February makes: Merida and Arielle

February was almost a write off sewing wise. I had all the plans and no sew-jo. Until my brother’s girlfriend asked for my help with her costume for a fancy dress sponsored walk. She was going dressed as Merida from Disney’s Brave, which is one of my favourite Disney movies so I just couldn’t resist.

We went fabric shopping in the half term holiday and got 3m of green satin back crepe, some golden yellow ribbon and cream cotton to make the classic Merida dress.

merida 11

While I was at uni I was taught by a lovely girl from the medieval reenactment society how to create accurate medieval dresses without a pattern; so I figured I’d use the same method for this dress. It’s really very simple; an over the head tabard (much like the walk-away. What is it about me and tabards?), with flat sewn sleeves (like Coco) and shaped from the hips down with godets. We decided that as lovely as the satin side was, the crepe side was more appropriate for a Highland Princess. I adapted the sleeves to include a fake underdress and made some gathers for the neckline.

Because this dress was so simple, she had one fitting, largely to assess the neckline and length as she is shorter than me. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

merida 5

So now i had my sew-jo back but only a week left of February. There was only one thing for it. I had to speed sew my velvet Arielle. Tilly and the Buttons should flipping well sponsor my blog at this rate, she has saved my bacon that many times (as you will see in blogs to come). I had the velvet already cut out, one for me and at her insistance, one for my mum too. I also had some gorgeous faun coloured lining with black polka dots which was too adorable to leave in the shop. The issue with making two of these however became apparent when I mixed up the pieces and accidentally sewed the lining and facings for my mum’s skirt (which buttons the opposite way due to cutting out) instead of my own. Drawing positively from this, when I come to make hers, the lining and facing are already sewn so its just the skirt construction and attaching everything together for hers. But, it meant I had to cut additional pieces and generally added time onto the make.

I had never sewn a lining to a facing before so the curved edges proved tricky to navigate and I kinda messed them up meaning the rest didn’t line up so well. But I unpicked and re-sewed and it looks passable now.

The main problem I had at the end was that the bottom edges don’t line up. There is maybe half an inch in it but the front is shorter than the back on the overlap.

I’m not too bothered about this as I know where I went wrong. I wasn’t too accurate with my measurements on the bottom edge when I trimmed it and turned it up. In future I will listen to Tilly and stop being a lazy sewist, and I know this will be a TNT pattern. I mean, I’m making one for mum so it has to be whether it likes it or not. Here she is finished. I basically designed it around the buttons, which I found at the sewing and hobbycraft show way back last September. I couldn’t leave buttons with sewing machines on and they are nice neutral colours. I have already worn her out. She is super comfy and goes with practically everything.

Overall, on my second making of this skirt, I much prefer the short version to the longer denim version I made. I think that will need some adjustments for summer. But its a really nice pattern to follow if you pay attention to it and don’t get too cocky.




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