Sunday 13 February 2011

I’m famous!! ….plus a sewing update

Ooooh, I’m famous (well, sort of).  Those who’ve been reading my blog a while will know I’m a huge admirer of Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons fame. Hers was the first sewing blog I ever discovered and I LOVE the clothes she makes and her quirky style. My exciting news of the century is that she’s just interviewed me for her Stash Amnesty! series.  

Here's the excited interviewee
So, if you want to know the ins and outs of why I took up sewing, what’s in my stash box and where I get my fabric from, head over there now and have a read

In other news – all my pattern pieces for my Swing Dress sewalong are now cut out, yippee. I didn’t have to make too many adjustments, which was a relief.  I cut out a size 14 and it fitted pretty well.  I just had to shorten the bodice front and bodice back by a small amount and shorten the skirt, all made easy peasy by the lengthen/shorten lines on the pattern.  I also reduced the amount of ease on the sleeves as advised by Casey, which again, was pretty simple.

So, pattern duly adjusted, I washed my fabric ready to cut it all out.  A simple task, I smugly thought – or not as it turned out …. My fabric is a red wool crepe, which I washed on a wool wash as I’d heard it was prone to shrinkage.  I put it out to dry, made a cup of tea, and was suddenly overcome by the most hideous smell.  It was revolting – a cross between mothballs and wet, mangy dogs.  Some quick detective work later and I realized it was coming from my fabric… OH NO!!!!!  It absolutely stank the place out.
The culprit - red wool crepe - looking pretty ashamed of itself
Panic stricken, I was straight on the computer googling the problem.  Apparently that’s what happens with wool crepe, it’s the wool content that exudes the delightful perfume.  The advice was wait until it’s completely and utterly dry and as if by magic, the smell should disappear.  As you know, I’m not the world’s most patient girl, so every twenty minutes I was upstairs, sniffing the fabric.  I’m pleased to report though, that a few DAYS later, the smell had gone.

Having had my doubts about wool crepe, I’m now perversely really desperate to make this dress with it, so I’ve cut the pattern from the fabric ready to start sewing tomorrow, but I’m slightly nervous.  If the dress turns out well, I’d planned to wear it to my brother’s wedding in July.  That’s why I chose wool crepe as it had more of a luxurious feel to it and could hold its own as befits a posh wedding outfit.  But what if it rains?!!  My brother is twelve years younger than me, and I’m already worried I’m going to be mistaken for ‘mother of the groom’ by some of his hip young gun-slinging friends, I don’t want to smell like an old dog to boot. I’ll just have to keep an eye on the weather forecast….


  1. Just read your interview! Great to get to know you a bit better.
    About the wool crepe I had no idea it could smell badly and completely understand your dilemma. Maybe it just smells the first few times you wash it.

  2. Thanks Suzy, I'm hoping that's the case! x

  3. Nice to read your interview over at Tilly's and hear how you got into sewing!

    Your adventures with wool did have me chuckling. I've not sewn with wool crepe yet, but it got me thinking of a similar experience with raw silk at a hot summer's do once. I couldn't understand what the smell was until I realised it was coming from me. I can only describe it as backside of silk worm... I don't think I wore that outfit much thereafter, or only if I knew I was going to be able to stay cool.

    I'd give the dress a trial run before wearing it to a July wedding because you might find that in addition to rain, you have heat to watch out for (if you're tempted to dance the evening away on a hot summer's night for instance!).

    Hopefully you'll find the smell has quite gone now, because it's a gorgeous colour and will make a fabulous dress.

  4. Congratulations on the article, it is a really interesting read and I found loads of great links. The colour of your wool crepe is stunning, well worth the risk of stinking out the wedding party!

  5. Twas a pleasure to interview you!

    Sorry to hear about the smelly fabric... just try not to spill any drinks down yourself when you wear it!

  6. Jane, when I read your dilemma with the wool crepe I was so relieved because I too had this very problem! I'm using a wool blend for the trouser sew-along and every time I press the fabric it smells of wet dog. Yikes!! I thought maybe it was the smell from the fabric store or something.

    My muslin for Casey's sew-along fit fairly well without too many major adjustments too. Isn't that the best? :) I enjoyed your interview!



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