Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I did when I should have been writing an essay ...

First up is M5974 View D - the wrap version with long sleeves. Nothing amazing about this dress, it's just a good easy wear work dress.

The pattern is a Palmer and Pletsch, so contains a lot of fitting instructions and includes 2.5cm seams in places, which drove me made at first. I sewed as directed for this one and ended up cutting off all of the excess. I cut a straight 10 and shortened the skirt a full 5cm. I love the pattern and I love the dress. I ended up trimming the extra seam allowance from the pattern for the next one.

Next up I made View A of the same dress made from fabric that I've had for at least three years now. Cidell made a fabulous maxi dress from the same fabric ages ago and I loved it so much I ordered some. It's been a hard fabric to work with. One side of the fabric is an uninterrupted print, the other side is panels with a border in between. For that reason alone, I have been hard pressed to make it work. I've laid it up on my cutting table so many times and have never been able to make a pattern work. This one was the best so far. The back is one piece, but the front is two, so I planned to cut the back from the side of the fabric with the uninterrupted print and the front from the panelled side. Sadly, the skirt was too wide. After much head scratching, I came up with a frankenpattern solution.

I morphed the top half of M5974 back onto the skirt of M5975 (the one I made last post). It fit perfectly. The front is untouched, but I folded the pleats out of the skirt to make it fit into the panels. It took way more time to cut this out than it did to sew it. I've photographed it here with my pink boots and I also have a pair of hot pink slingbacks, but I forgot to upload that picture. And it's not crooked like it looks here. Oh, and I just realised the unfortunate pattern placement on the top!

Last up, I made a t shirt from the leftovers of the fabric from last weeks dress.

It's KS3338. I cut the sleeves from the border. The other sleeve has the cross band at the wrist. Nothing too exciting, but I do love getting a free garment from leftovers!

Friday, September 10, 2010

There's a story to this ...

But first I must thank Kristy for showing her inspired method for creating labels at home. I have been planning to get some labels made for ages now. Indecision about what I wanted and extreme laziness are the only reasons I actually haven't done it. Within half an hour of reading of reading Kristy's I had bought some transfer paper and ribbon and started work.

Part of my indecision was font choice, but then I realised that as I am not trying to create a recognisabe label for sale, I can have whatever I wanted. In fact, I could choose a label to suit the mood of each garment! I downloaded a whole heap of new fonts and tried some of the ones that came with Word. This is printed on pink paper because that is what I had in the printer. After this I printed the labels on transaparency so I could try them out on various ribbons.

Now to the back story.

I once worked with a woman who was a serious label queen. She referred to everything by its label. Nothing was simply pants, shoes, bag etc. Everything she owned was known by its label. She was also a serious name dropper and hated the fact that because I worked in film in television for 17 years I could really drop names if I had to. In fact, one of colleagues who had tired of this woman and her name dropping, told her that I had "Slept with more famous people than she'd ever meet."

But back to the labels.

One day I wore a dress to work that I had made. In a moment of uncommon generosity this woman admired my dress and then said "Who is it?", meaning what label is it.

I replied, "Fug Divino."

My label was born.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dress in action

I rarely, if ever, manage to get around to posting pictures of me actually wearing the garments I make. There is no reason, other than laziness. After wearing this dress all day Monday, I decided to actually take a picture. I look a little stiff and stern in this shot. I blame that on the dash across the verandah from where I wedged my camera on a very sophisticated box to a posing spot I had forgotten. Next time I'll make a mark on the floor, like a sensibe person would.
I love this dress! It's comfortable and flattering and made me feel great all day, even though I look like I'm clenching my teeth in this shot! To avoid the frump factor, which worried me with the colour and print, I paired the dress with a pair of funky boots which don't quite make it into this picture (again with the mark on the floor). Here's a really fuzzy shot of my shoes so you can see them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I am alive ...

I'm sorry for not posting in such a long time. Thanks to everyone who asked after me. I seem to have gotten lost a little in the past month or so. Not sure if it was winter weariness or something else, but I seemed unable to get out of my own way. I have been sewing and knitting (a little) so I do have something to show for myself. In addition, I have started studying again and it's taken a while to sort out my routine of work/study/sewing. For those who are interested, I'm doing to a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science. As well as choosing a double degree, I have rather foolishly chosen double majors in both Arts and Science. It may take me until I am 90 to finish, but that's OK. I've also been training every day, so I've been up at 5am 6 days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I run the lighthouse at Byron Bay and if you've ever walked it, you know how hard it is. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is weights. You'd think I'd be in good shape, but no, I seem to keep getting pudgier. The joys of middle age ...

Here's the small amount of sewing I have to show.
This is a beret from a Jo Sharp pattern (forgot which book) and the yarn is a Jo Sharp alpaca (also forgotten which one). I bought one ball of this yarn to test for a vest pattern that I didn't work out, so I was delighted to find a pattern that needed one ball of the exact yarn. It's rare that I actually knit something with the recommended yarn. This was a gift for my friend Jo who lives in a colder climate than me.
This is the same as the yellow cardigan I made a few posts back. This time I did not make a shawl collar. It looks better than this photo suggests. I've used a very old Bendigo Woollen Mills 5ply crepe wool that has been marinating in my stash for about 15 years.

Also on Vera under the cardigan is a green faux suede BWOF skirt that I've since binned. I loved the colour and I was sure the panels with topstitching would work, but no, it looked dreadful on me so I chucked it. I need to get to grips with what works for my shape and what doesn't.

I made this dress today. It's McCalls 5975 which is my new favourite knit dress pattern. There are so many variations I can see I will use this again and again. The fabric is something I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics probably two years ago now. I never wear blue, so it was a surprise for me. Although I loved the print, I could never quite figure out how to use it. It's in blocks with the big black flower thing in the middle. In between are black stripes and I very nearly used those on the sleeves, but chickened out. I have enough left to make a top, so I'll experiment with that for a different look.
I've made a whole load of basic skirts and tshirts in solid colours, but as they aren't very exciting I haven't bothered to photograph them.
I have four more dresses planned for this week and if I'm lucky I might get flooded in!