Friday, 17 March 2017

Pink Floral Sweetheart

Pink Floral Dress

This dress was fun but challenging at the same time. First the fun ... I found this fabric by accident while on holiday in Rarotonga earlier this year, and immediately knew it would make a lovely summer dress while still keeping within my wardrobe comfort zone ... because it was black? probably!

The challenge ... to mash together two separate patterns into one dress that looked like it was meant to be. The top is the Sewaholic Cambie pattern and the bottom is the Billy Jean pattern by Bluegingerdoll.  Both dresses I've made before quite a while ago, and well, the body has changed a little since then.

Then came the cheating ... in theory, the side seams and dart legs of the top are meant to be in the same vertical line as the skirt, right?! Hmm, did I really need to fluff with getting that right if the skirt and top are separated by a waist band and the floral print would act as a camouflage ... NO! Can you tell? NO!  #winning

Pink Floral Dress

Pink Floral Dress

With this dress I experimented a bit with the underlining. I took my silk organsa and underlined all the front pieces and the top half of all the skirt pieces.

A couple of reasons really.  I didn't want the dress to be too heavy but I did want the front to have some structure. The top half of the skirt needed to fall over my hips without showing every curve but the bottom half really didn't need it. Unfortunately I can't find any of my 'work in progress' photos to share with you :(

The dress is also fully lined, but with separate fabrics for the top and bottom.  The top half is lined with some silk crepe de chine from The Fabric Store. Something I bought a wee while ago at a good price because of colour inconsistency. No one gets to see the lining, so not a problem. The skirt is lined with some 'new to me' lining from Hawes and Freer Ltd, from their Superwash range. It is heavier than the crepe de chine which helps give another layer of fabric over the hips and butt and helps the skirt fall really nicely. It skims over the body and moves so nicely, but doesn't look bulky, and so far no static! I think I'm sold on this as a lining for skirts!

To finish the look I picked up some baby pink merino from Levana and whiped up this cute little bolero.

Pink Floral Dress


More photos in my Flickr album -->

Monday, 30 January 2017

Shirt Dress with Butterick Retro

Shirt Dress B5920

B5920 was calling my name again ... it appears that I hadn't finished with it, despite having made it twice before.

Shirt Dress B5920


My first make was exactly to pattern version A. I never wore this dress! The second involved a few alterations to convert it to a maxi with a full length placket, which I wear regularly.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Floral, Beach, Summer, Holiday ...

Happy New Year!  Hope you all ate yummy food 'til your heart was content. I know I did.

I'm looking forward to what 2017 brings, which must be much better than 2016.  I started last year sick and missed the wedding of my very good friend and I ended the year sick, for three weeks if you please!  In between that it was just a big pile of life stuff that I didn't enjoy at all.  By default the blog went into hibernation.

Life is settled again and I begun this year in Rarotonga celebrating my eldest 21st birthday on new year's eve.  Being on holiday called for drink lots of tropical cocktails

 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Fluttering Around

Kia ora!  Oh my gosh how did it get to be March already! Best I get a wiggle on then and tell you about my first make for 2016.  Introducing my flutter dress....

Flutter Dress


To be honest I had to see a few of these on the blogisphere before I went ahead and purchased the pattern. I am a Papercut fan girl and this pattern did not disappoint.

Flutter Dress

Friday, 1 January 2016

The unpublished 11 plus two

Happy New Year!  The last three months of 2015 were hectic, although my world is always hectic, but I did manage to get some sewing done - just no time for photos or blogging!  It's now January and I'm on holiday, so a bit of time to do some catch-ups :-)

I have a total of 11 projects that were completed between August and December as well as the two dresses I've been working on over the last couple of days (peek previews on Instagram). Oh as well as the two Butterick dresses that need a Part 2 post completing. Then there was the one remake because I lost my black merino circle top somewhere - I think I left it in a hotel room or a rental car!?! I wear that baby ALL THE TIME and was feeling really lost without it.

Some of the projects really do need a post of their own, like my first formal dress, but others I thought I would quickly summarise and move on.

MARFY TOP 1913
I love my first top so much I needed to make another. This time a simple black embossed silk. OMG this fabric was the worst to work with, resulting in an uneven hem line. It works fine if I tuck it in.

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Keeping with the black theme, coz I was feeling that black tops worked with my jeans, is the GILLIAN WRAP TOP. I had previously made the Gillian Wrap Dress as a tester, and I absolutely love it. I picked up this cotton knit from The Fabric Store January 2015 and had originally thought I would make some t-shirts. Well this is just a fancy t-shirt right!

Knowing that the skirt of the dress doesn't have a lot of flare I needed to add some flare to the skirt back so it would 'poof' over my jeans rather than cling!  I set to with the slash and spread method in three places adding 3/4" each time. I also lengthen the sleeves by 1-1/2" and put a wee 1/2" hem on them with the cover stitch machine.

