When it was announced that the theme for EmSewCrazy and Cation’s August’s Stashbusting Challenge was to be UFOs and refashioning it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have had to put all fabric buying on hold. I was going to say that it is because ethically it is not good to be buying stuff that I don’t really need, especially when my stash now takes up six boxes and a big plastic container under the bed. This is true. I was very inspired by Zoe’s post on the importance of stash busting and refashioning a couple of months ago and I have really started thinking about my consumption habits, but I’ll admit that despite having worthy intentions the main thing that has stopped me giving into temptation and buying more is that I am skint. A load of bills have come in in the last month or so and I need to cut back.
Anyway, having bugger all money for fabric has actually made me think a little more creatively, focus on what I do have in my stash and along with this challenge it has also given me the excuse I needed to trawl through my UFOs.
I have far too many unfinished projects. I’m afraid I’m not much good at working on one thing at a time and I have UFOs going back to when I first started making clothes. The thing that first got me sewing regularly was doing the Sew Weekly. Incidentally there is a Sew Weekly Reunion going on at the moment and I am totally taking part. Not only was the Sew weekly my first introduction to the sewing community but it was brilliant for motivating me to just sew, regardless, and I improved dramatically. However there were some weeks when I just didn’t finish what I’d started. And then the next week’s theme would come out, and I’d want to make something for that instead so I ended up with a lot of stuff unfinished. This dress, the Simplicity Lisette Passport dress, was one of them.
It seemed like everyone was making this dress at the time and most people said it was pretty easy so I though I’d give it a shot. Unfortunately back then I knew nothing about fitting and would just pick my size off the back of the pattern, sew it up and hope for the best. I have no idea what size I made here. It fitted fine from the waist down but the top half was a baggy mess. I had obviously made it according to my bust size and not my upper bust, because that area gaped loads and the back was way too big. You’ll have to take my word on how bad it was because I forgot to take pictures, but my best description of how it looked would be this:
It was a shame because I love the fabric and the style. It is quite hard to see with this print but the darts make a nice V shape at the front. It reminds me a bit of Colette’s Hazel (which has been on my wish list for ages, in case Father Christmas or the birthday fairy is reading).
I decided it could be saved even if it was a bodge job. Luckily the zip is at the side. An early attempt at a lapped zip, it is a bit messy but not too obvious. I took a wedge of about three inches out of the back, which kind of hoiked the front round a bit and removed some of the gaping. I would have liked to put in a couple of darts at the front neckline to get rid of the rest but unfortunately I had already put in the facing and top-stitched with tiny tight little stitches and there was no way I was unpicking it. I did a narrow machine hem as it was quite short already and it was ready to go.
I tested it out at Wildwood, our local British Wildlife park. I have mixed feelings about animals in captivity but they do a lot of conservation work and breeding programmes and are working on reintroducing lots of rare and endangered species into the wild. We live just up the road so it was worth getting membership as it includes free entry. They also have an excellent adventure playground and a drop slide that is not for the weak of bowel.
Konik horses. These are about as close as you’ll get to the wild horses that used to live in this country. Herds are now being brought in to graze the wetlands of Kent, which helps boost biodiversity.
So how did the dress stand up to a day of hanging about with animals? It is comfortable, the print makes me feel happy and it is really easy to wear. I would like it more if it had pockets, but I like it a lot anyway and I think it will get a lot of use. I’m really glad I rescued it from my UFO box, and now I have the experience to see what I did wrong I may even attempt this pattern again.