Well, that was a sudden blog break! In summary – we had a brilliant time in the South Island of New Zealand, got home, launched straight back into work and school, and I’ve barely had time to stop and smell the roses since! I do hope that I’ll get the second half of our holiday blogged at some stage (for our family records) but I’m not putting any pressure on myself as to when.
I have managed to fit in a little bit of sewing since we’ve been back though – because last weekend my dear Mum celebrated her 80th birthday!
You know, my Mum is a pretty special and amazing lady. The first few years of her life were spent on a timber mill, then the family moved into a small country town. She went nursing after finishing fourth form, and has made friends that have been by her side for her entire lifetime. Mum travelled and worked overseas on her own in the 1960s – back in the days when you got to the UK by ship – and has retained that interest in travel, people and places. She married, brought up two kids, went back to nursing, has been involved in her local community and church, and in more recent years has thoroughly enjoyed time spent with her granddaughters. Mum is always interested in people and what is going on in the world around her. She’s an avid reader and knitter, and yes, she taught me how to sew. She looks after dad tirelessly, helps me out whenever needed, is a great friend and support to many around her, and as my daughters say, she’s a great cook! Mum has taught me many valuable lessons throughout my life and I love her very much. Happy birthday Mum!
I sewed three garments for Mum for her birthday, all of them patterns that I’ve sewn for her before so I know will fit her. Let’s start with the True Bias Sutton blouse!
The first time I sewed this for Mum it was a fraction snug, so this time I sewed size 16. The fabric is a beautiful lightweight semi-sheer woven from Mum’s stash. It probably dates back twenty or thirty years, but I think that it still looks very current. It’s rather crisp and takes a press beautifully.
My parents live in Shepparton in country Victoria, in the same house I grew up in. Any of you who know Shepparton know that in summer it’s hot, hot, hot. A top like this should work very well in Mum’s wardrobe.
Because the fabric was semi-sheer I followed the instructions and constructed the blouse with french seams, except for the side seams. The side seams had the edges overlocked then were sewn on the sewing machine, for ease of making the side splits nice and neat.
I think that this top looks great on Mum. It’s also quite fast to sew. Highly recommended!
Next up was a pair of Style Arc Peta pants. I made these even faster and simpler to sew by eliminating the side seam pockets. I also eliminated a total of three inches in length from the pattern pieces by taking a fold both above and below the knee.
The fabric is printed viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics (a couple of years ago). This fabric and style combined result in a very comfortable – and cool – pair of pants that should be very easy to wear. I think that these were sewn in size 16 as well.
And last, but by no means least, I sewed a Style Arc Adeline dress!
I wonder if this is one of Style Arc’s best selling patterns. I’ve seen so many versions of this dress on all sorts of shapes and sizes and it seems to look good on pretty much all of them! It’s also quite straightforward to sew. This version is size 16, left at pattern length (I shorten my versions of the Adeline). Mum prefers her skirts longer rather than shorter.
The fabric is printed rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics. If you think it looks familiar, it may be because I’ve used the other colourway for a dress for myself. I decided to leave the pockets off as the pattern is busy enough without any additional detail being necessary.
The gentle high-low hemline of this dress is a really nice feature. It’s not exaggerated, and because it is finished with wide facings – as is the neckline – it hangs really nicely.
I made sure to stitch in the ditch along the sleeve seamlines for a centimetre or so in order to secure the cuffs.
So there you go – there has been some sewing this year! Mum has sewn so many garments for me over the years it’s a pleasure to return the favour.