Friday, 13 March 2015

Two patterns, one time slot - you decide!

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about time. There seems to be an ever growing demand on our time and I've been wondering if I use mine wisely. The part of the day that has caught most of my attention is before I go to work the morning. Please stick with me, I'll get to sewing shortly and then I need your help. 


My weekday morning routine involves getting up early and I generally have at least 90 minutes before I'm forced to face the world. This time normally involves a small amount of housework, reading blogs and generally messing around on the internet. I'm convinced I could use this time more wisely, especially the latter part when I'm fully awake. 

So, I could go for a run. Ha! Who am I kidding? A 6am run is the last thing I want to do. Naturally, my mind flitted to sewing as the next option. How long would it take me to create an item from scratch using only the time I have before I leave for work? I have no idea but I intend to find out. 

The rules:
  • This exercise starts with tracing a pattern or piecing together an already printed PDF (I'm not getting the printer out at that early in the day) through toile(s) to the finished item in fashion fabric. 
  • Using my overlocker is not allowed. This is purely out of courtesy to Adam and my neighbours - no one wants to be jolted awake by the noise of this machine. 
  • I'll only work on this project Monday-Friday (annual leave and bank holidays are not included as I won't be up!) and only before I leave for work.  
  • Fabric will be prewashed - it's not possible to get through a full wash in the time restraints.  
Now, here's where I need your help. I can't decide which pattern to use. I have two options and you get to decide! I think both of these can be easily broken down into stages. 

The first is Sew Over It's Betty Dress in Sweet Female Attitude from By Hand London


The second is Sewaholic's Granville shirt. I would love to make this from the floral purple Thai silk in my stash but I'm not sure there is enough... Whatever I decide, it will be office appropriate. 


Let me know in the comments which pattern you think I should choose. 

Update: voting on the blog and Twitter has now closed. It was a close run with Granville winning by two votes. 


  1. i think the shirt. shirts seem to me to be more easily broken down into small tasks and blocks of time.

  2. Like Jo, I think the shirt. I'm just thinking that hemming the Betty will probably take longer than one session. The shirt will be a harder sew, but would easily break down into small chunks. Good luck!!

  3. I am going to vote for Granville - I think it has lots of steps that would work well in bite size bits of time? Look forward to seeing how you get on - I never have a moment first thing!


  4. I love for the shirt as well! I agree that even though a shirt is a lot of work, there are a ton of small steps that can be broken out for short bursts of sewing. I'm really, really interested to see how this goes because I often think the same thing about my morning routine!

  5. The dress is so pretty, but it sure is great to have a well-fitting shirt pattern in one's arsenal. I'm looking forward to following your progress with this project!

  6. I'm going to cast the first dissenting vote and say the dress. Even though the shirt has many little tasks to do, if you're not the most alert person first thing in the morning or if, like you say, it takes time for you to fully wake up, I imagine that the shirt's more exacting tasks may lead to headaches/heartaches. I'd suggest starting with something a little easier like the dress, and if you find yourself more focused and excited than you expected after the first make, dial it up and go for the shirt. Either way, good luck!

  7. Oooh this is such a tough choice!!! They will both be gorgeous. Although I'm inclined to say shirt, if you're sure you will be 100% awake at that time... it does have lots of smaller chunks that you could break up. Can't wait to see the results of this! x

  8. I'm also voting for the dress. As Caitlyn has already said it is less complicated to assemble and I think you will be able to break the sewing down into small pieces as well. I don't know if the dress fabric will be cotton, but it will be easier to sew than the silk for the shirt. I also guess there is more hand stitching involved in sewing a shirt compared to making the dress. I'm looking forward to read about your experience! I've tried before to sew before work, but found that if you are not well prepared, you actually don't have time to sew but thread the bobbin instead, haha.

  9. Tough choice as they're both great patterns, but I'm tempted to say the dress because it would be lovely for spring! I think both of them would easily break down into small chunks for early morning sewing, but possibly the dress might be slightly more straightforward if you weren't quite 100% awake. And also don't beat yourself up about being efficient all the time - we all need a bit of time spent messing around online every now and then!

  10. I vote shirt, I'd like to see it in that fabric!

  11. I vote for the dress, for the simple reason that if it were me sewing the shirt first thing in the morning, it would be a complete disaster. Whatever you make, it's a great challenge. Good luck with it, and I'll look forward to seeing how you get on.

  12. I vote for the shirt as it has lots of small pieces. Good luck with it!

  13. I'm a sucker for a lovely dress!


Do you have thoughts about this post? If so, please leave a comment - I really appreciate them! I read them all and try to reply as much as possible.


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