This week on The Sew Weekly was…. patternless!
That’s right. Making something without using a pattern.
- Fabric: around 1.9m of purple bridal tulle (~$18 from Fabric Vision in Christchurch recently) and about half a metre of purple lining from my stash (~$2)
- Pattern: none! I made it up as I went along
- Year: 2011
- Notions: around 28″ of 1.5cm wide elastic, ~$0.50
- Time to complete: about 2.5 hours
- Will I wear it? Yes, most certainly
- Total cost: ~$20.50
When I saw the theme for this week I was all ‘yay!’ and excited. I like making my own patterns. It’s how I got into sewing – taking a random top or skirt and cutting around it (yep, no measuring at all) and making some random on-the-fly adjustments to whip up something new. Then I branched out and did a series of evening classes at Otago Polytech, learning how to draft patterns. I made some good basic slopers and learnt how to do some fun things like dart manipulation and the like. I still use a lot of those slopers today – the one for a basic knit fabric top is nearly falling apart, it’s been used so many times over the past decade.
For about 13 years, I was just randomly making things based on those basic pattern blocks I drafted, making on-the-fly adjustments as I went to create new garments. Which worked out rather well for me at the time, and was lots of fun. Kind of like a fabric jigsaw. Or sometimes a tetris puzzle, depending on how much fabric I was playing with.
When I started sewing, I was actually kinda scared of commercial patterns. It’s true. In fact, it was only last year that I started getting over that, with my 12 months of dresses project.
Then this year, I’ve been using almost entirely bought patterns. Lots of vintage patterns, after stumbling upon their awesomeness via all these fabulous online sewing blogs and vintage styled girls that I never knew existed until the start of this year.
I’ve been meaning to draft up some new patterns for a while. I especially want to draft a pair of wide leg 1940’s style trousers.
But this week wasn’t the time to do that. Two weeks before Christmas, it’s not really a good time to do much at all, as it turns out.
So I took the fast route and whipped up a purple petticoat, which was second on the list of things I wanted to make for the purple week theme last week. I picked up this tulle in Christchurch a couple of work trips there ago – I’d been hunting around for something suitable (read: kinda stiff but no where near as scratchy as standard netting) for a while, and when I spotted it in Fabric Vision down there, I jumped on it and bought what was left.
The Pattern (or in this case, the process)
The petticoat was pretty easy to whip up – I cut a rectangle in lining (so there’s nothing scratchy to sit on), then six rectangles out of the tulle. I gathered two of the rectangles and sewed them to the lining rectangle. Then stitched two of the others together at the narrow end and gathered them onto one of the now-attached-to-the-lining rectangles. Repeated the process with the other two, to end up with a double-layer of tulle. Overlocked the whole thing up the side, turned under about 1.5″ at the top of the lining and threaded some elastic through. Voila! One petticoat!
I likes it! It’s not quite as long as I was wanting (I ran out of tulle – whoops), but it’ll add a bit of 1950’s-ish style to some of those 1950’s dresses I’ve got in my wardrobe. And it’s purple! I do likes me some purple. So I’m figuring that as long as it’s not too itchy to wear, this petticoat is likely to get a lot of loving.