Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anda by Burda Style

I am an avid follower of the Grosgrain Blog. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out. Kathleen makes the most amazing dresses, all of her own design.

Quite often she will do a sew-a-long, called "Frock by Friday". The last one she hosted was sewing Anda by Burda Style.

I have been on a bit of a mission to have a few more simple and casual items in my wardrobe, so thought I'd have a bash at making Anda. I didn't participate in the Grosgrain sew-a-long but did check out Kathleen's tips.

This is a very simple frock. I made the size 38, which was the smallest size - I think you can have a bit of leeway with sizing in this dress as it is not fitted. But if you are small-framed, you would need to scale the pattern down. This would be easy though as there is only two main pattern pieces (the front and the back), and each is cut on the fold.

Here is my version in a light-medium weight cotton:

You can make your own bias binding to finish the neckline and sleeves:

The waist is done with a casing that is sewn on the outside, and then a drawstring ribbon. Very simple. Because it is done this way, I would not recommend using a fabric that is medium weight or heavier. I think you'd end up getting some weird gathers going on.

It would look cute in a shorter length too - I went the longest length on the pattern - I always have to do this with patterns - I'm not even that tall (172cm) - but always seem to need the longest length for it to hit the right spot on my legs.

I plan to make more of these - instant gratification sewing at its best - I think it only took a few hours from cutting to hemming. I saw some really lovely soft rayon with retro flower prints at Spotlight this week and was sorely tempted. I think I'll go back for some soon and make another one.

Has anyone else made this frock up?

PS - I'm almost finished my outfit montage for my birthday weekend (next weekend). I'm wearing a full-skirted frock (that I made some time ago and blogged about) to go to dinner on friday night, the Simplicity 2443 racer back dress Saturday to Hanging Rock, and a Project Runway ruffle-y dress to my party Saturday night. Then the following wednesday Michael is taking me to see the Mary Poppins play, and I've made a 50's style frock with 3/4 sleeves and a full circle skirt. Pics to come!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Call me Crazy..... Lady Grey Round 2

Is anyone participating in Gertie's Lady Grey Sew-A-Long?

I am!

Go to if you're interested in having a look.

Gertie will be posting tutorials, vlogs etc to help her devoted readers in this sew-a-long.

I am planning in making it for spring/summer temperatures, maybe in a light cotton cord, possibly in a purple or a green. Something like this from Tessuti?

What do you think? The only thing I'm wary of is that green will not go with the reds in my wardrobe. Would purple be better?

What do you think about spots for coat fabric? Would it work better with a block colour?

And how about cord? Do you think a cotton drill or something else would be better?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A 40's Shirtdress

Remember this pattern?

You may remember I've made Views 2 and 3 previously:

Well, I decided to make view 1 in this lovely 50's rayon that I got from ebay:

I used little gold buttons with flowers on them. They are quite cute. The rayon was awful to sew with. It moved around, frayed badly and was generally difficult. Ah well.

I know this pattern well enough now to not have any difficulties with it's construction.

A side view - see me practising my nice posture? :-)

And then from the back:

It isn't my most favourite version of this pattern, but it is a great dress for work.

Which is your favourite?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simplicity 2896 - AKA The Best Pants in the World

Hi all -- I feel like it is forever since I last posted. I had one of my best and dearest friends visiting from QLD on the weekend, so did not have much time for the internet and the like.

I did manage to hem my linen pants though. So, I present to you Simplicity 2896:

AKA the best pants in the whole world. They are made from this pattern:

They were very easy to make. I did make some changes though:

  1. I didn't add the pockets. I wanted a nice smooth line. 
  2. I also amended the fly so that the extension was already adjoined to the centre front. 
  3. I made the longest length (they are still too short in my opinion).
They are made from a navy linen from Tessuti Fabrics. They sit on my natural waist perfectly:

A back view:

Do you think they look okay with no pockets on the bum?

I think they are nice and slimming side on -- what do you think?

I love them so far. There are only two issues I have with them - (1) they could be longer. Heels don't look overly good with them (2) they wrinkle like mad (I suppose that is the price you pay for wearing linen).

I'm in the middle of making my birthday dress - I've completely changed tack - fabric, pattern and all. I'm making something a little more 'cold weather friendly' -- but it shall be a surprise until I'm finished. 

