Monday, April 26, 2010

Feelin' Pretty - Advance 3929 for Pattern Review Contest

Hi everyone!! Hope you all had a nice weekend. I did - I went for a run today and my neck feels quite okay! I am much more chipper for it. 

I am also feeling pretty chuffed with myself as the lovely Sunni (aka the Cupcake Goddess) featured my blue and white polka dot Rooibos in her stitching spotlights! Thanks Sunni! Then I was looking on the Colette Patterns website, and Sarai has used my Rooibos and my Ceylon in her gallery! Wow, I am feeling very special in all. 

I've also done a bunch of sewing this weekend. It was a relatively quiet one (a 30th B'day Party on Sat night, but that's about it). Michael is about to submit his PhD, so it is quiet time here at the ranch. 

I finished my Pattern Review Vintage Pattern contest dress. And boy, do I love it. It was not without tears, mostly due to having to take out a whopping 18cm from the waist, and then sewing the back to the front bodice. Ah well, it has been worth it in the end!

Ah, I'm in love with my own sewing skills this week (sorry to be so vain, but it is so nice when it pays off). Because this was for the contest, Michael and I went to some extra effort with the photos. Here are a few detailing my handiwork for the contest:

The neck tie. 

The invisible zip.

My lovely enclosed seams. 

I will post my other projects over the next few days. I finished my red and black Rooibos dress, and my little niece's 1960s party frock (she is turning 3). Hope all is going well in your parts of the world. xx

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vintage Pattern Contest on Pattern Review

I am thinking about entering the vintage pattern contest on Pattern Review. Is anyone else?

There is about 10 days left, so I better get moving if I am.

I'm thinking of making this dress from the 1940s:

I've made View 3 previously, but am thinking I would make View 2 with the neck tie. I have my eye on this fabric to make it with:

It is a soft drape-y Japanese cotton (I actually don't know if the fabric store still has it in stock, I am hoping they do).

Do you think this fabric is too busy to make View 2 with? Do you think it will still look vintage-like if made up in this fabric?

I'd love your thoughts! I'd also love to hear if anyone else is entering, and what you are making if you are!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Cup of Rooibos

Hi everyone. Thank you for all your lovely well wishes regarding my injury. And we definitely see eye-to-eye regarding the evil tram person.

A quick injury update before I get into the sewing talk. 

My neck is slowly getting better. I went back to work today, and was relatively pain-free until about 2.30pm when I had some spasms in my shoulder. I have another osteopath appt on Wednesday arvo, so lets hope things hold out until then. 

To make matters worse, however, I am sick again. This time in my sinuses. I am kind of wondering if the last two colds I have had have actually been my sinuses playing up. This is a pretty distressing issue for me, as just before I completed my PhD (so about 14 months ago), I had a sinus operation to fix my chronic sinusitis. There is always a risk the operation will have to be repeated, or will not work, so I am going through a pretty nail-biting stage of wondering what is going to happen. I have been sick in this way now 3 times in 3 months. Something is clearly going on. I've also had an infected gland that I've only just finished taking antibiotics for. I am sooooooo tired from it all. All I want to do is crawl under the blankets and sleep. Truthfully, I am feeling a bit down about it all. 

Anyway, enough whinging on my behalf. I hope you all had lovely weekends. The sun was shining (for once) here in Melbourne, and we took advantage of it. Yesterday we had a big lunch at our house for Michael's 30th birthday. It was heaps of fun! And it was the perfect time to christen my lovely new Rooibos dress:

What do you think? This is another Colette pattern (I think this is my favourite so far - it definitely came together the easiest). The only alteration I made was to lengthen the hem by 7cm.

The material is some cotton polka dot I bought from etsy. The contrasting material is white homespun cotton. All in, this dress cost me about $15. One of the least expensive I've made in some time. It is a nice pattern to sew, with some cute details. Like the little collar:

The back has a rounded neckline (I got a little sunburnt yesterday and have a matching burn line):

I am thinking of making another one almost straight away of some dark red cotton sateen I have in my stash (the colour was called 'Hotdog' - hopefully I won't look like one in it). I have a 30th birthday of two friends to go to soon, and think a red Rooibos would suit well. 

What are your thoughts? A red Rooibos, or can you envision the dark red sateen in another pattern? Please let me know what you think!! I need sewing help!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thai Fabric Maxi Dress

I have not been doing much sewing of late, though I am nearly finished the dress I'll be wearing to my husband's 30th Birthday dinner this friday night. I am taking him somewhere quite swanky, so have made a special dress to suit (more on that later).

Some time ago, my sister travelled to Thailand and brought me back 4m of some lovely fabric (thank you small sister!). I was going to make it into a 50's party dress, but it wasn't the right drape and handle. So I decided to make a flowy maxi dress.

