Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sew Over It: 1940s Tea Dress....

So this pattern was part of my #owop prize and I'm so glad I chose it. It's the 1940s Tea Dress by Sew Over It and it's a little different to my usual style but still really girly with a fluted skirt. The fabric is another piece that I snaffled from Abakhan, a really good quality cotton sateen with a bit of stretch, and I love navy and polka dots.

So the most different part of this dress for me is the bodice. It has a fitted yoke at the waist so it sits close to your rib cage and then has a nice V neck with gathers under the bust. As this was so different I went all out on the toile and ended up going down 2 dress sizes to a 27 waist?! Which doesn't even seem possible but that's where it fitted so that's what I went with, obvs the pattern is on the generous side...

I didn't toile the sleeves or skirt (see I've not got that dedicated yet) skirts like this are never going to have a fit issue and I thought the same for sleeves too. I didn't have enough fabric for the sleeve cuffs but I don't think this would make a huge amount of difference as the spots make it all quite busy anyways. In the same vein I left off the decorative buttons on the front bodice.

Happy face on the invisibility of that zip, sad face on the blatant ignorance of any sort of pattern match up....humph...also probably should have pressed this before taking photos.....

I bound the inside seams in a nice bright yellow but ran out before I got to the hem. I had some of this cute bow print which I made ages ago and I hand stitched it down so I didn't have a line of stitching on the outside-same goes for the sleeve hems. I'm a bit gutted I didn't have enough of the yellow to do it all the same but it hardly matters coz INSIDE, and who see's that?!

Another winner of a dress there, I think I'll go for another one in the not too distant future and add those cuffs and buttons, and maybe even make sure I have enough binding for ALL the guts.

Friday, 14 November 2014

All the sparkles: Gabrielle Blazer.....

Sequins are pretty cool aren't they? Well yeah, unless you're constantly finding them in your bathroom, stuck to your feet or IN YOUR G&T?! Then they are not cool, they are anything but cool however they were pretty fun to sew and it's pretty exciting to have a spangly new sequin thing in my wardrobe.

So this sequin fabric ended up in my life after I riffled through a bag of off cuts and trimmings my sewing buddy Lucy was getting rid of. I was only halfheartedly rummaging, thinking 'No, I don't need to take any of this home, I have enough stash alrea....OMG sparkles!' and then I wouldn't let them go. I knew exactly what I was going to make too having just printed off one of the free patterns from Spit up and Stilettos, the Gabrielle Blazer

The only problem here was I have never worked with sequin fabric or anything like it before. I Googled it, read about it and then when things weren't much clearer I got onto the #sewcialists, that lovely lot are so damn helpful. So armed with my new info I got going...

The cutting was, quite clearly, the absolute messiest bit and although I was really careful and fully hoovered afterwards they're still popping up all over the damn place.

The main pointer for cutting out was to make sure I had the direction right, I ended up using my rotary cutter which was so much easier than scissors.
Even though one of the top tips I was given was to trim away the sequins from the seam allowance I didn't actually do it. The sequins are pretty small and I just didn't have the time for that, the fabric was free and the pattern was free, if it all went pear shaped because I didn't waste a day in my life trimming sequins then so be it.

I went ahead and used a heavy duty needle and sewed right through those bad boys and do you know what, it sewed absolutely fine. I didn't loose either of my eyes to flying glitter or pinging needles and the seams look fine. I suppose if you were going to put together a fitted dress then I can see that you'd want to the seams to lay flat but with the casual hang of this jacket you just don't notice how they're lying at all, even though they're pretty flat anyways.

I bought a meter of satin back crepe to line the jacket with. I did away with the facings and fully lined it instead so I could easily slide in and out. I also like the way this shows on the collar line fold. 

I did also toile this pattern but all it needed was a little taking out of each back side piece as it was a little wide.

