I am a self-taught sewer. Started off reconstructing clothes by hand-sewing, then "graduating" on to reconstructing clothes using a machine. Since then I've just kinda winged things but I've always always wanted to learn how to sew from a pattern. Unfortunately the very first pattern I bought (a supposed "easy to sew one"), I opened it and couldn't understand a lot of the terms!! So I got scared and have not really tried another one since.
Then last month, I found this pattern at the op shop for 50c:
I've always admired vintage styles like this and this one looked fairly easy, so I thought I'd give it a shot. At the same op shop, I also found this vintage tablecloth ($5) that I thought would do as the fabric.
So with the help of a sewing encyclopaedia (also bought at another Op shop - $2), I managed to decipher all of the terms and worked out what to do!! And here's the result:
(Sorry for the blurry photo, I had to get my 5 yr old daughter to take it for me).
Some other firsts with this project:
1. Darts! Never realised how easy they were.
2. Tailor's Tacks! Basically they're like very very loose running stitches (that you do by hand). You use them instead of pins. Now bear in mind that this is an old pattern and so they told me to use tailor's tacks for everything (and my encyclopaedia of course showed me how to do it). It wasn't until I was halfway through the garment (so made the front and was starting on the back) when I realised that I could use pins instead of tailor's tacks! (D'er me). Still I have to say, I found it easier to do the darts using tailor's tacks than using pins. Namely 'cause I could line it up so much more accurately. Pins are a lot easier (and not to mention, faster) though.
3. Working with 'inches'! The pattern used the empirical system rather than metric. Lucky for me, a friend had given me a tape measure with inches in it so it wasn't too hard.
Anyway, I love love this pattern and no doubt I'll be making another one soon (just have to find more vintage fabric).