Monday, 28 October 2013

Vintage Simplicity in Plaid

I've been trying to write this post for ages - Blogger keeps crashing - time to move to something different?


I've had this pattern a while and when the perfect fabric came along...

The pattern is Simplicity 3673, view B. I have to say, I'm in love!

It wasn't completely plain sailing, even though Simplicity patterns generally are for me. Because of my shape and the style of the pattern, I knew straight off that the bust line would be too high. My lovelies just don't sit high enough for these patterns. Fortunately some time ago (before this blog existed), I made up Butterick 6534 which also has a similar line, so I kind of mashed up the two.

I lengthened the bodice piece by an inch so it would sit better. I also added half inch length to the main skirt pieces, to fit the waist and hips better. Those darts - they were a pain! They're not quite double pointed, but still curved and for some reason I did not enjoy stitching them. The skirt lining however does not have darts. Like with my pencil skirt, I just pleated these at the top.

The pattern only lines the bodice. I've lined the whole dress. I've done this wrong though, I'm completely aware of this and realised I'd done things wrong just after. At the time I really didn't want to unpick everything. I basted the gathers in the bodice shell and lining together, then basted the skirt and the skirt lining together, stitched it all together, trimmed the seam, then realised what I'd done. Oops! I know I'm supposed to stitch the lining on it's own and the shell on it's own, but hey, can you tell the difference? Only if you look at the inside :-)

The zip took two goes. I just wasn't happy with the placement first time around, but I'm relatively happy with it now. It's a tiny bit out on the skirt, but otherwise, not bad I reckon. The lining is handstitched to the zip on the inside.

Of course with all that lengthening the bodice and skirt, I ended up with a very long dress! :-)

I think I cut about three/four inches from the bottom before hemming it up. Having learned from my pencil skirt, I'm pleased to say the back vent lining worked well and lays flat with no fudging. The only shame is that because I cut so much off the hem, the vent is not very long. I'd have preferred something deeper personally, but hey, it looks good doesn't it?

Check out that pattern matching on the side seam

The details...
Fabric:  Red wool plaid with dark green and purple. Purple lining fabric from Arthur Toye sale in May 2013. I can't rightly remember the price, but it was half price, so probably came to about $40 all told.
 Notions:   Thread and a standard dress zip.
Pattern:  Simplicity 3673
First worn:  To work, sometime in August/September.
Worn with (in this pic):  An RTW blouse from TK Maxx (UK), boots from Overland and a lime green belt from Farmers.
Changes made:  Lengthened the bodice and skirt. Added a lining to the skirt.
Another one?  I would love to, particularly view C, but I've so many other lovely patterns to make that I've a sinking feeling it many not happen.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Sewaholic Alma

Way back in June, I agreed to take part in Indie Pattern month organised by my fellow Wellington blogging pals Mel and Kat. The plan was to make an Alma blouse. I actually finished the blouse about mid July, but I've only just taken the photos. Yep, it has actually taken me nearly three months to photograph it!

I love the shape of this blouse, like the Pendrell it is designed to be worn outside or tucked in. I'm very much a non-tucked in girl and I'll be the first to find a blouse pattern which fits with that.

This was my very first Sewaholic make and I was really unsure of the fitting and sizing, and I ended up actually cutting the 16, based on my bust measurement. Me, being me, why waste time making a muslin. Time to test things? Let alone the spare fabric? Yeah, nah! So yes, I used my beautiful embroidered cotton for the first try! Check out this!

I stitched it up, darts and all, used my new invisible zipper foot and stitched in a perfect invisible zip, tried it on and...

Yep, enormous! I didn't need a zipper at all, it just went on over my head! I decided the darts were actually perfect, so unpicked the side seams and my zip and sewed it back up at the smaller size.

And I managed to sew the zip in again - beautifully.

Hurrah it now fits!

Have you noticed the sleeves...? No I thought not, have another look.

Like my puff sleeves?

None of the Alma sleeve shapes really took my fancy. I certainly didn't want cap sleeves, and the slightly longer ones didn't really float my boat, not with this fabric, so I drafted my own!

I've never done this before, but what is the Interweb for? I took the longer sleeve and completely redrafted it. For those interested, I'll put this in a new post. Anyway, I now have lovely puff sleeves which fit me perfectly.

