Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Days of Wine and Pinafores

Finally I get to do some location shooting, other than at my parents’ house.  I was lucky enough to have 5 days holiday in South Australia visiting Adelaide and the Barossa for the first time. These particular photos were shot in the Barossa wine region.  Such a lovely time of the year to be down there as the autumn leaves were still clinging to the grape vines.  I knew the weather was going to be pretty chilly so had to get stuck into some sewing before I left.  I had been looking at this vintage pattern for a pinafore and found some soft furnishing fabric at Lincraft which seemed to be perfect. It is a nice brown weave with a polished underside, which looks like a reasonably heavy woollen fabric.  The fabric sewed up a treat. There might be an issue with fraying down the track. 

I was almost blending in with the landscape.

The V at the front wasn’t perfect so I put one of my vintage buttons at the base, which works pretty well.  I had thought I might need to line the fabric but it seems to sit out far enough not catch on my tights. Though I wasn’t exactly walking any distance in the pinafore, just to the car, cellar door and back for the wine tour.

We saw a lot of sheep in the surrounding country side.  We took a detour through McLaren Vale on the way the Barossa.  Such a lovely part of the world.  I got my cousin to stop the car at one point as there were all these lambs bouncing around one paddock. We got out and took a heap of photos like some crazy tourists.  When you drive around similar regions of Queensland you almost never see sheep as all our sheep stations are more out in the central part of the state.

The wine tour took us to Penfolds and our little group decided to splurge on a tasting of Grange.  It was $50 (for a tasting!) but we split the tastings between 2 people.  So $25 to experience one of the most expensive wines in the world.  Was very tasty but there were so may wonderful red wines to sample in McLaren Vale and Barossa, well more in my price range.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Washi Dress

I am currently on holidays and what a perfect time to make a nice comfy little frock.  I wore it today for a trip to the movies and lunch. Highly recommend it for sitting and eating. I realised my wardrobe is lacking some smock style tops and dresses.  With the weather cooling slightly here in Brisbania it is the time of the year where dresses with leggings or tights are your best bet. Maybe throw in a cardie if the weather plummets to 20 degrees for the first half of the morning.  

I found the Washi super easy to make. I decided to go without the front feature and just do the rounded neck.  The only silly mistake I made with this was when I cut it out. I didn't actually notice the instructions for cutting it out and just went along as I do with any pattern.  It wasn't until I went to cut out the back bodice piece that I noticed the instructions to attach the pattern piece to the back skirt section. Baa-baowwm.  Well the skirt piece was already cut out so I simply added a bit of length to the back bodice section so I could attach the piece of material to the skirt. Seemed to work out.  I guess that's just the way things go sometimes when you have been sewing a long long time you don't always read the instructions first.  I also managed to lose the back facing piece. Lucky I hadn't taken my recycling down to the bins because I found it in the bottom of my kitchen bin.  

The only issue with the finished product is probably that the neck line doesn't sit completely flat. It's not too bad, I can just feel it pushing forward when I'm sitting down making it a bit gapey in parts. But probably not that noticeable. 

I realised after I uploaded the photo, the unfortunate position of the cat planter behind my legs.
The version to the left is my real kitty and her cat grass.

This was my first foray into shirring. I did try it years ago and was very unsuccessful in that attempt. My Janome manual doesn't even give you shirring instructions. I was going to go on line and check out a tutorial but just went ahead with a practice piece of material going from the pattern instructions.  My shirring lines are not very straight in parts. Fortunately that won't be noticeable given that the material has a pattern. Well that's what I'm telling myself anyways.   

I shall definitely be giving this pattern a go again.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Another New Look 6068

Quite a different version of this pattern than my original in floral.  I honestly think this material was bought back in 1995 when I lived in Sydney.  I used it for a very 90's strappy frock which I wore a few times but alas it shrunk in the wash. I found the remainder of the material in a cupboard at my folks' house. It's always a joy to find a good amount of fabric hidden away. 

This is a fairly easy pattern to make. The bonus being no zips and only one button at the front.  The material might not be ideal however. For some reason my collar seems to keep creasing up for as if there is some resistance to the main fabric. It's all constructed perfectly but for some reason after ironing the collar several times, it just looks a bit poo.  I just went with a basic capped sleeve and the bias tape on the inside did look a bit bumpy when I finished hand sewing it, but seems to have pressed up okay.  Pretty happy with the end result even though the collar is a bit annoying.  I had hoped this would be a throw in a suitcase type of frock but with the collar perhaps not.  Also maybe could have lost a few inches of the hem since I'll be wearing it with tights mostly.

During the making of this frock there was a bit of drama in the FrocknStuff household.  My beautiful PJ was taken ill one miserable week.  She had couple of trips to the vet, blood tests and finally an ultrasound, but they found nothing obviously wrong with her. She developed a very and unfortunately spent 4 days in the Cat Clinic which was traumatic for both of us as she has only ever stayed with family if she isn’t with me.  But she bounced back from her ordeal, unlike my wallet, and returned home with her lovely shaved belly.  When she sat upright the loose flesh on her belly hung over her back feet making her look like an emperor penguin. I half expected to find an egg resting on her back paws.  So clingy after her time away she was practically lying on top of the sewing machine as I was trying to sew.  

The shaved belly actually worked a treat during furball season. She must do a lot of tummy washing because we had nary 1 furball  since February.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Vintage Butterick

A few years back I had a friend's wedding to attend in the hinterland region north of Brisbane. I decided to make up my frock from one of the patterns in a bulk purchase I got on ebay.  This lovely Butterick pattern, like all the others in the collection, was a size 16.  I haven't done too badly with these patterns adjusting them down to a wearable size 12.  They are always a little roomy but I think they are fitted enough.  Plus a size 16 back in the day was probably more equivalent to a 14. 

I found this beautiful cotton sateen in a Lincraft sale. It seemed to be a  more unique floral pattern than the ones that were around at the time.  I really love the colour and the beautiful pattern.  The sleeves are a little bit boxy but I'm not too worried about the look. All in all a perfect style frock for a garden wedding in October, even if it turn out to be a bit of warm old day.  

Unintentionally it looks like I've done some reasonable pattern matching. This is term I've recently picked up from watching the back catalogue of the Great British Sewing Bee.  As per usual I simply inserted a regular zip.  Obviously a nice frock like this would benefit from an invisible zip but I think it looks fine. 

I've also been working a lot of with different style collars in recent years. This one is certainly very dramatic size wise. It almost doesn't look like it's part of the garment but an add on, like a mini shrug. 

I also made up some drop style, vintage inspired pearl and gold earrings which I think worked a treat.  I have discovered in the last few years that I quite like wearing long style earrings when my bob is its shortest and they hang down below the hair line. I think I got inspired by the look after watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.  I also finally got my friend Michael to give me the perfect bob after that show first came out and I said I wanted a Phryne Fisher.