Don't fret! This is not a new challenge but the amount of dresses all June Challenge participants have made collectively during the month of June. Isn't this great! You can have a look at all the creations on our flickr page or browse through the participants' blogs (all listed in the right-hand column of this blog ->). Here is a little photo summary of my contribution:
I'm really glad I set myself this challenge because not only do I have four more dresses to wear this summer, but it also made me reconsider my sewing style. Here is what I learned:
1) Trust your instincts! It is sometimes good not to second-guess yourself all the time. With most of the dresses I made I went with my first instinct and just started sewing, because there simply was no time to reconsider pattern and fabric choices. Nevertheless, I'm really happy with the outcome of my dresses. So, quick decisions made on instinct are not necessarily bad.
2) Use your stash (yes, also the really, really special fabric at the very back of your stash which you've saved for years)! Sewing four dresses in one month also forced me to eat into my fabric stash. Every dress was sewn with fabric from my stash and some of it had been lying there untouched for years. Mostly because I didn't want to spoil it and could never quite decide what pattern would match each fabric best. I don't know if the choices I made where the best, but I have finished garments now instead of just fabric collecting dust in my stash and that is good.
3) It is okay to take sewing short cuts! I also learnt that going quickly can have its merits. Sewing should be fun and rewarding and sometimes a quick dress is just the thing I need. I made only haphazard muslins for my dress bodices, tried to minimize hand-sewing and made no full linings. Still, I'm happy with my dresses and might use one of the dress patterns to re-make it more carefully with lining, hand-sewing and all that jazz in the future.
4) A well-fitted sloper can go miles! It is quite possible to use one pattern again and again and again with only slight modifications for completely different looks. Dresses #1, #2 and #4 (my favourites!) were all sewn using only one bodice pattern. The skirts of dresses #1 and #2 are shirred rectangles of varying widths and for dress #4 I drafted a simple A-line skirt.
All in all, I'm really happy to have challenged myself to make four dresses in one month. Still, I'm also glad to be sewing a little more leisurely for the rest of the summer, taking my time with each piece and going back to a little more musing and pondering over farbic and patterns before jumping right into another project. Although, of course I have plenty in mind. I recently made a little list with tiny drawings attached for all the projects I have on my mind and would like to sew and, phew, let me tell you, that list is scarily long. It's like a five-year plan! What to do next?! We'll see...
I hope you all enjoyed the June Challenge as much as I did. Thanks for joining me! It really motivated and cheered me up to see your sewing progress and finished projects. Hope you are having a relaxed sewing summer (or winter). See you!
Friday, July 15, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Here are the photos I promised you of my final June Challenge Dress. My mum took them this morning on the beach. This is me with a rusty old bike we found yesterday by the bins. Now it's mine and it's very tough to cycle. I need to give it some more oil and a good clean.
My final dress was once again made modifying the trusted bodice pattern I used for the June Challenge dresses #1 and #2. Only this time I didn't use a rectangle as a skirt but actually drafted an A-line skirt. The front bodice bit was designed with lots of experimentation and improvisation.
The dress also looks very pretty and a little more dressy with a belt. I'd like to make a red belt for it, which will go with a pair of red shoes I have. The dress has already been worn to a job interview with a dressy jacket and at the beach, so it's very versatile. Probably my favourite dress of the dresses I made in June.
I wanted to write a little June Challenge review post while on holidays as well, but I don't think I will be posting anymore before I get back home. The internet is so very slow and it takes ages to upload anything that I may as well be sending you these pictures by snail mail. I'm not a very patient person so this is not working for me. Well done everyone for making so many pretty dresses in June and keep uploading them to our flickr group. See you after the holidays and have a nice week!