Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Inspiration needed.

I'm looking for some good advice. I have about 1.5m of pale green/ blue silk. It drapes well and would make a fantastic blouse/ dress. It's just I don't know what style to go for. I'd like to be able to wear it casual or for work. I'm quite broad across the back and shoulders, but have a small bust.
So what can you suggest?
I'd love to see what patterns/ designs you recommend.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunny Cerise

I've had this stunning fabric in my stash since last summer and I just love the colour! With the beautiful weather we've been having in the UK at the moment I really felt the need to use it.

I'd had my eye on a pattern from Burda Magazine (12/2011 design 107). It was a beautiful dress in soft pink jersey fabric, but was also suitable for woven fabrics. I'd wondered about this pattern, as although I love the style, it's not the sort of style I usually choose as I do not have much bust and find this type of dress often gapes at the bust.

I decided to give it a go. I made a toile (blogged about here) and adjusted the bust gathers and central panel to fit under the bust and waist well. The original sleeves were awful and just looked all wrong. I made adjustments to under the arm and the fullness of the sleeve, I also removed the gathers from the skirt front, but kept the inverted pleat.

The upper back had too much excess fabric and the pleat detail just looked awful, so I adapted the back bodice to a simple piece using my self drafted block. I also added a modesty panel at the front as the original was too low.

I've been reading Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Schaffer
I've tried to use a few of the techniques in this dress. I used a bias facing at the back neck edge.

and eased the fullness of the skirt hem by using a pulled gathering stitch. I also hemmed by hand - which I don't normally do. I did however neaten all the edges with the overlocker.

Generally I'm quite pleased with the results although I'm not entirely happy with the neckline.I'll just end up wearing  a scarf with it, as I do with most things that I wear.

Friday, 16 March 2012

IKEA. It brings out the consumer in me...or dedicated sewing space sorted.

I love IKEA. I know it sounds sad doesn't it, but I do. I love looking at all the impossible settings and could quite happily spend a fortune in there - so much for being thrifty eh?

Well today we had finally got rid of the Sofa bed that had been taking up soooo much room in our "workspace" (read dumping ground!); and put in the wing back chairs I got on Ebay a few weeks ago (awaiting re-upholstery, but they are in a good condition, just not a colour to my taste).

I've been complaining at late that I haven't got anywhere to store my sewing stuff and it seems John agreed. so off we went to IKEA and bought a desk. it's a simple computer desk, with a hole at the back of the top for wires to go down, which is perfect for sewing machine wires, two drawers and a cupboard and the anglepoise lamp that sits near teh computer is close enough for me to use should I need it.

I have all the stuff I was carting up and downstairs in a sewing box stored ready to hand and my machine sits in the cupboard rather than under the dining table. The overlocker is still sitting on the floor under the table and I need to get a strong box for it and a cover, but for now it;s out of the way.

I'm looking forward to making use of my dedicated sewing space, it's years since I had such as space. Bring on the sewing!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Reading matter & Handmade Monday

I got a parcel on Saturday - well 3 actually!
Three sewing books. Bridal Couture, Couture Sewing Techniques and The Perfect Fit. So instead of creating on Saturday I read - well skim read, these books. I think they're going to be very useful! So what about you? what books do you find useful in pursuit of your craft?

I also started some work on a friend's wedding dress and did the first fit - lots of alterations to do! Style is not bad, but need to make some alterations to make sure it's as flattering as possible. I'm thinking about adding a corslette for support and to create a smooth line around the waist and hips.

I also made a toile for a dress I'm making from the Burda magazine. I am always tempted just to omit this stage, but I know that is false economy. This was proved true today as I'm going to need to make several adjustments.

1. The V neck - is too low and does not lie quite right on me - I need to adjust the stitching line by about 3/4 cm at the centre front. I'll also include a modesty panel as I don't like very low cut dresses.
2. the gathers on the front skirt are unflattering - i'm going to try adding another pleat/ or getting rid of the excess fabric altogether.
3. I dislike the bodice back detail. It looks awful and the side silhouette is dreadful. even with the pleats and gathers the back is about 3cm too wide, which has an effect on the shoulders too. I'm going to redraft a much plainer back with just a little gather, making these adjustments.

4. The sleeves - just don't hang quite right.  I think the sleeve head gathers are too excessive and will ease these out a little. I also think the under arm needs tapering into the armscye to create a better line.

I have some bright pink cotton mix fabric to make this up in. should look fab when it's done!

Aside from this I've completed a toile of the twist dress from Pattern Magic this week - not happy with that one.

Not much sewing to be done this week as I need to write reports for Year 9 and sort out some of the clutter that is messing up my daughter's room!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Twist dress

Imagine my surprise when I got my copy of this month's Burda magazine to find a similar style to the Pattern magic twist front dress. And I spent hours drafting it!

The fit was pretty good. in hind sight i'd have lowered the armscye, made the neckline higher - for modesty's sake and made the back neck darts a little deeper. The fabric I used had a nice drape, but creased like mad. I think it would be better in a slightly firmer fabric.

I also used an invisible zip for the first time - dead easy.

I have a couple of other projects from Burda lined up over the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

It's been a mad week!

Wow what a week - it's been non stop!
I had an interview on Thursday which I needed to prepare for and then had to leave cover work for my job. I happy to say I got the Job - Whoo Hoo!
Friday saw John and I take a trip to Ikea to get a replacement kitchen tap - it's been leaking for ages!

The area around the sink and worktop had become damp and gone mouldy - thankfully not too deep, so yesterday I got up early and got to work sanding it down. It took a while, but the the bench top came up pretty good. I then applied several layers of protective oil. Today we put on new sealant and John fitted the new tap. Tomorrow we can start using it again!

Think the other surfaces also need a re oil too.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Eat me, Drink Me

Yep it's World Book Day and that means the Alice dress gets it outing. It also covers the Movie project as Alice has been portrayed many times in film!

You'll remember that Bethan helped make Alice. However as 8 year olds have very short attention spans, I ended up doing most of the sewing.

So here she is - complete with stripy tights and cake and bottle. both labelled appropriately.


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