Showing posts with label dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dress. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

McCalls 7116 - A Modern Pattern for a Vintage Style Tea Dress ( Top) .


I really enjoy re-using my sometimes very old patterns again and again but  I have to remind myself to stay a bit up to date so I don`t end up looking like a Kath from Kath and Kim ( when I watching that show I realised that I had the exact same earrings as Kath and immediately went and got rid of them ! they were large tropical fish dangle earrings so yeah very dubious taste ) .
So the irony is that I have sewn up a current pattern with a vintage look.


The pattern is McCalls 7116 which came with a magazine I bought last year . It also included Kwik Sew 4140 for a jacket and I loved both patterns so bought the magazine .
I adore  those 30`s looking tea dresses and this pattern looks very much that style .I have some rust coloured rayon with a small cream floral which I thought would suit but the fabric was given to me from my daughter who bought it in Japan so it is precious . So I made up a muslin with some blue / pink shot fabric given to me by my neighbour but only had enough for a top.


 I had some concerns about the pattern . I obviously chose the version with the gathered cross over front with gathered and pleated short sleeves.  McCalls rates this as  easy but the bottom is cut on the bias and since when has inserting a side zip on the bias been easy. I should have taken a photo but on the pattern cover and in the magazine you can see some serious rippling effect where the zip  is so if the professionals can`t get this right what hope do I have ! Also I am not that busty and have learnt that gathered  below bust fronts can look ridiculous on me .
I read a review where the zip was eliminated and the dress could still be put on and taken off easily enough so I basted the side seams and sure enough I was able to get the top on quite easily and it came off without resorting to contortionist yoga positions and just a little wriggling so that was one concern dealt with.
As predicted the below bust gathers were a bit too much so I made a couple of adjustments by pulling the excess fabric of the upper top down and across and this helped too.
Now some of you may realise the headless photos are not me.
My middle daughter was home from Queensland and I showed her my top and she absolutely loved it .
She tried it on and although it is  looser on her than me , as is the way with younger and slimmer people it looked good and well she loved it and she has less clothes than me so I gave to her  . Sigh . Hopefully I get some brownie points for this.







I have included the hanger shots to get a better idea of the details and also to show the lovely shot effect . The last two photos show the pink side more accurately . It really is quite a  bright shiny fuschia colour and the other side is a dark royal blue . I obviously used the blue since I generally don`t wear very bright and shiny colours. Although I really love this style I think I won`t be making up my Japanese rayon with this pattern and will keep on searching for something else. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Plenty of Pleats -Burdastyle 10-2012 Dress 108. .




Платье

I finished sewing this dress earlier this month and unfortunately I am a bit disappointed.
It is a knee length dress with several inverted pleats starting at the boat  neckline  and which end at the waist line creating a gentle fullness .


I`m not sure if it is the fabric or the actual pattern that is a bit meh for me . The dress takes quite a bit of fabric  so I used some op shop fabric that was in my cupboard . It is a soft rayon fabric and feels lovely but I think the print is quite 90s . In fact I had a dress made out of similar fabric in the early 90s.
The dress also took a while to make because of the multitude of pleats which are in the back as well as the front . I thread traced the pleat markings , then carefully pinned and basted the pleats. After trying on the dress to determine they were a good length etc I did the final stitching.






I have tried to include close ups to show the pleat construction but of course my photography skills are pretty dodgy.
Once the pleats were made the dress was quite simple to construct  . I sewed a lapped zipper and then the side seams. I inserted the sleeves in the round and then there was just the facings and hems to do . It did come together really well as per Burda`s great drafting skills.
However the dress was much larger than I expected . It looks quite fitted ( and beautiful !)  in the magazine pictures. Perhaps the rayon fabric stretched but I took in the side seams by several centimetres and there is still quite a bit of ease.



