasons for goal: to sew better as the skirt is now a pattern I am familiar with and to learn to make a slightly more sophisticated top than I ve ever made before.

3) to finish my turquoise silk dupion 1950s style ball dress, originally started last year, which is in danger of becoming a sewing UFO (unfinished object) due to an unusual bodice pattern, but which I am determined to complete. (More on this in a future post).

4) to make a skirt or cape with some lovely burgundy cotton velvet I bought some years ago and which has been sitting around in a drawer ever since (not ideal where velvet is concerned!). The main aim of this project is to learn how to sew velvet as well as to complete another garment. I am also hoping to learn how to incorporate bound seams.

5) to make at least one other skirt of different style. First choice another 1940s number of more complex design: note the scalloped waist and extra panels/gores. (More about this pattern in another post to come!)

6) to make a new pair of trousers based on a wonderful Katherine Hepburn style pattern. Though I have another trouser toile, I've never actually made trousers myself yet so this will be a really new departure.

7) to make a shirt by the end of 2014. I have to admit this is not something I'm that keen to do (hence "by the end of 2014"!). However inspired originally by Jodie & latterly by the GBSB it would seem that a proper tailored shirt would be a good project for improving precision & finish.

That s more than enough public goals for me. As we all know my record for finishing sewing projects last year was not the best. I blame setting up Space to Sew for that (it seems to be a well known fact that most people involved with sewing businesses never get round to doing their own sewing!). Plus I have other projects I d like to work on too. But as they re nothing to do with clothes they re best left for another post.

For now, this is a record of my determination to not just sew more in 2014, but also to sew BETTER. For me sewing BETTER is ultimately the point of joining the challenge. To date I've often had to run up clothes in a rush so finishing them has been the only aim. Yes they've been finished (in the end) but I've not always been that pleased with the results. So it is a good time to seek to improve my technique and understanding of how things should be put together. No doubt my fellow Club members will keep my sewing nose to the proverbial grindstone. They're good at reminding me when I haven't finished anything for a while!

If you re interested in joining our challenge please let is know by e-mailing Or tweet us @SpacetoSew. We'd love to hear from you - and to hear about your particular dressmaking - and other sewing - goals.

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