|The fabric from my kettle cloth shift|
I took home ec in school and learned the basics of sewing. I remember well the blue floral kettle cloth I used to stitch a shift in 8th grade. My mom still had a scrap left and I snapped it up. It's amazing how a piece of fabric can bring back memories (even if junior high memories aren't always the best, I did enjoy making and wearing this dress).
My mom was a fabulous sewer, and a very patient one, at that. She took couture classes at our local community college in the evenings and sewed complete, wool suits for herself. I, on the other hand, was impatient and didn't understand why things needed to be "just so." When it turned out that I'm not the same size and shape as most patterns, I took it very personally (as in, there was something wrong with me). The idea of meticulously manipulating a pattern so it would fit was too nitpicky for my personality, and so I quit sewing garments. Though I sewed simple outfits for my girls when they were little and easy to fit, it wasn't until I discovered quilting that my passion for sewing was rekindled.
|Sorbetto "muslin" from 2002 Alexander Henry fabric|
Still, the desire to make clothing was lurking. Probably getting to know Jenny Gordy
and see the hundreds of Wiksten tanks
on Flickr and at Quilt Market had a little something to do with it. So when Home Ec offered a class on making the Colette Sorbetto
top, I jumped. I used a fabric that had 2003 on the selvedge and stitched a tank. It was fast and fun, but didn't quite fit—there was gaping at the armholes. My online searches (because there's an amazing amount of information out there about this top—I'm guessing it's been made thousands of times) revealed that to fix it I needed to do a full bust adjustment (FBA). It sounded terrifying.
After weeks of noodling around online, I realized that Creativebug
offered a FBA class with Liesl Gibson,
of Oliver & S. The instruction was clear and accurate and I loved being able to stop and start it as I worked through the process. I managed not only to complete the FBA, but I hacked the sleeve I found here
, adding an extra inch to make it fit better. I added a couple mother of pearl buttons from a secondhand shop and voila! Just like the old days, I hung my shirt up so it was the first thing I saw in the morning. I remember the thrill of doing that as a kid. I still felt it.
|Sorbetto from Amy Butler voile|
Then I used that pattern to make a second top out of some Amy Butler Cameo
voile. I've now got fabric for a third top...and I'm excited to know that I can use those skills to sew other things, as well. So excited to have overcome my junior high impatience ...finally! Just goes to show, it's never too late.