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

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Casual , Comfy , Cozy Dresses.




 


First thing I do when  I get home from work is get straight out of my good clothes . It protects them from me but also gets me out of the being at work mental  zone  . During winter my favourite down time uniform is a pair of trackies .You just can not beat trackies for comfort and feeling relaxed and dagginess ! My last pair had bagged out so badly at the bum and knees that even Saggy Baggy Elephant would have felt sorry for them so they are in the gardening clothes pile now. With no trackies  left this was an opportunity to significantly up my casual clothes style. 


Pattern combo for the purple stripe /spot dress. 

Both fabric pieces came from Clear It bought at the end of last year . I used Butterick 6883 for the blue and grey argyle knit dress . This is a really fantastic pattern that also comes with pants , a sleeveless vest and the dress shortened into a top. The pants are definitely a contender for upmarket trackies too ! I love the front angled seams with pockets , the curved neckline with an interesting collar and dropped sleeves . Even the upper back has a curved inset piece. This makes for a very comfy dress with lots of design possibilities. I sewed this dress during a very busy period . Sometimes I only had time to sew up one seam at a time but over a couple of weeks I managed to complete it so it is a relatively easy pattern as well. The only changes I made were to lengthen the dress and I added piping to the neckline . The piping is woven  so the neckline is a little bit tighter but luckily I can still get it over my head easily enough. 


 The pockets bag out a little bit  but the pros of having them greatly outweigh that factor and after all these are just trackie replacements so I am not fussed by that. 


The purpley striped and dotty knit dress was made using a collaboration between a Kwik Sew 2900 top , Vogue 2101 dress  and a pocket from an old Burda WOF mag. Although I have made KS 2900 many times it has been a few years now but it was always my go to pattern for T shirts . I like the shaping of the vogue dress being slightly pegged  and knee length. I did double the width of the KS collar piece so it was a rollover collar rather than just a turtle neck. This was also a very easy make although attempting stripe matching required a bit more care. 

  
I used some of the dark purple stripe knit to bind the pocket edges and make it just a bit more interesting. 


I am pretty happy with my new dresses ( now just have to wait for the cool weather ) . Such a step up my usual casual outfits . I won`t be embarrassed answering the door now to unexpected visitors ! 

Friday, 12 January 2018

It`s A Wrap - BurdaStyle 09/2017 Wrap Dress 113.





 


Finally finished my first project of the year -yay.  My youngest daughter picked out this very pretty fabric from Darn Cheap last year when we were going material shopping for her big sister. Fair enough - no favouritism in our house - all three daughters are equally my favourites.
She then showed me some pictures of what she had in mind and they were all wrap dresses. Would you believe I  basically had  no patterns for a wrap dress!  Well, there was an old Burda magazine pattern  for knit fabrics and a 70s one for a large shawl collar version but that was it. I went to Spotlight and checked out the Big 4  patterns but nothing was quite right.


So when I went down to my local very small newsagent to get a new myki  travel card I could not believe my eyes to see they had the latest ( for Australia ) Burda and that there was a wrap dress just like she wanted ! If anything was ever meant to be this was it . I am so happy to see Burda magazines becoming so readily available now - hopefully this is a sign of a sewing resurgence.

                             
                                                   Image result for burda 09/2017 dress 113

The pattern is for petite sizes and my daughter is taller than  the 160 cm it is designed for . I did not lengthen the bodice and she is happy with where the waist sits . There is a waist band  with ties . The left tie inserts through a gap left in the waist band and wraps around the back.  The skirt and sleeve pieces are cut on the bias creating that lovely fluid fall of cloth . My daughter actually wanted short sleeves but she also wanted the wear the dress tonight for a date so to save time I just hemmed them as is . We can revisit the sleeve length another time. She also wanted the dress quite a bit shorter . She requested about 15 cm off the skirt length. That didn`t quite get Mum approval so I only removed 10 cm but shh don`t tell her.
We are both very happy with the end result . A slow but great sewing start to the year.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Choosing Prints Dilemma . How Do You Decide ?




Some people have a real skill at choosing prints and making them into something incredible. I dont`t have that knack of seeing the bigger picture so I almost didn`t buy this fabric . But now it is sewn up I really like it . I often favour smaller prints in more muted colours but this can translate into a bland , faded even frumpy   look from a distance even if the print itself is beautiful .
The fabric is a rayon type with birds in solids and outlines on a black background. I`m not sure if they are swallows or swifts.
I really wanted to make the Rebecca Taylor Vogue Pattern 1395 but it wasn`t available but my brain slowly ticked over and I realised I could get the look combining a couple of patterns I already owned.


Image result for kwik sew 3620
I combined a Butterick See and Sew  dress pattern 5975  with the front ties from  Kwik Sew 3620 . Not exactly the same but  similar look to the Rebecca Taylor Vogue 1395 as below. I got a bit over confident and didn`t follow the pattern instructions for the dress as I was trying to do the burrito method for the yoke construction . I realised too late it would not work for the dress so I had to fudge things and add bias binding strips for the arm holes and then applied them the wrong way so they show on the outer side . I applied them neatly so it looks OK and since I sewed the dress a couple of weeks ago my mistakes already do not bother me. Apart from my own self induced errors  the construction was straight forward but I am not quite sure that the pattern is as simple as See and Sew implies.
Image result for rebecca taylor vogue 1395
I have included this photo as proof of the ties existence and a closer shot of the print ( BTW I just learnt today that vogel is the German word for birds - just trying to reinforce my learning ! ) The dress is very comfy with an elastic waist but the ties conceal this at the front so I won`t need to add a belt . The top is a blouson style and the skirt is gently gathered. I was worried that the dress would be huge going by the finished measurements so I cut a size 10 instead of my usual 12 .
This dress has got me rethinking my print choices and also that I should probably have a bit of a dress clean out.The dress started as a UFO from several months ago and now it is finished my sewing corner is all sorted. I can hardly believe it but my dress form is clear , my dresser top is empty and my little sewing basket has only one project in it which is a WIP purse which is being slowly made at a sporadic sewing group I attend so no hurries there. I am now considering finally making a patchwork table runner for the coffee table and perhaps even an entire patchwork quilt with garments in between. 
Does anyone have any hints on how they successfully chose prints ? 
Happy Sewing and here`s to completed UFOs and fresh starts. 

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. .




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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.