The clothes I sew

I’ve always been short, and since about 2005,  I’m fat as well.

I’ve sewn most of my own clothes since the mid 1960s. I did quite a lot of sewing last year – and not a thing did I blog or otherwise  record in any sort of ordered fashion. I do have photos and notes which are on my other, clapped-out computer. I must take said computer to the man in the village who fixes such things, so I can show both successes and failures. There are plenty of both!

Until it’s fixed and I can retrieve those, there are other things to show and to talk about.

Lekala 4271

People like pictures, I am told. Here’s a dress I made last year, for a friend going on a sailing holiday. I realised I hadn’t bought her a birthday present; she  hates shopping and was panicking about not having a sundress/coverup to take with her. It was a perfect opportunity to try a pattern I wouldn’t use for myself.

Lekala 4271 looked ideal – easy to sew, easy to wear, but just a little bit different with its racer back. I had 48 hours .

S. gave me her measurements over the phone, and I ordered the pattern. As soon as it arrived in my inbox, about 10 minute after ordering, I emailed it to the reprographics business I use, and got an email back saying it would be ready by close of business.

Lekala 4271 – racer back sundress

So off I went, bought 2 m of a fine, drapey printed woven viscose (I think Americans call it ‘Rayon Challis’) and collected my pattern, now on a massive sheet of paper. The next morning, with the viscose washed and dried overnight, and the pattern cut out, I set to work.

The pattern is exceedingly simple, yet nicely drafted, with  simple front bust darts , a fairly low scooped front neck and the back with cut-out armholes/shoulders, making it a tiny bit ‘different’. Bodice fullness is gathered into an elastic waist.

The dress was very simple to construct, but I took note of Lekala’s ‘instructions’ (such as they are!),  and  following their suggestions for order of  assembly  gave a neat finish. There’s quite a bit of binding involved, and this was, by a long distance,  the most time consuming part of making this dress!

I’d flat-lined the bodice down to the waist casing level  with cotton lawn, and wanted to run the  elastic through a casing constructed  between the lawn  and the viscose fashion fabric, so this required a bit of fudging and fiddling for an inch or two on each  side seam, but it didn’t take long; a final visit to the ironing board  and my friend came round to pick up the dress that afternoon; it was in her travel bag the next morning.

As you can see, she wore it on holiday!

Beth, of SunnyGal Studio, made this dress too.



2 thoughts on “The clothes I sew

  1. Pretty nice dress, congratulations on getting a good fit long distance. I’ve tackled these over the phone projects a few times, it can be fraught.


    1. I couldn’t have done it without Lekala. The length was perfect, but S. confessed she’d given me a few fudged measurements when I expressed a bit of disappointment about the neckline and bust fit! I remeasured her, and indeed, she had.


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