Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is in the air

So the christmas fabric at spotlight has finally gone on sale and Ange and I are now able to plan our christmas outfits, mostly for the christmas eve party but I guess I will wear mine christmas day as well because hey why not.

I have to say though that christmas fabric is a real rip off, its printed poplin or voille at best and they charge up to $18 a meter for it. Can anyone say Grinch!!!. So anyway weeks ago I found this fabric in Spotlight that is perfect for a christmas Ange which basically means it has a christmas theme and cats. Or as Ange will call them "KITTIES!!!!!!".

I also found the fabric I want which is a more subdued and more voille feeling off white and red and brown robin print, but I did not get a picture of that one so you will have to wait till tomorrow at the earliest and probebly longer cause well thats seems to have been the trend. I will be collecting the material tonight.

I can however say that I plan on using this pattern to make mine.

So there you have it Anges Fabric, my pattern and a suprise for both when we get them finished. Wow only a week to go.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Floral Beauty

I have previously spoken about this Butterick Pattern, in the perfect dress post, lamenting the horrid size issues I had with the wiggle version. This version I actually made first and love and it did at the time fit me. The only piece that this style shares with the wiggle is the facing and the fake cross front. I used neither when making this dress and instead reversed the full front piece to make it actually a cross over top. The entire dress was lined (due to the see through nature of voile) so the facing was also ignored. It is by this method of eliminating all wiggle dress pieces that I believe the sizing worked on this one but not the other – or as I like to put it someone in the butterick factory needs to be paying more attention. The two styles are two different sizes and nothing will convince me otherwise.

This dress was made out of a cotton voile with a blue and green floral print and some flocking (which is hard to see in photos). I saw the material (on sale as usual) for about $5 a meter at spotlight and fell in love with the blue and green colouring straight away. It was on a tall bold (150cm) and there was very minimal left (I think about 1.5-2m) but that didn’t stop me I bought it up and coveted the ideas of what outfit it could be turned into. I knew I needed a pattern that was sweet and feminine and not to fancy in its details (least it detract from the gorgeous floral), but it also had to work with such minimal yardage as I had.

Enter Butterick 6582, which I had bought originally for the wiggle dress on the front in black (so sexy). The full skirted version I noticed used deceptively low yardage and made up for it with some bias cutting in the skirt (I know that sounds odd as Bias cutting normally results in skads of unusable off-cuts but this pattern does not do that as the bias is only slight). It was everything I wanted it to be light, floaty, spring like, with enough detail in the cross front to be interesting but not so much as to be detracting. It answered all the feminine callings that my normally quite masculine brain had dreamt up for this floral. I immediately set to work.

The dress came together relatively easily considering the changes that I had made to it (creating the full cross front) and truth be told the waist did end up a little tighter for the extra bulk but not enough to be a problem and totally worth it to have the full cross front. I lined it in a light white poplin that I had lying around (75m of it lying around to be exact) and hand sewed the waist shut to hide all the internal seams.

I don’t think I did a great job with the zip but I blame that on the fact that I don’t normally use non invisible zips and I don’t think it made to much difference anyway.

When finished it somehow still looked unfinished, it needed a belt. But I felt that the traditional belt as per the pattern picture would be just a bit too much for this and decided on using left over green poplin to create a thin tie belt to cover the waist seam and give more of a waspie waste illusion.

I think all in all this is one of my favourite finished projects – I even wore it to a friends wedding about a year after it was made. It is still beautiful and waiting around for me to lose about 10kg and fit back into it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

50’s elegance meets 70’s Curtains – somehow all works out well

This is a dress that I made when I first set out on vintage sewing. I believe it was the 2nd vintage vogue pattern I attempted. The original pattern reminded me strongly of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. It has an inbuilt elegance about it that I found captivating (as I always do). I however do not possess the grace of Audrey Hepburn or the elegance of Grace Kelly – more closely resembling a bull in a buffalo stampede.

The pattern seemed easy enough to follow, and in truth it came out very quickly and easily. The simple lines of the 1950’s style does tend to make a dress within a day that is in no way compromising on finishes for speed. I chose to make it however out of an orange floral cotton that I had picked up for I believe about $3/m at spotlight on sale.

When I bought the cotton I had envisioned a 1960’s shift style dress and in truth the material did share some resemblance to some 1970’s kitchen curtains. I however have always had a love of the ridiculous and what some would call ugly. I find things fascinating that are not what you would call traditionally pretty, so I bought up 5 or so meters of the stuff knowing that one day I would find the right thing to make out of it. Plus I love yellow and this orange/goldenrod was close enough to qualify.

Now what made me match the elegant vintage vogue dress to the 70’s chic curtain fabric is long beyond me. Something must have made me connect the two and likely it had as much logic involved in the decision as a Salvador Dali painting, and yet somehow in the finished version it seemed to work. I have had many compliments on this dress which by all reason should be an atrocity and an insult to the eyes of every living creature. I have no idea why it works just that it does and that I really do love it.