I have tried to style the dress up by adding a belt and my knee length boots which usually make my outfits look better but I still feel meh about it . However there has been too much time investment in this dress for me to just get rid of it so I`ll give it a go ( and I don`t have that many everyday winter dresses ) and perhaps I will get to like it better.
After sewing this dress I still had over 2 metres  of fabric left but  luckily my friend loved it  so win win for both of us ( and she has darker colouring so I think it will suit her better ) .
I think this is my first real meh sewing for the year . It is one of the difficulties of sewing that we can`t just try on things like in shops and say that works or not so every time we sew something new we are taking a risk time and fabric wise . However even though the dress is not a complete success I still really enjoyed sewing it and that is always a winner in my books.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Burdastyle 04/2014 - Love of ( Modified ) Detail Dress .


My sewing and stash busting mojo is on a roll .  I spent a leisurely few hours choosing patterns from my unused sewing magazines and matching them to fabrics from my collection . Burdastyle April 2014 is a fantastic issue - there are heaps of things I would love to make from it . When I first bought the magazine ( 2 1/2 years ago ) I was really keen to make up a very stylish slim fitting dress 117 but all the reviews were that it was quite difficult to fit and the instructions were baffling - this coming from very experienced seamstresses so the magazine languished in my pattern piles.
I also liked the extremely popular top with a front overlay but none of my fabrics were right so I went with dress 123 described as Love of Detail - Smart Peter Pan collar and a tie band for a shapely waist - all the ingredients you need for an uncomplicated summer dress. Further pretty details are the puff sleeves and a wraparound effect yoke.


Before I sew up a pattern I usually check the internet for reviews . I like to see what the patterns look like in ` real life ` . I love to check out the Russian Burda site - boy can those Russian women sew . I am gradually learning to search and navigate the site with no knowledge of Russian. I also look at the Burda Addicts webpage as well as Pattern Review. There were plenty of dresses ( and tops ) made from this pattern and I generally liked what I saw so I went ahead with cutting out some of my ` precious` Japanese fabric ( I think it is rayon ) which my eldest daughter gave me in 2013 after her 5 month visit there. I really liked how Burda used a contrasting fabric for the collar so I blatantly copied their idea and used some left over dotted cotton voile here.
I followed the pattern pretty much as is except I did not add any elastic / ties to the sleeves ( and I forgot to add hem allowances there too )The neckline is very wide so I  added extra buttons on the top yoke instead of the two little ones they had. I made buttonholes but I could have just sewn the buttons straight on as it is very easy to get the dress over your head.


  The collar pulls the front yoke down a little but the neckline is finished nicely with self made bias binding so  it still  looks OK . However I will be very wary of bending over in this dress. The dress has an inner casing and fabric ties attached to elastic are threaded through to give the dress shape. Otherwise it would be quite shapeless as you can see below.


The blue rose / spotty fabric is very soft which is important to create the blouson effect .


My daughters were not overly enthusiastic about the dress but I like the end result.
Now I have about 15 projects lined up to do , the theory is that will keep me out of fabric shops .
Happy Sewing Janine.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How to Use Your Precious Fabric - Just Do It !

My latest project was totally inspired by the board on Pattern Review  discussing using our precious fabric. My coral / red / cream tweedy boucle is with no doubt my best fabric .I love the colours and  the texture and to top it off , it was my souvenir from my one and only trip to France in 2013 . 
I always thought to make a skirt using a TNT pattern but when I laid out the pattern pieces there was so much more fabric than I thought . The fabric was 150 cm wide ( I thought it was 120cm ) and the shopkeeper had been generous with the cut giving me extra ! This was good and bad news because it meant I had to rethink the whole project and make a muslin . 
I already have a handmade winter work  version of a pinafore which I wear heaps and this gave me the idea to make a warm weather one . 

 I chose this pinafore from September 2012 Burda Style ,a ripper of an  issue . So many patterns I want to make from it .  It has a deep V neck with front bust darts and inset pockets . The top part is lined .
I made only two changes . I lengthened the skirt pieces and opted to fully line the garment . 

