Friday, 18 May 2018

Cambie Goes Tropical

This is my third adventure with the Cambie pattern.  My first attempt was a red and white spot number.  It was quite a nice dress, but the fit was a bit disappointing because it was a bit big. And the pattern was totally lined so it's hard to make adjustments once that's all in.  My second Cambie was the A-line skirt version.  That turned out quite well as a Christmas party dress.  I bought this beautiful fabric at Joann Fabrics in Seattle on my holidays last year. As soon as I saw this cotton sateen I knew that  it was coming home with me to the Land of Aus. So I present, my tropical Cambie.

I decided to forgo the waistband this time.  I really don't like a fitted waistband on me.  I think this works perfectly well. Afterall the main feature is the lovely fan style sleeves.  

My line of pineapples on the skirt seem to be quite straight at the back, but for some reason they are on an angle at the front. I don't think it's that noticeable given all that's going on with the pattern of the fabric. 

The sweetheart neckline does roll out a little bit, even with understiching. I probably could have bought the sleeves a little closer in and maybe it would sit completely flat

I was completely chuffed with my finished product as I'm quite the devotee of anything pineapple themed.  Though the dress only got one comment when I wore it to work.  I was suprised, at the very least I'd call it eye catching.  Not your usual old boring office attire and mass produced yawn fest of frocks produced by a lot of retailers.  

I'm so happy to have something else in my wardrobe that reminds me of a lovely holiday.  If you are even in Seattle go to the beautiful suburb of Queen Anne and check out Joann Fabrics.   


Friday, 20 April 2018

Enter the Dragon

I haven't kept many of my old patterns, but for some reason I did keep this Vogue pattern from 1994.  I can't remember the dress I made with the pattern. I have a feeling it was something with long sleeves.  

 I was trying to find a pattern to use for my dragon print material.  It is always hard sewing with material that has a design that runs in a particular direction.  This means that you can't go turning pattern pieces upside down on the fabric. I learned this hard way previously.  The fabric is a cotton that looks like a linen. It's wrinkle factor isn't too bad either. 

This pattern is nice and simple to make up. However, I had to make adjustments for the underarms as they were very snug and slightly uncomfortable. It involved some upicking and cutting away near the under seam to give me some more room.  I guess that's the difference when my 20 something figure had a little less going on in the underarm department than my 40 something figure does.  I also probably could have forgone the zip at the back. There would still have been plenty of room to get over my head without a zip. This pattern would be particularly good for a feature style fabric as the design is a good basic shift style dress.    

I certainly didn't mean to make this dress as short as it turned out.  I'd definitely add a few more inches next time.  That's another disturbing thing about getting older, your knees start looking weird.  Not that knees are anyone's best feature.    

Overall I love this dress. I wore it to a friend's house for dinner and it was hit, as was the tiramissu that I made.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Hooray for Stripes

I am very happy to finally use this material that I bought in Vancouver back in August during my Canada holiday. I wanted to use a pattern where I could have the stripes going in different directions for the bodice and skirt.  This worked perfectly for this self-drafted number. The material is a cotton which has a lot of body.  So it's not great for our summer weather, but will be a good for me in the cooler months.    

I used a bodice from one of my go to New Look patterns and then just cut out 2 rectangles for the skirt. I like using the 50's style patterns, but I've decided I prefer the 70's style of this type of dress where the skirt is more highwaisted. 

This was a new colour pallet to add to my work wardrobe. I don't think I've had a maroon before.   I am very happy with how the sleeves match up with the stripe in the dress.  Unfortunately the side stripes don't match. That's always hard for darts, you've got to remember to match from the bottom of the pattern piece not the top. Ah, next time then. 


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

DIY Full Slip - A fast and easy make

I think I may have done something quite clever.  I have been thinking about full slips and considering making one myself, a cotton one.  So many of those synthetic ones tend to ride up to around your waist as soon as you walk about 5 steps.  Also cotton is so much cooler for the summer months.  Not wanting to fuss with straps and having to work on anything too delicate I came up with this quite good idea. 

Firstly I thought about buying a bralet top. They are the kind of things I wear instead of bras anyway.  I couldn't find one that was strappy enough and I also didn't want to spend too much money. Anway, I was in Best & Less when I saw these lovely singlet tops with the lace overlay.   And it was only $8.  

