Friday, 16 February 2018

The last jedi

December brought us the next episode of Star Wars - The Last Jedi.
Last year Spotlight was getting rid of this classic Star Wars print.
I made this dress to watch the movie. We saw the movie before Christmas and we stayed in town that night.
I like wearing this dress because it has shape without feeling tight.
I used Burda 7111 that I picked up from a visit to Pitt Trading.
This pattern is designed for softer woven fabrics so using this Star Wars cotton fabric wasn't the best choice for testing but I used it anyway.
As you can see here, I've since made this dress in a softer digital print remnant bought from Pitt Trading.
The dress sits much better with this softer fabric.
I washed my Star Wars dress and the colour from the neckline trim ran, so I made it again after also pre-washing the petersham tape. I no longer have this print in my stash and I'm happy with that outcome.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Coffee and cocktails

Elizabeth (Elizabeth made this) has set up this year's #daynightdress challenge with coffee and cocktails theme.
The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018
The challenge team supporting the #daynightdress challenge is huge.

The sponsors supporting this year's challenge are very generous.

Thinking of joining The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018?  Here’s how to do it:


    1. Sew some dresses!
    2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
    3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram and Facebook.
    4. Post a picture of your day look (coffee) and your night look (cocktail) to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
    5. Grab a graphic and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:  
The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018

If you're attending Frocktails in Sydney this weekend and you wear an outfit you've made, get a fab photo taken of your outfit with your cocktail of choice and you've already met the cocktails part of the #daynightdresschallenge.

Talk about great timing.


Monday, 12 February 2018

Remnant revisit

This was the moment I committed to using this tencil fabric from Minerva Crafts for a Summer dress.
While the pattern New Look 6067 said I needed 1.4m of fabric, I only had 1.1m of fabric left from my original dress 2 years ago.
I laid the adjusted pattern pieces on the fabric and I only had enough to make the cap sleeve version. 
I wanted to recreate the front bodice detailing as you can see above.
The back of this dress has no detailing which I was happy about.
By the time I finished the dress, the skirt felt too flimsy. On a maxi length skirt, I would have left it as is.
So the skirt was lined as well. I only lined the bodices on my previous versions of this dress.
The lining is a cotton fabric so it will hold the dress shape and allow the tencil fabric to float over it rather than float over my body.

I prefer that when the weather is hot and humid.
Having time off over Christmas has been great for stash diving those fabrics you think might just be useful one day.


Monday, 5 February 2018

Sydney Sewing

This was a special week for this humble sewing bod.
Heading off the couture sewing school
In Australia we've never had access to the sewing experts that reside overseas but I know that since Susan Khalje graced our shores last year, other have started to see Australia as a place to visit and meet local sewing people.

Last year we were treated with Susan visiting Australia and running her classes in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Day 2 off to school
I was lucky enough to attend the couture workshop in Sydney and the guipure lace skirt workshop in Brisbane. Those classes were filled with sewing people who love what they do and everyone extended their skills.

Susan gives you the ongoing encouragement to extend your skills and knowledge.
I haven't looked back at the guipure lace techniques I learnt last year and I certainly have to stop myself from buying more lace.

This year I worked on a Vivienne Westwood jacket design that I really didn't have the pattern for. I don't have the pattern for the skirt either but through Susan's guidance, I now have a pattern for both of these pieces and I'm ready to make more.
Last year Gertie came to Australia twice and I'm sure she has plans to visit Australia again.
This week Jenny Rushmore (Cashmerette) and her colleague Carrie came to Australia after 2 long haul flights from the States and met a few of us in Sydney on Friday night at Bobbin and Ink
Jenny is running a Sewing Retreat in our neck of the woods. Not bad right!

In Sydney we're lucky to have Mick (Quick Buttonhole Services 02 9699 2050) who professionally sews buttons, snaps etc for the garment industry.