I was very lucky and found some matching lining fabric at the opshop . It had pura seta printed on the selvedge and when I googled this found it meant silk in Italian - bonus ! 
The pinafore was very easy to sew and as the V neck is deep there is no need for a zip to get it on and off . I love the little bonus front pockets but if I make this again I would make the pockets deeper although I can  store a hanky in them. 

 This was a great project to follow up my coat which took ages to sew . I really do not know why I put off sewing my precious Parisian  fabric for so long because once I cut into it , it was really easy . So if you have any fabrics which you are saving because it is so special then I encourage you to just do it - go cut it out and sew it up.  

I will  finish with another picture of my babies - they are getting bigger .The lamb in the background with the brown head and white body ( I call her ChocTop ) is only 2 1/2 weeks older than the twins ( but twice as big ) . 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Vintage BurdaStyle Dress - Indulgent Sewing Frivolity.

It is not very often that I get to sew something a bit more special. Most of my clothes are utilitarian because that is what I need both at work and home. So when my youngest daughter decided to do the school deb I grabbed the chance to indulge in some sewing frivolity . I love my Kwik Sews, Simplicities and Knipmodes for good sewing basics but when it comes to designs with a bit more I turn to my collection of Burda magazines. A couple of years ago I found 10 recent release Burda magazines in an opshop for $20. I raced to the counter heart beating fast and greedily purchased all 10 but it is only now that I have finally made something. ( I also own about another 1/2 dozen Burdas I have picked up over the years at newsagents ) I finally chose a vintage dress reprint in the May 2012 issue .

The dress has a bias cut top with a slim fitting pencil skirt. From the front it is a quite conservative high cut blouson top . The back tells a whole different story !

The back is low cut with the most elegant draping folds. I just love it . I used some pale blue striped georgette with swirls of leaves and small mauve roses . I have had this fabric for about 10 years and it survived a couple of past culls . I only kept it because I have few pieces of material over 3 metres and thought at least it would be useful for making a toile of some unknown dress pattern. However when I saw this burda pattern I knew this fabric would be perfect for it . It is very drapey , the stripes quietly enhance the bias cut top and the soft subtle colouring contrasts with dramatic styling . I mean I don`t want to take attention away from the young slim 16 year old debutantes -ha ha.

I lined the upper bodice with a stretch knit lining as suggested but unfortunately did not have enough for the skirt so I am just going to use a slip . ALso instead of using ribbons at the shoulder seams which did not appeal to me I managed to use another long term resident craft item . Mum gave the beaded , sequinned appliques to me over 25 years ago and I was never quite sure what to do with them but realised they would be perfect for this project . In truth the shoulder seams do not need covering at all - with Burda`s drafting the pleats at the front and back match perfectly and look really lovely left alone .

Burda and I did part ways in the construction of the dress when they started describing lining the bodice. I think Burda was trying to tell me how to line the bodice so all the seams would be neatly concealed but head scratching and peering closely at the instructions did not enlighten me further so I did my own thing and it all worked out . It did mean that to finish the arm holes I used some home made satin bias binding . Also I left small slits at the bottom of the skirt side seams instead of sewing them completely up because I want to be able to walk and parents do also dance at the deb. Overall the dress was not really hard to make at all.

  I am ridiculously happy with how my dress turned out . I might make a matching belt and use a small diamante belt buckle I have but I am on the fence about that as it is not really necessary . I hope I can get some pictures of the deb night too as any proud mother I think my daughter looks stunning in her chosen gown. Happy Sewing Janine.

 Costings - Material - so old I can not remember , Pattern- Dress 133 from BurdaStyle May 2012 - $20 . Knit lining , appliques , thread , invisible zip and satin bias binding from stash . Total - $20 + .

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fresh New Start and Dresses for 2016.



Last year while I was just sitting at my sewing table, my dress form spontaneously fell over - no-one knocked her , there was no wind , she just fell over.  It might have had something to do with the mending and altering I have been piling on top so I took this as The Sign and vowed I would do something about this. I made a list of what needed doing and  for the last couple of months I have been gradually working my way through the pile and crossing off that list - so satisfying !

