Slight Adjustments

The major dietary changes here last year resulted in a lean and rather athletic Mr Jane Makes who ran his first ever 5K Park Run with no training or preparation and at the moment is beating his personal best each week.  He even runs to the park and back, although this last weekend I went to cheer him on so we only walked there very briskly.  In my view that assisted with his improved performance as he didn’t use up too much energy in advance!

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I have visions of him following in Forest Gump’s footsteps and setting off to run for months – and growing a huge beard into the bargain!  He can also climb the Trundle at Goodwood on his bike with a good deal less effort than before.

A knock-on effect of his diet was me losing weight and discovering that none of my clothes fitted me apart from the ones that had become too tight in recent years but had so far avoided the charity shop.  Given everything else going on over the last few weeks/months I’ve not had much time for sewing so have been managing with a very limited wardrobe of quickly made skirts and dresses in a smaller size plus some charity shop finds.

I really didn’t want to part with a lot of my me-made clothes so I embarked on an alterations challenge.  I’ve quickly discovered I’m not that keen on alterations, at least not a whole pile of them in one go.  I’m pretty sure I could make a simple skirt in the time it takes me to faff around unpicking and resewing seams, facings, linings, hems etc.  One saving grace is that several of my skirts are from the same straight skirt pattern with a facing rather than a waistband so they have all been treated in exactly the same way with one inch being taken in on each side seam.  So far I’ve done these five.

I particularly wanted to rescue the one with the tree pattern as this was a vintage fabric find and I’d only worn the skirt once.  I’m not sure the other fabrics are still available and the striped linen is definitely too good to part with so they really needed saving.  My sewing standards have dipped slightly as I’ve gone along and none of the skirts are finished quite as neatly as they were originally but at least they are now wearable.

Here’s part of the remaining pile of skirts awaiting attention.

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The majority of the rest are going to need a bit more attention as they either have waistbands, in-seam pockets or side zips and panels which will require a bit more of an effort.  It may be that some are destined for the charity shop.  I was hoping I’d be able to shrink the blue starfish print skirt to size.  I’d rushed ahead and made this one wihout pre-washing the fabric and then discovered just how much said fabric shrank after test washing a small piece of it.  I threw caution to the wind and put the finished skirt through the washing machine – it has shrunk, but not enough.

At the start of this challenge I did decide that once I’d completed five alterations I could make something new for the Spring, although I’ve just not been that motivated since losing my Dad in January.

I’m sure sewing with these sausage dogs would cheer me up but I’ve also acquired a half metre remnant of this lovely Sanderson curtain fabric for £10.  I believe it retails at around £60 a metre so it was quite a bargain.  It’s based on a 1950s wallpaper and I’d love to make a full skirt but with only half a metre I’m restricted to something less elaborate.  I’m particularly happy to see this fabric is made in the UK.

The fabric is washed and the pattern pinned onto it.  I’ve got a zip, thread, lining fabric and bias binding for the hem so there’s no excuse.  I’ve also made a new sewing resolution.  Each time I make a skirt I have to make a top that goes with it.  I make far too many random fabric purchases that I turn into skirts and then discover I have nothing to wear with them.  I’ve got some grey cotton fabric that will work well with the boats (and will also be used for the facings).  It was going to be a dress but I realised it had a tendency to crease quite badly and I don’t like a crumpled bottom which is inevitable if you’re sitting at a desk most of the day!

I’m off to Olympia on Saturday for the Knitting & Stitching Show with Sewing Su and Clarinda Kaleidoscope so there may be a few more random fabric purchases made!