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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Another Peony

Hey guys remember me?! It has been months and months since my last post, but life got busy and then I lost my camera charger (AGAIN) and had to wait for another one to get posted but I've still been obsessively checking Bloglovin every single day marvelling at all of your beautiful creations.  

I've still been sewing of course, so now at least I have a few blog posts in the works, I thought I'd start off with this Peony I made a couple of weeks ago.  It's hard to photograph black garments and capture the details so I'll just make it a quick one not too photo heavy.

I've made this pattern before in vintage floral barkcloth, but I took it to USA when we went last year and it done shrank in the dryer, sad face. I can still wear it but only with tights in winter, so this time I added an extra inch to the bodice and an extra inch to the skirt.  This is my perfect pattern really, boat neck, a line skirt, 2 of my favourite things, and it goes together so quickly.  I'm sure this won't be my last, I've actually got a black taffeta with gold spots cut out ready for number 3.  I've decided to always add an extra inch into bodice patterns, I've got a long torso and it helps out with the proportions.



I got this gorgeous trim from Lincraft, you can get it in all different widths, I used it to finish the neckline and cut it down to a smaller width for the sleeves and sewed it on to the wrong side, turned it up to the right side and sewed it down.  It's already gone through the wash ok and didn't fall apart, which I was half expecting to happen so this is good, I'll just wash it on the delicate cycle to be safe.

I got the inspiration to sew this dress when I saw this pretty little lady on Ebay, but knew that it would be way too short for me.


And the back.  So there it is, my favourite new dress.


Also - I saw there is a blog meet up happening right here in Brisbane! But it's on my birthday, so unfortunately I won't be able to attend this one, but I'll definitely be keen for the next one, which I hope there will be! Here are the details xx



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Embroidery - Clasp Wallet

Oh hi again! I am supposed to be doing something else but I have found a way to get distracted, thanks blogger.

Look what I just made, my first attempt at hand embroidery and my first attempt at making a frame purse.  It looks a little bit clumsy but I'm hoping that adds to the overall handmade affect ha.

I got a sugar skull pattern from Urban Threads and just used a backstitch for the design then french knots to make the polka dots, as it looked a little bit, uh, morbid as a gift for my friend's birthday so I thought the polka dots would lighten the tone a bit!! It took ages to get the actual shape of the wallet right, and it still needs a bit of work but I'm pretty happy for a first attempt!

I just cut 2 pieces of fabric for the outer and 2 for the lining, interfaced the outer fabric pieces, sewed up the bottom and sides of the lining and outer separately, put the lining inside the outer then sewed up the tops, leaving a gap to turn right side out and superglued it into the frame, the frame now needs a bit of a polish from grubby glue fingers.

Embroidery is a slow process! But I'm happy with my labour of love, and hope the birthday girl will be too.

Back to chores, do not want :( x




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simplicity 1609

Well it sure has been a long time between blogs! Between going on an amazing holiday for 5 weeks to USA and Canada and losing my camera charger, blogging became quite difficult, but of course I have been sewing.  I finally finished Simplicity 1609 and I must apologise to the people that have found their way to my blog through searching for that pattern
only to find I hadn’t even reviewed it yet, what a scammer!  Anyway I finally attempted it. 


I had so many fitting issues with this dress it drove me crazy! Between my small bust and large hips I couldn’t find a happy fit with this pattern and pretty much redrafted it from the waist down because it’s built for teeny tiny hips, not saddle bags like mine. 



I figured out the main problem with this pattern for me was I needed to do a serious sway back adjustment, I had a LOT of fabric bunching in my lower back, and I’d already come too far to fix that the correct way because the zip and collar were already in so I did all sorts of creative things to make it fit ha.  Because a lot of the problem was around my lower back and the zip ended there I ended up taking the zip out and shortening it, then moved the back darts closer to try and grab at some of that excess fabric, and there are some strange folds of fabric going on back there but I either had to just deal with it or throw it in the bin because I'd spent way too long on a simple A-Line dress and I loved that collar way too much not to wear it so I shall take the experience as a learning curve! I purchased some craft paper to redraw the pattern and do a proper sway back adjustment to the actual pattern and hopefully that will make for a better fit next time... and there WILL be a next time. I have so many ideas for this dress, it’s such a perfect base that’s possible to achieve so many looks once I get the perfect fit. 

Well that shall do you for know, I have been purchasing quite a large amount of fabric between Mood Fabrics in New York (!), some of the fantastic fabric shops in Portland and my little trip to Melbourne last weekend which incorporated a trip to Clear It – I couldn’t believe they were selling Alannah Hill and Gorman Fabrics for around $10 a metre. Lucky Luke had extra room his his suitcase!