Fixing up a wonky hem on my dress ( has been waiting for  three years !) with the help of my best friend .
Moving buttons on two of my jackets.
Shortening a silk crepe dress for my middle daughter ( absolutely gorgeous fabric )
Shortening one of my old dresses for my older daughter.
Making a cushion cover for my eldest daughter .
Sewing up some underp@nts  that I had cut out months ago .
Fixing a torn chiffon top for my eldest daughter .
Changing the buttons on some pants for my middle daughter .
Shortening the sleeves on an liberty shirt from the op shop .
Making dishcloths out of old hand towels .
Mending a silk dress for my eldest daughter .
Adding ribbing cuffs to a top I made in 2015 .
Making another pair of underp@nts from a knit dress that would otherwise have been thrown out .
Finally cleaned out my little sewing basket and threw out some rubbishy bits and bobs.

I can now move forward in 2016 without my dress form and my sewing basket making me feel guilty.
Well I do have one cardigan left to alter but I need assistance from a sewing buddy for that as well.
The only thing is that my mending did conceal my very sad looking Daffy duct tape dress form . ( Perhaps I can get a new fancy one in the future ? )

So with all that terribly boring mostly for other people stuff out of the way I have sewn a couple of new very easy dresses.


I used a pattern from Knipmode supplement from March 2014 - Dress 103 .
A really easy pullover scoop neck dress with dropped shoulder sleeves with sleeve bands.
The first dress is made from a present of  Indonesian Batik bought in Singapore by a friend ( who helped me with the hemming ) . It is 100% cotton  . I made the pattern up exactly as shown. I did not hem the dress to make full use of the border print. I also used the darker borders for the sleeve bands and tried to centre the pattern at the front and back .  I wore it during out recent heat waves and the dress was so comfy and cool.

I sewed the dress on the far left . 


The second dress is made from that  single knit where the edges curl up all the time. It was given to me from my Mum . The knit does not have much stretch or good recovery so I may have stretched out the neck a bit. Instead of using a facing I added navy ribbing to the neckline . I added an elastic waist with attached navy grosgrain ribbon by cutting the dress pattern at the waist level , sewing the skirt and bodice together to make a casing and sewing two button holes in the front for the ribbon to tie .
I made size 38 and it is quite roomy . I think the pattern would be good shortened to just a top as well.
These dresses will be getting a good workout soon as  I head up to Townsville with my daughter who is moving there to study - bittersweet times .

Costings. Pattern $15 averaged out including postage costs. Fabric - Batik a gift - Stripe knit free Notions- thread- stash - interfacing -stash - grosgrain ribbon -stash - 2cm wide elastic - 50c ( op shop ) - steam-a-seam - $3.00 ( for the whole new role from the op shop ) Total - $18.50 for the two dresses.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

McCalls 2401 - Ponte - A Whole New World.



Bleary eyed photos -I have to grab a photographer when I can and in this case it was quite early in the morning . 

I love experimenting with different fabrics and patterns . I have seen so many ponte dresses and skirts which looked fabulous so I wanted to try sew with this new to me fabric too. I also have read that ponte can pill with only a few wearings/ washings . When I sew I want my clothes to last many many years not just one or two seasons . I have had good luck with fabrics bought from Knitwit in Western Australia so when I received an email about their pontes and saw a patterned one that really appealed to me I bought it ( late last year with my footy tips competition money !) It is the Daniela print and is a rayon blend ponte ( which I read tends to be better quality ) . It is plain black on the inside and a purple /bronze abstract print on the right side ( and still available last time I checked ).


I have never sewed with ponte before so I did some research on what I should be doing . I find Emma one Sock ( link here - http://www.emmaonesock.com/guides/kbponte.asp ) has excellent advice on sewing with fabrics .  Ponte is like double knit but with stretch so apart from using a pattern designed for wovens in all other respects I treated the fabric as a stretch fabric.
I used a ballpoint needle and sewed with a slight zigzag stitch .The website also suggested stabilising the neckline with some light weight stay tape  and the shoulder seams with bias knit interfacing . I used  the  selvedge edge  from  silk for the stay tape as suggested .


