Sewing and textiles with Ann
All my own work by Ann’ is what it says on the labels that are in my homemade clothes. This blog shows some of the collection.
I will admit to being a returning sewer, although perhaps a bit ahead of the current wave.
I remember sewing at secondary school. The first project was an apron, which I took home from my first lesson, and duly completed. This came as a bit of a surprise to my teacher the second week. Next came a shift dress, which likewise went home and was finished quickly. So basically I did my own thing at school, mainly taking hand stitching to my ‘sewing lessons’ as the sewing machine at home was far better than the ones at school.
Grandma and Mum both sew, so I guess that it is in the blood.
This was the ’70s, so everything was ruffles and layers and actually quite difficult. I altered patterns and gradually filled up my wardrobe, until I really needed no more clothes, however hard that was to admit. So then I started to make stuffed toys, several of which survive today; some being over 30 years old.
Then my sewing machine started to smoke, and I didn’t touch it for years. I suspect that I pushed it too hard through some thick curtains. And clothes were easier to buy than make.
I returned in 2010 after being at home for a period with a broken ankle. I bought a new machine, and a whole lot of new patterns and started all over again, impressing a whole new set of friends who had no idea about my talents. I hesitated before replacing the sewing machine, as fabric and haberdashery shops are harder to find nowadays, but I seem to have amassed a pile of material waiting to be sewn, and patterns are so easy to buy from the Internet, that much of the fun is working out how to match one to the other.
Sewing teaches patience, creativity and focus. And it’s good for the diet, because once I start sewing, I find it hard to stop, even to eat!
I agree… When my hands are sewing, it is impossible for me to throw snacks in my mouth!
I found your blog by googling “Wendy Ward zip jacket” as I wondered if anyone had made a lined version as I am thinking about making one. I have already made the version with the bias trim to the seam allowance but was wanting to tweak it a bit to make a jacket and skirt ensemble. I went on to read more of your blog posts and see we have several things in common, I am also a recent returner to sewing. And like to make clothes from fabric bought abroad from the weavers and printers, although I don’t have much opportunity to travel. You seem to have made several of the patterns I am contemplating making. And I wondered if there was any way I could send you some direct questions about them. I belong to an internet dressmaking group but most people are much younger than I am and making halter neck dresses etc so are attempting different sorts of patterns to those I feel appropriate to me. Also do you make garments geared towards travelling, I want to make some because I want to get some that fit properly and have all the appropriate lengths, right size of pockets etc. Sorry to witter on. The Dressmaking Group has a blog that any member can post on, here is the link to my blog on that zip jacket http://londondressmakersclub.blogspot.co.uk/2014_11_01_archive.html
Hi there. Thank you for reading my blog. Yes, it’s fairly simple to line it. The only thing I would say is to use ‘silky’ lining fabric. I used polycotton, and its not easy to pull the sleeves over blouses. Actually, I haven’t worn it very much, but I did wear it this weekend. Ann
Sorry Barbara, I did not read all of your message to me…. If you would like to send me a message via Twitter @amowby, I will let you know how you can contact me directly. Good to hear from you. Ann
Alas, twitter is a foreign country to me. I can just about master email. And actually still send letters!