Monday, August 30, 2010

The Onsie Project - Complete

Wow Busy day at the Angelic Cow Headquarters!!!!

So as promised earlier this month the onsie project now complete and it's final review and posting of pictures. First though let me say that I will likely retake these after September which has been dubbed the no junk food month.

The onsie project started as this at the beginning of the month. Making it was actually quick once I got going - tracing it was a different story and I still have not gotten over my hatred of double ended darts, I am however finding them easier (there is a total of 6 in the onsie).

This project was made much easier by the acquirement of the machine of awesome, because it does one step button holes. I LURVE MY ONE STEP BUTTON HOLE-R!!!! It is too easy, push a pedal and instant button hole - if this machine does nothing else my old one didn't I don't care. I can not stress my love of this enough.

I am really quite proud of this as I stash busted EVERYTHING bar the buttons (I just didn't have 7 or so blue buttons lying around) but the rope, material and zip all came from stash. I was really happy to accidently find the rope as the shade and the size, everything about it is a perfect trim for this outfit.

I cheated on the skirt a little and rather than sewing by hand and whip stitch the inside waistband I attempted to stitch in the ditch, much easier but I will also have to get much neater. In this incarnation it isn't too big a problem - I mean who is going to get close enough to see my stitch work anyway?

The shoes, I think are awesome. I got them on a buy one get the second half price at payless shoes, so I have them in navy and black, but seriously how awesome do they go with this outfit!!!! It's a steal, it's a deal, it's the sale of the century. Particularly as I wanted to wear this to the 50's fair, but I did not (after the pain of last year) want to wear heels to the 50's fair.

Things I would change on this project if I were to do it again, well an extra inch or so in the body length of the onsie would probably help to alleviate some unwanted wedgies. The Hem on the skirt needs some work as it is slightly wonky but I can't work out why so that is now on the I will care about it later pile. To put more roping on the onsie or to not put more roping on the onsie that is the question - i am still pondering and don't expect to answer it for a while yet.

That 70's Dress

We call this the 70’s dress. It’s my first (and currently only) 1970s dress that I have done. I got the material fairly cheap at a sale it sat in the box for a while and until my mum gave me a heap of patterns (including this one) and I decided that the material that screamed 70’s to me would be great paired with maxi that she gave me.

I cut my peices so that the border pattern would appear at the bottom and also on the straps. I tried to match the pattern as best as I could when I was cutting and sewing and I think I did a pretty good job.

The skirt went together quickly and then the top as usual had to be brought up a bit for my high waist (I adjust most patterns up by about 1 inch to accommodate this). The pattern calls for facind but I lined the whole bodice and top band in white poplin so as to not have the dots going through the fabric. I also lined the straps over the shoulders in white. In hindsight maybe I should have lined the skirt because it’s a wee bit see through but if I wear a slip under and no one is the wiser. I gathered the front of the bodice and lining separately.

Once the bodice came together I needed a way to connect the straps to the back. I thought it could be press studs but, after trying that it pulled funny and didn’t work. So I went looking for some buttons. I found these awesome buttons that are little white daisys with yellow centre and go perfect with the rest of the dress. I love the little touch and think it finishes off the dress perfectly. So I put in button holes (a painstaking 4 step buttonhole process) and then it was all ready to wear.

The front sometimes seems a little loose especially when I bend over I am conscious not to flash people. I would probably make the under arms tighter to make my bust tighter. This could be a 70s thing cause Hef complained about the same thing with her 70s dress.

My Quilt

I am finally done!! It took me at least a year but it’s done! It looks awesome too.

I slept under it the other night. Iit was quite cold in the morning and a little chilly (Even though I used the thick wadding) so it has been named a mid-season quilt. It was not as cold this morning and it was very much fine to sleep under, especially with the body heat of my cat on top of me.

The last parts were very difficult. I cut the pieces all out; then sewed them together, then sewed the top to the bottom and turned it inside out with the wadding in the middle. Then I sewed down each line. There were 13 lines in total each way.

