Monday, 29 October 2012

The Black Swan Tutu

Just a quick post with the only sewing I have done recently - a costume for a soiree I attended this weekend! The theme was 'A Celebration of Dance!'

I decided on Thursday night I wanted to come as the Black Swan, based on the costume from the recent movie. I bought 8m of tulle and got sewing!!

The tutu is 8 layers of gathered tulles, sewn on to a pair of underwear! The first 4 were sewn on by machine, but I got worried it wouldn't manage well with the rest so I sewed the last ones on by hand! I found an old black bodysuit, and with some feathers and rhinestones, I was all set!

I ended up taking home the prize for best dressed, too :)

Unfortunately I have to go back to exam study now.... but on the 12th November, I will sit my last exam for my degree, and on the 26th, I will start full-time work for the first time, after 19 years of education :)

While I'm here, a quick thanks to everyone who participated in the Patterns and Postcards swap with me!! It was a whole lot of fun, and I hope you all enjoy your new pattens and magazines. I know I will!

Now wish me luck for my exams, and I will see you on the other side!!!! :D

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Belle Dress

I have been a bit absent in the online world recently, and will probably continue to be for a few weeks yet! Unfortunately my reason for this isn't as exciting as Casey's - I just have a thesis due soon, plus a whole bunch of other assignments/tests/other uni stuff to work on...

Meanwhile, my sewing plans were put on hold this week, when I realised I had a fancy dress ball to go to on Saturday night, and no costume!! The theme was animated characters, so, obviously, I went for a Disney princess! Belle has colouring closest to mine, but I have never been a fan of her yellow ballgown, so I decided I'd wear her blue day dress:

Screenshot from YouTube

I bought some old bed sheets and managed to whip myself up a dress and an apron over a few nights. Towards the end, there were many short cuts taken, but it turned up all right if I do say so myself!! I had planned on making a blouse as well, but luckily I found one I already had that did the job. I was running late, so I only managed to take a few pictures beforehand. There might be a few more of me taken by others floating around, I'll see if I can find any :)

I was literally the Belle of the ball ;)

And here is what you need to know:

Fabric: 2 second hand bed sheets (~$1)
Pattern: Dress pattern 8736 from March 1956 Australian Home Journal. No pattern for apron.
Features: The dress has back, waist and bust darts, a round neckline, a gathered skirt and a side zip. The apron is simply a gathered piece on a waistband.
Alterations: The dress pattern was for a 36" bust. I cut it out without adding seam allowances, but added around an inch to the bodice, and cut the straps super long, so I could adjust them before sewing to the right length. I sewed the straps together instead of making the button closure. I ended up taking in the side seams about 2 inches at the bust, tapering to an inch at the waist.
Notions: 1 zipper (~10c)
Total price: ~$1.10

If everyday clothing is cake, and special occasion dresses are frosting, I wonder if sewing a costume is like sprinkles?? Hehe.

Which leads me on to a few links I'd like to share:

See you next time!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Project Planning - Colette Sewing Handbook - Meringue!

Having bought the Colette Sewing Handbook earlier this year, I have been meaning to get around to sewing from the provided patterns for a long time! I really wish I could have joined in with the Sew Colette sew-along, but I was a bit too busy at the time! But! I think I am getting close to being ready to start! ;)

So, I wanted to share the planning I have been doing. I hope to create a mini-collection from the patterns, and have been scheming about this for weeks! I looked through the fabrics I already had before settling on a colour scheme, so that I can do some stash busting while I'm at it!

Here is what I came up with:

The colours I went for are cornflower blue, black, cream, navy, orange and steel blue.  I want the pieces to be bright and fun, but elegant at the same time. I'd like to share the fabrics I chose, but I am still deciding on a few of them, so they will be revealed one by one as I start each project!

I made inspiration pages for each pattern in the book, too. Since I am starting with the Meringue skirt here is my inspiration page for that pattern:

I love the embellished skirt in the bottom right hand corner of the first page! I'd love to make a Meringue like that one day... In the meantime, the fabric I actually chose? 

Sorry it's so wrinkly!!!

