Busman’s holiday

written by Rachel Lamb
6 · 24 · 11

I’m not altogether sure what that phrase really means, but I think it means that if you are a bus driver, you don’t get much of a holiday because you’ll be driving people (and yourself) around, while on said holiday…?

I often get asked if I make my own clothes, and usually disappoint by wistfully shaking my head and saying no. I just don’t seem to have the time, and as I make more complicated outfits for a living, the idea of making my own clothes seems like less of a hobby and more like more work. Like a ‘bus-woman’s holiday’! But still, I do plan the clothes I’d like to make for myself (a personal capsule collection appears each year in my sketchbook) but invariably doesn’t get made.

This is daft really, because one of my major gripes and one of the reasons why made to measure and bespoke clothes appeal so much to me, is that I can’t find clothes to fit! Or, clothes that I want to wear – where is a simple garment when you need one??

Anyway. This year I felt spurred into action, I had an ‘event’ to attend and, after considering and rejecting the myriad maxi-dresses on offer in the shops, I thought – great…perfect excuse to make myself a dress to wear. So after much searching, I bought 2 lengths of different fabric (I couldn’t decide which I liked best), measured myself, and………did nothing.

I ended up in a panic 2 weeks prior to the event and bought a dress instead.

The fabric languished in my fabric box, and I guiltily pondered making a quilt with it ‘in the winter, when I have more time.’ Then, the other day, after a day of non-stop and super organised wedding pattern-cutting and sewing, I got the sewers equivalent of a runners ‘high’ and kept going. I made myself a top:

If only it were as simple as that. I made a pattern, then a toile, then altered the toile, then altered the pattern, then made a new toile to check the altered pattern, altered it a bit more, then adjusted the pattern a bit, then cut the fabric out and made the top. It didn’t really take that long timewise, but in my head it should have taken 30 minutes, not 3 hours 😉 [Another reason why I don’t make stuff for myself much – irrational mental timeframes!]
The fabric is by Amy Butler and I bought through Gone to Earth, which has a lovely simple website. It’s a bit difficult to see in my pics, but the neckline has a little V-shape in the middle of the boat-shaped neckline.
This fabric was, to my mind, the most challenging pattern-wise, of the two fabrics I’d purchased. I love the ’50’s vibe, but didn’t think I’d look too great in it head to toe. So a ‘simple’ top has been made. I thought it would look good with jeans or similar?
 I found a solitary pink button in my stash, and voila, the back was completed:

I hope to make some more ‘simple’ daywear type garments for myself to wear at some point, so when I do, I’ll post about them here, alongside my wedding dress and bridal stuff – more of that soon.

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