The first few lines were good as they were close to the edge but the middle ones kept slipping and such. I ended up laying it all out and then pinning all layers together to stop it from slipping and once I did that it was easier. It was a good 15 minutes per row and this got more as I got to the centre. With small sew and then adjusting the quilt. I was sorry that I didn’t have the quilting machine because the quilt had to bunch up in that little crevice in the machine so when I did the middle one there was ½ a quilt in there and it was crazy. After ½ an hour of sewing I was puffed from dragging the quilt through the machine.

Once I did all the first lines the second lines were much breezier because the across lines held the quilt in place while I sewed the up and down lines. The up and down lines in the middle were probably about 5 minutes per line but the quilt was still being pulled through the small crevice so it was still a workout.

Looks great on my bed!

MMM Snuggly.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Halter Maxi

As previously pointed out I bought this pattern on etsy from Historically Patterns, who I can highly recommend for their fast fuss free service as well as the awesomely cute button they included for me free of charge.

To be honest this pattern was bought more as an afterthought, it happened to be in my size, I happened to by buying a few patterns from this seller that I adored, and well when buying international Ange and I like to take advantage of the combined postage discount - and so on the whim that it "could" make an ok dress for spring and I would not need to resize it I bought the pattern.

I continued with my sewing life as if nothing was different, the nautical onsie outfit continued uninterrupted and I finally got to the point where I was cutting out the full circle skirt. It was here I discovered just what a dirty fabric hoarder I was. After cutting out the skirt which is in every respect a great material sucker - I was left with several meters still to be used, and in stash busting time too. I couldn't put it back into the stash - that would go against the principle of stash busting. To return such a distinctive material could be condemning it to another 12 to 24 months of life as a flat lifeless sheet.

The patterns from Historically Patterns arrived only a few days before and I was somehow drawn to the halter maxi, it looked simple enough, only a few pieces. I had all the fabric required, sure that I could squeeze it out of the remaining meters (probably 2.5-3 but likely more like 2.5). I was also pretty sure I could pump it out in no time flat.

I started at 8:30 (the start of NCIS on a Friday night) I stopped at about 1am and had only left the hem, and the hand stitching of the lining to the internal bodice. Also I had left the frenching (I think) of the two side seams. Usually I don't bother with finishing my internals, however weeks of checking out blog world has made me jealous of the perfectly finished garments made by those in internet land, as well as the perfect neatness of Ange's work and so given the ease of the pattern I decided that even if only this once I would make a dress that was perfect too.

The following morning (and I use that term loosely) I picked it up again and within the hour I had completed the dress.

The pattern pieces fit together well, the design is somewhat flattering and all in all I must say I am happy with how it turned out. I then was able to wear my new creation to my Husbands 29th Birthday BBQ in hopes of getting some good photos for you peeps in networld. Now to the details of the photos that follow.

I have a nasty habit, photo-wise. It is more like an unexplainable phenomenon. I am physically incapable of taking a good photo. I pull stupid faces, end up with triple or quadruple chins that appear out of nowhere, slouch myself into looking fatter than I am, and generally screw the photo up somehow. For these the issues include the above and also that I forgot to take them until the END of the day, so the cotton dress had gone a bit creasy. Further it could probably have done with a was before (to soften out the starch in the cotton) but by the time the photos were taken it most definitely needed a was, so if you can notice the slight orange mark on the front, it is dip and yes I am a grot.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stash Bust - Now with upated Photos

This post will unfortunately be without images, maybe tonight I will take some and come back and update it with them. (as it appears I did)

Last night as I worked on the "pretty dress" as detailed in the last post I discovered that I was having one of those nights (this discovery came as I pulled the zip bit off the bottom - the sealed bottom- of the zip teeth, thats right I was being so heavy handed I literally pulled the zip apart. Luckly it has been repaired). In any case one "those nights" it is often best I have found NOT to work on projects, however I did want to get some work done with my sewing projects. I was not in a tracing mood, so I decided I must be in a cleaning mood - and so I cleaned.