So I took my singlet top and cut it off about an inch below where the lace finished.  I then cut out some black voile. I used the pattern pieces for the Southport dress pattern for the skirt. It seems to be quite the right shape.  

I first gathered the skirt slightly at the top.  Then I attached it to the the bodice.  And I am ever so happy with the result.  I will be making another slip in a neutral tone and am thinking about doing a nightie as well.  

On a side note while I've been getting my craft on recently, I made this little scotty dog pincushion. Easy little project for when you are sitting watching the telly on a hot day. I printed out a template from the compooter and then just used some felt for the fabric. The filling is actually some cotton wool and steel wool.  I read that steel wool was good for sharpening your pins.  I've got a couple of other ideas in mind for a second one, but quite happy with this little fella for now.  

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Ironing board cover

I've come across a couple of tutorials recently about making ironing board covers.  I've been in a mood to get stuck into some different sewing projects and today seemed a perfect time for a quick and easy project. 

I stopped in at Spotlight yesterday afternoon and bought this lovely cotton material for only $5 metre.  And the felt underlay was on sale for $7.  For some reason I'd left the original cover on the ironing board so I used that as a template to cut out my new cover.  I allowed a few extra centimetres either side, however, I should have added more width as the finsihed product is a smidge snug. 

Rather than using a bias binding to make a casing for the cord, I cut off this mesh which was used as the casing from my old K-mart cover. 

I also re-used the cord that was with my old cover. It was  a simple job threading it through the casing. Hard to see him in the background, but that is my kitten noir Salem.  He is always lying right next to my machine these days when I'm sewing. Not awkward at all. 

I am quite chuffed with my new ironing board cover.  The fit is a litte snug, but overall I think it will do the job for some time to come.  

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Tessuti Annie - The Sequel

This is my second version of the Annie Dress by Tessuti.  I had been meaning to make the pattern again, but couldn't find the right fabric.  This time I decided to make a shorter version.  While I love the maxi dress, I still feel hot in a longer dress during the steamy summer months.  

The fabric is a linen blend from Spotlight.  It's a nice fabric, but it is a little scratchy.  I didn't line the dress, but I may re-think that.  As with my original Annie I tried to make the underarm less low cut. For some reason the dress was still quite gapie under the arms. I maybe had too much of a seam allowance.  Anyway, I may have mentioned before I don't like showing off too much underarm.  No-one needs to see the soft flabby flesh that lurks below.

I've worn the dress a couple of times and it has got a lot of comments because of the lovely leaf pattern.  It's tropical, it's Queensland and it's just so darned comfy.

And on the leaf theme, here is a photo of a caterpillar which was on my lemon tree. He was half that size the first time I saw him 5 days before. He was obviously chowing down on the leaves readying him or herself to build its chrysalis.  Alas I shall never know what type of butterfly it was going to turn into. It was gone a few days later.  Should have kept itself better hidden out of site of the hungry birdlife.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Summer creations for the little person

I've been doing a bit of sewing for my niece in recent weeks.  I missed out on having something ready for Christmas, but got cracking on a few items for the summer wardrobe. 

The first was actually part of her 2nd birthday present.  From Burda 9373, version A. 

Here's PJ being very helpful when I was trying to iron the fabric. It's a better quality photo of the fabric which was a craft fabric from Lincraft.  

Next is the Puff The Magic Dragon dress.  I made this from a pattern in the Japanese sewing book "Sewing for your Girls".

After a terrible few weeks of hot weather I decided to make some lightweight outfits.  The first is a shirred dress. No pattern required for that one. I got some lightweight cheesecloth from Lincraft.  I was concerned how my new machine would go with shirring, phew it worked.  Even tough it's a super simple dress to make, it does take awhile doing all those rows of shirring. I probably should have spaced them out more and then I would only have to do half.  

And finally I made this little ensemble using an old skirt that no longer fit.  The skirt was a button down the front number and I kept the facing and button holes so that the back buttons up.  Shorts were from a basic shorts pattern. 

I used a couple of cute cow buttons at the front for a bit of a feature.