Friday 23 September 2016

Sew; a needle pulling thread

I know the exact moment my interest in sewing was born.

I was about seven years old. Madame Di Bono (that was really her name!) was working on my First Holy Communion dress and I needed a fitting. My mother took me in to her workshop for a visit, and as always, I had my teddy bear with me. Madame Di Bono noticed that he was a remarkably bare bear and proposed an outfit. I agreed, so she stopped what she was doing, scooped up a scrap of fabric, and within a matter of minutes had made this little playsuit for him.

It was like magic. I was spellbound. So many possibilities had suddenly opened up.
Once he was in this outfit, he didn't look like a boy so much anymore. One quick gender re-evaluation and Teddy became Angelina

After that I snaffled spare bits of fabric from my mum and started knocking up very basic outfits for myself. My first efforts were a towelling halter neck top, a bikini and when I found some net curtains, an M&S vest was transformed into a tutu. Angelina got one too. We quite liked matching outfits, but then, that type of thing was popular in the 1970s.

This started off life as a shift dress, but way too big, so it needed a refashion

So fast forward to today and sewing is still top of my list when I have a bit of free time. When everyone starts talking about Autumn, I go into denial and start making summerwear. A couple of weeks ago, with temperatures forecast in the 20s, it seemed to me the perfect moment for a playsuit to match Angelina's.
It's one of those cut and shuts again. This will be the sixth garment I have made using this bodice pattern and the fifth time I've used the trousers/shorts. I've also made the shift dress/top three times. I think it's fair to say I've had my value out of these patterns.

You've seen most of them before. It might be time to try out one of my other patterns. The good news is I have next week off work, with no big plans, so I think it's time to get the sewing machine out again.
However before that, I've got a full weekend, with the girls from Uni coming to stay. Seven of them! And I still need to finish the alterations to my dress.

How about you, got anything nice planned for the weekend?


Anonymous said...

My goodness , what a wonderful history of sewing! Have to say, am in awe of all the great items you have made. My sewing skills are def much more limited! :))
Good luck with the GNO crew: hope you all have a fantastic weekend xxxx

Fiona said...

How amazing that (a) you knew someone called Madame Di Bono (the name conjures up an exotic eccentric) and (b) your teddy owned a bespoke outfit. I so admire your skills with a needle since I am hopeless in that department. Hope you finish your frock before the gaggle of girls descend. In answer to your question, no, I'm working but hope you have a great time.

Unknown said...

This post really inspires me to start sewing, I absolutely love your dresses and matching outfits, what a fabulous skill you have! Hope you enjoying a week of sewing! Xxx

Ivy Black said...

Love this post so much! Also love that name...I have an instant picture of Madame in my head. Sewing is such a wonderful thang.
Your makes are all stunning and hope you got your dress sorted in time.
I'll be reading this weekend and knitting in the evening. Oh, and there will be Beck on the telly.

Connie said...

Oh la la la la!! So much beauty!! You are a dream in your me-made wardrobe. And you still have your adorable little gender bending bear. Ah. The power of clothing. You are one STELLAR seamstress, my dear!! And I am so impressed with your choice of fabric. Everything you've made is just perfection. I actually have the bell bottom and tunic pattern. You recommended it to me! Do you remember? Oh my gosh. I am simply kvelling over you!! Perhaps you are a sewing fairy!

Mim said...

Those patterns clearly work for you, so there's no real need to change them. Using very different fabric each time means each garment looks unique.

That said, I do look forward to seeing what you create in your week off.

Lynn Holland said...

You are a natural storyteller Tania, I was engrossed throughout can you carry it on. Make up a story about Madame di Bono and her life.
If I was smaller and could in your clothes i would be round at your nicking outfits of your line.
Have a fabulous time with your gang xxx

Sue said...

When you have a pattern that works I say use it again and again and again, and yes you do!! Well done, I have favourites that have been thrashed. Clever you and I do love Angelina Bear!!

Miss Magpie said...

Having a dressmaker for a Mum my Ted was remarkably well dressed, I found a bag of his outfits when we moved that took me right back.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you make on your days off.

Polyester Princess said...

Madame di Bono sounds fabulous, and I'm loving the fact that you still have the bear wearing the outfit. My first Holy Communion outfit, as well as the majority of the dresses I wore at the time, were made for me by my grandmother, but unfortunately, she didn't inspire me to start sewing, although she made many a doll and bear outfit too. I was quite clumsy and behind with any needlecraft projects at school. Now I am sorry I didn't learn, as it must be amazing to be able to make your own things. I guess there is still time to learn ... One day ... xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...


What a feast for the eyes all those lovely garments are - fabulous colours, wonderful patterns and dresses, trousers, tops, shorts and play suits. Clever old you!

You do look lovely in your outfits as well. I particularly liked your matching green sunglasses - so cool.

You have certainly had your money's worth out of the patterns and I suppose with the range of materials and colours available the possibilities are almost endless...

Hope your weekend has been good.

PS - I can't believe you still have Angelina!



Vix said...

Just the blog post I need to kick my arse into gear and start sewing for me!
What a feast of fabulousness! How sexy do you look in that sweet little playsuit? That orange trouser suit I know very well. It's a beauty! I've never thought of combining different patterns to make one thing before. Clearly I never studied under the expert guidance of madame Di Bono!
That Jiffy pattern is one of my favourites, I was obsessed with whipping up trouser suits using that for a while. i'm going to dig it out again. xxx

HazelxJoy said...

Hello, I found your blog via Vix.
I love your story of teddy bear and how he got his first clothes. I've made a few things for myself in the past but do little more than alterations and repairs these days. I'd love to do more though.