As you know, I’ve been busy over the past couple of days in this hot weather with my latest make do and mend challenge – trying to refresh some items from my wardrobe using sewing and beading techniques. To be honest, the results have been pretty mixed so far. The jeans I decided to sew some beads onto to make them look a bit more glamorous are actually taking shape and looking pretty good, I think. Of course, sewing on the beads has been a painstakingly slow process and I’ve not got anything like as far along in the project as I’d hoped. It’s going to take much more time to finish but I’m pleased with how they look so far. I tried to go for an asymmetrical/scattergun type of design – er… perhaps calling it a ‘design’ is going a bit far – but even DJ said yesterday that he thought the jeans looked pretty good. Praise indeed from Caesar!
But then yesterday I decided to jump in at the deep end and get stuck into something much more ambitious – making that dress from the old blue duvet cover I mentioned in my previous post and dyeing it black. A blogger and crafty ‘bon viveur on a budget’ Pennygolightly I chatted with via Twitter this week told me not to worry about using the dye in the washing machine – she reckons it’s perfectly safe but advised me to make sure I washed the material properly before dyeing it, so I did so. But then something else on the black dye packet alarmed me: ‘after dyeing, dry the material away from the sunlight’. Away from sunlight, eh? How am I supposed to achieve that in this weather? Mmm. I decided it might be easier to cut up the material first, make the dress and then dye it, thinking it would be simpler to dry a dress indoors somewhere (I’m praying that the black dye won’t drip everywhere…we have white walls and cream carpets upstairs…) than an entire duvet cover.
After that, I hit another snag. While the book I’d got from the library is great, the pattern for the dress I’d planned to use needs to be photocopied to 140 per cent and then is still only for a size 8. I don’t think I’ve ever been a size 8. In the end, I decided to take another dress from my wardrobe and use it to make a pattern from newspaper sellotaped together as I didn’t have any paper big enough (I’m sure any dressmaker worth her salt will be appalled..). I then cut the duvet material around it with what turned out to be blunt scissors. It didn’t look pretty. I got very hot and grumpy in our lounge doing this and when DJ sauntered in and pointed out that he thought the sleeves were too small, let’s just say he got a ‘warmer’ reception than he’d expected.
Now I’m busy sewing it all together – it’s going to take some time as I don’t have the luxury of a sewing machine – and praying that it will actually look vaguely like an item of clothing. I’m not holding out much hope. I tried it on last night still pinned together and it’s too short and er…looks like a dress made from a duvet! I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew this time…
Do you think it’s cheaper to make your own clothes or do you think it’s more expensive and too much hassle? Leave a message and let me know your thoughts.
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