I stopped sewing clothes when the children were born, lack of time and space and the availability of cheaper clothes to buy. Now with more time although the same lack of space (just one small table in the house which needs to be completely cleared for meals if more than two people want to eat together!) I decided to restart this hobby.
To keep it simple I chose a cotton summer skirt. I downloaded the pattern, printed out all the peices and pieced them together, so far so good. Of course this American pattern was in American sizes so I looked at the measurements, found an online dress size converter and chose my size. I am a UK size 10 and so made a US 8.
It is far too big. I wonder does anyone know if American patterns are made on the generous size?
It looks ok in this photo,
and I was pleased with the gathers at the front.
However to get it to fit, even allowing for the dropped waist I had to pull the elastic up so much at the back that the side panels have ended up at the back and the back panel is soooo tightly gathered with masses of material - not very flattering. If I wear this during the summer it will only be at home when no-one will see it which was a disappointment as I like the fabric and the design. Where did I go wrong?
I should have stopped there but there was a discount on further pattens so I downloaded a pattern for this tunic which I thought would be perfect for wearing with skinny jeans in the summer. This time I was determined not to be caught out by the sizing so I made a size 4 which is equivalent to a UK 6. This seemed a bit ridiculous since I am a size 10 but I went ahead anyway and now I have the most enormous tunic! It isn't finished, I just tacked the skirt to the bodice last night when I realised that it looked on the large size.
I measured across the bust
40 inches, this is not a UK 6. With gathers front and back there is so much material in this. What have I done wrong this time? I have checked that I cut out all the peices correctly and used the right seam allowances.
Again I really like the fabric and both projects seem like such a waste of time and money.
What to do next? I feel loathed to try another project since problems are said to come along in threes! Perhaps after a while I will buy a paper pattern and try again, I enjoyed the process but I wanted wearable garments at the end.
Any advice would be appreciated. Meanwhile I will watch The Great British Sewing Bee and see other people sewing whilst I sit and knit.
I want to say that I am not criticising these patterns, just saying that I couldn't get them to fit me and I don't know why.