Sunday, 21 June 2015

George Hamm

I reckon wikipedia is wrong, as I would like to introduce you to my ham . . . . George:

Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie arrived at Holly's and stopped her cry(ing)
because it is just so damn good

This, of course is my new dressmaker's ham, ordered while sat in the pub one evening a couple of weeks ago.  I was moaning at the hubby that I wanted to make one, as I really needed one for when I make princess seamed dresses etc., but they were all boring colours, but I didn't think I could be bothered to make one.  He, quite sensibly for him, suggested that I buy one and just make a new cover - I liked his thinking so decided to treat myself.  Now that Georgie Porgie has arrived, I am tempted to keep his tartan plumage.  I'll decide eventually, or just get too lazy to change up his colouring.

Anyway, It took me ages to name George here (all my sewing tools now seem to be getting names - Doris being my first example).  I could have gone with the obvious, which was "pig", "porky" or even "babe" but that would have been too easy.  Instead, I needed something a bit out there.

I considered naming my lovely new ham after John Hamm of Mad Men (and Bridesmaids) fame, but I have a few Johns in my family, so that just seemed weird.  So, a quick text to the big sis for other famous piggies, as my brain was doing a blank.  She suggested "Peppa" and I can see her thinking there (you can tell she has kids!), but my little hammy hammster just did not seem to suit being a Peppa . . . then, inspiration struck, my new ham would be George! For those of you who have not been subject to CBeebies in your life, George is Peppa Pig's younger (and I think nicer) brother, so George it was.  Even better that I can tell my eldest niece (Georgia, known as George) that she inspired the name of my lovely new ham.  I don't think she will be too impressed with that.  Ha!

Little George in action
Anyway, I put my little George into action pretty much as soon as he arrived, in my second version of the By Hand London Kim Dress.  Now, I have made this lovely princess seamed bodice dress before in the square(ish) neck, wrap petal front version.  Now I wanted to try the other, sweetheart neckline, full skirt version, and I thought it would look absolutely cracking in some gingham that I have had in my stash since last summer.  It was actually bought with something else in mind, but then again, doesn't most of my fabric!

I did worry when I first pinned it onto Doris that it would be too much gingham, but as my friend, Lauren says "there is no such thing as too much gingham" - a girl after my own heart there - it must be the mutual love of musicals and country music that makes us like this.  And speaking of musicals and country - I'm going to see Calamity Jane with my very own Calamity this week - the (non-wicked) step-mother.  I am thinking this dress may just be the perfect outfit (weather permitting of course - this is England after all, and Yorkshire at that!).  Aaaand then, I'm off to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with the actual mother in October, and I am tres excited that it has just been announced that Duncan from Blue will in fact be playing Priscilla.  I've been singing Blue songs in my head ever since . . . "it's one for the money and the free ride . . . it's two for the lies that you denied . . ."

it was a chilly, drizzly day when we took these photos
so I had to 'style up' the dress with a black cardi

Anyway, after trying on my previous Kim incarnation and noting that it was a bit tight around my ample waist and buxom (its fits OK, but I don't think I would want to eat a big meal), I decided to cut a size larger, so I cut a 20 straight from the packet, especially as this is a more casual dress (I think) and to me casual is all about comfort.  I made up the bodice lining first to make sure it didn't swamp me, and all fittings seemed OK.  I figured the back might be a bit too big (as I struggle with), but I wouldn't really be able to tell that until the zip was in.  

I cut out and sewed up the bodice the day before George Ham arrived, so I decided to leave the pressing until he did arrive, and here I am using him for the very first time.  Oh! Em! Gee!  it is a revelation to press seams on my lovely George.  So much easier than a flat ironing board, or as I attempted last time, the edge of a cushion.  I love love love my ham!

So anyway, once the pressing (at the time of writing, I love pressing - I'm sure this will change), I simply had to make up the dress.  This was relatively straight forward, having sewn a Kim before I knew the process - sew the lining to the bodice shell, gather and attach skirt and then insert zip.
and I braved it without the cardi

I tried a slightly new technique with the gathering of the skirt - rather than do it all in one go, I gathered in sections.  This was so so so much easier - no threads broke, I didn't get ridiculously bored - winner all round.  I will definitely be gathering in sections from now on.  I also shortened the skirt by a good 4 inches - mostly because I have short legs, but aussi because I think that the gingham can pull off a shorter skirt.

When inserting the zip the waistband doesn't quite match up at either side, but I am so used to this happening that it doesn't bother me.  Then, the day after, By Hand London posted this tutorial on how to get the waistband lining up.  I will definitely be using this next time.  It is such common sense I don't know why it isn't known by all and why it isn't taught as part of the basic invisible zip tutorial, but hey hum pigs bum, I now know!

and the back - hubby didn't tell me my belt was all wrong

To finish the dress I did machine the hem, as I just couldn't face that much hand sewing, but I hand sewed down the lining.

So what do I like about this dress:
  1. it's Gingham and THAT can never be a bad thing
  2. it is a relatively simple sew and the more I sew the easier it gets

And what would I change next time:
  1. use the BHL tutorial for inserting an invisible zip right
  2. learn to do a princess seam FBA (any good tutorials out there?) - there is slight gaping at the armsyce, which could be remedied.
Overall, I love this dress, and I just need some sunshine in which to wear it rather than cold, wind and drizzle.

Happy Crafting!


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