Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Project Planning - Seventies dress

The theme for the Sew Weekly challenge this week is 70's! This is good news for me, as most of the patterns I own are from the 70's, 80's and 90's (since I try to buy them for 50c each or less, and these are the ones that end up in the op-shops around my area!). I decided I wanted to try to make my first dress, but I also wanted it to be quite simple. I settled on Simplicity 6672, that I recently bought in Canberra.

Source: Vintage Pattern Wiki
I think I will make the short version, but without the sleeves - I'm trying to tackle just a few new skills with each project, and I might leave sleeves until another time!

As for fabric, I wanted something with a 70's feel that would still be wearable today, and that wouldn't be too hard to sew with. I think I might try it with this fabric that I picked up at an op-shop a few weeks ago:

The only thing is when I tried laying the pattern pieces out, they didn't quite fit on the fabric... They did seem quite long though, so I think I could shorten the dress and make it fit!
I was excited to discover that Peter from Male Pattern Boldness has used this pattern to make a dress for his identical cousin Cathy! I can only hope I will look as good in mine :)

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Red Bow Top

Yay! A week later than I had expected, but I can finally show you my latest creation! It is a top inspired by Sarah's "Married to the Music" top, made with the sorbetto top pattern, that I made out of an old bedsheet that had ripped the first time I had tried to use it. It was supposed to be for last week's "Peer Review" challenge on the Sew Weekly, but better late than never, right?

Fabric: Bedsheet
Pattern: Sorbetto from Colette patterns
Year: 2011
Notions: Bias tape, made myself
Total cost: $0!!

Things done for the first time:

  • First time making a top
  • First time sewing darts
  • First time using bias tape
  • First time making my own bias tap 

Things I could improve on:
  • Making bias tape
  • Using bias tape!!

I had to redo the bias tape because I cut it too narrow the first time and was having a lot of trouble sewing it on! The second time around it was much easier, but it is definitely not perfect. 

Changes made:  I extended the pleat so it would wrap over and behind the neckline a little, and added a bow to sit underneath the pleat. Also cut the armholes a little larger.
Changes I should have made: Cut a size larger, or maybe extended the length of the straps. The darts sit a little high, and the armholes are still a little tight.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Project Planning - Red bow sorbetto

Sarah Gabbart's "Married to the Music" Top, Sew Weekly
This week, the Sew Weekly challenge is to create something inspired by a piece from the Sew Weekly archives. Given all the talk of the wonderful sorbetto pattern by Colette patterns that has been going on recently, and the fact that I have never sewn a top before, I thought I would try making something using that pattern. As I was looking through the archives, I was stuck by this top made by Sew Weekly contributor, Sarah Gabbart. It is simple, but stunning, and she used the sorbetto pattern!

At this stage, I'm still planning the elements of my top, but I think I will keep the centre pleat as in the original pattern. One thing I know for sure is that I will add a bow! Or multiple bows!!

Here are some other ideas for bow placement that I like:

Small central bow as in view 3:

Source: Vintage pattern wiki

Or a larger central bow:

Or maybe on the straps:

Ted Baker top
As for the fabric, I have a burgundy bedsheet that tore the first time I tried to put it on my bed :( Probably not the best quality fabric for a top, but I'm happy to consider it a (hopefully) wearable muslin! I hope I will be able to get it done on the weekend, as I won't have any time later this week - I am going to Canberra to watch my fiance and brother complete in a national fencing tournament!!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The In Full Bloom Skirt

This was my second ever sewing project, and the last sewing project I completed before starting this blog, so with this post I have now caught up and you have seen everything I have ever sewed outside high school sewing classes!

Here's my version:

Fabric: Floral cotton from Spotlight, $3/metre
Pattern: "In bloom" full skirt from Handmade magazine
Year: 1988
Notions: Invisible zipper from Spotlight
Total cost: ~$10

Changes made: I lengthened it a bit.
Changes I should have made: Cut a larger size in the waistband, it's a little tight! Also, my invisible zipper insertion needs work :)

The Shaped Pocket Skirt

This week, I made this skirt! Inspired by the Sew Weekly theme this week - western!

Fabric: Some sort of denim-like dark purple material, thrifted for 60c
Pattern: Waistband from a Handmade magazine pattern, pockets from Casey's shaped pocket tutorial, rest made up!
Year: Waistband pattern was 1988
Notions: Buttons, thrifted for 50c
Total cost: $1.10

You can see the pockets better here:

And here:

Pretty cool, huh? I followed the same scalloped design as Casey used for her skirt, and added some decorative embroidery. It was my first time making something with pockets (or with buttons, for that matter!) so I was pretty happy with how they turned out.

The buttons could definitely have been done better though, and I'm not sure I love the positioning of the pleats. 

When I was making the pleats, I just placed the skirt fabric on top of the waistband and played around until I liked the effect. I forgot to take into account though that I was looking at the pleats from the inside of the skirt, so they came out the opposite way to what I had planned! I decided to just leave them though. Lesson learned. 

Have you been taking part in the Sew Weekly challenges? What are you planning on making for next week?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Patchwork Apron

Quite a while ago, I don't remember exactly when, I was helping mum sort through her cupboards and came across her fabric collection, including some fabric scraps and pieces not big enough for anything substantial. It got me thinking about patchwork, and for some reason I got it into my head that I wanted to make a patchwork apron. I came up with a design, drafted a pattern of sorts, and got to it! Considering this was the first sewn item I ever made by myself (excluding high school home-ec) I think I did a pretty good job (though I won't show any close-ups)!

The bodice part is made up of 4 squares, and the skirt is made up of 4 rows of squares, sewn into strips and gathered (if anyone is interested, I could post a tutorial). I used a rotary cutter and mum's ruled cutting board to cut all the squares out, which made it quite easy! 

Here I have the straps crossed over in the back, but the straps themselves aren't sewn to the waist ties - the bottom of each strap is just a loop that the waist tie can be threaded through. Due to this, you can wear the straps as I am demonstrating, or as straight straps, or as a halter neck!

What is the first garment or item you remember independently sewing or otherwise crafting?