Monday, January 25, 2010

Burda DayDream Long Dress

This was my first foray into the world of Burda Magazines. It is the 07-2009-116 Daydream Long Dress:

Cos my Mama and Papa live in Queensland, and me and Michael were overdue to spend Christmas with his parents in Melbourne, I was given money for Christmas, and told to spend it on fabric. Yay!! So I toddled off to Tessuti Fabrics, which has the most gorgeous and luxurious fabrics in Melbourne. I got the jersey and contrasting fabrics for this dress, and a Japanese cotton that I made a Burda skirt from (will post this later down the track). 

The fabric was a dream to work with (no pun intended) -- but the pattern needs a few adjustments to fit like it does on the model in the magazine. These were the adjustments I made:

1. I did not cut to my measurements - I cut approximately 2 sizes smaller. Either the pattern runs large, or because of the jersey, it needs to be smaller. 
2. I did not insert the side zipper. I have enough trouble with zips on cotton, let alone jersey, and I really couldn't see why it was needed either - even cutting it much smaller than my measurements I can pull it on over my head. 
3. I sewed in elastic to the top of the bust, and the bottom. If I hadn't have done this, it the dress would not sit flat around my bust at all. 
4. I lengthened it by about 10cm. This is a petite half-sizes pattern, and I am not petite in height - I am about 172cm in bare feet. 

So..... after all these adjustments, I adore the dress. It feels very glamourous on, and is nice and cool. Plus, because of the gathering around the bust (and my small bust) I can get away with not wearing a bra -- excellent for hot Aussie summers. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

1942 Nightgown

I am totally in love with my new dress. It is actually made from this lovely 1942 nightgown pattern:

Here is my version of it - not to be worn as a nightgown, but definitely as a girlie dress!

It has some lovely details - inverted pleat and gathering on the sleeves:

Gorgeous lace on the front - and I did fabric covered buttons for the first time!!

And finally, a tie at the back to cinch it in:

After being inspired by bloggers such as Gertie I have also decided to experiment with red lipstick - what do you think? You can also see my new bob in this photo well. 

I am quite enthralled with 40s patterns at the moment. They are so feminine, and don't take up quite as much fabric as the 50s ones I usually go straight for!  

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dreaming of Dior

For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive this absolutely gorgeous book:

It is in hard cover, very glossy and completely drool-inducing. Each page is an illustration of an amazing designer frock, and the story of the women who wore it. Here are a few of my faves:

Aren't the drawings amazing? All I want to do is sew when I look at these.... and have fantastic adventures in which I must be completely dressed to the nines!

Some Pics of the Dog in Question

Well, I have been sewing... and have had success on one front: I have finished my 1942 nightgown that I will wear as a dress. I haven't had a chance to photograph myself in it yet, but will tomorrow once I return from personal training (I am starting this again after almost 2 years of injury and 6 kilos of extra padding :-).

I have also been trying to make a few new skirts to wear to my new job. I was going great guns on a six-gore 1940s one today, and inserted the invisible zip (I know, not very 1940s - but my second ever invisible zip) - went in great, and then went to zip it back up and the zipper came straight off the teeth!

Queue in complete disbelief on my part, a few minor swear words, and then one gorgeous and very resourceful husband who took to the zip (still in the skirt) with my snips, and fixed it!! Yay for Michael and his many talents! He is the best sewing caddy ever (his title for himself - cute huh?).

I have also had my hair cut into a short bob. I am still not completely sold on it, but it is easy to care for.

So, until I get the pics taken tomorrow, I thought I would post some of my beautiful Bessie (all taken by Michael, who is a wonderful photographer):

Here she is about 3 years old (she is now almost six). People always ask if she is still a pup.

I love this shot. This is at our favourite dog beach (and actually where Michael proposed to me). She always looks about 10 kilos lighter when she has been swimming.

And finally, one of the sweetest photos of her. She is about five here, and was waiting for the ball to be thrown. To take a photo like this Michael has to lie down on the ground and hold the ball so she focuses on him. She is way too hyper otherwise to stay still enough.

Photos of the 1942 nightgown will be up tomorrow!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A New Pattern On Its Way!

I have been wanting to make a vintage blouse for some time. Will be great for work, and for play. I'm thinking with either a full gathered drindl or a pencil skirt. So... I went hunting on etsy, and look at the gorgeous beauty I found:

I only bought it today, so will probably take some time before it arrives from the States. But I am so excited!! It was decently priced too. I bought it for ten US bucks, and then found it again on etsy selling for 23 US bucks! So glad I found the cheaper one. And its in my size!

Now I just have to get some fabric inspiration for it........

My Frenchy Fun Dress

A while ago, I fell in such love with a dress made out of the most gorgeous frenchy fabric, made by Enken, a lovely fellow Aussie seamstress. Check out her beautiful dress here.

As I said over at Sew Retro, I felt I must have a lovely frenchy dress of my own -- thank you Enken for such a lovely dress inspiration!!

So I went searching and found a Michael Miller cotton with Eiffel Towers all over it. It was love at first fabric sight.

I wanted a retro yet sort of modern style, so I morphed together a few patterns -- and ended up with this:

I wore it to my work Christmas party, back in early December (I did say I needed to play catch up with my sewing posts!). I got lots of nice comments, and a bunch of ladies organised for me to host a 'master sewing class' for them, to teach them how to sew on a button and hem their trousers! Cool!!!!

Does anyone else have serious fabric/pattern lust when seeing other seamstress' creations? I seem to constantly -- like with the Wiksten tulip skirt.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Summer Lovin' Denim Skirt

I was in Tessuti Fabrics ( in Melbourne a while ago buying some fabric and noticed Nichola ( wearing a gorgeous tulip-shaped linen skirt with bright orange buttons.

Lisa from Tessuti was in the process of sewing the same skirt, but made in a light denim. I fell in love with both the skirts. Lisa and Nichola told me the pattern was from Stitch magazine, and was a Wiksten wrap around tulip skirt.

So.... late that night, I was on the internet tracking down that issue of Stitch (it was from 2008). I was lucky enough to find it!!

Queue in my version of this skirt... in a dark denim with red buttons and red topstitching.

This skirt was a dream to sew... but only because Lisa was nice and gave me a print-out of the corrections. If you intend to make this, make sure you get the instructions from the Wiksten website.

I also followed the lovely Lisa's tip to not include buttonholes, as she thought they might gape. So I did as she did and sewed in large clips, with the buttons on top. The only other change I made was to use the placket side with the red topstitching that went all the way to the end - cos I liked the look of it more.

I made a size small, and it fits perfectly. My four-year-old (nearly five) nephew thinks my skirt is 'awesome', and my mother wants one for herself.

The pattern calls for the skirt to be made out of linen, but I think it works a dream in denim. And soooooo versatile. I love it with my black and white stripey top:

When I was visiting my family last week I went to one of my old fabric haunts and got some linen fabric (a complete bargain at $14.95/m) to make another one. It is so pretty - is white with aqua and black flowers on it.

I also got some fabric to make a 1940's dress with a skirt cut on the bias.... need a challenge. That will be coming soon.

But... I've really got to focus on getting into the work spirit again! So hard to go back after 2.5 weeks off. Especially as I've got a stomach bug and it has been 43 degrees here!