The pattern I used  is McCalls 2401- a slim fitting sheath dress  . This is a very popular pattern which has been around for a long time and still also currently available in the pattern catalogues . I eliminated the back zip and used a button/ loop closure . I also made 3/4 sleeves which was easy to adapt from the provided long sleeve pattern . I hand sewed all the hems.


Normally I steer away from form fitting clothes but with the ponte I think it was easier to get a good fit . There is some excess fabric above the bust near the armscye and it feels / looks a little thick with the neckline facing but overall I am pretty happy with the result and will be willing to try more slim fitting clothes if I find more ponte that I like.



Sunday, 28 December 2014

Vintage Simplicity 9497 - White and Navy Spotty Dress.


Simplicity 9497 80 a






I sewed this pattern a few years ago  but at the time of cutting out my fabric I wasn't  quite sure if it was home dec or dress fabric. Well after a few wears and washes I realized it was definitely home dec stuff. I mean if the large roses and flowers which looked like my great aunt's couch weren't a giveaway the scratchy feel which did not improve with washing made it a certainty . But the fabric was so pretty - lemon background with large various pink roses and I got lots of positive comments too! But they didn't have to  wear it so out the dress  went . But I loved the pattern so out it came out  again with fabric that was definitely of the dress variety this time. 




 This is one of the few patterns where I think the dress made up looks better than the pattern cover photo . 
On hanging this up in my wardrobe when finished I realized that out of my five summer work dresses three are basically the same variation - 1/2 shirt waister dresses with notched collars . This one has dropped shoulders , the sleeves are cuffed and the bodice is slightly gathered and attached to a yoke but otherwise very similar to Simplicity 2923.My other 2 summer work dresses are wrap styles made of knit . So there I am in a style rut . I'm not making any resolutions sewing or otherwise for 2015 but I think I will at least try another dress style next year.
I have one other completed make to blog about and am currently sewing some shorts for my daughter as well . Then I will tackle my ` coffee` twin set I recently posted about  and see what I can do with that. After that I have no  projects planned so can start  afresh .
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and is well.
Cheers Janine.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

New Look 6143 - A Vision of Lace and Silk.

The most special and important part of my life as it is for most people is watching my children grow up into their own individual selves.
My middle daughter has just finished secondary school and is now preparing for the next stage of her life.
Part of the final school activities include a whole school assembly where they celebrate their academic , sporting and community achievements , a Valedictory dinner and the final celebratory day of school ( renamed because too many pupils muck up on Muck Up Day - one year it was quick set cement in the toilets causing over $30,000 worth of damage ! )

So with only three weeks until her Valedictory dinner my daughter asked if I would sew her dress and showed me a photo. This was quite a scary challenge because I think my daughter overestimates my sewing ability and I did not want to disappoint her on a very special day and did I happen to mention I only had three weeks . So the easy part was finding a pattern and New Look 6143 was virtually exactly the same as her choice of dress - a sweetheart neckline  satin lined lace dress with three quarter sleeves.


The next part was finding fabric and the time to squeeze this in amongst study and work. So one day we travelled to Melbourne and went to Spotlight . We bought the pattern and looked at their evening fabric selections. They had a  wide selection  but I suggested we keep looking and went to Darn Cheap Fabrics. 
Now Darn Cheap fabrics sounds well tacky but they actually have lots of beautiful fabrics and we found some lace and then real silk satin - in so many colours.  Once you have felt silk satin there  is  no going back to the Spotty Poly . There happened to be a full length mirror near the satins so she held up nearly every colour with the lace to her face and finally chose a muted rose colour . 


After making a quick toile and some fitting changes the sewing started. It really is a bit intimidating 
 cutting into silk but with such limited time you just have hold your breath, cross your fingers, hope for the best and do it. 