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out. The blouse has certainly had a lot of wear already. Methinks I'd best make another ASAP!

So the details...
Fabric:  White embroidered cotton from Global Fabrics, September 2012, I can't remember the cost, but I bought three lots of fabric coming to $100 all together.
 Notions:   Thread, interfacing for the neck facing and an invisible zipper.
Pattern:  Sewaholic Alma
First worn:  Now I can't rightly remember, back in late June/early July at some point.
Worn with (in this pic):  An RTW skirt from Next (UK), and a very battered and sad pair of black pumps which I've worn and worn from M&S (UK)
Changes made:  Yep, completely redrafted the sleeves to give a cuffed puff sleeve.
Another one?  I reckon I probably will. This one gets lots of wear. It's comfortable and the fit is great for me.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

I got the teal first, oh no you didn't...

I can't believe I last wrote on 19th August! Help! I'm still here. I've actually made three things up since I last wrote, but taking photos has been nigh on impossible. We have now moved into New Zealand Summer Time and it's light until about 7.30 in the evenings - hurrah! I might get some photos taken!

This gem of an idea was first mooted around last February. I can't even remember who saw the fabric first, it's that long ago. We had this thought amongst the WSBN to use the same fabric do a mass combined photo. On the day the mass amounted to six of us, life conspired against us and other members of our group had family priorities. Note to self: remind others to do another mass photo later in the year!

The fabric in question (if you've not seen it on other blogs) is a teal green silk/cotton with a kind of stripe through it and cost the princely sum of $10 in Global Fabrics (sorry, Fabric Warehouse).


I ummed and ahhed for ages over how much I might need and what I might make. In the end, I went for a Sewaholic Pendrell. This is my first Pendrell and I'm pretty pleased with the make.

The pattern went together really quickly. I cut it out on the Wednesday evening after work, started sewing Thursday evening, did nothing Friday and finished it Saturday morning. No bad, I reckon (I'm not a quick sewer.)

I cut a size 14 view A straight with no adjustments (which is possibly too big), this size related to my measurements. I even found time to cogitate over which way up to place the sleeves! The fabric was great, it behaved. The princess seams are finished off with zig-zag stitch (I have no overlocker), but I actually made the effort to finish the side seams with French seams.

Photo courtesy of the lovely Sarah Wheaton

It was a windy day, my hair went everywhere and the sleeve kept blowing up!
(Photo courtesy of Sarah)

It's perhaps not that obvious in these photos, but I personally feel the blouse is too big and roomy. It's designed to be worn this way, since it's made without fastenings and can just be pulled over the head, but personally for me, I like something a bit more fitted. I do love the shape though, the princess seams and a great shape and the fit elsewhere is great. I'm tempted to make it again, but cut a size smaller inserting a zip in the side seam.

So the details...
Fabric:  Silk/cotton mix in teal green from The Fabric Store, $10/metre (bargain)
Notions:   Thread - this blouse has no interfacing, etc.
Pattern:  Sewaholic Pendrel
First worn:  For the WSBN what's the deal with teal (erm... fight!) about two weeks ago.
Worn with:  An RTW denim skirt from Wallis in the UK, Overland boots and teal green tights from M&S (UK)
Changes made:  None!
Another one?  Very tempted. I love the shape and even if this is a wee bit big, I actually really like it. I've worn it twice already. It'll be great if we get a really hot day, as it's cool and the colour makes me feel refreshed.

As for the day, well I got a bit annoyed with the fact that others had used the same fabric as me (how dare they?) I'm sure I got the teal first and made it up first... Call me your friend?

 (Photo courtesy of Sarah)

(Photo courtesy of Sarah)

(Photo courtesy of Sarah)

Then we let bygones be bygones and decided to be friends...

(Photo courtesy of Sarah)

(Photo courtesy of Sarah)

And what are a bunch of girls supposed to do when there's a children's playground with a crow's nest? Go up it of course and pretend to be in the film Titanic :-)

(Photo courtesy of Sarah)

Mama Gypsy also came along in a fab vintage dress she'd made in a different teal fabric.

Oh and did I mention the weather? The day did not dawn great, the day before had been awful, but this is how it turned out when we took our photos down at Island Bay here in Wellington. I even got the chance to skim stones in the waves! Oh I do love to be beside the seaside...