Fox Makes

Chatter: February, Week 1

I feel like I’ve got a lot done in the last few days!

As you might have seen on my instagram, I made myself a set of pattern weights and started tracing all the things I’ll need for upcoming projects – both wedding and otherwise. I’ve been absolutely amazed by the difference it’s made to have proper tools. I fairly recently bought Proper Tracing Paper on a big wide roll and it just makes everything so much easier? Who knew!

I’ve prepared patterns now for my wedding dress bodice, Matt’s waistcoat and then a Waikerie Dress by Muna & Broad too (it’s a Minerva Makers project, coming soon!) and a new face mask template. Important lesson number one of this week: retake your measurements before starting any important garment. I traced out my bodice pattern based on my ‘usual’ and lo and behold, it did not even begin to fit at the waist. It’s not too much of a spoiler to say it’s being built on the Cashmerette Upton pattern simply because I know their block fits me really well. They draft for a 5’6 person built similarly to my own shape, with lots of the common alternations I’d have to do therefore being already built-in.

Matt’s waistcoat toile also didn’t look fabulous but that’s in part because I was attempting to grade a historic pattern, and the ranges for menswear in extended sizing is frankly even more limited than that for women. At least there are less curves to deal with on his body, and no changeable cup sizes to plan for! I’ve also downloaded the Wahid pattern as a means of comparing the two, which should hopefully allow me to get the aesthetic we want whilst maintaining a great fit for the big day. Plenty of time, though. Some of the sample buttons I’d ordered arrived in the last few days as well, and they’re lovely! Burnished metal to sit beautifully on the tweed he chose, I can’t wait to see that come together.

(The ideas for my dress seem less and less well-formed the more I work on it, not least of all because someone on social media asked why I was making a full length dress when I know I love 1940s and 1950s styles. It only takes one well-meaning question to derail my entire plan! So we’ll see where this goes, and enjoy the journey I suppose. I keep ordering samples of silk chiffon because the first one I got feels like it’s made of dreams and clouds but is also approximately £30 per metre. None of the cheaper ones yet feel remotely similar and so I may end up having to just bite the bullet and spend the money, but I live in hope of a miracle still.)

Cutting all these patterns on the dinner table is an enormous step up from doing it on the floor but still causes intense backache. I dream of the day when we have our own house and I get my own sewing room, and can install a full-height cutting table and save my poor spine. (Yes, I might well do the one with the Ikea Hemnes and a countertop that every sewing youtuber seems to gravitate towards, but my thinking is that they love it because it works best!)

So, a bit more tracing to do tonight on round two of my bodice – this time in the right size! – and then another attempt at the waistcoat in due course. I’d planned this upcoming week off work so I could have a little break from Real Life and have time to make some valentine’s gifts, so I’ve got lots of things to keep me busy. I didn’t know I’d end up with COVID of course when I booked the time off, so in truth I maybe don’t need another week off work but it’s already agreed – so I will enjoy it!

It’s been really, really lovely to have time for creating.