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In September I tested the TAHI SHRUG for Muse Patterns using some knit remnants. I made a size 36 in the long sleeve version.  I didn't quite have enough of the purple for the entire sleeve so added some black merino to make it look like a cuff. I also stitched it up with black thread to give a contrast look, but you can't really notice it. I don't really wear this - I'm not sure whether it's the colour or the pattern ... I think I've a bit more of a bolero, cardi kinda girl if it's not a jacket.

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MESA by Seamwork
I've already made Mesa twice before and both dresses I've worn constantly this winter just gone. So of course I needed a summer version! I picked up this poly knit, that feels like neoprene, from Spotlight specifically for this dress. I did however, make a few changes to the pattern.
  1. Raised the back neckline by 1/2"
  2. Lowered the front neckline by 1"
  3. Shortened the sleeves by 3"
I wore it to work a couple of times, but come to the conclusion (through my own modesty) that it is probably too short to wear with bear legs to the office - I was feeling too self conscious! I wore it on Christmas Day and it was perfect, so maybe it's more of a BBQ kinda dress, or I could wear it with 3/4 leggings with some heals .... hmmm things to try.

Mesa Summer Dress

Mesa Summer Dress

The last on the remake list is this STRIPE MISSION MAXI.
I love the Mission Maxi pattern and have made it a couple of times before. I've been looking for the ideal stripe knit, with the right amount of body and stability. I was passing by The Fabric Warehouse in November (passing by means the car detoured off the motorway!) and found just what I was looking for.  This is a cotton, lycra, poly knit which I'm gonna say is a light-medium weight.

I feel like I have a tone of maxi dresses in the wardrobe, and while I love them, my legs never get to see the light of day. So for this version I shortened the back to be a middi length and added a curve to the front piece for a bit of interest. I am in love with the dress, the colours, the comfort, the length - it just screams summer to me and I've been living in it constantly.

Mission Maxi

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Adventures of B5882 (Part 1)

A wee interweb search of B5882 will quickly reveal the challenges that this pattern has provided - but who doesn't like a challenge right!  However, I didn't realise this until after I had committed to making two of them for daughter #1.

B5882 B5882

As always I started with a muslin anyway, so no biggie, I would just work out all the fit issues at that stage and then enjoy the construction.

B5882

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Finally Wearable - French Jacket #2

I didn't realise how long it has taken me to finish this and get pictures.... back in December 2014 I shared my progress with my second French Jacket here. It was 99% finished back in December, but it look me forever to put the buttons and the chain onto it.

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Refining the Granville

Third time lucky ... well so the saying goes anyway.

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This is my third Granville Shirt. The first was HERE and the second HERE.  But even though this was the third I felt that there were still further adjustments I needed to make to refine the fit.

For this version I left all the previous adjustments in place, you can get that list here, and then made the following tweaks
  • Added 1/4" to front side seams
  • Added 1/4" to the side back side seam - both these adjustments were so I could get more room around the body.
  • Added 1/4" to each side of the sleeve under arm seam, tapered to existing wrist edge - again giving me more room around my arm.
  • Added 1/2" to the length above the waist.
  • this time I added 1" to the original pattern length of the sleeve.
Although minor, the fits feels better and I'm much happier with the length of the shirt.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Knit Shift Dress

I've never really thought about where I fit into the style spectrum, I just make and wear what appeals. Oh yes, I've done the whole "what's in fashion now" thing, then look back at old photos and wonder what on earth I was thinking at the time?!

Now that I've done 2.5 years of ready to wear fasting I look at my wardrobe and realise that the shift dress, or variations of it, is a 'thing' for me. This probably explains why I've made two knit shift dresses in a month.

Mesa Dress

This is Mesa, one of the patterns issued with the June 2015 edition of Seamwork. It is described as "The flirty knit shift that's as stylish as it is comfortable", and I agreed 100%. Apparently it should only take 1 hour to make. It took me longer than that but that probably because I decided to line it.

I picked up 1.5 metres of this medium weight jersey double knit from Fabric Barn specifically for this dress.  The pattern suggested light to medium weight knit fabrics with at least a 25% 4-way stretch. Personally, I think that a light weight jersey would show all the 'lumps and bumps' underneath - No Thanks!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Channelling my inner Olivia Pope!

I'm not gonna lie, I was completely inspired by a winter white coat worn by Olivia Pope, while I was engrossed in a Scandal watching marathon!  Would it fit in my wardrobe and would I have anything to wear with it - who cared, I was making it anyway :-)

Winter White Trench

The coat itself has been a bit of a marathon make.  I already had the Robson Coat by Sewaholic Patterns in my stash. My first attempt at this pattern had been a complete disaster, for a couple of reasons but anyway if I was going to make this one work I needed to get a muslin sewn up and work out the fit issues. So that happened in February 2015.

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