Sunday, 25 June 2017

Rambling rose garden guipure

Guipure lace sewing and jigsaw puzzles take time to complete but they're fun to work on. 
Making guipure lace fit you is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together and this dress was the same.
Today I released the front darts and unstitched the lining from the hem.
I used New Look 6000 for this project because this dress fits and is easy to tweak into place when I need to change the size.
I had some key battles with the fashion fabric let alone placing the guipure lace in a way that's balanced. Guipure lace needs to be placed so it runs continuously horizontally and vertically.

Front view of rambling rose garden
I'm pleased this dress has worked out and the flowers placement is balanced.

The fashion fabric is a light-weight stretch woven but it was the perfect base fabric for this lace.
Back bodice closeup
Pitt Trading was kind enough to provide me with the fabrics and notions I needed for this dress.

The lining is a firm poplin as is the underlayer of the fashion fabric.
Today I unpicked the lining off the hem and released the back darts.
Together with the lace, this dress has 4 layers of fabric and it took a lot of time to keep each layer together.
You can kinda see the poplin underlayer beneath the fashion fabric.
This work in progress shot shows you a lot about placing the lace.
All the lace is hand sewn onto the fashion fabric.
I'm attempting to hand pick the zipper in.
The constant shifting of the fashion fabric made me decide to hand pick the zipper in place. This was the most secure way to sew in the zipper.
Sewing in the zipper and hand stitching the lace did get very scary at times dealing with a number of fluid layers of fabric. The fabric layers were also hand basted together so this was challenging.

One of the contest criteria was to make a project that reflects your skills so I'm hoping that the fact that I've used couture sewing techniques fulfils this component of the contest.
I used the sleeves to add more lace but in a rambling way. I've used the grey flowers for most of the sleeve.

There's a lace contest on Pattern Review that I made this dress so it requires 75% lace component so this was my way of meeting that criteria while keeping this dress interesting.
There was a number of nights when I would just put this project to one side because the lace puzzle pieces were doing my head in,
At one point I was contemplating applying lace to this felt hat but right now my fingers are worn out from hand sewing guipure lace to the dress.
Would I sew with guipure lace again? In a heart beat.

I have one WIP Summer lace dress that I put aside to work on this dress for the Pattern Review lace contest.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Silk and faux leather

This month’s challenge/pleasure was sewing this outfit with faux leather and Italian silk from Minerva Crafts.
Yes I made this hat earlier this year because I knew it would pair so well with this outfit.
I've used my pencil skirt block and a basic shirt pattern. As crazy as mixing prints together can be, I felt these two fabrics would be great together. I only have access to what I can see from Minerva Crafts website and I was really pleased when the fabrics and notions arrived at my doorstep.
Here are all the sewing goodies I used to make the skirt and blouse. There are also notions here that I'll be using for a few future Minerva Crafts projects.
The pleather has flower motifs sewn onto a knit mesh backing. It’s really quite a flexible fabric. Minerva Crafts has a few new faux leather fabrics to choose from in an array of colours.
This Italian floral silk has a bold, all over floral paisley print. It’s a great print and you need to pay attention to the right and wrong side of the fabric. The print is more striking in real life.
Using this beautiful silk meant adding silk organza to the facings so there was reinforcement in the fabric where I needed it but the fabric still remained soft. Normal iron in interfacings can change the way silk flows so silk organza was a better option.
Maybe choosing such amazing buttons for this skirt was not the right choice but they really keep this silk looking luxurious. They really do.

I used two layers of silk organza to reinforce the button tabs on this blouse.
For the skirt, I had to choose a lining for the skirt to keep it stable over time. Well…I chose this jacquard lining. There's something so appealing when a skirt has interesting linings. I chose the darker side of the lining to show on the inside of the skirt.
The other amazing detail with this pleather was the selvedge. It’s just as striking as the fabric so I used this at the hem.

The skirt does finish above the knee and the mesh selvedge is on the knee so it’s a bit different but still works. I did harvest a floral motif to balance the front hem.
I rarely wear skirts tucked into skirts but I really love the shaping this gives to these two pieces. Having some waistline definition helps for my height.
For both of these pieces I applied the couture sewing techniques I learnt earlier this year.
On the skirt, I applied the waist reinforcing detail with Petersham tape. I also added the large hook and eye on the inside of the waistline. The zipper is hand picked into the skirt.
On the blouse, I marked the button tab detailing so that it all matched at the front of the blouse.
When I ordered this silk I was tempted to use the Vogue top below but the front tuck would have hidden the print definition.
I rethought this and decided to use this Burda pattern (2561) and added sleeve cuffs for more definition.
I had previously made Burda 2561 for a blouse last year for Minerva Crafts in 2015 so I knew it would fit this Italian silk fabric.
As always my Prym tools make this blouse a sharper and more accurate finish.
You can really see the difference using beautiful silk does to this basic shirt pattern. PS I added cuffs to the sleeves.
I love wearing this outfit because it's really a simple skirt and blouse but the fabrics are amazing to wear.
Thanks again Minerva Crafts.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Gertie vintage

It's always exciting when a sewing inspiration visits Australia and recently Gretchen Hirsch (Gertie) did just that. She's so inspiring and keeps putting out her feminine fabrics and patterns to bring these lovely into our everyday lives.
On Friday night after Gertie's whirlwind tour to Brisbane and Melbourne, we were lucky to have Gertie speak at a function hosted by Laura at Bobbin and Ink.
So the Gertie fabrics that were simmering in my stash for quickly found their way to the top of my sewing queue.
Last year I used the white cherry print fabric to test this vintage style blouse using Simplicity 1460. I wear this to the office a lot.
Well I had two colourways of Gertie's cherry prints and I wanted to make Butterick 6380 for her visit.
The Instagram vote determined using white cherry version for this dress. I did a bit of research online and decided to test this dress pattern as a peplum blouse.
It's actually kinda cute as a blouse style.

I still fully lined this version and enjoyed trialling the construction too.
The online feedback showed Butterick adds quite a bit of ease in this pattern as is their practice so I took out at least 5cm from the front and back bodice pieces before cutting out this test version.
I also used pleats where gathers were placed in this pattern.
As you can see, the neckline is higher than the pattern so I can comfortably wear this to work.
My other challenge was ensuring I had enough bra strap coverage and made sure these tabs worked perfectly.
The final bodice still looks feminine.
I kept the original skirt style. So this dress was finished in plenty of time for Gertie's visit.
I still had time up my sleeve and decided to use the turquoise cherry print for a basic dress with an interesting neckline feature.
I really love the back cape idea.
On Pinterest I found this technical drawing so I used this as my guide.
Above is my very crude pattern for a short back capelet.

I'm sure this capelet is like a 1940's nurse uniform.
 Below is a close up of the capelet.
From the front it's still feminine.
Later on Friday night I met up with some friends and I got a better picture of my dress. By this time of the night I finally had a bite to eat so the stressors of the weak were starting to dissipate.
This dress uses my block pattern. I know they fit and I was cutting too fine to test a new commercial pattern in time to meet Gertie.
I was hoping to duck into Spotlight during the week as well as be a Bobbin and Ink's night with Gertie but I could spare the time.
Thanks Gertie for your awesome compliment. I hope you had a great time in Australia!


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