I sorted out my cottons, my notions, buttons and trims, needles and pins, closures and tools now all sit neatly in their home. Then I moved onto the Black box of cloth mountain, which now looks a little less mountainous, being almost flat to the top of the box.

In doing this I discovered a few materials I had not remembered having. (here is where I really need to take pictures and update, but will see if I get around to it tonight).

I have a chameleon based "Hawaiian" print in blue, green and yellow. The material is some sort of quick dry board short material, though I think I remember planning to make a dress out of it. I think there is either 3m or 5m (which is what i normally buy in) and I think it is 150cm bolt. I am thinking it needs to be a summer beach dress (why waste the quick dry quality) but otherwise I am at a loss design wise. Estimated age 1.5 years.

I have what has been called the "bug material" which is a white eyelet with blue and orange and pink flowers printed on it, as well as green bugs - grasshoppers I think. I have at least 5m of this one and I know the dress I want to make out of it, but I don't have the colour to line it with (thinking orange but could go to other colours I guess) and under the rules of stash bust I don't know if I am allowed to buy it. I am now considering the dying of some white or it may have to wait till after November to be done. Estimated age 2 years.

I have white sateen, which was to be a skirt to wear with an outfit ages ago but I never got round to it and now don't know that I would use a white sateen skirt. I think there is about 1.5m of it maybe 2 if I am lucky on a 150cm bolt, maybe a onsie would be cute. Estimated age 1 year. (Photo not included as I am sure we all know what white looks like)

I have a brown with more mustard brown pin stripes, I remember getting it to make pants as a pirate but the pants when made up were way to small - and now I have about 1m of 150cm bolt left of it just hanging around, it could be shorts, or a vest but there isn't much of it to play with. Estimated age 2.5-3 years.

I have the purple Elvis material, which is abstractly striped with Elvis' head. I have 4m and I know what I want to make out of it, it is even all traced, but I have some issues in that I need to line up the stripes I am not quite sure how I go about doing that. It requires some thought. Estimated age 9mths.

I also have 4 yellow buttons with "I'm a flirt" written on them in purple (talk about impulse buy) lord only knows what I will do with those.

There was many many more bits of fabric that I had forgotten about, Stash busting is turning into an adventure of discovery.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The "Pretty Dress" a History

Once upon a time I was browsing the wonderful vintage pattern wares on Etsy and I found this exceptionally pretty pattern.

After deliberation with my other sewing half Ange it was decided that it must be bought and owned by us. After further deliberation I won out to be the owner of the pattern, Ange it would seem would need to be happy with simply owning a finished product at some point. We dubbed this pattern "the Pretty Dress" as no one in any land could deny that this dress is indeed pretty, and it's name has stuck.

I should point out here that I had MANY MANY patterns sitting unmade, and this project remained my top priority only long enough for me to buy the materials for it, a nice soft white bastite, and lemon yellow bias tap for the accented trim.

I hunted out on etsy and purchased a petticoat pattern as the bastite would require it, for this I bought a lemon yellow cotton.

At some point I started the petticoat, which I will write about in more detail in a further post - but basically it got to the so close to finished I could smell it when the "issues" with it made me toss it to the side in despair, to fix it that mystical "one day" when all my failures at sewing are fixed/finished. From then on the entire "pretty dress" project sat untouched by me. The materials for it just another precipice on cloth mountain

Ange on the other hand was obviously much more infatuated with this pattern than I was and diligently set to tracing and creating this dress. A benefit for me because I would not need to trace it and could just use her copies. Again, I borrowed the tracings - and they sat together with the original for months gathering dust. Many projects came and went and yet "the pretty dress" stayed unmoved from its foundations.

With the introduction of the great stash bust this month, I have been forced to look to the projects in various states of completion. This particular pattern was holding up about 5m of material in the stash and honestly did not look to hard to complete - and so last Monday on my day of holidays I set to work.

This dress is almost finished, the petticoat almost corrected - and hopefully with this post going up I will find the gumption tonight to make those final touches and be able to post the whole process and results by this weekend.