I decided that the Meringues I like best are the ones where the scallops are more than just scallops, they are linked to the fabric in some way - like in the embellished version I pointed out. When I saw this fabric, I thought it would be perfect for this concept! Here's a rough idea of what I'm trying to achieve:

I'm going to cut the scallops based on the print of the fabric. I hope it works out!!

I've also started planning my mini-wardrobe based on the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. I've gone for a more colourful summery palette and feel for this one:

I love the planning stage of sewing! In fact, I'm itching to start designing a mini-collection for the patterns in Gertie's new book!!! 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Weekly Review

The end of another busy week! It is getting to that time of year again, assignments and mid-semester tests are about to take over my life.... my eye is already twitching.... (I seriously get a twitchy eye when I'm tired, stressed, or have been staring at a screen for too long, does anyone else get that? Makes me feel like a crazy person!!)

This week I finally got around to posting my "Drive Me Dotty" dress, and have progressed on to working on my yet-to-be-named top, the polka-dot sorbetto with the smocking. I have basted the pleats in place, and printed out a new sorbetto pattern so I can draft the straps à la Casey's sundress. Then it's just a matter of cutting it out, sewing it up, and finding some seam binding to use! Hope to have more progress for you next week!

And now for some pieces that caught my eye this week:

See you next week, I'm busy taking photos of all my swap-able patterns and magazines, hope to share them with you soon!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Drive Me Dotty Dress

Wow. This has been a loooooong project! I didn't start making it until earlier this year, but sources tell me I first posted about the possibility of making this dress in September last year for the Sew Weekly "Fall Colour Palette" challenge. Hmmm. I remember also thinking I might get it done in time for the UFO challenge this year....

Well, as I mentioned last week, it IS actually finished, and I even managed to get some photos of it on me! Here's what you need to know:

Fabric: Some sort of slinky synthetic, from an op-shop in Canberra ($4.50)
Pattern: Butterick 6730 from the 1970's, View B (50c)
Features: Faux-wrap front, gathers at shoulder seams, elastic waist, and, most importantly, pockets!
Alterations: I chopped off about 6 inches from the skirt length. Next time, I'd add a couple inches to the bodice length.
Notions: Elastic for the waist (cut from an old fitted sheet!)
Total price: $5.00

Overall I'm pretty happy. It is not perfect! The fabric is static-y and cling-y, the gathering on the shoulders is not even, and the bodice is a bit short, so every time I lift my arms up the elastic waist jumps up onto my ribcage, and I'm forever pulling it down again. I'm happy with the pattern though, it is a very simple dress to make, with no closures, and the wrap part doesn't even gape! (Maybe because of the shortness of the bodice though!!)

Next time I should remember to pose like the girl on the pattern envelope, for a comparison shot!

Monday, 27 August 2012

AHJ - August, 1950

Recently, I have started a new collection, and it has grown alarmingly quickly!! It started with an Australian Home Journal magazine I found at the op-shop, for $1. Now, I seem to spend increasing amounts of time on eBay, snapping them up whenever I can find cheap ones!

In case you haven't heard of this magazine, it was published in Australia until around the 70's, I think, and it was a magazine for the 'average housewife.' Each issue contains recipes, crotchet and knitting patterns, fashion tips, and at least 3 sewing patterns! My earliest issue is from the 30's, but I think it goes back even further than that.

Rather than keep all this vintage inspiration to myself, I have decided to post some pictures here for everyone to enjoy! And, if you would like your very own AHJ, with original patterns included, stay tuned! I will be participating in the Patterns and Postcards Swap hosted by the Perfect Nose, and have a few doubles of issues that I would love to swap with someone who can give them a good home! :)

Ok, let's get to the good stuff! Being the end of August, I thought I would share one of my August issues with you, this one being from 1950. Since this is an Australian magazine, this is an end-of-winter/start-of-spring issue, which I know is out of season for you Northern hemisphere readers, but I can't please everyone! :)

This issue has a couple pages of ladies fashion:

Cute bows on that coat, above, right? They look like they could be achieved with the "Bows into Darts" tutorial from Sew Vera Venus!

