I looked up lots of patterns, I saw others finished results and yet I was convinced that it was too complicated. I knew the theory of sewing pretty well. My mum sewed clothes for us and for herself for many years. I knew how dressmaking worked but I always talked myself out of it.
When we were in the States I dragged my family around several beautiful fabric shops. The fabric was far far cheaper than in the UK and I realised that if I was to have a go at sewing my own clothes, it would be less of a disaster if the fabric was cheap in the first place.
I started with a free pattern, the sorbetto top, and when that turned out wearable I progressed on to the Wiksten tova.
I am about three years late to this sewing party. The tova top/tunic apparently graced the blogging scene three years ago and since then has been sewn up by near about everyone who makes clothes. Thankfully being late to finding the pattern was in my favour because when I came down to making the top, there was a wonderful sew-along that Fiona pointed me to here, as well as hundreds of photos of the finished top.
The Tova is a simple smocked tunic style top. It can be sewn up as a shirt or as a dress. It looks good on everyone. No kidding, google 'wiksten tova' and I challenge you to find one person it doesn't look great on.
I decided to make mine 'dress length' but as I am short anyway, I had to lop quite a lot off the bottom!
To my surprise I found the process enjoyable! The instructions were so clear and came with photos, There were endless online guides to sewing the top up and I realised quickly that, like quilting, dress making just has to be taken a step at a time. I am beyond thrilled with how it eventually turned out. I sewed my tova in a soft chambray so it was nice and drapey. Sewing the insert (that square piece across the bust) was the most fiddly section but certainly not difficult.
After sewing two pieces of clothing I am learning that just because something looks tricky doesn't mean it necessarily is. Like anything it looks hard until it's done. Wearing homemade is perhaps equal now in my book to giving handmade!
I feel that this is only the beginning. Dressmaking, here I come. Blog- watch this space.