Also outstanding - the Onsie 50's beach outfit (status complete post to come after I wear it to the 50's fair) and the 40's workwear project (status in limbo, I will have to get back to this soon)

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Girl Dress

In an effort to keep up the habit of posting on here I am going to be doing a series of "Old Projects" in amongst the new ones. I have actually finished a new one - being my onsie, and am almost finished the skirt to match (tonight) but I am camera lazy so you will have to wait till next week to hear about the elation that is the one step button hole.

For Now though I entertain you with what we have come to call the girl Dress - for obvious reasons.

This was actually my first "vintage" experience, and I use the term loosely as it is a vogue vintage reprint (V2960) which is in my opinion a brilliant and almost flawless pattern. Several incarnations have been made and all of them I have seen have flattered the wearer.

Ange has also made one and I would have posted a cool pic of her in it, but alas my husband has let his flickr account relapse so that will have to come later. As for pics of me in the dress, again I must admit a lacking, I have come to discover that despite plans to get photos of our outfits, Ange and I are terrible at follow-through, as such Mavis will model much of these. When I do get pics of the dresses actually on me - I will then update with new pics. I will I swear organise a photo shoot.

Anyway I was supposed to be talking about V2960 right. Well I didn't know if this dress was going to work, I had bought the last of the bolt and had about 2.6m of this material (which is undoubtedly the most awesome material I have ever owned) but luckly for me vogue seemed to have over quoted on the yardage. It did however mean that the girls would have to fall as and where they would. Had I more material to begin with I would have tried to avoid the two knee on the boob thing that is there.

Issues I had included my distinct hatred of button holes (which I have only JUST overcome - this dress is about 2 years old I believe). For years of costume making I avoided button holes like the plague. I invented many ways in which I could NOT do buttonholes, including but not limited to lace ups, zips, button hole elastic and in this instance snap studs.

This has caused one small issue - I am a large busted person, and the dress probably should have been re-sized to have more room in the chestal area for me. However I was as always rushing, took on a she will be right attitude that is so typical to my Aussie brethren and charged forward full steam. the outcome - I kind of need to pin between the top two buttons otherwise the top one pops open willy nilly - not very modest.

Regardless though I love this dress, the neckline is daring but not out there, the shape is slimming in all the right places and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Realistically if the only problem I have with the design is that I didn't fit it properly I can't blame vogue for that.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My quilt

If you sew as much as I do you may end up with scraps. Scraps that are too large to just throw away, but too small to really do much with. So about a year ago after I had collected a few scraps and I was reading up about the 30s depression and how they used to use every little bit of material for things I came accross the idea to make a quilt.

Now I am not a quilt maker or a patterned quilt maker of any kind. But I can cut 6 inch squares with a 6 inch square ruller a rolling cutter and a cutting mat. So that's what I did. I started using the scraps of mainly cotton to make squares. I made 100 squares and then sewed them all together in rows and made a big square.

My main plan was to make a quilt that was big enough to go on a queen bed. So I had to cut another 110 squares. I am now VERY small in the scraps department and have a large quilt. Currently I am now sewing it still together, I have an old queen bed flat sheet that I will sew for the bottom and wadding I bought for the middle. I also have a quilting foot that my mother gave me. Heapha also gave me some of her scraps which made it in there!

I am hoping to finish this winter and have currently put all projects on hold till I can get it done. It's quite time consuming.

When I was thinking about it one time I also thought how cool it would be to have matching pillowcases!! But that will be a next side project.

I also realised I now had a bunch of material crap that I could possibly use for braided mats like they also did in the 30s but that is also a side project.
Pictures of my quilt to come.

Ange xoxo

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stash bust project one

So project one of stash bust is this McCalls Pattern (4031) from the 1950's.

I bought this pattern from the Etsy Store The Selvage shop, who had good pricing, good patterns, and great service. I actually got the pattern a year ago (literally 19th of August I bought it in 2009), at the time I had a huge thing for onsies, short onsies, as apposed to anges thing for long onsies. In any case I love the style but don't have the legs really to pull it off. Finally I have gotten to the point where I think screw it and I am going to make it anyway.