I needed 3 buttonholes sewn on my couture jacket so I went to his workshop and he sewed them for me with no fuss or bother. Now that's what I call customer service.

I did call Mick the day before just in case he had a huge industry order deadline. Again, he was lovely to deal with on the phone. I know Mick will do orders over the phone if you need to courier your work to him.
Now to recover and keep sewing.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Toying with Yoyo

When there’s a dress shape I like, testing it for a good fit is worth the effort. Testing also tells me if the design actually suits me.
Papercut patterns Yoyo dress/skirt is a fitted dress style I love. What’s clever about it is you can easily grade the pieces to suit your sizing, or my 'ever-changing' sizing. The bodice and skirt pieces are separate and the shaping is minimal so there’s definitely room to adjust this pattern as you go.
The skirt lent itself to adding pockets as you can see from the adjusted skirt pattern above.

The front open ended zipper can be a challenge to find if you appreciate matching zippers to fabrics. These days, it’s more on trend to have an exposed zipper in a contrasting colour, to add interest to dresses, skirts, jackets etc. This helps when you limited zipper options.
The easiest option for making this version was to use this black on white all over print by JohnKaldor and use a black zipper. It's a lovely suiting and it's not heaving as a suiting.
The pattern provides all in one facings for a clean finish. I planned to fully line this dress because I like fully lined dresses. Ok, I love fully lined dresses.
My test dresses used the facings from the pattern and they’re good but I’m biased towards fully lined dresses. The cotton lining is soft and smooth so this is perfect for lining Summer dresses.

The first test version was totally medium sized and through some carefully checking, I soon found that I am small at the bust and have a medium sized waist.
I also removed 5cm from the skirt length. I took this length out horizontally from across the middle of the skirt. Removing the length from the middle of the skirt doesn’t interrupt the hem shaping.

Be aware that taking any length off this dress will affect the zipper length you use. I still used a 60cm zipper for this dress. I was just able to use the zipper so I know I can use a 55cm zipper in future.
The John Kaldor fabric has good body for this dress and the cotton lining helps the dress shaping stable.
Before cutting out the dress I marked the 1cm seam allowances on the pattern pieces. I learnt that marking the seam allowances makes pattern matching more accurate.
What I realised is that for this fabric, pattern matching is great for beginners as the print is dark and doesn’t have an obvious repeat.
Ok enough of the technical talk.
On the test versions I hand basted the zippers before machine stitching them. This keeps the zipper in place as you machine sew the zipper into the dress. This also allowed me to check the dress fit.

Machine sewing in the zipper isn’t something I can do in one go, so this also allowed me to sew the zipper into the dress in a couple of stages.

One thing I did learn from the test dresses is to leave the centre front facing loose until the zipper is sewn into the dress, for a sharper finish.
Yoyo is now my key Aussie Summer piece I can easily throw on when I have somewhere to go and it’s boiling hot outside. Having the dress fully lined means I’ll be a touch more comfortable in this heat that started before Christmas.

Cheers everyone and thanks again to Minerva Crafts for providing everything for this dress.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Yoyo-ing around

Playing around with a pattern can give you many looks.
I'm preparing for my Minerva make so these two stash fabrics finally got used, for a good purpose. I've chosen a John Kaldor print that will be fully lined and have pockets.
Here's my February project choice. Now to figure out the best use of this pattern.
Version 1 is the medium size using what I thought was a slub viscose fabric from The Fabric Store. I later found out it is silk. I love how this fabric feels especially in this heat.

Close up the fabric has white in the weave and that really caught my eye. The pattern has no pockets but I decided to add them on the next version to see if they worked.

I took out 5cm from the skirt length at the front and back.
This is the actual skirt length of the pattern.
I was happy with the back fit.
Here's number two with the shorter skirt hem.
I bought this cotton remnant from Pitt Trading so the challenge here was matching the stripes.

Can you see that I also added pockets from Deer and Doe's Belladone dress?
Maybe now you can see the pockets.

Onto the black and white version.


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