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Bucharest, at last

There was quite a bad storm yesterday around Heathrow and the plane was quite shaky until we crossed the Channel. But in the end all was good and we had a smooth flight.

I brought the Pastille dress and the Grey Rooibos dress for my grandma to see. She was quite happy with them but noticed ALL the flaws. You can tell she used to be a dressmaker, she went over everything millimetrically and saw all the little things I knew were there but assumed no one else ever would. And then some I didn't notice. I think she didn't really expect I would have actual sewn garments, and she kept saying how well they look for my first creations. Last time I saw her, over Easter, I wasn't even considering sewing, I was still only reading blog posts.

The first thing she saw on the Pastille dress was the completely off back, but she understands why I couldn't do better. She said the back darts should have been smaller - but I don't see how that will fix the issue. She says the front looks good and the waist looks a bit small but not uncomfortably so. She also noticed the bottom of the zipper issues but she deemed them fixable. I thought she didn't expect the skirt to be lined. Somehow she knew the pattern didn't require it. Probably because it looks quite awful on the inside. Still, it does its job. All in all, she took a look at it for 30 minutes today and deemed it acceptable but she said there are obvious issues, most coming from not pressing properly and from not actually altering the pattern as I should have. I promised to buy a dress form.

The comments on the Grey Rooibos were not as extensive - the dress does look better after all. The zipper was ok for one, but she did have some comments on stitching the side seams and showed me why she was right on the right side of the garment - basically I need to take the side seam in a bit more. She commented on the back darts, which stand out now and showed me how to make them stand out less. I'll probably fix them while I'm here and under her supervision. She didn't like the bodice lining I used - for good reason, it was a poor choice of fabric, and I skipped interfacing it. The one thing I thought no one would notice, the bit of extra material on one side of the bodice, she saw immediately!

That made me wonder if maybe staystiching would be a good idea in general. The Vogue patterns I have usually call for staystitching at the neck, but my problems were always in other places. Maybe for my next make I will staystitch everything as soon as it is cut.

I showed my grandma the Colette Sewing Handbook and she was impressed with the quality and the pictures. The doesn't speak English though so couldn't comment further.

At the end she drilled me about the importance of pressing everything. Always! She could probably tell I had cut some corners in my makes.

I'll probably take a break from posting until the 27th or so. I plan to go on a shopping trip on Tuesday, when shops open again. I identified a few nice fabric shops and I know others too. I also want to go buy some DnD figurines. Merry Christmas!

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