I shall get back to updating more regularly now I can upload photos again! Sewing this dress up has made it very apparent I need LOTS more A Line 60s dresses with every type of collar imaginable... uh oh. Speaking of which I shall leave you with this dress I found on modcloth, ain't she a beaut? x



Monday, July 8, 2013

Another 2 tops!


Because I'm a greedy girl and can't stop selfishly making new things for myself after promising friends and my fiancee to make them nice things.  I'm such a jerk.  While on that subject, has anybody made a men's shirt? Any good pattern recommendations? The Negroni seems to be hot contender... Anyway, there's a reason for filling out my wardrobe - I'm going on a HOLIDAY next month to USA and Canada.  Yeah boii. I've never been over there, I've done a lot of Europe and Asia but never the States so it'll be a blast.  There's a bunch of us going too to make it twice as fun, we're flying into Vancouver, then heading to New York, flying down to LA and then driving up through Big Sur, San Fran, Oregon etc and dropping the car back into Seattle and finishing up back in Canada where my bestie left me earlier this year to move to.  She can run but she can't hide..

So does anybody have any good recommendations around these areas if you've been?  What about the garment district in New York? A lot of bloggers seem to go to Mood but I think it's a bit more expensive than what I like to pay... I'm a bit of a scab when it comes to fabric, sewing is supposed to be a thrifty hobby!

Anyway, this is the top I mentioned in my previous post, I used New Look 6808 as the sloper and then drafted a collar and used the short sleeves from the Peony pattern I recently purchased.  Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself! I'd definitely like to do a drafting course, I see Burda had a webinar for drafting your own bodice and skirt that you can pay to download...


I could have ironed it but I was very hungover in these photos had to make the most of the sunshine with the camera before I closed all the blinds in the house and hid from the lovely winter sun for the rest of the day.
I just LOVE THIS FABRIC!!


I omitted the facings and just used bias binding, my partner's grandmother gave me a beautiful old sewing box full of beautiful things, including stacks and stacks of bias binding of every colour and size!

This is the second top I made, another mash up of patterns.  Once again New Look 6808 as the bodice just because I know it's a perfect fit, then I used the collar from New Look 6000 because I LOVE THAT COLLAR.  Very much.  I used the sleeves from New Look 6808 but I don't think I like them very much and won't use them again, too much excess fabric that I have to fudge around with. 

I came up with the idea of this top when I saw this beautiful button, I thought how cool that would look on a gingham top with some ric rac, but when I went to stitch it on at the end it was too small and looked silly.  Sadface.


So I just sewed a daisy button onto some black felt until I find a bigger button to replace it, but I think it looks a little bit emo or something with the black ric rac and the button definitely needs a bit of colour in it.


Ric rac sleeves peeping out, so cute, yet so hard to stitch on without falling off. 

The end. x



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Colette Peony

I finally found the time and sunshine to get some photos! I've been sewing a fair bit lately, but my creepy dark house mixed with non-stop rain makes for hard times for getting snappy.

First of all - the Colette Peony.  Remember ages ago I scored some beautiful barkcloth from the Paddington Antique Centre? Well, I did and it was a very exciting time! I cut this out Friday night, yes I know, what a rager, and had it completely finished by 4.30 the next day! I cut out a straight size 2, and didn't make any alterations, except instead of gathering the skirt at the waist I made pleats instead. The gathers with the heavy fabric were just not sitting right.  I then made a bow belt using Tilly's tutorial found here.  

Props to Colette patterns for making such a fabulous, simple pattern, A-line, boat neck, 3 quarter sleeves - A plus.  Next time (and there will be a next time!) I will lengthen the bodice a couple of inches as I have quite a long torso, and I would probably add a couple of inches to the skirt length, as I only sewed a tiny hem and it just sits a little higher than what I usually like.  But this is a winter dress anyway given the thick fabric so I'll be wearing it with tights and brogues I think! 


Here's a shot of the back


I have also been obsessively sewing gathered skirts because I love them. I made a black one not long ago and also recently made a denim version, seen below.  I originally bought the fabric to make another Colette Ginger but the denim is lighter in colour and weight than what I wanted so instead of wasting it I made another high waisted gathered skirt.


Then I made one for work in cream cotton sateen to try and tie in some of the earthy coloured tops I seem so fond of making, seen here with another Tilly bow belt and my modified Simplicity 2501.


I also made a Colette Sencha for my mum as a surprise gift but alas, it was too small for her, sad face.  I think it was the fabric I chose that made this such an unpleasant sewing experience and I don't know if many of you have tried this pattern out, but there was no way I could turn those skinny neck ties right way out.  I had quite the tantrum and instead used a black ribbon and covered some self-covered buttons in matching black for the back buttons.  This top wasn't great anyway with all the hand sewing and the key hole neckline pulls a bit so I don't mind so much that it didn't fit Mum as I'd like to sew her something amazing instead.  I've got some fabric to make the Mathilde blouse now that I know what size she is that I think she'll love.



