Taking a Break from Dressmaking

I jumped into dressmaking without much thought. A friend inspired me to make my girls dresses, and then along came Love Sewing magazine with that cute Brigitte dress pattern, so I started making a few things for myself. I really want to make the Simplicity K1609 dress, of which the pattern came free with Sew magazine (yes, I did kind of buy the magazine just for the free patterns!!). I made a toile almost immediately – I wanted a good fit after that Brigitte dress turned out a bit loose at the bust – which went really well and fits perfectly (which is a little annoying). So I just need to get cracking with the real deal – but I can’t choose a fabric! So in the meantime I’m taking a break from dressmaking.

This week I really did venture outside my usual sewing habits. I made a game! A travel noughts and crosses to be exact. The idea is from Sew magazine – the issue with the free pattern.

Travel Noughts & Crosses - Sew Mag 2

Thinking about it, of course most noughts and crosses games are fit for travel in that all you need is a pen and paper… therefore I would like to call my game posh noughts and crosses. It consists of a padded gameboard, which folds up fairly small so will be good for travel.

Noughts & Crosses gameboard

I like how it’s a good size; sometimes you get travel versions of games and they have miniature pieces – I can’t see them lasting very long. These counters are great; they can’t roll around or slip about and they’re easy to hold.

Playing Noughts & Crosses

The making was very straightforward. Literally straightforward. 90% of the sewing was straight lines in straight stitches.

Noughts & Crosses stitching

Making the counters got quite repetitive, and they were the most difficult part of the whole project. The crosses weren’t too bad; although they are fraying already…

Cross piece

…but the noughts were tricky because they required sewing quite tight circles. They turned out OK, though; there’s just one with a little gap where both lines of stitching slipped off the edge. I couldn’t be bothered to fix it!

Nought piece

I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so grateful for the fantastic little needle up/down button on my machine; it got a lot of use during the stitching of those noughts! If you don’t have a machine with this feature – I’m telling you, you NEED one!!

Needle up-down button!

Once the shapes were sewn on, I then had to back them, turn them inside out, press, topstitch… it took forever. I took a photo halfway through the turning stage because I was bored! I do enjoy sewing, but it can get frustrating at times.

Noughts & crosses pieces... halfway through!

This was a great ‘stashbuster’ project. It is nice when you can make something out of what you already have, rather than buy in a couple of meters especially for the project, like I have to for my dressmaking. I used two lovely fabrics from The Makery (one that my mum sent me, which came as part of a free gift from a recent promotion – woohoo!), and I bought the rather suitable ribbon from them when I visited Bath a couple of weeks ago.

I Love Handmade ribbon

I then only needed a small amount of fabric for the counters. The result of using fabrics already in my stash is that the game is rather a mismatch of colours and patterns. I don’t think it’s too dreadful though.

Playing Noughts & Crosses 2

The whole project turned out great; however I did make one stupid mistake, which I didn’t notice until we were playing it! One of the backs of the counters is stitched on the wrong way round! Maybe that was my last one… Whoops. Maybe it’s a lucky one.

Backs of counters

I’m glad I’ve made this because we are going away this weekend – hooray! The idea was to spend a few days in the sun, at the beach… but it looks like the weather is changing and we will have rain!! So my posh noughts and crosses may just get a lot of use over the next few days!

Noughts & Crosses folded

Of course, you don’t need to be travelling to play it… my girls are already enjoying it ๐Ÿ™‚

Girls playing Noughts & Crosses

Beth x

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6 thoughts on “Taking a Break from Dressmaking

  1. What a great use for little odds and ends of fabric. I like the random look you’ve ended up with! I’m impressed with your triple lines of stitching – very straight and parallel. I have serious needle up/down button envy. It’s the one thing I’d change about my machine, if I could. In my mind though, I always think of it as a “nadel unten” button, because I learnt to sew on my Mum’s German machine. To me, the backwards button is “ruckwarts” too!

    Anyway – great project and I’m glad your girlies are enjoying using it ^_^

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    • Hehe, thanks! Parallel stitching is pretty easy when you have good guides on your machine’s foot. Oh, that button is amazing. Sorry to make you envious! You’re going to make me start thinking in German now…. ruckwarts is quite a memorable word!!

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  2. That is such a cool idea! I like that it’s a project you can use scraps for.. I think I need some projects like this to practice my sewing on before I potentially ruin good fabric attempting dressmaking! I love that ribbon you found too.

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    • Thanks! It’s very different to what I usually make; it never occurred to me that I could make a game before! I agree, wasting a fat quarter if you mess it up is much less painful than wasting one or two meters of nice dressmaking fabric. Something that only needs straight lines is great for practicing, and the end result is still pretty and rewarding! ๐Ÿ™‚

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