I do have another dress to show you from a while ago, so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My take on Casual

Well, I went about as casual as I go, and I was still majorly overdressed. Mostly because all of the other party-goers were wearing TRACKSUIT PANTS!!!!

So, my outfit was way over-the-top in comparison:

I wore my Lady Grey Coat as well.

I made up this little grey ponte jersey dress as my attempt at casual:

It is BurdaStyle's Melissa Dress with a dryndl skirt instead of a straight skirt:

I have made this dress in a size 36 before, and it fit me like a glove. Not so this time. It was huuuugggge. I took it in by approximately 4cm on each side seam. Massive.

I also finished the neck and armhole edges in self-fabric bias binding. I do like this little dress. I like the 'V' neckline on the back:

And the cute little cap sleeves:

It is also very easy to make, and does not use much fabric at all.

So - a casual outfit for what was really a pyjama party! At least I was comfortable and felt nice in what I was wearing.

I still intend to make Simplicity 2443 for my birthday weekend. My parents arrive on the friday, and I'll be taking them out for lunch and hanging about. I think 2443 would be perfect for such an outing - what do you think?

Then on the Saturday, the day of my birthday, Michael, my sister, her boyfriend and I are taking my parents for a picnic at Hanging Rock! (for all you non-Aussies, there is an iconic mystery novel and film about some missing school girls after they go for a picnic at Hanging Rock, a landmark in Victoria). I am in the middle of sewing some slouchy linen pants for that. Busy times of sewing ahead!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Rosy Macaron

A couple of weekends ago, my sister and I took a trip to Spotlight, as she wanted me to make her a 'tent' dress - and also conned me into making a skirt for her!

While I was there, I spotted this gorgeous rosy cotton sateen. I love cotton sateen. Possibly my second favourite fabric after Japanese cotton. It was only $6/m, so I had to have some.

I got 2.5m with nothing in particular in mind, but I have been wanting to make another Macaron from Colette Patterns. So I thought I would try my hand at another made up in my rosy sateen:

What do you think? It fits well.

I also did a lapped, handpicked zipper, using the Cupcake Goddess' Instructions:

I'm not sure though - does this have enough 'lap'? I think I need to 'lap' them more.

The sleeves turned out well:

I wore it out last night to dinner with Michael. I paired it with a little black cardi, some (new!) black suede boots I got for 70% off at a sale, and my Lady Grey Coat for while we were out and about. And.... with my new haircut! What do you think? It is pretty short!

On a side note, do any of you have gluten allergies? What does it feel like? I seem to be unable to eat wheat-y foods anymore. Not a sewing topic, but would be great to hear from anyone!

Tomorrow I'll have a post about my 'casual' outfit. The party is tonight, and I've decided what I will wear. Have a good weekend!

Monday, August 2, 2010

To the Other End of the Spectrum: Red Carpet Dress

The other thing on my immediate sewing list is a party frock for my upcoming 30th Birthday Party. I have about 1 month.

I bought this pattern for this purpose:

I think it is suitably 'Party' - do you?

Now, the problem is fabric. I need 4m. What sort of fabric do you think would work best with this pattern? There are no fabric recommendations made on the pattern.

Taffeta? Silk? Cotton?

Now, how about colour? I have two choices - monochromatic, or (obviously) patterned in some way. I think I look best in bright, solid colours.

Something to consider is that if I make it in a monochromatic fabric, I can enter it in The Tessuti Awards. I can enter it in the 'Frock Up In Colour' category -- the prize is a trip to New York. Quite a prize.

Obviously, the fabric must be bought from their store. So, I looked on their online fabric store website, and came up with some options - both contest appropriate and some patterned ones that couldn't be entered:

  1. Bright Red Rayon. $28/m. Would be slippery to sew.
  1. Grey Double Silk Georgette. $28/m I'm guessing it would be slippery to sew too.
  1. Japanese cotton. $25/m Easy to sew with. Medium weight - maybe too heavy for all the gathers?
  1. Satin Silk. $42/m (this is getting way out of my price range given I need 4m). Would probably be a bit slippery to sew.
  1. Silk twill. $28/m. Slippery-ish. Maybe too light-weight?

These are just a few ideas. And of course, I can shop elsewhere for fabric for this dress (sorry anyone from Tessuti who may read this!). 

So - what do you think? What type of fabric? Which colour? Patterned or monochromatic? I'd love to hear what you think!