Sew Happy

We felled a Mimosa tree. And it was HOT. Very hot to be wielding power tools and nimbly dodging falling branches in heavy weight jeans.   Our patch, on a good day,  is like the Garden of Eden. That picture, elephants in the jungle, I wasn’t kidding. There are parts I haven’t ventured into in several years. Not even armed with a chainsaw and strimmer.  Eden like, we seem to be playing host to an increasing number of quite large snakes, occasionally uncovered while ‘gardening’. Tough footwear essential.

Hot, sweaty work then.  When we called a halt, I was happy to slip into the first airy dress in sight, which happened to be this one, screwed up in a heap on the sewing room floor, waiting to be recycled into half scale toiles for Japanese magic. I never really took to it after I stitched it, back in February, for the Red Dress PR contest. The memory of thread nests,  drastic pattern re jigging and shivering in the weak February sun, pretending it was hot enough for the photos was too keen. Who was I kidding, holiday dress?

But on death row in the sewing room, my red dress had reformed its evil ways and begged forgiveness. I loved it as soon as I pulled it on, cool, relaxed, comfy. Only I should have figured out a lining. The top is thick enough to cover the essentials without any help, but the skirt, with the sun behind it ……

This morning I whizzed up a half slip from three quarters of a yard of the same red stuff. So happy I sew. It took, literally fifteen minutes. Measure hips, measure length, cut rectangle, sew back seam. Sew large curved darts at the sides to bring the waist in, judging length and width by eye, and four more smaller darts, two front and back, by eye again. Hem, stitch elastic round waist. It would have taken longer to find a red slip on l’internet, not to mention probably having to shorten it when ever it arrived. I’m wearing the ensemble now,  black keks with dubious slogans not showing through. How do people who can’t sew survive?

After this was complete, I had a thought, maybe a brainwave. If you are making a straight skirted dress like this one, out of a lightweight jersey, couldn’t you make the skirt part double the finished length, put elastic at the bottom edge and have the hem as the halfway fold, unstitched? Has anyone tried this? I mean, you would pull the dress on, pull the elastic up to your waist, and then let the skirt fall. You wouldn’t have a difficult hem stitching problem, no sweat finding a lining fabric which was a decent match, and the top could be unlined. Is it a brilliant idea or idiotic? I can’t decide.

Still got a heap of Mimosa debris the size of a retirement bungalow to carve up and shift. I think I know why Eve bit into that apple. She was hoping to swap for a nice little flat with a sunny balcony and a couple of pot plants.


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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5 Responses to Sew Happy

  1. prttynpnk says:

    I believe that red dress is a new favorite for me!


  2. Nice dress! Re: doubling up the skirt for a slip, would the doubling be sewn to the waist seam or just elasticated? If it’s elasticated you risk having the weight of the double skirt pull the elastic lower and lower; it may not open out completely but it will feel uncomfortable.. I have hazy memories of having something like this as a child but I could be wrong, perhaps it was a romper type thing..


    • Pella says:

      I was thinking elastic, but now you mention it, that is probably the flaw in the plan. Sitting down, you might pull your elastic down, and then have to do some discrete wriggling and hitching to get it back to the right place.


  3. bela s. says:

    Isn’t it funny how things we sew grow on us? I find that sometimes its just a matter of mood and styling, before something I have made really makes me smile. When I am just trying on things in my hair rollers before bed to check the fit, I usually hate almost everything. When it’s finished I usually just let it hang for a few days on my dress form and wouldn’t you know the right occasion and sans hair rollers I love it.

    The red dress, hat, and shades are lovely.


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