I used Vogue 8380, which I have used before (my skull dress for Christmas day was made from this pattern). I altered it by lengthening it to be floor-length and using a contrasting black grosgrain ribbon as the ties. I also included a few more gathers for the skirt, to make it more full. See how it picks up in the wind?

This dress is nice to wear. It is a relatively simple design, so it allows my pretty Thai fabric to speak up. A shot from the back:

Boo-dogg likes this dress too. I wore it to a comedy show about two weeks ago, and she kept going underneath my skirt. She really is very cute:

I will be out of action for a while. A very rude person barged into me from behind when I was getting off the tram at work this morning. I was carrying a rather heavy bag, and sort of twisted when this person ran into me, then sort of fell off the tram. I felt a bad pain go through my neck and shoulder, and then couldn't stand the weight of my bag. I went into my office, took off my suit jacket, and went into the conference room to try and do a few stretches. No can do.

I rang my osteopath begging for an appointment, and got in for 9.30am. Someone from my office had to drive me. The osteo says I have sprained my neck and shoulder, and has written me a certificate for 3 days!! I am devastated. I've only been at my work for 10 weeks, and have had 2 colds and now this. I really hope they are not seeing me as some sort of sickly individual who was not a good hire.

So, lots of ice, anti inflammatories and rest. Not my idea of fun.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Trouser Update and My Own Pattern Binge

Seems this was the weekend for pattern bingeing (thanks to Tilly for a great phrase!). Clegs had a $5 pattern sale on this weekend, and I actually think I was quite restrained. Here are my purchases:

Simplicity 2501. Gertie has made this one in a cute polka dot. I love the version that has the waist band that makes it look like it has a peplum.

Simplicity 3673. I love version A. I'm thinking I'll make it in a black matte fabric or a black polka dot.

Vogue 8615. Again, my inspiration for this came from Gertie. I also purchased it as I need to come to terms with the fact I live in Melbourne, where we actually do have winter, and not Queensland anymore, where the weather is blissfully and perpetually hot all year round. Adjustments to my wardrobe are needed.

Now - the trouser update. Here are my issues to date:

  1. I chose the worst possible fabric to make a muslin with. It is some sort of heavy cotton-poly, and, even using a brand new needle, my machine absolutely hates it. The needle would just not go through the fabric when there was more than one layer. I am going to buy some actual muslin to make the test garment with and start again. 
  2. The fly is a new sewing process for me. I attempted it on Saturday, when I been up until 2am, and had a hangover. I rarely drink enough to warrant a hang over, and rarely stay up that late either. I blame my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and my cousin. They were just too fun for words.
  3. Some of the instructions are not very clear. Which I clearly needed them to be on Saturday
So, my plan is:
  1. Buy some muslin to make a test garment with.
  2. Consult some online resources and my sewing guides regarding how to sew a trouser fly instead of just relying on the pattern instructions.
  3. I have also emailed the instructor of the sewing classes that Tessuti Fabrics hosts. I am thinking maybe a formal lesson on how to construct trousers may be a good idea, instead of me sewing them on the fly (hehehe very bad joke, I know). 
So, as I was disappointed with my trouser effort, I've moved onto Vogue 8280 and Colette Rooibos until I get into gear again for trousers. I won't have much to show for a little while though - I am going away for work tomorrow night, and my little bro is visiting next weekend. 

Hope you all had a nice long weekend.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Duo of Tulips (skirts that is)

Hi everyone. In my quest to make some more 'every day' kind of clothes, including ones I can wear to work, I have been concentrating on skirts, and my first pair of trousers (more to come on that soon).

I've just finished making two tulip skirts. The first is the Burda Marie tulip skirt:

It is made from japanese cotton from Tessuti called Osaka Night Bloom. Japanese cottons are my favourite fabric at the moment. But they are a little expensive ($29/m), so choosing this pattern to make something out of the 1m of material I  purchased was a good idea!

The pattern is easy enough. But until now I have thought that I was a size 40 in Burda. Every Burda pattern I have sewn has required taking in. I didn't realise the size conversion to Australian sizes - I think a Burda 40 is an Australian 14. I ended up making this skirt in a 36 and it fits me perfectly.

The 2nd tulip skirt I have made is another Wiksten tulip skirt. This is such a great pattern - I wear my denim version at least once a week, and always get great comments. I've made this one as more of a 'work version'.

I used some of my precious vintage buttons on this skirt, and the fabric is a remnant I got from Tessuti a while ago (please excuse the creases - I didn't realise until I had taken it off):

The only adjustments I made to this skirt was to lengthen the hem line and make the belt a bit longer.

So - what do you think? Which tulip do you like better?

Hope everyone is having a great Easter weekend and doing some lovely sewing and relaxing.