The pattern and instructions are fine. We made some minor changes to the pattern(  apart from her personal fitting alterations ). I narrowed the sleeves so they were more slim fitting . I also finished the neckline with concealed bias binding rather than it showing and using another sewing pattern added a wide sash. 

Also because we were using the sweetheart neck line bodice I had  to make some construction changes  - the bodice was fully self lined and then hand tacked to the lace. We were both mainly happy with the finished result but I should have also shortened the bodice for her and if I make this again I would consider sewing the lace and satin skirts separately .



We had a lovely night and I will have everlasting memories of my daughter running around the room  laughing and giggling  collecting about 30 helium filled balloons at the end of the night.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Butterick 5523 - Black and White and Red All Over.


I am getting to the last of my  winter sewing now. I bought this soft viscose lycra knit earlier this year and had a hard choice with what to do with it - there were a few patterns I wanted to resew  but I finally chose Butterick 5523 . I sewed this a few years ago  using an animal print and loved the result but the fabric was not really my thing . 
This dress is really comfy . I wore it to work today and it felt like I was wearing nothing ! 
It is also very easy  to  sew - in fact the hardest thing about this dress was taking the photos using the self timer .  I had returned home from work and wanted to take photos before I ate lunch - a sure fire recipe for disaster with me - eating and wearing my work clothes - guaranteed stains and slops . I took heaps of photos and this is the best one and only because I have the top 1/2 of my cute  little dog in it  ( Don`t be fooled by his appearance  though - he`s a little ratbag but I love him ) . 



tried to show a closer up shot of the pleats and fabric. 

Back to the sewing - as I said it is a very easy pattern - a draped collar , fitted above waist bodice with pleats in the front and back skirt and small pleats in the sleeves where they meet the shoulder seams. 
I did make a few changes with this pattern - I raised the neckline by 3cm , lengthened the sleeves by several cms so they would be full length and also lengthened the skirt ( but I could probably shorten it again ) .
The end result is the my kind of clothing - comfortable and relaxed but I think smart enough for my  work. Anyway I am now in the home stretch for sewing my winter jacket and then I am dreaming about sewing an easy bright cheerful summer tunic . 

Cheers Janine
PS - I saw this same fabric available on the knitwit website . 


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Simplicity 2923 - In the Red .

Obstinence rather than common sense resulted in me sewing a summer dress in winter.
Fabric makes it way from my main stash to a little basket in my sewing room to the machine and then the wardrobe.
This fabric had been in the basket since October last year and I was determined there would be no retrograde flow with this one.
I used Simplicity 2923 , part of the Pattern Runway collection from 2008 and previously made into a much used yellow print dress .

The fabric is a splotchy aqua/ teal  drapey rayon with floral outlines from deep stash and another lucky find at an op shop .
The pattern is a button front dress and I used the notched collar bodice and flared skirt options.
I had 2.9 metres of fabric and only just had enough. I had to piece the fabric to get the pockets and two of the bodice fronts. In the end I eliminated the pockets because they looked terrible - bagging out and making my hips look huge AND cut over 20cm away from the skirt because it looked a bit frumpy. I had some trouble getting the notched collar right but apart from this sewing the dress went smoothly and the fabric was a dream to sew with . However I suspect that this fabric will not be sturdy because I have sewn with similar pieces in the past  and little holes seem to appear quickly .  With the cut off fabric I might in the future made a matching belt with one of my hoarded belt kits that I keep on buying  .
I` m happy with the dress now - I think the fabric shows off the blouson effect of the bodice nicely and looks a bit vintage styled as well.

With this project more fabric has now officially left the stash than has come in   I am in the red .
Echoing Lynley Dodds*  bossy little warthog character  " Eee " squealed the fabric hog  "Snip, Pin , Sew " and slowly the fabric stash went down and down .

Lynley Dodds is a NZ childrens author  famous for Hairy McClary but our favourite book of hers was Sniff, Snuff , Snap about a bossy little warthog.