Sunday, January 17, 2010

Joining the dots.

Sometimes in order to get any sewing done myself, I have to share my scraps with the girls and be their sewing slave. I have to stitch this pocket here, overlock this hem there and not be too precious about those bits of fabric I had saved from past projects that might have been big enough for a patch or an applique in the future.

This morning I lay yesterday's dress on another sheet and cut around it, but this time I cut more of an hourglass shape. Wider at the chest and narrower under the bust.

I sewed it together and wore it around for a few hours but it looked like a sack. I kept on cutting bits off and making new seams to try to get it to fit better but nothing worked.

Then from nowhere I had this idea to draw dots half an inch apart on the neckline and then join the dots together to gather the fabric.

I'm sure in dressmaking this technique has a proper name but I'm calling it joining the dots.

All of a sudden the dress had shape.

I sewed over the pleats, bound them and I liked what I saw.

It still looks too much like a nightie but I think that's just the sheet fabric.

In between the farm stall and more dress making for dollies, I might get to have another go today in another fabric.

A year ago today I got the call to tell me that my grandmother Lucy had died. Since she had been suffering from alzheimers for a few years before her death, in a way it seems like a lot longer than a year. But over the last few months I have been remembering her before the disease. I have been remembering the smart, funny, generous, beautiful, loyal, sparkly eyed grandmother who I adored. I miss you Booba Lucy so much.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. XX


  1. I have no idea what the real name is but I really like 'join the dots'!

  2. hope this day is a good one for you Kate with mostly good memories.
    I am yet to be able to get to good memories without the bad ones sneaking through.
    thinking of you & your family ♥

  3. I see that as well as your many other talents, kate, you also do acupuncture. xxx

  4. I love the join the dots - I so think we went to the same sewing school and I love your honesty - makes me remember your other halfs blog terms like blogutaion! Yours is truthful and wonderful! I have a sheet that may be working towards a dress like yours one day!

  5. Lovely Kate, i call them pin tucks or of course, pleats!!
    Now for a story . . . when my 3rd daughter was in hospital with asthma aged 4, this amazing African doctor came in to see her & said "gee i like your dress" to distract my little one from the oxygen mask & get this, she pulled off the oxygen mask, moved forward & started gathering the shapeless surgical scrubs the doctor was wearing & said "your outfit would look better with some pleats & some darts at your boobs".
    No kidding!! She was 4 & used to draw pictures of girl's clothes with darts, pleats, gathering & CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF THE FABRIC PATTERN ON SLEEVES. Good God, is she a designer in the making?? Now she's 8 we have a whole portfolio of such amazing comments from her.
    Next time you need some sewing design tips, i can have her email you!! He he, love Posie

  6. Oh I like what I see too!

    Lovely! I think it would look EVEN BETTER, with bias binding around the hem to match the neckline and brown patch pockets, nighties don't have pockets... (do they...? As someone who weares whatever happens to be lying around to bed, as long as it's soft & comfy, I'm not really an expert...)!!

  7. The dress looks lovely.
    I bet Booba Lucy would be very proud of her creative and oh-so independent granddaughter.

  8. Hey kate its fantastic!! I like the shape it makes you look womanly!! Isn't it lovely that you are now starting to remember the good stuff....."cheers" to a life before illness. x doc...sometimes your a funny bugger!!

  9. Well done on the dress! It looks fantastic! I love the shape and simplicity. It doesn't look like a nighty to me but I can understand why you think that. You could always dunk it in a pot of dye and add some crochet motifs for decoration?

    Memories can be so strong and inspiring and it's important to celebrate life especially of those that have passed on. xx

  10. I love your dress. It's amazing. I'm um, a much larger version of you (lol) but I wonder if I could make one! Is it basically a singlet shape??

  11. Love the dress Kate! I think it would look lovely with some sort of trim on the bottom too. The pleats make it look so more shapely dont they. It is sad when people get alzheimers as it takes away the spirit of the person doesnt it, but it is nice to remember them as they used to be, witty and funny and loving! I hope you have a lovely day remembering your grandmother.

  12. I love it! i don't think it look slike a nightie at all. Your decking loks exactly the same as ours - with grapes growing over it!

  13. The dress looks great!!! I don't know if I have the guts yet to give something like this a go! :)

  14. I love the dress...It looks great!!!!

    I hope you had a wonderful day full of beautiful memories.

  15. Hey Kate, well done, I love the dress,I agree with Vic, bind the hem and add some pockets.Wish I could just draw,sew and wear something it would solve alot of "I've got nothing to wear " moments!!
    Glad that you are finally able to recall the good memories about your grandmother. Dementia steals those we love before it's time, which is very hard on families.

    Claire X

  16. Aaah - see, how do you do it! It looks great Kate and would be oh so cool for those 40 degree days we are bound to get again soon.
    I know what you mean about being a sewing slave - I am often one here too.

  17. I love the dress - those "joined dots" on the neckline are fabulous. I don't think it looks like a nightie at all and agree with others here that some bias binding around the hemline would be great. Perhaps you could add in ties in the side seams to wrap around your middle to give you a waist? Or some darts at the back? I don't know - I'm hopeless at patternless sewing!!

    Happy memories of your nan.

  18. I love 'join the dots', it makes complete sense! I agree with Vic, more binding and cute pockets!

  19. Sharing scraps with your girls- lovely times- happy memories.

  20. Once again WOW! You inspire me to raid my linen cupboard and have a fu#*%ng go!
    Don't you reckon it's just WRONG that our Grandmothers leave us just as we are ready to ask them alot of questions?
    I'm gunna get my sewing machine out of retirement tomorrow!

  21. Don't stab yourself!
    AND I hope you'll stop by my blog soon I have something for you!

  22. i love it. especially the fabric you chose. thank for visiting kate! besos-jane

  23. Great going with the join the dots! you are very brave sewing for yourself without a pattern. I can never bring myself to cut into that much fabric! Plus I have a very uneven shape, dollies are much easier!

    My mum has alzheimers, she was a fantastic sewer, coming from a long family line of sewers (it brushed past me though). She doesn't sew anymore, but loves to go through her stash (I do too). I have been wanting to do a blog entry in her name for a long time. Just got to get some photos scanned.

  24. Dress making is fun isn't it!

    I never knew either of my grandmothers, I wish I did because they always sound so beautiful.

  25. It looks really great and for your second dress??? WOW!
    I think Vic's and Melanie's sujestions could be just perfect! Keep going!
    Michele x

  26. I hope you had a peaceful and reflective day. I love that nightie/dress/frock/shirt- the neckline is very pretty. xo m.

  27. I love this dress and I love your anarchic approach to sewing - it's exactly the same method I use!! So much more fun this way I think ;)

    Beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I totally agree with you on the memory front - it's the same with my dad and my memories of him.

    Lovely post - thank you :)


  28. Love your frock,so lovely to think it's the right weather for wearing a dress made out of a sheet-a bit too chilly this end of the world at the moment! I know what you mean about being a sewing slave, I have those moments too, even my son has had a little sewing project on the go-something to do with a cub badge I think...
    Louise x

  29. clever clogs. love it, and you have me tempted to try!
    i'm glad to hear that you're at the point where you can now enjoy the happy memories of your Grandmother Lucy ♥

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Kate XX

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