Tag Archives: dressmaking

Tutorial – Simple Dressmaking Board

I realised that if I want to do proper dressmaking, especially when I’ll probably have to alter patterns, I’d need a board to do it on. I looked at the cardboard ones like this, then realised that for around £15 – £20, a bit of cardboard with some markings wasn’t very good value. I also knew that I’d probably break it pretty quickly.

I had a think, and realised the answer. I visited a hardware shop, and found a nice big (160cm x 120cm) piece of 3mm thick MDF for just under £5. Perfect. I got out my really long ‘joke’ Christmas present (a steel metre rule), my set square, my pencil and my sharpies.

I measured every 5cm along the top and sides of the board with a pencil, then drew on a grid with a black sharpie. I then drew the lines in with a black sharpie, making everything was straight and lined up. I then numbered each line.

I’m currently debating if this is enough, or whether I should also add 1cm lines in a different colour. Then, if I felt like it, I could add various useful angle lines such as 45 degrees. For now I’m going to leave it with the 5cm grid, then I can add things as I find them useful.

It was really easy, if a little time consuming to draw everything on accurately, but it was definitely worth it as I now have a nice, sturdy dressmaking board to use both for tracing/altering patterns, and cutting fabric so I don’t destroy the floor.Dressmaking Board

Sorry about the picture. It’s really hard to take good pictures of big things when there isn’t a great deal of natural light! Also, it’s my fault it looks slanted. It isn’t really.

Happy New Year!

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet at Crafterways over Christmas and New Year. I hope everyone has had a lovely break.

Works in Progress

I’ve got a few things on the go that I plan on completing in the not too distant future.

The first is my Rough Weather socks from Think Outside the Sox. I thought they were suitable considering the weather we’ve been having lately! I finished the first one over Christmas and want to get the second done fairly soon. I’m using Regia sock yarn for a change. I’ve had it in my stash for a while and it’s the perfect colour for these socks.Rough Weather Sock

The second, my Thermal, hasn’t really grown much. I took it with me to knit over Christmas but didn’t take any spare yarn. This would have been fine had one ball not decided to be thinner than the other, so I had to stop and wait until I could swap it out for a real one. Not sure why that happened, but it was cheap yarn so that might explain it.

The third, and final for non-hibernating projects, is my Demalangeni Shawl. I’ve had this yarn for a while, and I finally found the perfect shawl for it. It’s Araucania Ranco which I love, and I’m hoping it turns out well. It looks it so far!Demalengeni Shawl


For Christmas, I got a ball winder and swift. I’ve wanted these for a while. I immediately set about using them on my new Exmoor Sock Yarn as it’s the only thing I had.

When I got back to my stash, I then also wound some yarn that I had previously hand wound. I love the neat cakes the ball winder creates, and they’re so much easier to knit from than hand wound balls.Caked Wool

For Christmas I also received a little tripod, so hopefully that will improve the quality of my photos here considerably!

Coming Up

This year I am setting several crafty challenges for myself. The first is to knit a pair of socks every month. A group on Ravelry has set a theme (flora) and you have to find and knit patterns that in some way relate to a particular flower. It’ll be quite a challenge, but hopefully by the end of it I’ll (and various other people) will end up with some more lovely hand knit socks.

With some of my Christmas money I bought this book on dressmaking and this is where my second challenge comes in. For several years I have attempted to teach myself, with no help from books or anything, how to make clothes. I can make simple skirts, but that’s about it. So I decided it was about time I learned how to do it properly. Hopefully in the not too distant future you’ll see works in progress and finished objects not only from knitting, but also sewing!

My final challenge is to finish things! I’m really bad at finishing anything that isn’t socks or a shawl, so my challenge is to not start too many things. I need to at least finish my Zora cardigan, and not let myself start a new one until Thermal is complete. That is going to be quite difficult seeing as I found this for half price in the John Lewis sale.Wendy Roam

It’s Wendy Roam in a lovely blue colour. I’m going to use it doubled so whichever cardigan I choose to make from it doesn’t take forever.

Have you set yourself any crafty challenges for the year? I’d love to hear about them!