Love the skirt and bolero combo! And those scalloped pockets!

Polka dot dress = awesome!

There's also some fashion for younger girls:

Can you imagine young girls today wearing those suits? I wish they would!!

I think I have a pattern similar to the one with the lace yoke, above! (In an adult size!) Hmmm...

Cute, cute and more cute!

And these are some of my favourite advertisements:

Makes me want to play with paper dolls again!

Let me know if you liked these images and would like to see more! And, if you are interested, there are a number of digitised issues of the AHJ available online at Trove.

Then, since I'm obsessed with drawing on my croquis at the moment, I decided to see how each of the free patterns featured in this issue would look on me! Here they are:

They look a bit weird at first, right? After looking at the pattern illustration, these sketches looked like they had MASSIVE waists, necks and legs! But the more I looked at them, the more I realised it was the illustrations from the magazine that looked strange. Completely unrealistic proportions! But it does help me realise that the longer skirts are a little dowdy!!

Now I can photoshop in some fabrics from my stash, and see how it might look! I made did a set in cool colours:

And a set in warm colours:

Cool, right?! Which ones are your favourites?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Weekend Review

Wheeeee, I'm back!

Sorry to have been missing for so long, I don't even have a good excuse, except that life got in the way! :) But I have some fun things planned, so lets get back into the swing of it with a review of life right now!

I finally finished my Butterick 6730 dress, also known as the "Drive Me Dotty" dress. Remember that one? Here is a sneak peek, I hope to get some better photos soon!

Next in the pipeline? I'm hoping to finish my smocked/pleated top soon, using a combination of the Colette Sorbetto pattern and Casey's sundress tutorial for the straps. I'm thinking of using black bias binding to finish it off, this is what I hope it will (somewhat!) resemble when I'm finished:

After that, I hope to get started on sewing my way through the Colette Sewing Handbook. I have a plan, and most of my fabric picked out for each project, I'll share all my scheming soon!

In the meantime, here are some interesting and inspiring things I've stumbled upon this week:

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and see you next week, I have something fun to share!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Spring Top Sew Along 2012!

Are you participating in the Spring Top Sew Along this year?

I just found out my "Autumn Parading" Top made it into the Top of the Tops this week! It is in great company with a whole bunch of other beautiful creations. There is plenty of time to enter for the following weeks, and I'm intending to enter a few more if I have the time! :) You can see all the creations and vote for your favourite here.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Lattice Smocking

I've been playing around with some fabric manipulation...... lattice smocking and pleating. What do you think?

What should I make it into? I was thinking a sorbetto, with the smocking running up the centre, but I'm not sure how to make the darts around all the pleats... any suggestions?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Autumn Parading Top

Wheeeeee, my first finished project for the year! (!!!!)
So much for my new year's resolution.....

This top was inspired by the Sew Weekly "Pantone Spring Colours" challenge. I call it the "Autumn Parading" top as it is actually autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, but it is parading as spring recently, with the nice warm weather we are having! I used this tutorial from Freshly Given, and a scrap piece of fabric I found at the op-shop - possibly an old pillowcase or bedsheet!!

I was going to follow the tutorial to the letter... then I decided to do a square neckline, which I used some bias tape to finish. Then, while I was playing with the positions of the ties, I found the sides of the top gaped..... a lot! I toyed with the idea of just wearing it with a singlet underneath, but that sort of defeated the idea of this easy breezy lightweight top for me.... so I decided to sew up the sides! I think my problem was that the fabric was not very wide, so I didn't get as much of a wrap-effect as in the inspiration pictures, unless I pulled really tight! Anyway, I think it turned out alright. It is basically a square, the shaping is provided by tying the ties up.

The original top is shown tied at the front, like this:

I quite like this look, as I think the tie at the front provides some shaping, and the back lies fairly flat (when I'm not twisting around! see?)

But, I also played around with tying it at the back, like this:

Not back, eh? But the front is quite flat, and the back becomes quite blousy!

Finally, for your entertainment, here are some shots of me trying to be artistic with flower petals. I couldn't quite avoid hitting myself in the face with them though....