Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sewing Trousers for the 1st Time... and some Tilly Buttons

Today I was lucky enough to receive a lovely little present in the mail from the gorgeous Tilly, whose giveaway I won a while ago. Here are some cute pics of my present all wrapped up and my card:


And here are the buttons!


Thanks Tilly!! I promise my sewing-themed Sencha is at the top of my list!!

In other news, I have decided to delve into the world of sewing trousers. For the first time. Here is the pattern I have chosen:


It has received good reviews on Pattern Review, and a friend of mine has sewn another pair of alice + olivia trousers and thought they were nicely drafted and relatively easy to sew.

I am a bit nervous though about this uncharted territory. Does anyone have any tips about trouser-sewing?

I am going to make them a size larger than I would normally make or buy. And I'm definitely going to make a muslin. I'm also going to take this pattern to the Burda Style Club I'm going to tomorrow night to get some tips.

But please!! Any tips or resources you may have for sewing trousers, please share!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beignet, Sencha and Me....

Hi everyone, hope you've all had a lovely weekend.

I have been very busy - my Mum and Dad have been here to visit for my sister's birthday - and it has been bordering on manic. But it was great fun, and included a vintage fashion fair this morning.

But - onto the point of this post. I finished my Colette Patterns Beignet skirt and Sencha blouse (I wore it for the winery tour we did yesterday):


The skirt is made in a red linen - from where else but my fave Tessuti Fabrics. It is lined in red cotton and has black vintage buttons. I found this skirt relatively simple to fit and sew. I did not sew the pockets however, as the linen is quite bulky and I did not think the pockets (which are drafted to sit on a curved hip line) would sit flat. I cut the longest belt length, as I do like a good long belt. I found the curve where the lining and the skirt facing are joined ridiculously difficult though. Did anyone else have this issue?


This is the third time now that I have sewn the Sencha blouse, and with out a doubt, the most successful. My first attempt was massive. I originally made the size 6 - the one in these pics is a size 2 using 2cm side seam allowances instead of 1.5cm. It did come together very easily this time though. And, for the first time, I made my own bias binding. I may be in love. I want to use hand made bias binding on everything. I also used vintage buttons for the blouse - which you can see here:


The fabric is a really soft cotton - it is quite sheer though. I will have to wear a singlet or slip under it for work.

I really love this outfit. So.. now I have a lovely skirt and blouse that will suit many occasions. Such as... dancing?:


Or smelling the roses:


(Yes, I am a complete geek)Hope you have all had lovely weekends!! And hope the Melbournians enjoyed the gorgeous weather we were lucky enough to get!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1945 Advance 3929 - AKA a simple dress in gorgeous fabric

I had originally intended to make the shirtdress. I am mildly obsessed with them after seeing my friend Maree's polka dot Burda Magazine one (you should check out her garments - she is Maree P on Pattern Review and everything she makes is outstanding).

And with the fabric I used for this dress, I had originally intended to make a blouse. However, I ended up with view 3 of this pattern:


With this amazing Japanese cotton called Garden Night Patch from Tessuti Fabrics:


(You can find this fabric here)

Which equals a simple but pretty 1945 dress for me!


This is a 6-gore skirt, with a bodice that is literally two pieces and two facings joined together. You gather the bottom of the bodice and sew it on. The sleeves are simply narrow-hemmed. Pretty simple huh?


Well, I did think so in the beginning. The above photo is me contemplating the massive amount of fabric I had to take out of the dress to make it fit. I am not exaggerating when I say I had to take out 15cm out of the skirt!!!!

Vintage sizing is becoming the bane of my sewing life. Well, sort of. Maybe I need to re-think the sizes of the patterns I am buying. This one was for a 34" bust, and 37" hip. I guess I am smaller than that, as this is the third pattern of that size I have had to grade down.

I do love the dress, and can't really complain about the fit issues, as I should have done a tissue fit before cutting into my fabric. So it was just me being an impatient seamstress, wanting the glory without going through the process. All ended well anyway, as grading down was not difficult.

The fabric is lush. Very soft, nice and drapey. My pup (who I am whistling for in the below photo) was rubbing her little head on my skirt when I wore it:


Here is another fun shot - I asked my hubby to take one looking down at me to see if I appeared bigger or smaller. I can't personally see any difference. I have a friend who will only allow close-up photos of her be taken when she is sitting down, claiming she looks thinner when the photo is taken from higher up (I know, pretty neurotic).


I do like the effect of the sun coming through on this photo.

What is everyone making at the moment? I have just cut out the Beignet Colette skirt - I need a few wardrobe staples, but am such a sucker for a brightly patterned dress. Discipline!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

School Fete Goodies

Hi everyone!

I have had my brother visiting this weekend, and today we had many errands to run together - he is an army man and needed to stock up for his bush trip.

