Brown Stretch shift

Who has been watching ‘Great British Sewing Bee’? Isn’t it amazing? I really love curling up with a mug of tea and wondering what I would do with each adaptation challenge. So, one day, I set myself one!

As a sewer, it is entirely normal to go a friend/relatives house and for said friend/relative to suddenly pipe up in the middle of the conversation: ‘Oh, I’ve got something you could use for your sewing’. Whereupon they dash upstairs, and bring you down a bag of old clothes which vary in usefulness, and you select which garments you actually could do something with. I have rather the stack of alternations/DoSomeThingWith clothes in my fabric chest.

A while ago, my mum had such a clear out, and she gave me a pair of wide legged elasticated trousers in a rather lovely brown. The fabric was stretchy, and there weren’t any darts, so I figured it would be a good source of fabric for another challenge.

So, garment selected, clock set, GO!

I cut down the centre seams to give me two big pieces of fabric with a seam down the centre, which I pinned to the front, and to the back of the mannequin. I added bust darts, back darts and half waist darts (for a ripple skirt effect), hemmed a boat neckline (managed to only slightly stretch the fabric which I consider a bonus) and was preparing to start some french seams when the clock stuck!

So, I wasn’t finished, and what I had done needed some tidying up. The bobbin had a bit of a frenzy when I was trying to sew the shoulders, so I have two spider like knots on the underside of the fabric that I am afraid to cut away in case I rip the fabric!

At the end of an 90 minutes, I had managed to produce this:


I don’t think May and Patrick would have been too impressed with me.

I can identify that I probably would have finished, but my original plan involved an intact waistband, so I unpicked it and wasted about half an hour, only to not use the waistband! Typical!

A couple of days later, and my seams are all finished, and I have managed to produce this very simple dress. I tried French Seams for the first time, and while one side has a perfectly beautiful looking french seam, the other side could really do with trimming down because the seam is about an inch wide! So I’m not sure I will count that as a complete success.





The waist tie actually came from the original trousers and I thought it broke the dress up a little.

And honestly, I haven’t quite finished. I want to get some dark brown bias for the armholes, but I won’t be able to get into town for a while, so this will be sitting in the ‘almost complete but not quite’ pile till then.

Keep Sewing!



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