I did have to make some small changes to the dress to make it work for me – and Ange incorporated those changes when she made her version (visible in our avatar picture on the side bar). The first was to change the back from standard buttons to the elastic button loop stuff. The machine I had at the time apparently had a one-step button hole but I’d be damned if I could figure it out. The elastic loop stuff was just easier – and since I was using non standard buttons (they are little orange flowers) the elastic is a god send.

Having said that the 2nd change I had to make was to move the button row. It actually goes at an odd angle to the edge of the dress, this is because the sizing on the pattern (and all standard patterns of modern design for that matter) is odd for my body shape. I am very front heavy but my back is teeny tiny by comparison. The buttons did make this alteration very easy to work with.

Lastly and the very visible in the picture is to change the neck line. This pattern has a very heafty amount of fabric in the gathering of the bust line. I think in the light weight floaty fabrics you would generally use this would not be a problem but in printed poplin it was. Basically as I stated above I have an impressive bust measurement that basically sits out in front and not in back – all that gathering was making me look like I was all boob.

To fix the issue I added in some small pleating to sew back the neckline side of the halter. It seemed to fix the issue nicely AND had the added bonus of looking like a feature piece of the dress.

All round I would totally recommend this pattern to anyone – it was easy to make, I can ‘t say that the instructions were easy to follow as I don’t tend to look at instructions but from memory they would be no worse or better than any standard vogue instruction page. The finished dress is fun flirty and summery, it can be adapted for both formal evening style (there is even a full length option) or for casual wear. And the biggest benefit is that being a reproduction pattern it is easily available from any vogue pattern outlet – and comes in multisize.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Small Stuff Blitzkrieg and the Pheasant Plucker Skirt

I know I am horrible at keeping this updated, to be honest I have also been nigh on horrible at keeping up sewing. I have had job issues, personal issues and gotten in a rut. Now though I think I am out having several projects to bring you up to speed on and also this the newest of the Angelic Cow Challenges, which I am calling the “small stuff blitzkrieg”.

So first of all where it has come from. I went through some patterns that my mother had stored away whilst I was spending much quality time with her. To be honest this is because I was working in the same area but it was nice non the less. So I found in amongst the plethora of bad 80’s fashion and subdued yet dowdy 90’s horrors a few patterns worth maybe having a go at. Two of them were simple skirts which I grabbed owing to having the “Pheasant Plucker” fabric I had bought on a whim of ebay sitting at home.

The Pheasant Plucker fabric is indeed a weird lime tinged/brown/Gold mixture picturing pheasants. When I bought it I had no idea how big the pheasants were, apparently quite big would have been the answer to that question. This left me with no choice but a simple a-line skirt for which I had no patterns. That is until I raided mothers stash.

And so despite issues such as the majority of pattern pieces missing in both skirt patterns I managed to piece the two patterns together to come up with something highly reminiscent of one of the pictures on the pattern fronts. Hence within 2 hours of arsing around the Pheasant Plucker skirt was sewn into being.

(side note I call it the pheasant plucker material because it is funnier than just pheasant skirt. It’s an old tongue twister that makes you say naughty words)

In any case the point being that now I like skirts. The second thing that brought on this idea (remembering that small things can come together start to finish in around an hour) is that Stash mountain (which is again looking very unnervingly disorganised and has done since I moved in January) is getting a little out of hand. A lot of the stuff in stash mountain is unfortunately there due to it being off cuts to small to “use” and too big to throw. I figure with the right kind of vigour I could desecrate the peak of the mountain and make me some funky skirts, shorts, and tops.

So the answer came to me Angelic Cow will be doing their first ever Small Stuff Blitzkrieg the rules of which are.

1. Collect all fabric under 1.5m from stash mountain and stash molehill respectively
2. Collect any patterns for small things (shirts, shorts, skirts) that require less than 1.5m to make
3. Start at 7pm end whenever we feel like it on a Friday night and see how many items we can make between us.

The date is set for tonight and I think we will have an awesome pasta dish to put forth the energy needed to really tackle this head on. I will be sorting out my first two points as soon as I get home (oh and after I upload a pheasant plucker photo for you to enjoy.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lady in Red - My second Vintage attempt

Well there is one thing that is for certain about me and my sewing. I don't aim low!!!

It was Ange who started the vintage sewing craze (though me that started the sewing craze in general). As previously mentioned she downloaded a dress from a free internet pattern and got going on it. She was done by the time I started vintage sewing. This is to my memory the dress I chose to make 2nd. My first was the girl dress.

Vogue Vintage 2903 looks phenomanal on the cover of the pattern and to be honest I really can't fault the finished look (though in my opinion the box pleating could be a little more exaggerated on the final product).