One of the errands I put on the list was to visit a local primary school fete. I am a complete sucker for fetes. My primary school in Queensland runs the best fetes - awesome home baked bikkies, cakes, and lollies, fantastic crafts (I get a new crocheted blanket every year for about $8-$10), and great lucky dips. Not to mention the book stall.

So I thought I would start venturing out, seeing some new school fetes, especially as I am not in Queensland any more. Now, the one I went to, my brother and I agreed, is nowhere as good as our primary school (and we're not just being biassed :-). There was a bit too much 'funkiness' going on, and not enough good old fashioned toffees to break your teeth, chocolate crackles, lolly necklaces, or crocheted items. And the prices were much more expensive. Ah well, I suppose the primary school is in a 'trendy' area of town.

I did get some lovely things though:


The little hair ties and two clips are for my niece Lil's 3rd birthday in April. The hair ties were $2 (bargain) and the clips $2 each (also a bargain). The two brooches are for me - the felt flower was $4 and the Polly Pratt button one was $6. The vintage buttons were $3, and the little denim wallet, which is beautifully made and lined in the cutest pink fabric was $6. They were all great bargains.

There were other things there that were gorgeous, but I couldn't justify paying the money asked. For example, there was a cute cotton skirt with an a-line shape and elasticised waistband in a contrasting colour. Just two pieces of fabric sewn together and a piece of soft stretchy material on top. Asking price.... $50. At a school fete? I could make it for around $10 in about 30 minutes.

I didn't find a cake/biscuit stall, but did find a jam stall. My brother also won a wine raffle and gave me the reward, and I bought two plants:


The jams were $5 a piece, the wine ended up costing $5, and the two plants $15 (I know, I got ripped off with the plants, but the lady running the stall was very nice).

So... that was my fete outing!! Do you go to fetes? Did your primary/secondary school have one?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Burda Style Jenny Dress

I bought the Jenny pencil skirt pattern some time ago from Burda Style some time ago and loved it. It was a four-variation pattern that included a dress, and each variation was released individually over about 2 months. I didn't really give the dress much thought - I didn't know what it looked like and had other dresses on my mind.

Then I saw Nichola's version. Talk about an incredibly stunning dress. Then I was lucky enough to be at Nichola's work, Tessuti Fabrics, when there was this lovely stripey remnant sitting on their remnant table.

I ummed and ahhed over what to make with it. First I thought a pencil skirt, but there was 2.3m -- that could be a waste of leftover gorgeous fabric. Then I thought Vogue 8184, but there are many pieces in the bodice, and I was worried about matching up the stripes.

Then, a little light bulb went off in my mind. Jenny!!!


This is such a nice dress to make, even with the added complication of matching stripes. It came together really well. Here is the side view:


I feel pretty sexy in it. It is nicely figure hugging without making me feel like I can't breathe.

One recommendation I do make with this dress is to make it rather snug if using a stretch fabric. I cut out the 38 originally and scaled down to the 36 in the skirt, and still have quite a bit of room to move.

My hubby took the shots - this one is his favourite:



And this is one of mine. I am trying to spice up my project photos by using props. This one is a vintage mirror I picked up for about $2 at an op shop.


It is a long weekend here and I am going to cut out my next project this afternoon. I am making a 1940's dress in some lovely Japanese cotton I bought (again) from Tessuti Fabrics. Tomorrow I'll also post my Sencha blouse -- I have made 2 now - one is for my sister as I seriously overestimated my size. Even after taking it in is waaaayyy too big, so she gets a blouse! She is taller and a little broader than me so it should fit. She is coming over for lunch today, so I'll get her to try it on then. Hopefully she'll let me take a pic of her in it too.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Cutest Little Parcel in the Mail

A few posts ago I wrote about Casey of Elegant Musings making the most adorable little cherry brooches.

You may remember that I tried to find some cherries to make my own, but was unsuccessful. I kept my eyes peeled on Casey's blog for an announcement that she had them available in her Etsy Store. The minute she did, I bought one of them my own. Et voila!!


How gorgeous is the little business card? And the card the brooch is on? And the actual brooch? They are extremely reasonably priced too - $6 for the brooch and $2 for postage to Australia. How could I not get one??

I went for drinks with the girls from my old job last night, and my husband picked me up from the city. He had the envelope waiting for me to open in the car! How cute.

I wore the brooch today with a white and black polka dot cropped cardi and a black pencil skirt. Thanks Casey for making such lovely accessories!!

This weekend I will post pics of Ceylon with the changes made, and my Burda Style Jenny dress in striped stretch cotton (just got to hem it). The fabric was going to be Vogue 8184, but I decided on Jenny instead. It is a long weekend here - thankfully! I am soooooo exhausted.