Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Retro Vogue

It turns out that my mum had the exact same pattern in the 1970's. I can usually recall most of my mum's clothes, and shoes from that time but didn't remember this particular one. I attempted this pattern a couple of years ago. Perfect loose fitting summer frock.  Looks pretty easy to make and it was.  The only problem was that the straps were too short making things way too snug around the under arms.  Boo I cried.  

So take 2. I put this in my resolutions for things to do in 2015 because I really wanted to make this style of dress and with our hideous hot weather I was seriously lacking a super flowy frock to wear on a scorching hot Brisbane day.  Allegedly it is currently Autumn here in the southern hemisphere.  I am however completely optimistic that I'll get a bit of wear out of this number before the weather actually cools down, maybe in May, fingers crossed.   

On re-opening my pattern packet I discovered the instruction sheet missing.  Now I cannot remember if it came with the instructions sheet when I bought it. Anyoldhow, it was very straightforward to make up. Just a tad fiddly when you add the facing to your back and front sections separately, leaving about 1cm open so that you can attach the back to front, leaving the inner section of the facing to hand stitch together as neatly as you can.  The fabric is a cotton mix. It's a little slippery to work with, but appears to sit well. 

I really only came undone doing the simplest thing, the frill at the bottom.  I decided to tackle it in sections, front first and then back as it was quite a lot of frill to attach.  So I gathered the frill, and stupidly only did one layer of gather stitching, this became a problem when trying to attach the frill because the top bit kept rolling over on itself due to the slightly slippery nature of the fabric. That wasn't my real problem after I attached the front piece I noticed that some of the lower bit had moved during the machine sewing and then I had a seam on the outside where it got caught up.  I couldn't believe the most simple part of the dress was becoming more than a bit time consuming.  In future I will try to not cut corners and do 2 gather stitches and if I am attaching frill to a slippery type of fabric also put pins about an inch or more down to reinforce the fabric so it doesn't slip.

I cut out pockets which I was considering putting on, however as there was  no instruction sheet on how to the pockets I couldn't be bothered. I have the pieces cut out and maybe I will attach them at some point. I know a lot of bloggers love their pockets but I do find it hard to get those neat corners on square pockets, especially if the fabric is a little hard to work with.  I also don't really see the point in pockets in full skirts or dresses. It's not like I'm going to be putting anything them. I know it's nice to put your hand in your pocket occasionally but I wouldn't have use for them on a daily basis.


The kitty necklace is one of my own creations. Here is a close up of a few of them. All I need to do is finish off the others with another coat of lacquer. I've also got a different cat design to work with and will be making up more necklaces in the  near future.  It's yet another project I've been slack and not finishing for the last 18 months.  Perhaps Easter is the time to finish projects.  

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Simplicity Shift

This was a recent 60's pattern purchase from one of my many chums at ebay.  I probably have too many shift style dresses in my collection of retro/vintage patterns.  Should probably catalogue them one day. It is interesting how many variations there are on this basic dress.  I thought this particular one had a nice summer dress feel. If only you could find a colour match for the dresses as shown on the pattern cover.  The material I chose was a cotton drill from Spotlight. I bought the fabric yonks ago and it was waiting for the right dress pattern. I even contemplated making a skirt with it at one point. 


Quite straightforward to make. However, I wasn't aware when I bought the pattern that it had buttons attaching the shoulder strap. I hadn't actually made loops for the buttons so simply sewed the buttons on catching in both front and back sections of the straps,  and did some slip stitching underneath the straps to reinforce and keep the pieces together. 

I have never ventured to try and make up the teenie tiny tubing for button loops. I'm not even sure how this is possible to do.  I guess you can use a yarn/ribbon of some description in a close enough match to your fabric to create the loops, but the pattern actually says to make the loops.  

I should have tried to do a better job matching the pattern of the material for the yolk section to the main bodice.  Ah well, live and learn.  I'm not sure I'll be wearing this dress a whole lot. It is a pretty snug fit under the arms alas. Then again it could be a sign that I need to try and tone up my arms and get rid of some of that excess flesh that seems to develop in your under and upper arms as you age.  Might make a harness with a handle for PJ and practice lifting her 7kg every day. It appears drinking red wine is not a fat burner. Drat drat and double drat.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

70's smock

It's "still" that time of the year when I'm looking for cool floaty type items to add to my summer (or allegedly autumn) wardrobe.  This is a great little pattern with its various versions of the smock.  I would like to be brave and attempt to make up some of the flared pants, but pants can be quite a headache to make. 

I had this taupe coloured fabric lying around unloved and thought it might work for this top.  A bit of a boring colour for some people. I really should have added a feature colour for the yolk to jazz it up.  I really wish I had appropriate 70's style fabric to go with this pattern but I didn't.  This was an easy enough pattern to do. However, I made an error with material allowance and the sleeves were supposed to be two pieces joined together like you do with some capped sleeves. I didn't have enough fabric so simply turned over a seam allowance. I don't think it's obvious. This pattern was size 10 and I am and have been a size 12 since I was about 18.  For some reason this is a really large size pattern. I had to take the side seems in about 2 inches on both sides. It was ridiculously large.  That is pretty weird for a retro patterns, if anything they are usually too small, especially around the armhole and neck.

Anyways this will be a nice top to wear with jeans or a long black skirt. If I find some nice retro fabric I'd like to try the dress version.

The necklace is a me made wooden beaded necklace. I get a lot of wear out of this. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Simplicity 2549

Here is another bit of frankenfrock action.

This was the dress I intended to make with these contrasting fabrics originally. However, after making up the bodice, I realised I had enough of the fuchsia material to make a entire dress I went ahead and used New Look 6223 for my 2014 party frock. Sadly as mentioned in a previous post there was a flaw in the fabric in the bodice section and it tore after only one wear.  

This pattern came together with no adjustments.  Having said that though, I kept the skirt section as per the 6223. This pattern has a slightly different design for the skirt with less pleats front and back so the skirt would be a little more fitted generally speaking.  I did have to reinforce the crossover section of the bodice with some hand tacking inside, allowing for lack of boobage and the tendancy for it to gape.  I have only  now noticed after looking at the pattern today that for some reason I omitted the bow for the waist line.  I guess I just thought with the bodice material being quite busy it didn't need it. 

Such a comfy dress to wear. I really do need more of these higher waist lines in my wardrobe. 


Quite happy with how the squares line up in the main bodice piece attaching to the band.
Given the unusual pattern of floral with checks I think I've got the right balance for the material pattern at the front. 

A nice family portrait