if at first you don’t suceed……


After my last post, I duly went away and sewed my heart out for an hour or so…

…all the while confident that, despite having no instructions, I would be successful.

Mmmmm! Not quite how it worked out.

I had sewn each ‘dress’ together and then put them right-sides together to attach them around the neck and armholes. I did the neck first, clipped my curves and then turned it right-sides out to have a look.

Ooops! Forgot to put button loop in the bit around the back that was also stitched at the same time. Unpicked section to insert button loop. Button loop way too big when I turned it all out again. Unpicked it again – third time lucky.

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Stitched together around armholes. Beautifully constructed inside out reversible dress……. how the **** do you get it right-sides out again? Lots of pulling and cursing, then the revelation that Tuesday nights Great British Sewing Bee had shown me the way.

The contestants had to make a simple cotton top, with a lining. This involved stitching the shoulder seams together on the main fabric pieces and doing the same with the lining pieces (just the shoulder seams, no side seams or back seams). Place right-sides together and stitch both bits together around neck and armholes.

Then push each of the back sections through it’s respective strap to turn it right-sides out, then join side and back seams. Thank goodness I was paying attention, shame I didn’t realise this was what I should have done before sewing all the bits together.

Spent an age unpicking all the side and back seams, then Ta-daah I pushed the back pieces through to get it right-sides out.

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The side seams were easy, but I struggled with where the back seams met the bit at the back that had been joined together to make the neck opening. I had to do a sneaky bit of hand-sewing and then go over the join with the machine in a way that would stop it all falling to bits – like so


Working out how much hem to do was tricky, as was making sure it was straight on the plain side. Final flourish of sewing on the pair of matching buttons, one on each side, then aaaah! breathe.


Despite all the unpicking and swearing I am really rather pleased with the finished product. I think I prefer the patterned side to the plain side – not sure why – maybe the pockets? maybe just the fact that it is a bit plain?

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What do you think?

It has now been sent out to be tried on and critically appraised by the first of my able 4 year old testers. (Niblet did have to put it on for me at one point to work out the length, but I’m not sure he would appreciate having to wear it!)

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