Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Party Dress

I've made this dress for christmas. I have a party to attend next week at a very fancy restaurant on the Hobart waterfront and this was a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. Burda used a two sided fabric for the short version and suggested using the reverse side for the side panels. I remembered this fabric and knew it would be just right for this project. The fabric is from the very popular Vera Wang selection that was sold on a couple of years ago. I bought this because I love the shades of green, but was a little dismayed when it arrived as it has a hand somewhere between cheap taffeta and ripstop nylon. I had no idea what I could possibly make with it, so I put it away and tried not to think about it.
This is BWOF 05-11-108. The long version was too long and the short version was too short, so I cut it exatly half way between. It's a size 19, which I think is a petite-ed size 38. I could have lengthened the bodice but I didn't and it fits almost perfectly. It stands out as you see (and the same as the short one in the magazine) all on its own. The fabric curled slightly at the edges and although the seams pressed nicely, it is hard to press the crushes out. It doesn't show up very well, but I used the dark side for the front panels and the light side for the front panels. I haven't hemmed it yet. I lined this fully with an olive green poly cotton from stash. I wavered between a poly charmeuse and the poly cotton and eventually decided to go with the poly cotton because the fabric is so stiff I thought I'd prefer something softer close to my skin.
I was surprised at how much I like this dress and how good it looks on. I have a lot of this fabric leftover, though. Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Unnecessarily complicated dress ...

I made this dress last weekend and it has hung on Vera all week as I wrestled with the closure issue. This is BWOF 01-08-121 and I'm disappointed that you can no longer access the BWOF archives for the line drawings.
The reason this was unnecessarily complicated is that although this is essentially a wrap dress, it requires an open end zip to keep it closed. I used a stretch cotton, so I needed to stabilise the fabric under the zipper. I used a length of cotton tape on the inside. On the right side, the zip attaches under the facing, which pulled the facing out, so I had to stitch the facing down. The facing itself was an issue as it really isn't wide enough. If you make this dress, I would suggest either widening the facing or completly lining the dress. I ended up retro inserting a lining to the fronts only. As usual, the pictures in the magazine don't give much clue to how this dress actually sits, so I made it sit how I like it best and this is it. It had a self fabric tie belt in the magazine, but I intend to make a black obi belt from an old pattern I have. In the meantime, I used this black belt to see how it looked. I really like this dress, which is odd because I didn't really like this fabric and I was beginning to wonder why I bought it - now I'm glad I did!
Here's a shot of the last dress on me. You can't see the detail I wanted to show, but you get a really good look at my iron and Molly. I've got to work on this photography business ...
There's a christmas dress half made you might get to see tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SWAP sideshow sewing

My mind is filled with Bluesfest because now that I no longer live a five minute drive away from the venue, of course, all of my favourite artists are playing. I am still deciding whether or not to fly up ...
One of the things I enjoy about Bluesfest every year is the artist sideshows. If you keep your eye on the music press you will find wonderful artists popping up for one off shows in all sorts of venues. With these thoughts in my head, I bring you some SWAP sideshow sewing.
I had a vague plan in my head for a purple, black and white SWAP, so during the week I pulled a whole pile of fabric from the stash and draped it all over the living room (Molly thought it was for her to sleep on). I've been adding to and subtracting from the pile all week.
This is a quick down and dirty shot on the sofa of what I've ended up with. I never consciously bought purple but it has appeared in my stash quite a lot. In addition to this pile, I have quite a few pieces that still co-ordinate, but don't fit with the plan that is starting to emerge. Hence the Sideshow Sewing.
This is KS3668 and has appeared in my SWAPs for 2010 and 2009 and is truly a TNT. I cut XS from shoulders to waist and graded to S at the hips. It's a very handy pattern to have and it looks better on a person. The fabric is cotton with a tiny purple flower and a nice olive green leaf scattered about. It was leftover from a skirt that I've long since worn out and tossed away. Buttons from stash - a totally free garment that will co-ordinate with some of the actual SWAP garments.
Now it's back to the scheduled sewing ...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another dress

This is BWOF 05-11-128 dress and unfortunately you can't see any of the lovely details. It has a lovely rounded collar, a nice wide neckline, a side zip and a blouson back just like the last dress. I really didn't think I would like this style, but it looks great on and is very comfortable to wear. I didn't line it because I couldn't figure out how to line the top - I would have needed to draft a lining pattern for the back because I didn't want a blouson lining as it would be too bulky. I was too lazy.
The fabric is a cotton print bought at Spotlight. They have it in a paler colourway as well, but this darker one really caught my eye. I thought the vague retro feel suited this 50's inspired dress. I may or may not wear it with a belt and I can't decide on what shoes to wear with it.
Next up another dress and a jacket.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Summer sewing

I apologise for the poor mobile phone photos but I loaned my camera to someone who has not returned it. I took these pictures with my phone, then couldn't find the cable (disappeared in the move somewhere) so I sent these to my mini laptop by bluetooth and here they are.

This is BWOF 05-11-117 shirt dress. You can't see the details very well but this dress has a lovely shaped skirt and is waisted, so is much more flattering than a waistless shirtdress, at least on me. The back view is even less revealing, but it has a blouson-style back, which makes it very comfortable to wear. The collar has one of those shaped insert stands that I don't know how to describe. I've made them on jackets before and they sit so much more nicely than a regular collar and stand.

The fabric is a stretch cotton print I also bought in black and red (and very nearly black and white) from Fantazia Fabricland in Tweed Heads just the week before I came to Tasmania. I used some square/round buttons from stash that co-ordinate well with the print. I wore this to work last week with a black belt and cardigan.

I have a few christmas items to show, some of which I steal shamelessly from kbenco plus a SWAP plan I'd like to put out there. I also have two more completed garments to show but the whole phone/bluetooth transfer thing was time consuming so you may have to wait till I get my camera back.