Right away when I ordered this pattern I thought it needed a nautical type theme - something you may notice as I stash bust, I kinda have a thing for nautical themed stuff. I bought the nautical like material in a "wow they are selling stuff cheap at spotlight lets buy anything" spree, that seemed to be the fashion for Ange and I at the time. I put the two together but that was as far as I got.

Fast forward a year, I have traced it all, cut out the onsie, and am now contemplating the skirt - should I creat an inbuilt petticoat, since I have to line it anyway - and I do have (something I forgot to photo for the stash) about 75m of white cotton, in which I can make the petticoat. I am also contempating do I do a piping on the onsie to tie it into the skirt fabric.... so much to choose.In any case I have a few days to think cause I am waiting on my new machine.

The fabrics are:

Onsie - (using view without the elasticated legs) a navy blue poplin, it came out much more royal in the photos but it is actually quite dark.

Skirt - the skirt is a cotton in an off-white/creme, with navy starfish and anchors on it.

I am hoping to have this one done by the end of next week - so hurry up machine.

(as a side note I have also increased my exercise reseme in order to try and get those legs that will look great in this come the warmer weather - in the southern hemisphere we currently have winter and it sucks.)

Cloth Mountain

I had wanted to take one photo of the mountain, to pull out all the material and pile it high on top of each other creating an edifice for all of internet land to admire, but it would have taken to long to set it up and FAR FAR to long to take it back down and put it all away. Of cause part of that would be that once done I would lose interest in the project, redering it doable at another time and thus annoying the husband no end.

So alas here is the images I have taken of the cloth mountain. Rest assured the blacket box there is so full that it is broken from the force of material pressing both above and below, with all the material in it neatly folded and stacked, the piles on the top also neatly folded and stacked, the black box full, looks roughly shoved in but under the top layer of materials I have recently used is also neat folded and stacked, as is to the side of hte box near the wardrobe.

so as you can see I do have quite a bit to get through, I am thinking I will need several more months than what has been allocated if I am to truely stash bust, though I am thinking of selling some of the stash if I can't bust it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Stash Bust has begun

and yet I have no pictures for you.

I know it seems I have been a lazy sod, because 2 weeks into stash bust and I am yet to bust anything - but realisitically there have been reasons, kind of.

Firstly I am waiting on the new machine, because well it excites me and my first project requires button holes. Secondly motivation has been at an all time low. Primerally because I am in a down phase and there has been a lot of personal life getting in the way of sewing time, birthdays, events, parties.

I have yet to take a photo of cloth mountain but hopefully will get that out of the way by this weekend, and also get a photo of anges stash, which by comparison I think we could call cloth molehill.

So it would seem that with my shiney new birthday bike, I have forgotten all about sewing but it is not true. I have gone through and sorted out all my patterns into 4 catagories:
  • Not stash bustable - for patterns where I have a clear indication of the fabric I want but do not have that fabric available in my stash. Also in this catagory is anything that would take too much time, for example all those super cute size 12's with the 30" bust that would take FOREVER to resize and require trials.

  • Totally Bustable - for patterns that are in my size, have the right material in mind and in the stash.

  • Bustable if I see the right fabric - The mountain is so great that from where I stand the summut is out of view. Hence these patterns are in the right size, but I have no idea if I have the material for them, it is however likely that I will find something in the long forgottern mound of cloth.

  • Bustable but time consuming - Patterns of a smaller size, say a 34" that will require a resize but not too drastically, and that I have the right idea for material that I can use on them.

I have chosen the first outfit to be busted - I have traced it, and cut most of it out of the fashion fabric. I will do a post on it individually probebly tomorrow because then I can do the photo stuff tonight and have images, which I am sure you agree make a post so much more interesting.

On that note I have a montage I put together of all the stuff I am waiting on from Etsy - my last ditch purchase before the ban kicked in.