Saturday, November 27, 2010

This is me!

Delete any images of me from the past. This is me!

I love my summer kaftan made of the softest green and white cotton voile (with perhaps a wisp of rayon?) from Simplicity 2696. I thoroughly recommend this pattern, it ticks all the boxes in terms of fit, cut and ease of construction. The only alteration I made was to leave the cuffs off the sleeve, opting for an a bell shaped sleeve.

Even before I finished I was planning a number of other versions, including using my leopard print habitae silk in dress length. DD says no, but what would she know.

I match my garden well, don't I?
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Burda success

Things are desperate when you resort to photographing yourself in the mirror! This is my test run of Burda 06/09 105, a pattern not for the faint hearted. I had so much trouble fitting this tshirt due to the mad instructions that I've written my own.

1. stitch darts into front bodice and bodice lining
2. fold pleats in place, baste and iron in place. If they will not hold in place, top-stitch in place (as per my illustration).
3. stitch front and back sleeves together and self line, stitching the two pieces together at the hem.
4. attach sleeves to front and back bodice
5. attach front lining to back facing and stitch to bodice and sleeves with right sides together.
6. attach waist band to peplum front and back
7. join pieces to bodice
8. stitch side seams from sleeves to peplum, ensuring that seams match at waist and peplum.
9. sew a lining for waist and peplum, joing side seams together.
10. stitch the lining to the hem of the peplum and handstitch in place at the top of the waist band.

I must confess that I didn't use this method. The instruction said to sew up the side seams before attaching the sleeves. This led to fit problems, endless unpicking of serged seams. I think the weight of the waistband and peplum is too light above the lined bodice, hence my suggestion to line it too. The sleeves should be lined because they are difficult to hem at the seam join.

In the end I have a top that I quite like, although this colour from my stash is way to bright for my taste. I want to make this top again in a less strident colour, if only to test my proposed method. If I could find black stretch lace with a scalloped edge I'd make it without lining the sleeves or peplum, but a full lining in the back.

Happy black and white skirt is cut and ready to roll.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

From Frocktober to No-sew-vember!

Well not quite no sew but close to! I have been swamped with paid and voluntary work, supervising mini-me's end of year final exam preparation and having some work done on my house. Not much time for me in all that.

I did manage to finish two items. This lovely silk dress from New Look 6892 was made very quickly for a cocktail function when I had that I've got nothing to wear feeling two days before the event. I was hoping for a photo of me wearing it with my orange sandals but no-one can find the time. The belt was $4 from St Vincent de Paul.

I've loved the pattern since I saw Eugenia's top here. I extended the length using my TNT skirt extension from Simplicity 2614. I will be making a few tops from this pattern this summer.
I also completed mini-me's made to order black strapless (with safety strap for swimming) twist-top bikini. It looks much better on, but there is no way I will parade pictures of a not quite 15 year old girl in a bikini to the world. Letting her wear them on Bondi Beach is hard enough for me!

At present I'm struggling with BWOF 6/2009 105. I've concluded that Burda's knit patterns are not great - crazy order of work in the instructions, the addition of facings that don't work and designs are so fabric weight specific that they frustrate sewers. Like others who have sewn this top, my lightweight red jersey was too light to hold the pleats so I needed to stitch them down like pintucks. I'm busily unpicking the side seams now, first it was too big, then I overcompensated and it is a tad tight at the waist and hips. The top half looked good so I am determined to make it work.

Next up a skirt in black and white plaid silk duponi using BWOF 1/2009 105B. I'm after a skirt that I can dress up with heels and a blouse or down with flat sandals and a t-shirt.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And what not to wear!

A picture speaks a thousand words!

Melbourne Cup Fashion on the Field

Melbourne Cup is an Australian tradition - the race that stops the nation - when everyone has a flutter on the horses and even women without the slightest interest in fashion frock up and don a fascinator for the races or a luncheon.
Thought I'd share the winners of the Fashion on the Field competition at the Cup. The gorgeous woman in red was the winner - wearing a self designed dress inspired by a visit to the Valentino Exhibition in Brisbane. Runner up was to woman in grey - a cheat in my mind - spending $5000 on Chanel!
I wore my black and cream dress with a new belt and matching shoes. It was unseasonably cold so I topped it with a black three quarter sleeved bolero jacket and a black fascinator. Didn't take any pictures to share, but several friends (who don't know I sew) complemented my look.
Next year I am being brave and going for drama - Red dress and a hat! The prize for the best outfit and the best hat at my charity do makes it worthwhile.