Monday, October 31, 2016

Dress rehearsals

I'll start this post with a disclaimer. I never go to the races, but the Spring carnival racing season always turns my head towards making dresses. I'm rehearsing dresses that might be worthy of my beautiful yellow frangipani silk.

Vogue 8902 is a worthy contender but not short odds. I love my new dress, just can't picture it in the yellow silk.

So the good stuff:
The beautiful quality cotton fabric was gifted to me by a woman I met at a sewing function.  
The pattern includes a D-cup size so needed very little adjustment.
The bias cut of the bodice makes for a comfortable fit.
The lining gives the garment a couture feel and looks great inside out.

Would I make it again?  Yes, perhaps in stripes or colour blocked version.  I will take the gathers out of the sleeves - uber feminine isn't really my thing!

I had just enough fabric left to trial Cynthia Rowley's 
Simplicity 1366.  This pattern has been appreciated by sewers from the start and I've been wanting to make my own version for a while.  I'm really happy with the top - even drew a rare compliment from my husband!  I wore this to work today and it looks only a bit crumpled at the sleeve. 

I have some blue silk to make other one.   Next time I'll take the neckline in by about 1cm, but otherwise its a comfortable fit, especially in the hot weather.  It is very quick to make - less than 2 hours including hand sewn hems, french seams and a hand stitched neck binding.  

I have five patterns and fabrics on my sewing table and I expect that I'll make a choice in my usual random way.  Meanwhile, happy sewing!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ponte, silk and other musing

Yes, once again its been a long time between drinks.  Just over a week ago my beloved 90 year father passed away after a long illness.  Spending as much time with him up in Queensland trumped sewing and blogging.  I was greatful for this time and miss his crazy humour so much already. So enough of me and onto sewing.  I've completed two items and have another on the way.

The first is my self-drafted striped preppy jacket. The fabric is a very good quality ponte from Tessuti.  I've also used their buttons and fabulous wool bindng.  Call me crazy but I handstitched the binding for a flawless finish.   It's not a perfect garment, but I can't tell you how much I enjoy wearing it.  I'll use this pattern again.  Next time, I'll add a little more fullness across the bustline and use interfacing to fill in the gap under the shoulder pads that are showing us as wrinkles in the photograph.

I wish I could say I loved my second completed garment given the effort that went into creating it.  Cut from a "silk" (burn test screams polyester) sari that I bought online from India for $10, Rebecca Taylor's Vogue 1367 (OOP) looks like pjyamas.  It does look better tucked into a skirt.

 Finally I wanted to introduce you my two favourite Brisbane fabric stores - Irma J Smith House of Fashion and Gardams.  I bought this gorgeous Italian silk in memory of my father, who loved frangipanis and was always urging me to wear a "nice frock" - as opposed to mini skirts and jeans when I was a teen.  So Dad, a nice frock it will be! 

I didn't actually buy this fabulous linen from Dorothy Gardam, and have been obsessing about it ever since.  I did buy a nice piece of printed cotton and bright pink cotton.  underlining to set it off. Gardams have moved to Adelaide Street opposite the Town Hall.  Irma J is in the Strand Arcade.  It was run by two amazingly talented and glamourous sisters.  Sadly, one of the two also passed away last week.  Hopefully their exquisite (but expensive) store will continue for many years to come.