This is a funny picture, it's like I'm selling dodgy watches or something, but basically there's the lining

This pattern honestly comes together so quickly. I wasn't expecting that at all, I think it would make a nice alternative to cardi's so I'm going to try and whip up a couple more in a less jazzy fabric. As you can see this one has enough jazz for the whole of my wardrobe....

Monday, 10 November 2014

Star Spangled Peony....

I've started working through my stash of winter fabrics (basically to make room for what I'll acquire when visiting Goldhawk Rd in a couple of weeks) 
This piece was part of my Abakhan haul. I'm not sure what it is, I thought it was quilting cotton but it's actually got a bit of strecth in it. It's nice and weighty; good for winter and I love the print. It's sort of little geometric squares that make up stars which all in all makes your eyes go a bit mad but I still like it, especially the little bit of yellow in with all of the blues. The Mr actually picked this out, well done that man!

So the pattern is Colette Peony. I thought I was done with this pattern, and it's many problems, but something lured me back. I think it was mainly the challenge of making it into a better dress than my past trials. Enough time has passed that I now actually understand whats going on and how to fix it. 
This was one of the first patterns I ever tried. I was really pleased with that dress. Unfortunately it didn't last long as the fabric was a bit cheap and faded so quickly in the wash. My favourite version was this Liberty-esque one. I'd started to make more alterations by this point but the tucks to the neckline weren't exactly ideal. This version actually ended up as a skirt-I'd made the mistake of not washing the lining fabric and it shrunk making it a bit of a twisted bugger to wear, I gave it a good go but now it looks like this.

Anyway.... this dress was much less stressful and much more of a success than any of those...hurruh!

I fixed that gaping neckline issue first by cutting 1cm out of the front bodice pattern piece, I always use this method. As last time, I used the full width of the back darts to stop back gaping too. 

I'm pretty pleased with my pattern matching on this one too (ok, not so much where the bodice and skirt meet but I didn't have enough fabric to squeeze that one in and one step at a time people!) Also can you see my invisible zip? No, because INVISIBLE. Ok yeah you can see the zipper pull, blah blah, but I'm so pleased with this zip insertion....*smug face*

I've also just noticed the massive star on my bum.... oh well it matches up nice doesn't it?!

I lined the bodice with a soft Ikea pillow cover, well I like the print and waste not want not. This was also my first Peony with long sleeves. I really like the length-just below your elbows. Good for winter but not as annoying as full length, which I usually end up rolling or pushing up.

Other than the lining, the insides are simple pinked seams. The fabric is a bit too heavy for french seams and it doesn't seem to be prone to fray so no need for bound seams either.

I'm glad I went back to the pattern that was being thought of as a bit of a nightmare as it all worked out pretty well this time around without too much of a struggle. 

Do you have any nightmare patterns lurking at the back of your stash drawer?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Funki Fabrics: Ballet Skirt...

This is the second piece I've made with the lovely fabric I received from Funki Fabrics and it's just a bit different to my intergalactic leggings!

Alongside that amazing star print I also chose 1 meter of Supplex in Black which is 88% Polyester and 12% Elastane. It's a really nice thick fabric with dense colour. I had planned on using this to make a Dixie Ballet Dress but couldn't quite squeeze it out of a meter so I went with just the skirt pieces and added a waist band from the Matilda leggings pattern. What I now have is a really great basic piece for winter, this is going to go with a lot, but how hard is it to photograph that black?....VERY....

I've tried to lighten these two pics so you can see the waistband and hem but it makes it look pretty rubbish. I gave up on pics after this but you get the idea. It's high waisted and lands just above my knee.

I really should have used my twin needle here, I think I'll actually make myself get around to re sewing this.

I still have one more piece of fabric from Funki left. I was going to try and use it with this fabric for a dress but as there wasn't enough black I thought I'd keep hold of it until I could make the right thing rather than rushing out something I'm not really going to wear.

It's this amazingly pink stretch lace...

This is going to stay in my stash and await that perfect moment.....birthday dress perhaps?....