Another day, another quilt shop and, especially for me, another batik specialist! Welcome to ScruffyQuilts, San Mateo, home to entire shelves of fabric that you just want to take home.
Like most people, I’ve dreamed of being able to have beautiful, well-fitting garments in whatever colours and fabrics I wanted without ever having to go near a clothes shop again. When I finally bought my own sewing machine, I thought it’d be a good time to try learning dressmaking as well as developing some level of competence with my rather grumpy machine as well.
Dressmaking has turned out to be a rather different beast from everything else I’ve done before. I’m used to very fine work, mostly done by hand. Learning to cut some approximation to a straight line for garments was a bit of a learning curve for me and it’s taken a few horrendously rolled seams for me to be confident machining on both straight lines and curves. Luckily my teacher has the patience of a plurality of saints, every bit of which she’s needed for the pyjamas I’ve been making for longer than either of us care to remember.
The pattern is Simplicity ‘2317’ and in many ways, this project was a terrible choice for a beginner. I bought the material (relatively lightweight polyester) and pattern from John Lewis, on the assurance from the staff that this was completely suitable for a numpty who could just about work out how to press a pedal on a sewing machine. I’m not sure if I had offended them or they’d never known the horror of trying to deal with a sleeve where the fabric wants to go anywhere but where you want it to go. It also frays when you as much as look at it for too long and is generally a nuisance to handle.