Fun with Bicycles

So when we last spoke (yesterday. shh I’m trying to catch up with myself so I can start making stuff again) I was regaling you with the tale of the simple but disappointing bardot dress. Therefore you should be pleased to hear that my next make was far more satisfying.

I was naturally now wary of the free patterns from ‘Love Sewing’ magazine. They were pretty, yes. Simple, no doubt. But right for me? Debatable. I was however looking for a new project. I had 2.5m of bicycle print cotton which I was itching to do something with. You see, I had bought it by accident.

Okay, I’m lying. I wanted it from the second I laid eyes on it and I unashamedly bought it with no thought or plans for its future like the irresponsible fabric parent I am. I should explain. I have a slight addiction to buying cheap vintage sewing patterns. One which I was particularly keen to get my teeth into was a 1980’s skirt/shorts combo. The button up circle skirt was retro and super cute, with big pockets (always a winner), and I knew I had to have one in my wardrobe. The pattern, being vintage, was already cut out in a size 14. “Huzzah!” said past Faith “No cutting out for me”. I was forgetting that sizing was slightly different in the 80s.

Blithely *unaware* of this (cough, ignoring and hoping for the best, cough) off I skipped to the shop to peruse, drool over and buy some fabric for the skirt. However, as is often the case I was drawn to something beautiful and entirely unsuitable. It was (pause for dramatic effect) a directional print!

simplicity sleeveless blouse 2

adorable though. I cannot be the only one in love with her surely? and look how well I nearly matched it across the back. Anyway, the trouble with circle skirts is that they do not take kindly to directional patterns and worse still there wasn’t enough on the roll to try.

I refused to give up however, told the bicycles “I’m not quittin’ you!” and carried it round the shop for an hour trying to A) find fabric for the skirt and B) figure out what to do with my new treasure. Eventually I found a white cotton with a touch of stretch, patterned with pink flamingos and green leaves. Tres Tropical. I bought enough for the skirt and said “To hell with plans!” and bought the bikes too. The skirt, as it turned out didn’t fit so she remains unfinished, waiting for the day when I lose enough weight to wear her.

But, as you can see, the bicycles have come to life. ‘Love Sewing’ did a wonderful thing (I’m sorry, I’ll never doubt again). It gave me a free ‘Simplicity’ pattern for a top. I KNOW!

Straight and shift-like style. Optional sleeve. slash/boat neck. Bias binding as armhole facings (frankly inspired). I whipped it up in an afternoon following the instructions in the magazine, and I’ve worn it and worn it. I had to add side seam vents to accommodate my bodacious hips and used a cute wooden apple shaped button in place of a hook and eye. I consider it to be the first real item of homemade wardrobe because I actually wear it.

simplicity sleeveless blouse

“I like your top.” “Thank you, I made it last week.” “You made it? really? wow.” went the conversation. I almost burst with excitement. Yes, I do make my own clothes. It looks good with jeans, cigarette pants, pencil skirts, everything really. It’s comfy, versatile and was easy to sew.

I’m definitely making another. Soon.

TLSO

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