Tuesday, 7 July 2015

3 sheets to the wind - more sheets to follow

..... this time last year I started the blog, pretty much 'just to see what happened next'.  I had a few ideas in mind, and the core being -to make clothes by re-making old clothes, and for these to be well made - as in they would be everyday, wearable, and long lasting (slow fashion)  I was also a good challenge for me to focus a bit more on my pattern drafting skills which were becoming as ad-hoc as my sewing (another set of bad habits to undo).  

I was always making things growing up, and from about 14 or 15 I started making my own clothes at home (as opposed to the ones-made-never-worn from Domestic Science/Home Ecc in school).  The fabric for my own home-mades invariably came from the linen cupboard, in the form of white sheets - later dyed charcoal due to heavily diluted black dye!.  
A lot of Irish linen cupboards and hot presses had these sheets tucked away, they would have been hand-me-downs, bottom drawer, and wedding presents and on the 70s arrival of printed and coloured bed-linen (known here as 'american sheets') they were relegated to the back of the press.  These white sheets are regularly in charity shops and I regularly buy (and I have to stop myself acquiring excess at times!).  A lot are these are the old sheet sizes so have to be remade, and the quality of the cotton is so lovely. 

Last summer was a fine summer (as opposed to today being about 17degrees and heavy rain), and I wanted to try out a pattern using up some charity shop sheets.  I made this, using a halter pattern I had been playing about with, but using and extending the same darts was a bit clunky looking (not easy to see but I tried to continue some french darts to the back on a diagonal) so I left it to one side meaning to try another halter top, and I also had a rethink about my ability to keep white bodices clean......  I did like the overall construction, ie making the 4 parts of 2 fronts, and 2 backs and sewing together.  It reminded me of a dress idea I also like from a favourite book 'The Art of Sewing - Shortcuts to Elegance).  The book is on loan to a friend but I will insert a photo here of this 'dress from triangles' when I get it back.

Meanwhile, here is the opener - chapter 1 from 'The Art of Sewing 'The Creative Touch', which give instruction on refashioning clothes, embroidery, and crochet and knitting.

I don't know if anyone has these books, - they are a series of about 10 or 12, and are on Amazon at various prices so I am thinking of getting some more.   I got my two (shortcuts to elegance and the creative touch ) from a charity shop a long time ago.  They are good fun, and informative -the sewing instruction is excellent, and the photos sufficiently dated to be entertaining, and the models are not photoshoped so thats an added bonus!  

I am planning a few more sheet dresses and have ordered some indigo dye to try our some shibori techniques.  The halter pattern has altered a lot - the v neck now a square neck, and the hemline is moving.  


  1. You are an excellent dyer, as well as an excellent seamstress. When I dye, things often come out streaked. I love those old, beautiful sheets, too--but they are not much use to me in white.

  2. Sheet dresses! Genius - adore this halter dress - the cut, the block colours, the fact it's made from sheets. Skills :) x