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01 June 2013

"No New Clothes Challenge for Jodie" 2

"I have to say that in taking up the gauntlet to join in the Jodie "No New Clothes Challenge" I wasn't expecting it to turn competitive - or for my clothes to be copied before I've even had a chance to wear them! Though admittedly sharing patterns and ideas is one of the huge benefits of sewing with others. Nevertheless as the first version of my 40s blouse (pictured left) is finally complete (who says I never do any sewing or complete anything?!) it has been so admired that it is already being copied by the amazing Jodie, allegedly because she so loves the pattern she's been dying to sew it.

I have to admit that despite my apparent protests she is of course right: it is a great pattern, though I wish I could take credit for it. Credit is however due to tutor Kate, designer extraordinaire, who spotted its potential - for me at least! - the moment the pattern arrived. I originally only intended to make the skirt: it was Kate who suggested I make the blouse (and bolero actually!) and I really only agreed to work on the blouse because the original blouse or bolero pieces will be much easier to frame than the skirt ones due to their smaller size. (Apologies: the original pieces are still not framed as I am still trying to work out how to do that effectively!). However once again Kate's designer eye has been proved right and the 40s blouse is a huge hit, even though this 'prototype' is a first draft and not yet made to the standard I intend to achieve on repeating it. (cf. part of Goal no. 2: to sew the next one better!)

It would seem though that the blouse pattern is about to stand another challenge as Jodie and I usually wear completely different styles, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out for her. Isn't she lucky that I hadn't thrown the toile away and she could use it? A great recycling use of the first toile I drafted, though I am not totally convinced that Jodie should have evaded the original pain of tracing off an original 40s pattern without pins: be warned Jodie, you owe me a 'pattern trace'! That apart, I am actually quite excited at seeing the Jodie version (I heard a whisper from another Club member the other day about also wanting to make up their own version of the same blouse - Kate eat your heart out!). But ladies, I need to say very firmly at this point, that other than in a 1940s fashion show (do I sense an event coming on?), we absolutely cannot be seen wearing them at the same time at the same party!

In the meantime I can say that thanks to the photographic evidence I can prove that I have completed Goal 1 of my 2013-2014 Dressmaking Goals. And whether I like to admit it or not just now, this is very much due to Jodie spurring me on because of the shared (non-competitive!) challenge. Hopefully the favour has been returned as she has just sent me her written Sewing Goals. So here they are below. Note the hoodie (where's the 40s influence in that?!) by her own admission one of her favourite items of clothing - don't worry Jodie: not an item you're in danger of me copying!

No new clothes for Jodie update: Jodie's 2013 Sewing Goals - in her own words of course!

"The aim of this challenge was firstly to improve my sewing, however 6 months in I feel somewhat behind where I wanted to be. I have had a few unexpected outside (to sewing) challenges but still! Inspired by Domini's sewing goals I am setting myself both projects to complete and also some techniques I would like to master alongside them.

Here I go, 1. I live with external hope of a summer so.... a summer dress ( I have started this project already) Technique to be mastered.....lining a dress and fitting

  1. A jersey dress, this is for the autumn/winter which will be here quicker than summer so best get started. Technique to be overcome.....jersey and the challenges it brings

  2. A shirt, I love to wear shirts and they never appear to fit well so this is a challenge to be met. This will be my most advanced project of new things including buttons, collars, fitting, the dreaded placket word, so please wish me luck.

  3. A hoodie, I LOVE hoodies and having already attempted one I think another more polished attempt is needed!

  4. As mentioned by Domini above, the 1940's blouse pattern I have "borrowed" from her (thank you). I really love the style and so want to see if I can find my very own and see how this differs from modern patterns. Lots to learn here, vintage patterns are a whole new world and I will be looking to Domini and others at space to sew for help.

Of all I make I will also complete a quick blog of how I get on, even if I fail!


Domini again: There's no question of Jodie failing as she just doesn't. She has the most extraordinary perseverance and tries things that others would rather not even attempt (and not just hoodies!). As regards helping you with vintage patterns I think it will be Kate and the other tutors we'll need to turn to for that. However I can help you by holding on to the patterns while you trace around them so you don't use any pins!

p.s. I'm glad you want to make a shirt. I'll let you experiment with that one first and learn from you I think. That is the most daunting project I can think of just now, but I know you'll succeed with it even if I don't!

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