Sunday, 24 June 2012

Turnaround Blouse

This is a self-drafted back button blouse that I made using leftover fabric from this dress - I loved the fabric and had just over a metre left over so thought I would whip up a blouse that I had envisioned.  I I started with a dress pattern as a block and then reshaped it, added a peter pan collar and cut the back to allow for the button tab.


For the back I used buttons covered in the collar fabric and for the sleeves I used buttons covered in the main fabric. The back centre seam is also piped to further accentuate it.

I think I will be doing more of these types of blouses as they are so easy to wear and go with jeans and skirts and are a bit more dressy than a t-shirt.

The fabric is a cotton sateen, a bit heavier than that I would normally use for this kind of thing, but it is winter here at the moment so it seems perfect.  I think this will be a good winter/trans-seasonal item in my wardrobe and with all the different colours in the pattern I am finding it seems to go with many things I already have.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Discoveries and a plan

So I have been doing a lot of internet research (some may call it time-wasting) this week and discovered these sites that are going to cause serious distress to my budget plans:

Wonderful retro shoes:

An indie designer with lovely classic lines:

Ok, I discovered this a while a go, but had to share for those that may not be aware. Have your own fabric designs printed, made up and sent to you:

I have also embarked on a sewing plan to get my winter wardrobe on track and have created a terrible looking moodboard/plan using Picasa.

Now I can't say I am overly impressed with Picasa - I had all sorts of ideas in my head of how I wanted this to come out, but it is really not the tool for the job.  I think I need to invest in Photoshop if I want to do this properly.  What does everyone else out there use, and what would you recommend??
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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Oh So Wholesome!

This is my first Colette pattern and I can I start by saying how much I love the packaging and presentation of these patterns? Now I am not normally one for instructions, but thought I would follow these as I am keen to fine tune my techniques and learn some new skills or new ways of doing things along the way. No-one actually taught me to sew, so it is probably about time that I learned the "real" way of doing things. All my previous knowledge has been from reading pattern instructions or trial and error.

I purchased the Violet pattern and decided I would make a wearable muslin - so please forgive the inperfections as the fit will be a work in progress.

Overall I am pretty happy with it (the super crazy grin is due to Mr Photographer-extraordinaire being a dork and not being serious at all in my blogging venture).  I think it is a nice wholesome look and makes a change from my usually dark coloured wardrobe.  I used a mini polka dot Japanese cotton and trimmed it with satin ribbon made into flat piping.  I shortened the sleeves (as I think I must have short arms) and replaced the elastic with satin bias binding.

I found the pattern seemed quite wide in the shoulders and have altered the pattern for future makes (already planning), I also shortened the body, being 5"2" I find this is usually necessary for the waist to end up in the right place.

I did have one personal drama when constructing this - my overlocker had to go for servicing - how traumatic not having it for two whole weeks when I am on a sewing binge!  I used pinking shears for most of the seams and am quite pleased with the inside as it is quite tidy.

Pros for this:
  • Love the style
  • very comfortable
  • easy to make
  • great instructions
  • I like the piping detail
  • I am inbetween sizes so need to spend some time re-sizing the upper area to a smaller size and then doing an FBA
  • I cut the collar a bit big and so it seems a bit huge
  • I should have paid more attention to the collar fit also, but maybe these are imperfections others can't notice (she says hopefully)
  • I am unsure about the gathering in the back and may omit it next time. Has anyone else experienced the same issue with the back bagging out on this pattern?

What I have learnt:
TAKE MORE TIME GETTING THE FIT RIGHT!!!  (yes I am yelling hoping it will sink in)

I wore this outfit all day today, not bad since it is supposed to be winter!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pin Cushion Swap - It arrived!!

I recently joined with the pincushion/needlecase swap organised by and - this is my first online challenge so I was quite excited to see what it was all about.

They paired me up with a lovely lady Tarryn of in Melbourne, Australia.  She told me she liked bright colours and vintage so I made something really cheerful and a little bit fun that I hope she likes, but at the moment it is a secret as it is still stuck in our mail system.  I will post up pics as soon as she receives it (I really hope she likes what I made).

My parcel arrived on Friday (sorry for the late post but yesterday was a crazy day) - I was very excited to receive it, but not as excited as I was when I opened the parcel and saw what I received!  Tarryn made me a lovely needle case which will be super handy - at the moment I just kind of stab my needles wherever is handy.  I really like how Tarryn selected the colours based on my sewing room which is blue and red.  It even has needles and pins in it!

Look - polka dots!!  Love!!

There are so many pretty trims used and I love the little touches like the apple and the cute kitten ribbon brooch. This is just fabulous and my thanks go to Tarryn for her work on this beautiful needlecase and to Rachel and Charlotte for organising a fun swap.  It was a great way to meet some new people in my newly discovered sewing/hobby community.

Now, I just have to wait for Tarryn to receive her present! Come on Australia Post!!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

New (old) Dressmaking Book

I just received this fabulous book in the mail today via eBay!  It is a 1971 reprint of a book originally printed in 1951.  

The book is a fantastic resource of patternmaking, it commences with showing you how to create your own block:

It then goes on to show you how to modify the blocks to achieve different looks by moving darts, slashing and spreading, adding yokes, and pleats etc

I love the cape sleeves and the false collar shown above.  I feel I will be trying some of these patterns soon.

The book also goes into sleeve details, collars, coats, jackets and playsuits.  According to the writer of the book, I can become sufficiently skilled "merely by diligent perusal of this book".  Sounds good to me!  I already have a basic understanding of pattern-making having studied it years ago whilst still at school, but this book has already shown me so many ways to achieve the vintage details that I really like and I look forward to trying some of these techniques soon.

I hope you all enjoyed my sharing of this book.