Sewing for me

I have finally got around to doing some sewing for myself. I find it a bit tricky doing sewing for myself as I have a scoliosis which makes fitting garments a bit tricky.  I have bought a dressmakers dummy in the hope that I will be able to make some changes to the shape of the dummy so that when I make something for myself it will be a better fit than in my past attempts.

The garment I have chosen to make is this one, a very simple straight shift.

I bought some very cheap stretch fabric for my first try.

I was working on the premise that if it didn’t work out it would not be a big waste of money.

I cut out the longer version but when I had finished the garment I actually ended up hemming the shorter version.

The pocket detail.

Overall I am happy with the finished result.  Next time I would make it in a finer fabric as this fabric is quite thick.

Now I will look at markings on sewing patterns in a different light.

You will need to read The Seamstress by Maria Duenas to find out why.the seamstress

I am fickle when it comes to choosing books.  This one was chosen purely on the front cover.  I love the art of Jack Vettriano who is Fife born.  Fife is the county in which I was born.  I should say Kingdom, not county, as Fife is known as the Kingdom of Fife.

You may know of The Singing Butler, one of his more famous prints.


“Read this book and be prepared to be transported”, that on the front cover also influenced me.

From the cover:

 1935: As turmoil brews in Europe, Sira Quirog’s carefully mapped-out life is thrown into chaos, first by love, then betrayal.  Abandoned and alone, all she has are her skills as a seamstress, a talent that could not only save her but may influence the course of a war….

When the glamorous circles of high society and the shadowy world of espionage collide, Sira is confronted with a terrifying decision, with only one possible choice.

From the haute couture ateliers of old Madrid to the exotic souqs of Morocco, The Seamstress is the inspiring journey of an extraordinary young woman who embraces destiny, braving life-or-death stakes and risking everything, for love.

This is a brilliant story that follows a young woman before and during the war and her adventures in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.  It is quite a lengthy novel, 615 pages, but completely engaging, set in the 1930s and 1940s.

I devoured this book. It pretty much hit all the right notes for me: exotic places, a little romance (but not too much), spies, MI6, deception, fashion and it goes on my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge list.

A wonderful novel full of intrigue, love and adventure.

Material possessions!

I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to keeping my hands in my pockets when I visit any kind of fabric or wool shop.  I know I shouldn’t buy anything as I already have plenty of fabrics and wool but I am always tempted by the beautiful fabrics and yarns.  This was the case when I stopped at Rosedale on my return trip from Melbourne.  There is a lovely shop there, Lily Lane Patchwork ,


and it was here, a couple of years ago, that I bought my first jelly roll to make a quilt for my granddaughter. Since then the quilt shop has moved to much larger premises and the array of fabrics is stunning. I think that is possibly why I ended up buying so many pieces of fabric.  Some of the fabrics I bought are for quilting but the majority is for making clothing; pyjamas, a blouse and some pinafores.

Fine corduroy and cotton shirting for a pinafore dress and blouse.

Thick corduroy and cotton shirting.

Assorted fabrics for pyjama pants and quilting.

Fabrics for a dress.  Now I really will need to get busy sewing.