Way back in September (ahem), I bought my friend Emma some beautiful Liberty bird fabric for her birthday. The other part of her birthday present was a promise from me that I'd make it into whatever she wanted. Yes, yes, I know September was a fair few months ago, but I do keep my promises, and considering I'm pretty selfish with my sewing, the fact that I've made her anything at all is a minor miracle.
|Ornithology fabric, designed by Edwyn Collins for the Liberty Rocks collection|
Emma had a very clear idea of what she wanted: a camisole-style top, with spaghetti straps and a bit of flow to it. Oh yes, and a few tucks at the front. Luckily for me, Emma already owned a camisole top that was a perfect fit, so all I had to do was copy it. I won't go into the nitty gritty, but let's just say I think I'd really benefit from a pattern cutting course! Having to add extra fabric to the bodice front for the pleats, combined with my rubbish maths skills meant I had to redo the paper pattern several times. I'm sure if I knew a few simple techniques, I'd have saved myself a lot of time. I also made a muslin AND did a basted fitting on Emma to get the length of the straps right. I wouldn't do this for just anybody - Emma is a very good friend!
|The finished top|
All this extra effort (which I'd be very unlikely to put in for my own makes) was because this was a birthday gift and I wanted it to be perfect. Also, the ornithology print is now discontinued, and I did NOT want to bugger up the cutting out stage and be faced with a bodged top and not enough fabric left to remake it. Can you imagine the horror?!
As well as adding tucks/pleats to the front (I used the technique from my Sencha pattern and it worked a treat), I made matching bias binding for the shoulder straps and as a facing for the top edge of the camisole.
All that was pretty straight forward but I had a LOT of trouble inserting an invisible zip. I don't know why, as I've put them in countless times before without a problem, including a 22 inch one in my Peony dress (twice), so a mere seven inch stripling should have been a doddle. After I'd unpicked it twice, I started to get seriously worried about the effect all the unpicking was having on the delicate lawn fabric. So I made a very grown up decision to abandon an invisible zip and put in a plain centred one instead. Problem solved and it looks fine.
Yes, it was a bit of a fiddle to get the top just right, but it's the perfect top for Emma and fits her like a glove. I'm happy to report she's worn it several times since I gave it to her.
|Doesn't she look gorgeous?|
As she pointed out, it's the only one like it in the entire world!! I know everything we make is unique, but to be able to make somebody a birthday present that's both unique AND made-to-measure is pretty special.
In other news, the sun well and truly came out today and I even got to wear my Parfait dress. If you're thinking of making a sun dress, might I suggest this one? It's just perfect for sunny weather. The highlight of the day was getting my boat-phobic son to cross the river on a little ferry boat (wahay!) Plus, the Olympic torch is coming through Ealing on Tuesday!!!! Are any other Londoners totally over excited about the Olympics? Or is it just me?! x