Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Calendar dresses - Meet January

I do wish I'd purchased a tripod on the weekend so you could see a photo of my new dress on. 

My one sewing goal for 2015 is to make a calendar of dresses, one for each month appropriate to the season. Its a stretch assignment, but involves no stretch fabrics.  My self-imposed rules are: 1) Each pattern must be unique; 2) Woven fabrics only; 3) The design should be suitable for a number of purposes; and 4) the pattern must have some complexity - simple shift dresses will not pass.

So meet January. I've been thinking about January since the beginning of Spring when suddenly Sydney shop windows were filled with pretty floral dresses.  My floral is a cotton sateen print from Lincraft. I've trimmed with the black cotton drill that my husband rescued from someone's castaways.

January is built from Burda Style 103 from May 2014.  The design is a 'tall' pattern, something that might be a deterrent when you are only 5'2'' or 156 cms.  However, being rather long in the torso, (my shortness coming from lack of legs) the only adjustments needed were to raise the plunging neckline by at least 2 inches; dart in the raglan sleeve line and shorten the hemline by 3 inches.  The pattern calls for an invisible zip in the back seam.  Let me tell you this is really hard to do with the extra layers of black fabric and the precision required.  After two attempts that were less than pleasing I gave up and placed the zip in the underarm seam.  This worked a treat and is easier to get on and off.  All my zips will go into the side seam from now on.

I'm ecstatic about the fit and feel of January.  Happy sewing while I trace off February!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sewing better, sewing faster

I think 2015 will be a good sewing year. Off to a flying start with an Islander Sewing System jacket in white denim.

This pattern is available through Janet Prey's Sew Better, Sew Faster course on the Craftsy.com platform.  Even with all the tricky top stitching it is very fast to put together.  I made it in about 3 hours over a few days.  The instructions for this pattern are brilliant - especially the no fail explanation for the welt pocket.

Collette at Tessuti helped me choose these unusual Italian pewter buttons.  They are fractionally larger than I'd like, but I really like the jean-like look without being too casual. Because the layers are quite thick, I will have the button holes professionally done by Mick at the Quick Buttonhole Service in Redfern.

I'm not sure what I'm sewing next - I have selected patterns for four lovely pieces of cloth from my stash.  Who knows, I might even draw lots.  Meanwhile, happy sewing!