As part of my newfound attachment to productivity and actually using all the stuff I have acquired in recent months, I have finally produced a little garment for my older daughter!
In recent years, I have read so many rave reviews of Oliver + S patterns. Liesl gets top marks for pattern directions, apparently writing so well and so clearly that the garment construction can easily be learned in progress. That sounded perfect for my experience level (total beginner, largely self-taught), so I snapped up just about all of the patterns she makes that I like (translation: just about all of the patterns she makes, period). The first project on the line-up was the Bedtime Story Pajamas, a kimono-style pajama for beginner sewists. This winter, I bought some lovely flannel, cut it up precisely, completed steps 1 and beyond, put it away for a few days while busy and forgot where I was when I stopped. Hm. That's still sitting there, and it's definitely spring now. Hey, my girl needs spring pajamas too! And I had already bought the fabric for that as well!
Hmm...perhaps I also need to make a new ironing board cover at some point.
So far, I have only finished the top (started this weekend, finished today!). Sewing takes me ages. The precision involved--laying out the pattern, tracing perfectly, cutting out the tracing, washing/drying/ironing/truing the fabric, pinning the pattern to it, cutting, pinning, ironing...--is enough to drive this perfectionist a bit mad, though I keep at it because I know it will be easier and easier with practice. Have you heard of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears? I'd be happy to buy a book titled Sewing Without Swearing, if someone will write it (my husband thinks taking a beginner's sewing class might be more obvious). I may or may not have had a temper tantrum while trying to make the neckline straight enough to attach the neckband without creases, but other than that, this pattern was the easy dream to make that other people had described.
If you have shopped in the States and then shopped in Australia, you will understand a big part of my motivation to learn to make our own clothes. If I find anything here for the girls that looks nice to me and is of a decent quality, it is rarely to be obtained without getting past that $80+ price tag. I just CANNOT. Seriously. I don't spend $80 on t-shirts for myself, and I'm not going to grow out of them in a few months. It's crazy.