It feels like it's been a bit of a wasted weekend so far as everyone in the house is full of painful head colds and no-one has slept very well so we've done nothing active and just rested all day. I know it hasn't really been a waste as we've been recuperating and I've managed to get a bit more of my Stephen West Building Blocks Shawl done. I've watched a couple of podcasts and mentally thought about what I want to knit once my gift knitting is all done. Recently I've been itching to start sewing again too. I only have very basic sewing skills and last year I decided I wanted to get better so started collecting together tools and patterns and fabric. Then I made a pair of pyjama pants and got no further. For the last couple of weeks though I've been wanting to have another go. My weight loss seems to have slowed a bit and I'm a similar size (although different shape, thanks mum tum) to what I was pre-pregnancy so I'm thinking I might have lost as much as I'm going to. Even if I go down another dress size I don't think that would make anything I make now dramatically too big so I think it's safe to start thinking about making my own clothes again. With that in mind I've spent some of today looking for inspiration.
One of the last things I began to make but only got as far as cutting out a muslin for was the Dottie Angel Frock. I bought the pattern as soon as it came out (Simplicity 1080) but was feeling quite ill and unhappy with my shape by that point so gave up on sewing. Last week though I started compiling a sewing wishlist for winter. Basically I pretended I had uber sewing skills and thought about what I would make myself. One of the things on my list was a shift dress/tunic I could layer up over jeans or leggings. As I already have this pattern I thought this could be a good starting point. I'm starting from scratch again with it and I know from other versions I've seen that the pattern is not without issues. Plus I remember from reading through it last time that the instructions are really complicated and confusing to follow for a inexperienced seamstress. So rather than follow it as is I'm going to attempt to adapt it as it is essentially a fairly simple pattern.
There isn't lots of complicated pieces to it but there are some things I know I want to change straight away. For one I don't like the neckline. Too low for me at both the front and back, and really I feel the back should be higher than the front, it just makes more sense. I'm also not in love with the way the ties are placed. They look awkward and pretty unflattering. I'm going to omit them for my test run and then have a play around with it once it's sewn together. The sleeves are another question mark for me. I've a couple of tops with sleeves like this so it is something I do wear on occasion but I want to be able to layer this with jumpers and cardigans for winter and I know trying to put anything over them can make for unattractive bulges of fabric. I'm going to leave them as the pattern for now and see how they look but I might end up taking the sleeves off. Hopefully when I get better at sewing I'll know how to change the sleeves to a different style altogether but for now I reckon I can copy the shape of something in my wardrobe. I have a grey dress I'm thinking I could use as a silhouette to make changes to the pattern. So the plan for next week is to get it out and draft a copy of the pattern I can make changes to. Wish me luck!