Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Which way is up?

African wax prints are fun to work with especially if they're colours you love and prints you find interesting.
I think this might be the last of the prints I bought this year, but then a new print might pop up in a couple of months time.
I've used the Deer and Doe Belladone basic bodice and drafted a V neckline.
On closer view, you can see the waistband follows the eye print.
There's no matching at the back.
The back fit is however smooth and there's a small back hem split.
I've used my basic pencil skirt pattern and used the pockets from the Belladone.
The print is so bold, you can't really tell where the pockets are.
I bought this print from the LA fabric district two years ago so this is the best holiday souvenir.

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Why piping works

Piping is a useful technique when you're drawing attention to a feature point.
Showing off Miz Mozelle's design is what I wanted to do on this John Kaldor teal print from Minerva Crafts.
The colours in this fabric are very different to what I usually but I loved them.

This print also comes in a navy colourway.
The turquoise piping was premade. Choosing the right colour was easy to do from the range available at Minerva Crafts.

I was happy with this colour and the quality of the fabric used.
From the work in progress photo above, you can see how I used the piping.
The turquoise contrast was worth taking the time to do.

Another cute feature is the self cover button.

I used Prym 22mm cover buttons and they were easy to create.

The packaging provides a fabric template and images to show you what to do so Prym have thought of everything to make self cover buttons easy to make.

What you might realise from this photo is the collar isn't the same as the pattern.

When I started making this dress, the collar pattern somehow left my sewing space, so I grabbed a basic peter pan collar pattern as my substitute.
From this wip photo, the back neckline still looks ok but I will try to redraft this collar into one full piece.
Here's the work in progress photo for adding the piping to the colour. The turquoise matches the Prym Love pins I used.

These pins are come with their own magnetic pin cushion. They have a glass head so they take any heat your iron can muster, without melting.
The key pattern change I made was the to hem of the sleeve.

I raised the hem by 2cm because it seemed to stop at the thickest part of my arm. This was the sleeve looks a bit softer.

I'm really happy with this dress and I hope to make more with some soft fabrics.

Thanks Minerva Crafts and Prym.

Don't forget to use 'maria' to get 10% off any Prym purchases from Minerva Crafts.

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Breaking rules

Two lace fabrics and a large print might sound like a recipe for disaster. That's what I thought and I decided to try this when I tested Miz Mozelle by Jaime Christina.
All of these fabrics are Pitt Trading remnants. There are florals on the lace pieces and the dress fabric has a huge floral print on it.
In the process of making this test dress, I lost the collar piece so I used a similar collar pattern from a different pattern. It worked.

The Chantilly lace collar on this test dress is not finished. The raw edge is on the outside edge of the collar.

I had to reshape the lace sleeve hem because it looked a bit too drab. You can see how I adjusted the sleeve pattern piece.
The actual pattern has a separate bodice and skirt piece.
To keep the dress print consistent, I lengthened the bodice to dress length. The tricky bit was sewing the bias tape inside the waistline so I could have the elastic gathers at my waistline.
This dress is low maintenance and forgiving.
I'm very happy this experiment worked out.

Next up, the version I wanted with a bit more detailing.

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

View A McCalls 6243

I've made view B a couple of times now so here's View A.
I used a Pitt Trading remnant.

The neckline is a bit too high for me but the fit works.
The back view is ok too.

I think I'll be wearing this version with a jacket until I feel more comfortable wearing it.

This pattern can go in the archives for now.
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Friday, 24 November 2017

Summer espadrilles

There was so much more to learn from Prym's dvd instruction video for espadrilles.

I received this pack and have only just had the chance to go through it in more detail. There is a Prym YouTube video that is great to get your started.
I watched this video when I made my first pair of espadrilles last year.

This year I have more Prym espadrille tools and the Prym dvd gave me a lot more information about making better 'store bought' espadrilles.
The dvd runs through the full details of making these 3 classic espadrilles. The information in this dvd gives you so much more information to make great espadrilles!
These are the Prym tools I had to work with. I'm quite grateful to the lovely people at Prym for providing these tools to make more espadrilles.
This Espadrille tool kit saved my fingers. Last time I made espadrilles, the stitching stressed my fingers. This year I had this tool kit and sewing through the sole and shoe fabric was much easier. See, I can still type out this blog post with no pain.
These are the pieces I worked with. These peep toe espadrilles have a denim outer fabric and a bold print on the inside of the show.

The back heel is a pre made piece.
This is nothing flash but it does blend into the colour of the sole and I did pair this with the same coloured ribbon.
The dvd showed me the right way to line the sole.
I made sure the print on the inside of the shoe matched.


The level of detail in the dvd was so handy.
My next challenge was making sure the toe finish was balanced.
I decided to add crotchet floral lace in the same colour as the heel to balance the design.

I was feeling very unsure about my choices here. Was there too much detail on this espadrille?

You can see I chose to use dark navy stitching thread.
Here's where the heel and toe pieces are pinned to the espadrille sole.
The ribbon is sewn to the outside of the heel piece so that it doesn't rub against the back of the foot.


Did I mention these espadrilles are a gift to a friend?
I felt it was important to present the final shoes in a beautiful box.

Here are the final espadrilles ready to be boxed up.
Wrapped in pretty blue tissue.
These are a great gift.
Now I'm just showing these off.

This dvd has so much useful information and has certainly helped make these espadrilles great.

Thanks Prym for providing me with these new espadrille tools. You can purchase these from Minerva Craft and use the discount code 'maria' to get 10% off any Prym purchase.


Monday, 20 November 2017

Rewind to bodycon era

I'm working my way through remnants and revisiting patterns I enjoy wearing.
This fabric was used in January 2016 for a skull lace jacket I still wear when there's a chill in the air.

I do wear this in the morning to the gym when it's still dark because I used reflective piping.

The skull lace still makes people look twice when I wear this jacket.
Back to the dress...as you can see I managed to successfully win at pattern tetris for this dress. This ponte is always stocked in lots of colours by Minerva Crafts.

I was also able to use zippers from my stash.
At this point I went back to see when I originally made this dress.
I originally made this dress in 2013 using View B.
That scared me because I wasn't sure if my shape had changed too much.
Not too bad from the back view #notamodel.
With a decent press, those zippers will lie flatter on this dress.

I'm happy with the fit of this dress but will certainly try my best to keep my shape in check.

I'll show you what View A looks like shortly.
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