Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Blue Checks

I made this one over a year ago but I've only just started wearing it. 

Its from Burda 04/11.

 I made this one from an old duvet cover.  I really like the colours and the check, its nice and casual and just my colours (I have too many blue things really but if only had to wear one colour then it would have to be it).

There are a few reasons why I only just started wearing it.
  • I made this when I was pregnant.  It went over my head but I couldn't get it on over my bump so it was pretty hard really to amke an assessment of what it was like or how long it should be.
  • After that I was breastfeeding which also made it completely impractical as to do this I would need to pull the whole dress up under my armpits...not really the best look, even with people you know well!!!
  • It was the wrong length.  Once I was no longer pregnant or breastfeeding I still didn't wear it and it took me a while to work out why as I liked the fabric and the style of the top.  It was just too long, about 5 inches below the knee.  I had never really been in to short dresses and would l way wear dresses this length but with this straignt style it just made it very boring and it just looked wrong.
So emboldened after making my short Lola, and probably still with the navy blue in my overlocker, I hacked about a foot off the bottom.  And it worked. I like it.  Its a nice easy dress to wear to the beach or just relaxing when I don't want a dress up dress or one that is too fiddly.  It just pulls on nice and easy.

I did put the elastic lower than the pattern called for.  About 5 cm probably.  I had the idea that I have a long torso.  I'm not sure anymore if this is true and think that it was just that as a very straight up and down person I never really liked to wear things on my real waist as it just made me look wide??  I've got a bit slimmer now (strangely after 2 babies) and have a bit more waist and realise that styles that do have waists actually work better if the waist is on my waist.....obvious really....but strange how your hang ups make you think things like this.

Having said all that I like the low waist on this one. 

 I also made a top from the same patter, a couple of pics below.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Easy Breezy

I call it easy breezy as that's what it is to wear. 

It gave me a couple of small headaches sewing it though. 

I decided to do the bands as per the instructions and turn them over to create a binding rather than just use them as a little cuff.  Mine ended up a bit thicker than they should have been (i'm never sure if the bands in burda patterns include seam allowances or not).  THen when I tried to sew them down with my double needle it kept skipping stitches.  I tried a couple of times, then resorted to a ballpoint needle with a slight zig zag stitch.  It worked.

Its lovely and cool to wear and the length and big band make it more interesting.
It was also a perfect use for the fine cotton jersey that I picked up in the op shop a year or so ago.  This pattern was the one.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Recycled Roxanne


 This Roxanne Top is not as simple as it seems.  Its been with me for the last 20 years and was probably one of my longest serving items of clothing before it got this reincarnation.  My school 'Lecture Dress' - see below for explanation.

This dress had definitely reached the end of its useful life for me.  It was a bout 3 sizes too big not to mention a bit of a frumpy style.  BUt I totally love the material.  Its Indian Block print by Annokki on the finest, softest and most flowing cotton.  I love it.

Luckily the large size and frumpy style meant I had oodles of material to work with.  I had thought I would make a Roxanne with long sleeves and would have thought this collar was totally not 'me' but then I saw Paunnet's version and it all came together.  I had enough of the blue for the collar left over from the lining of my Chloe and the dress had enough material for a short sleeve version.  Yey.

  • All nice and easy really.  
  • I made a size 6 (I've made 8's of victory patterns before but I figured it was pretty loose fitting). 
  • I made 2 left hand collars, I cut it right but as the material is the same on both sides I must have sewn one up back to front only realising as I went to attach them.  Grrrr as it meant more fiddly cutting and interfacing, but luckily I had enough fabric.
  • I interfaced the collar but it does make it quite thick.  I am not totally sure that I would next time.  I guess it gives a more 3 D effect at the front but I think just the double layer of material might be just fine.
  • My back yoke is about 1/3 from the top.  Its made from the old waist band which wasn't quite wide enough.  Luckily the pin tucks mean it doesn't notice much.
  • Lovely instructions meant it all came together pretty easily really.

I love it.  Its cool, floaty, pretty and a bit different with the collar.  I think it looks like something I might have paid a lot of money for in a posh shop (not why I love it but it makes me feel a bit smug!).

 So the story of the original dress......

I went to one of those English boarding schools where you had to go to Chapel on Sundays and occasionally to an edifying lecture on Thursday evening.  To attend these events you were required to wear a lecture dress (and no not having one was not a way to skip).  This was meant to be a smart dress, I think it was probably specified that it needed to be below the knee and have sleeves.

I would guess that 90% of the girls at my school had a Laura Ashley dress as these generally fitted the criteria pretty well only problem being that as a 15 year old it wasn't atall what you wanted to be wearing.

I was a bit fat and a bit grungy so really the whole Laura Ashley thing was not working.  I think after trawling round shops for about 5 hours with my mum we finally found this one in Annokki.  Long Sleeves, below the knee, floral without being chintzy and I would have liked the Indian thing.   Still do in fact.  Totally love Indian Block print Cotton. 

So here it is.  On the left I am 5 months pregnant in 40 degrees C in Fremantle Perth.  It was nice and cool and floaty. My Lovely Ma thought of it and brought it over here for me.  which is how it ended up in the right hand picture hanging on the wall waiting for the chop!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Vintage Sheet Victory

I've not been here.  Not because I've not been sewing...I've made loads.
I've even got a new camera, but no tripod so not so good at doing photos of myself.
Well that's my excuse  but lets get going.  We'll go one by one

BUT be warned this blog will appear to turn into a bit of a Victory patterns love in.  But hey, I love things I've made from them, so here goes.

1st up my Chloe.

I do love it really, just squinting at the sun!

I dug up the sheet in one of those op shops which you know don't get visited all that often.  I've got a lot of vintage sheets but this one was total love, beautiful design and soft colours. I immediately had this dress in my mind and happily I was able to find this light coloured lightweight denim in Spotlight and away I went.

My 1st lined dress.  Yey.  All went well.

My 1st time using my invisible zipper foot.  The zip has about 10 lines of stitching down each side tring to get it right and attach the lining well.  Luckily as there is a lining you can't see any of this.  Yey.

I initially cut out the sleeves in the floral but realised it would work much better with the denim and the floral as binding. 

Think maybe I should have graded down to a 6 for the bottom half but really no big thing, nice to have space to move. 

My 1st mini dress (mini-er than my Lola, which after all grows as I wear it - see post for details).  getting good at doing that bending down thing by bending from the knees and not the waist so I don't show my knickers off too many times a day.  (haven't yet made a matching pair!).

I considered sewing on 4 big blue buttons on at the neck, like it suggests in the pattern, but in the end I decided maybe it made it look a bit childish / crafty so decided to keep it simple.  

Its good for visiting waterfalls in too.