Sewing time

2009-05-14 075Sewing! Sewing! Sewing! The weather has warmed up here, and in the summer, a matron’s thoughts turn to fabric. Well, mine do, anyway.  Younger daughter requested a new dress for her 5th birthday, and requested the pattern above.  Given that she already has a dress made out of this pattern (made by my mother nearly 2 years ago), I was tried to persuade her of the benefits of another pattern, but apparently this is the best twirly dress pattern there is!  The fabric is some 100% cotton lawn that I bought somewhere in Singapore when we lived there 4 years ago.2009-05-14 071I am up against the clock on this one.  Younger daughter would like to wear the dress to her birthday party, which is on Saturday afternoon.  In between juggling yarn orders, updating the website, choosing new yarns to order and general household responsibilities, I am sewing this thing up.

The pattern requires a zipper, and unfortunately, I only know of one reliable retail zipper supplier in Hong Kong – Spotlight.  To get to Spotlight, I either endure a journey of over an hour on public transport, or tolls that cost 4 times the cost of the zipper.  I went with the tolls, and purchased a few little extras to make the journey worthwhile, including a hair ribbon that will match the dress perfectly.

There is another deadline that I face, the arrival of my mother on Friday night.  I have the blessing of having a mother who was a professional sewing teacher.  While obviously I enjoyed the benefit of learning at her knee, she is also cursed with what Estonians call “kana silm” – chicken’s eye.  “Kana silm” is the ability to detect an error or oversight at 10 paces, and if there are any flaws in the process of making this garment, I want them to be hidden as much as possible from my mother.  She will still be able to see most errors, but I won’t have the benefit of her picking up mistakes as I make them.

This project is also part of my process to summon the courage to cut the fabric below.  I bought this Tana Lawn at Liberty in 2007, and would love to wear it, but can not quite summon the ability to cut a pattern out.  Sewing is not like knitting – once the fabric is cut, irrevocable steps are taken.  I am planning to make New Look Pattern 6705 (the version in the photo) after seeing this version.

There is an other factor that should help fortify me to pick up the scissors.  Mysteriously, I won three separate auctions of Liberty fabric over the weekend, and will be taking delivery of 8.6 metres of Tana Lawn in three different patterns and colour ways soon. I was astonished not to be outbid, and only realised afterwards that the prices that I paid are very similar to the prices available from this online shop.2009-05-14 079While Tana Lawn is never going to be cheap, if you have to buy fabric over the internet, then at least you are assured of quality when you buy Liberty.  Being a woman who grew up in country Australia, my passion for Tana Lawn is probably predictable, but I can’t help myself.  It creates clothes that are wonderful to wear.

As for ordering new yarns, I’m contemplating more extra-fine merino, wool alpaca blends, and am feeling strangely drawn to a 90% merino 10% nylon feather yarn. It is so touchable, and feels like a cloud, but I am unsure if any hand dyers would buy it?

P.S.  I’m on Twitter as Travellersyarn, and have changed the sidebar to show my updates.


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2 thoughts on “Sewing time”

  1. I agree with your daughter ingrid, it is a most twirlable dress, i can remember as a child having a skirt made like that. Buying material was always a problem for us as well, i grew up in indonesia, it was either batik or whatever someone could bring back or send from australia which wouldn’t have been much as you can imagine. What a difference being able to buy things on the internet must make. If ever you would like me to look for things for you please just ask i would be happy to find things for you 🙂

    Oh i would definately like merino/alpaca i’m not sure what you mean by the merino/nylon feathers though.

  2. There’s a lady who sells zippers in Central at Pottinger Street, the cobbled street stretch, if you know where I’m refering to. It’s diagonally across Queen’s Road from Man Yee Building. She sells other haberdashery and will definitely save you the journey to Spotlight.

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