I went into Lincraft on my lunch break on Friday and they STILL don't have any copies of Simplicity 1609 that I got so excited about a couple of months ago, so I bit the bullet and brought a downloadable version instead.  Then PrintSew failed to email me my login details and password so I had to chase them for it, sigh.  Anyway I finally got an email yesterday with it, so that should hopefully be my next project, I've got some black wool in my stash and want to add a lace collar.  I'm also playing around with good ol' New Look 6808, adding a tie collar to turn it into a pussy bow blouse with some very cool fabric so you'll be seeing that soon too.  

xx



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mad Men Challenge

Julia Bobbin has kindly hosted round 2 of her infamous Mad Men Dress Challenge! I don't even think I had a blog last year when she hosted it the first one, so I was super excited when she announced a round 2 and I could play along!

Just look at these dresses from last year, I adore each and every one of them.

http://www.juliabobbin.com/2012/04/mad-men-dress-challenge-big-reveal.html

So the inspiration dress is one of Megan's that she wore a couple of times in season 4.  Simple, yet effective! Of course I had to go with a dress with an interesting collar/neckline because that just seems to float my boat, not to mention a contrasting trim! A match made in heaven.


So I went all out, unnecessarily, and got some cheap and nasty polyester to keep in with the 60s theme.  I kind of regret making it up in polyester, it's just so SHINY! Ha, but I will still wear it, probably just not to work.  Also, the fit was really large around the bust in the pattern I used, so the stretch weave was very forgiving in altering the dress. 

I used a vintage pattern - Butterick 2799 which I'd never sewn up before.  I love the version with the sleeves and am keen to make that version up at some stage, sooner rather than later now it's getting cooler and I've got some large floral vintage barkcloth that would work nicely.  It's made up with a v shaped seam from the side of the bust down to the waist, which would also look quite cool with piped seams.



Anyway, here is the finished product, in all it's glittery polyester glory.  I played makeups especially for the occasion.


I love the fabric I used to make the bias binding and collar, it's from a range called Country Garden from Spotlight for $4 clams a metre.  I just sewed up 2 separate pieces and sewed them up either side of the zip and sewed along the bottom to the shoulder seam.  Megan's collar is a lot wider than mine, but I'm happy with how mine turned out.


Invisible collar isn't completely invisible, and I could have gotten a closer fit at the high bust but it shall do for now.




Now for a bit of housekeeping, Bloglovin said I need to claim my blog by putting this code into a post or something something.  I'm confused by all these google reader changes, I never used it anyway, so long as blogger dashboard remains untouched I think I'm good.

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3960634/?claim=utvsspsv6av">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Birthday Outfit

It's my birthday and I made a new outfit, happy birthday to me!

I used New Look 6808 for the top, I thought I should keep it simple given the loud print.  I absolutely love the fabric for this top, so bright and pretty, not usually my colours but the instant fabric crush was too strong not to make something for myself.  I've posted this photo on this blog before, but here's another closeup because it's just so darn pretty.




I used cotton sateen for the skirt, it's so lovely and heavy and holds the gathers so well.


I've had a lot of sewing time recently so also managed to whip up a top for my nephew's 1st birthday on Monday, it's kind of awesome even if I do say so myself...


Monday, March 18, 2013

Simplicity 1609!!!!

I have been on the lookout for the perfect A-Line dress pattern that I could spruce up with different collars, bows etc, and Simplicity have gone ahead and released the exact pattern with bow AND amazing scalloped collar options included!

I am SO excited I can hardly contain myself, so I thought the best place to get excited was on my sewing blog, of course! I think you're going to see a lot of this pattern made up very soon on this here blog! Starting with the mad men challenge...

In other sewing news, I'm working on a black sateen cotton high waisted gathered skirt with thick waistband, basing the skirt on Gertie's dirndle skirt tutorial here, should be finished sometime this week. Turns out creating perfect gathers can cause quite the headache, but I'm nearly there. I'm currently all about skirts at the moment, totally boring to make but my wardrobe is in dire need of skirts, both for play and work, so another gathered skirt in brown and another Colette Ginger in denim are on the cards.

I'll update with my new skirt later in the week, cotton sateen is totally my new favourite fabric.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Polka Dot Frock Fest

Hey hey, I finally finished my New Look 6000 which, as previously mentioned in my blog, I sewed up as part of the Polka Dot Frock Fest that Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time is running.  The aim of the game is to make any version of the pattern up incorporating polka dots somehow.