I used a red micro crepe that I belive I picked up for about $5/m in a spotlight sale. In any case it was good ot work with.

The pattern though I do recommend with caution. Getting those sleeves in (half attached to dress half to the yoke) was a nightmare and you can stills ee how it didn't quite work.

I hand sewed the yoke in as I could not for the life of me work out how one would do that with a machine. You can see this close up but at a range it is fine. The sleeves are also a little bit tight but I think this was a fabric choice.

Technically I am half way through remaking this for a friend in an awesome teal plaid. Will let you know if I learnt anything second time round.

Christmas Dress

Well Christmas down under is generally a very very very hot occasion with tempratures reaching 40 degrees Celsius and higher (though sometimes the world decides to kick you in the teeth and we get wet cold and windy). With that in mind during stash bust last year I made a dress that although usable throughout all summer it does indeed bring to mind the wonder of christmas - in that it is indeed red and white. I give you my version of Vintage Vogues 2961.

I absolutely love this dress!!! It was made fairly quickly - I believe it took an afternoon of non stop sewing fun and required finishing before 12am to count in out stash bust.

Originally it was meant to be my Elvis dress (see post last year to see fabric). Unfortunately V2961 is not very friendly to stripes and I did not have enough material to be able to line things up (nor did I care enough). The change to the red was simply the first thing on cloth mountain to take my fancy. To be honest I think it was left over from making very fast tabards for a role playing game. A dark blood red colour poplin. The white that I used to line and accent was part of the 75m collection of white cotton we got to make togas for another game. I am slowly working my way through that stuff but I think it is going to take a while.

I think that the white and red complement each other well and the style is very flattering. (I do apologise for all the Mavis modelling photos but I put on a bit of weight this year and thus don't fit to many of my outfits anymore. But I am on my way back down so don't fret). It is technically a 1950's style but it looked great with my 1970s style white sandels for my Christmas party. Maybe I can dig out a photo from then at some point.

One of the benefits of this style is that it can be worn two ways - strapless as shown above or halter as shown here. The halter style however sits much better on a person than it does on Mavis.

So the bodice is boned which I used a real featherweight boning on, so bras is still required for wearing. I will say that the picture on the pattern is not too honest, the skirt does not seem for me to have that real 50's fullness.

In anycase as I said before I do love this dress.

Friday, August 5, 2011

September Stash Bash

The decision has been made that in order to re-ignite our sewing mojo it is high time for a stash bash. And because we are fans of aliteration we decided it shall be a september stash bash.

Rules remain simple - use up as much of your stash of patterns and material as possible. For this though I think I may instill a small amount of competition.

1. using material out of your own stash is 1 point per garment
2. using a pattern from your own stash that you have not yet made is worth 2 points
3. using a pattern from someone elses stash that has not been used before is worth 1 point
4. using a pattern from someone elses stash that you have not yet used is worth 1 point
5. using a pattern you have used from your or someone else stash is not worth any points.
6. Blogging about the item you have made BEFORE the end of the first week of October earns 3 points per item.

May the best man win

Thursday, August 4, 2011

UFO Sightings

Well it has been a very long time since I got on here and did well anything. Long story but basically life got in the way and then there is the complete lack of sewing mojo. I mean sure I have made a few things since I last posted but all in all not much.

The first I call the army dress. Whilst it is technically a trial and petticoat at that I think it turned out not to bad - I photographed it here with the belt of another dress as I have not yet decided how best to "decorate" it.

I think this has been laying around unfinished for over a year. The final touches were to seal the inside lining of the bodice and to sew in a strap, that was it.

I started this because I had to resize simplicity pattern 3766 which i have in a 30 inch bust (size 12) to fit my then size 16 (36 bust) figure - (by the way these pics are on Mavis my dummy for two reasons, the first is that I had no photographer and the second is that I am now to chunky to fit these UFO's but the did require finishing non the less)

funnily enough I wore this to the engagement party (mostly finished) for a friend who will be getting married next Friday.

In any case the army dress was the trial for the petticoat to the "pretty dress". The pattern to this dress I seem to have misplaced but I am sure I will locate it at some stage. I remember buying it because it was sooooo pretty. I imagined it in a soft white with a lemon petticoat and lemon binding - and so that is what I made.

Ange also made a pretty dress - it didn't go so well in either case. The issues I have with it are as follows.

1. I am an idiot - that waist band - doesn't it look odd - well that would be because the bastard is upside down .... this dress never fit because of that - I will it seems have to turn it around but right now I don't have the patience

2. The petty coat despite being cut from the same pattern as the above army dress has a waist that wouldn't fit a 5 year old. I have no idea how I did it only that IT will need to be entirely redone.

Anyway dinner is ready so I best go eat

Happy sewing I should have more up tomorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

No good very bad blogger

I have been horrible at keeping htis up to date but in my defence we have had real estate issues that chocked up all the end of last year

I will be posting soon Promise.