Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thrifty sewing



Cutwork frill on a cotton petticoat.Image via Wikipedia
About a week ago I was browsing in a thrift store and found a broderie anglaise skirt. This picture shows the cut work and white on white embroidery of typical broderie anglaise, although the skirt I bought was all lace not just the edging. The skirt had lots of material but the waist was for Twiggy, but I bought it and have cut it down for a cotton slip. I have been trying to buy a cotton slip for a while because the polyester ones make one perspire when the temperatures get high, as it will in Mexico, but I haven't been able to find one, slips are getting harder to find anyway, it seems. I made it like a skirt with panels and a zip, partly because I needed to fit my paper pattern to my measurements and this skirt only cost me $2 so if I goofed it was no great loss. I don't seem to have standard measurements so buying clothes is a pain and I have to adjust patterns. The slip fits great so now I have to mark my paper pattern so I will know what to do next time I want to make a skirt. I will have to do the same for a top so I will go in search of a blouse fabric I like and then mess about with it until I get the right measurements. I have narrow shoulders and back but all goes before me, so to speak so, if I buy blouses to fit the prow the shoulders are almost to my elbows (slight exagerration, but you get the idea) or if I get something that fits nicely everywhere else I can't do it up. Plus my arms are a bit shorter than average.. Woe is me I am an oddity.

So far I have made this plus three skirts, two blouses and altered a few other items to fit better. I have still got a pair of capri pants and a blouse to make and that is probably it for now. I used to sew a fair bit when the kids were little but I haven't sewn anything in years so I have to relearn some techniques. When I was a teenager, one summer vacation, my father enrolled me in a tailoring course given in French, he figured he could get twice as much bang for his buck. Whatever I learned there has long fallen by the wayside. I don't tailor and I don't speak French.
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4 comments:

david mcmahon said...

You made me chuckle at the comment ``the waist was for Twiggy''!!!

Liz said...

That sounds pretty! You are good doing all that sewing: I hate it!

Tailoring in french?!!

Joy said...

You are the best re-user of fabrics. I'm so impressed with your finds and how you re-work them to suit you.
That is a funny story about your dad. I think I know where your frugrality stems from. ;)
I made a skirt a few week ago. It's way fuller than I wanted. I'm not good at zippers so it's elastic and drawstring.
I'm wearing more skirts this summer. I think they are cooler.

Joy

Jeni said...

My Grandmother was an excellent seamstress and was known around the village here many years back for her ability to look at a dress on another person, or even in a catalogue and from that, she could make a pattern and whip up a replica of the dress for herself or for someone else. My Mom was also a very good seamstress but couldn't make her own patterns and sew like Grandma although Mom could do alterations. Me? I can sew -sort of -as long as I have a pattern and provided that pattern guarantees that it is most certainly an "Easy Sew" thing! Alterations of items and/or patterns though is never gonna happen on my watch! And, sadly, the cost of fabric these days is almost making sewing cost prohibitive too. Now remember those two sweaters I knitted recently for Maya and for Kurt? Each of those sweaters cost me less than $4.00 to make and where can you buy a sweater, handmade, in a store, for that price! (I had lucked out and got the yarns I used for each of those sweaters on a discontinued yarn sale, less than a dollar a skein! So for me, that WAS a darned good bargain!)
Great post though and even greater creativity on the part of the writer-seamstress too!