I’ve been in love with this amazing fabric featuring Brighton Pavilion since I started working at Mandors.
Originally they had a blue and a pink and every time I cut it for a customer I thought “I should buy some of this” but let’s face it, I think that about most fabric I cut and I simply cannot sustain the habit!
The blue sold out first and then for ages I lusted after the pink but forced myself to be a good girl. Even when it went into the end of Summer sale and I got to make a dress in it for a display dummy (soz no pic) I still remained strong.
It’s ridiculous really that I denied myself this fabric, especially since I am married to the Great Great Great Grandson of Samuel Henry Soper who was the Mayor of Brighton in 1891. Jamie’s Great Great Grandfather (the Mayor’s son) was married at Brighton Pavilion. I even mentioned the fabric to Jamie who “thoroughly endorsed the purchase” as long as I made him a cushion (?) but I continued to deny myself citing financial reasons…. until I realised stock was at a critically low level….. and that someone was buying it! (dun, dun, DUH!) All I could do was watch as someone bought the last of it and kick myself for being such a fool!
But then, SPEAKING OF FOOLS, I mentioned my misfortune to a colleague who said that the customer had bought all but the last metre! WHAT?! Who leaves a lonely metre all on its lonesome?! Frantic, I made for the remnants bag and whooped with joy as I held my prize aloft!
Now the problem remained of what to make because I had envisaged a dress but with only a metre that was out of the question. I decided to try a vintage pattern I bought recently from the wonderful Etsy shop Yard of Goods.
I haven’t made a top yet (apart from Colette’s Sencha which lies half made and I’m in a bad mood with) and figured with some creative placement I could get this out of a metre.
I traced the pattern first even though it’s a one size only pattern. I just didn’t want to risk anything happening to the original pattern. Respect for the elderly n’all that!
Then I had to employ some tactics to squeeze the pieces out of my metre.
First hurdle: the pattern repeat which is kind of linear. This top has princess seams which worried me slightly as I felt that attention might be drawn to the bust join area and I wasn’t sure how much matching the pattern would matter. Especially since I had not had to think about this with previous prints and had limited fabric to work with. Hm…..
I decided to make an effort to match it up. One of the things I like about this pattern is that the notches are numbered so I took number 7 on the bust area and noted where on the pattern it landed which was “near a windmill thingy.”
And then tried to place the corresponding notch on the side piece in the same place. The more I stared at the pattern the more it warped my mind but by some weird twist of fate, I was able to do this within the limits of my available fabric.
I get the feeling this is going too well!
Second hurdle: I can’t read. Again.
See where it says “Baste Part 11 Interfacing to wrong side of FRONT”? I didn’t read that. I just saw the picture of 11 on there and sewed it on. I didn’t even baste, I just SEWED! Then realised that I had sewed it on the wrong way round, as in, wrong side to right side. Gah.
It was only after I had unpicked it and sewed it right side to right side that I started to suspect something amiss…… why only one of the facings? Usually you make them into a roundy neckline first and then sew them on non?
Yeah, that’s when I read it and saw that it was only the interfacing. ‘SAKE! Had to unpick the blighter AGAIN!
Third hurdle (Thirdle?): This is not the first time I have done princess seams but it is only the second. I really struggled to get the pieces fitted together.
Ripper was on the go again as I battled to get the point sharp without leaving a hole or accidentally gathering/tucking.
Once I’d finally got to grips with the seams I turned it over expectantly in order that I might admire the pattern continuation whathaveyous only to discover that my “clever” placements were not what I thought they’s be.
With relief I moved on to the back which required darts. I was a good girl and marked out the circles with tailor’s tacks as I have real issues seeing chalk and didn’t really have a colour that would show up on this.
Sew (that was a mistake but I’m leaving it) I finished my darts. Incidentally, I may have mentioned this before but I picked up a good tip on finishing darts from my brilliant sewing bible…
I knew not to back-stitch at the point in order to avoid ‘bubbles’ and had previously tied a knot but the book tells you to leave long tails and sew your ends back through the stitching . I realise that most people probably know this already but bear in mind I’m teaching myself from scratch here so tips like this are really helpful.
Next I went to sew the side seams and……………..oh…………………. machine has stopped working. Inspection reveals it is probably the gear moving the feed dog again which is apparently a common problem with this machine. It is 35 after all and was due its annual service.
I am bereft and you will have to wait until it’s been to the hospital to find out if I ever get this top made.