I really wanted to make it up in brown with cream spots to keep in with the retro style of the dress, but alas I could not find such fabric anywhere.  Then I found some in the quilting section at Lincraft (shh!) and it worked a treat. It seems a lot softer than the usual wrinkle prone quilting fabric so I think it will be fine this time. 

I took so many photos of this dress and this is the best of the bunch.  Ridiculous.  Standing in a corner in the dark surrounded by large objects, that's how you take a good photo, isn't it?! Although Luke's Fender Supersonic is quite a sexy amp.

I cut all my hair off about a month ago, the do goes nicely with this outfit!

This was the first dress I've made that hasn't been A-line, my hips are fairly out of proportion to the rest of my body so it was a real struggle to fit this one to my body.  I'm pretty sure my right arm muscle is twice the size from the the constant zipping up and down of this dress, ha.

Here's a close up of the fabric as it's not so clear from the photos.


I do believe that button was made especially for this dress.

I pretty much sewed up the whole dress on the weekend, not without dramas, one of the sleeves kept bunching up, I unpicked it and redid that sleeve THREE TIMES! I also broke 2 needles in the process and redid the zip twice! I got there in the end.

Getting better at those inzisible zips, even if I have to do have to revisit the Colette tutorial every.single.time.  It looks a bit wonky in this photo but it is actually completely straight and I just need to pull the dress down.

I found the pattern really well written and easy to follow, I LOVE that collar, it's why I brought the pattern in the first place.  I would like to make the dress again but change the design of the skirt to make it flare out into A-line, but I am really pleased with this dress, it's wearable as a work dress or a party dress, heels or flats. Yay, thanks Winnie for spurring me on to get it done and dusted!

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the group's finished products. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vogue 9668


I finally finished this dress last week.  It's more of a wearable muslin made out of very cheap polycotton, I just loved the shade of green, it's very hard to find forrest green fabric I've noticed! Emerald green is everywhere though, I hear it's the colour of the sesason.

So this is the finished product


I got Luke to take photos quickly before work this morning in a mad rush, I think it's time to invest in a tripod, I'm never happy with the photos on this blog, my house is so dark so I'm always rushing to get them done in a small window of time.  I wasn't going to wear it to work but then I decided, why not, it's office appropriate and I've had a lot of nice comments already.

This is hands down the best invisible zipper I've ever attempted, it doesn't look so great in the photo, it's because I still have to slipstitch the lining on the inside and it's not laying flat against the dress, but I'm totally happy with it. I need to really take the time to finish my clothes properly before wearing them, I'm already half way through another item of clothing and I wonder if I'll ever actually finish my slip stitching.  I'm terrible at it, that's the problem and I hate the fact that so many items of clothing require this process.



I didn't change anything on the pattern except the arms, the pattern asked to SLIP STITCH the cap of the sleeves into place, which I would probably fail miserably at and would come apart way too easily.  Ain't nobody got time for that, so I just did bagged the sleeve using a technique I picked up from a separate Vogue pattern in the past.  I think I will always to sleeves this way.

I also didn't line the skirt as I didn't think it was necessary.  This pattern is interesting as it calls for you to interface most pieces so it's quite stiff, which I think gives it the lovely structured lines which I love about it.  I made the decision to try and add some more "cake" pieces to my wardrobe, as it's all about frosting with me it seems ha.  But now I find this dress a little too cakey and I'm on the hunt for the perfect, bright neckless to complement it.  I've been on a fabric splurge as my lovely bosses gave me 300 clams worth of Lincraft vouchers for Christmas! Best present ever, so I've been hitting the big January sale and I'm getting a lot of suiting/wool/cotton sateen, all in plain cakey colours to try and build more of a versatile wardrobe.

One more photo of the dress in full to give a clearer image of the colour. So photogenic.  Not.


I originally planned to make this in an olive green but I don't think I'll bother now.  That's the problems with making muslins, I never want to see a pattern again for at least 6 months after I finish making something.  Oh well I'm still happy with this one.

Yesterday I started another pussy bow blouse, using Simplicity 2501, I'll hopefully finish that this week, and then I'm going to start on New Look 6000 as I decided to participate in this -


You can read about it here -
http://scruffybadgertime.co.uk/2013/01/february-challenge-polka-dot-frock-fest/

I brought this pattern last week to use up some of the wool in my stash for a work dress, and then I saw this in my feed so I thought why not join in.  I'm a bit nervous as I've never made a fitted sheath before, I always make full skirts to accommodate my child bearing hips and upon taking my measurments on this pattern, it tells me I'm 8 in the bust and 14 in the waist, waaaaa?! So I better attempt a muslin before starting to get the fit right.  I would like it in a chocolate brown with cream spots, I just have to find said fabric somewhere now and I can get started.