Tuesday, 24 February 2015

More hits from the vault of vintage patterns

This pattern is another one of the lovely patterns I just adore from the 70's, this one having a 1940's inspiration in the bodice.  Granted my material choice is not a good match era wise being a bit more modern art circa 1980's.  Because of the circle skirt in this pattern, it required quite a lot of material and I had over 3.5m of this cotton sateen lurking about, unloved, in one of my various storage facilities around the spare bedroom. The heavier fabric is good for the structure of the bodice. And it is a very smart dress for wearing to work.

I haven't used a lot of circle skirt patterns in recent years but they definitely seem to be making a comeback in more current patterns.  The only issue is the amount of material you need. I also didn't let the dress sit for a  couple of days before hemming.  This is something you should do with a circle skirt as the material, for some reason, can tend to drop in some places so the skirt can look uneven. I didn't do this, which is a surprise because I am quite prone to leaving things hanging on bedroom doors for days or weeks on end before I get around the finishing touches.  Anyways the skirt has dropped a little at the back but I'm pretty confident you can't see it when I'm wearing it. Well that's what I'm telling myself anyways.  A pretty straightforward pattern to make up.  Would definitely like to make this dress again maybe in a sleeveless version.

Oh how I love the square neck line.  The only issue with the bodice for me is the usual issue of a little bit too full in the bust department.  Hard to gauge this when you are making up a pattern I guess all I can do for future is to make the centre piece a less wide.

So many nice variations of this pattern. Would like to get around to trying a sleeveless version or the little ruffle sleeve looks cute too. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Let's talk about skirts (Part I)

Here is a section of my sewing adventures I haven't touched upon yet. Skirts.  While I've made a quite a few in recent years, some are a bit too boring to mention.  I've pretty much been using 3 different patterns.  I've tried a few of the basic draft it yourself full skirt patterns mentioned in Gertie's and Tilly's blogs.  I did a pretty ordinary version of Tilly's picnic blanket skirt. I don't think I used enough fabric and didn't really allow enough overlap for the buttons and button holes.

Skirts are not my favourite thing in this universe as they are not flattering when you have bit of a belly issue. Sometimes they really need a belt and that can be a smidge uncomfortable frankly after eating a hearty meal or sitting in a cinema for 2-3 hours.  And sometimes the patterns I've drafted myself have looked terrible and I've had to re-invent the item, adding a bodice to convert it to a dress, voila.

New Look 6053

This is the most simple little skirt to make up.  If you were really keen you could do it a few hours. It's also a good style for work or casual.  The most notable thing about this pattern is the fact that there are no darts in the front. This may not be the most flattering look in some ways but I always wear tops that cover that section of the skirt. 

I bought this denim fabric from Gardems Fabrics several years ago.  It's a really nice soft denim with the textured finish.  A good skirt for putting a suitcase when you go away as you don't have to worry about ironing.  The elephant fabric was from Spotlight. I don't think I had enough fabric because of the direction of the pattern. This is easy to forget when you are buying fabrics with patterns that run in one direction. You have to cut out your fabric with the pattern pieces facing the same direction. With most skirts you might have one section going north and the other facing south and this way you don't have to use so much fabric. So I added a border to give the skirt more length. and I think it worked a treat.  I just haven't found the right top to wear with this skirt. Black's a bit boring and I wear black with the denim skirt.

The A-line maxi

I bought the material literally last century. Remember when checked pants were all the rage in the mid-90's. Anyone? Older people out there? Well that were big. I know I bought this material thinking I'd actually make some pants. So glad I didn't.  I had this material sitting in the fabric cupboard at my folks' house.  During one of my housesitting jaunts, I found this material and knew it was time to get creative.  This skirt is one of my favourites.  It sits really well and the peasant top I wear with it is really flattering and seems to make me look slimmer. The only thing is I should have turned the hem of the skirt under twice instead of just doing the zig zag stich and then turning over the seam. There is a continuous fray issue with the hem. I should simply put some bias binding of it to stop this. But I am a lazy sewer sometimes. 

The mid length

Here are a couple of versions I've done of the mid-length version.

This fabric is actually a denim.  It is like one fabric layers over another with a gap between the cross sections. It is so lovely and soft.  Bought from Gardams Fabrics in Brisbane some years ago.  

This cute fabric was from Spotlight. The usual printed drill which I am quite partial to. I bought this fabric as 1.5m knowing that was juuuust right for an A-line skirt. However, I did not take into account the fact that the pattern needs to go in one direction, ie. no elephants floating upside down.  So easy to not think about this when you purchase fabric. Obviously a lot of A-line skirt patterns would have you laying your pieces in opposite directions. Hence I didn't have enough material to make this a below the knee skirt as I wished so I went ahead an added a border for more length. 

I have another skirt in the works in a stripe pattern of pinks and greys and have also made 2 other version of this skirt 3/4 length for work in  grey and a chocolate brown.  It is really a versatile pattern.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Simplicity 1609

Eeek. This was one of those epic fail frocks.  So many people have made this, including friends, and liked the pattern.  After seeing it on many blogs I was keen to give it a try. It really should have been a very simple pattern to make up but frankly the darts did me in.  No matter how I tried to adjust them the finished product around the bust line was ill fitting. I tried taking them in and it looked worse.

The collar was no problem and I was quite happy with that. The little seam at the front where the buttons go ended up being a little off centre. I guess this is just one of those patterns that wasn't right for me.  Bit of a waste of time and major disappointment to be honest. Alas it should have been a really cute work frock.

I had quite a few fails in 2014  with all the sewing I got done. I figure it's best to list the bad with the good. 

Apologies for the grainy photographic work. I think I was trying to adjust the colour, but like the pattern it just wasn't worth fixing.