Monday, 30 June 2014

the pink odyssey continues

I finished the bodice and the skirt section ... decided to line both instead of the facings ... chose to gather the skirt section rather then pleating it ... had the girl try it on ... and ... found a problem ... sigh

The bodice is too long, substantially too long, like 2 or 2.5 inches too long, too long to ignore too long. It looks too much like a dirndl and since the wedding is in Germany, I really want to avoid that comparison. I can't unpick it, because I have already trimmed the seam and with the gathering I would have to redo the lot, so I think I will just it in and sew it to the skirt section. It does look that long on the pattern envelope actually, but somehow it didn't look that long in the muslin, but that was without the skirt section weighing it down. Never mind, once the lining is sewn in place nobody will know :-)

Also I did the sash. My daughter picked the trims and I am now having second thoughts about the sash. It's over the top, she loves it, but I am thinking that aside from the 'overthetopness' it is not wide enough. I think it should be double the width. I could add a couple of layers of the pink lawn behind it and widen it that way, but that might be too much bulk.

Also I am questioning the colour choice. Maybe instead of the pale pink I should go for more contrast, like this turquoise linen remnant in my stash.

Maybe instead of attaching a sash permanently I should just hand stitch it on at the very end ... hmm, lots of food for thought.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

pink, glorious pink - Part 1

In order to placate my daughter for god-only-knows-what about 3 weeks ago I took her to Spotlight and said she could pick out some fabrics for a dress to wear to my sisters wedding. She went straight to the costume section and brought back some fairy-tale princess dress in white polyester with the words 'Look Mummy, isn't this pretty? And you don't have to sew a thing'  .... hmm, not the idea that I was going for, but we eventually had a look at patterns for princess dresses and some fabric. She 'settled' for this Lisette sateen.

We hadn't found a pattern yet, so I bought 1.5 meters in the hope that it would be enough. A week later we finally agreed on Burda 9696.

Now, having never worked with actual paper Burda patterns, I didn't know what to expect. I was frustrated to no end at the store that the envelope back did not have a clarification for the sizes, neither did the instruction sheet inside. It said sizes 2-7 on the envelope, but no measurements. Later I found the sizes printed on the onion paper - by the time you unfold the onion paper you should already know which size you are going for.. Since my daughter is 5, but small for her age, I thought it would be safe to go with it. Well, turns out she is actually a 7-8 for Burda patterns. Also this pattern has very little in terms of ease. It was doubly annoying, because the pattern she really liked started from a size 8 and I thought it would be miles to big. It also meant that my fabric was going to stretched to the max, because a size 7 requires more then a size 5, not a lot, but some.

I also picked up some plain pink cotton lawn as contrast and for the petticoat some tulle. All in all I had 4.5 meters of fabric, it seemed plenty. However, once I started cutting things, I had to go back and get a further 2 meters of the pink lawn and I used some half a meter of cotton broadcloth I had in my stash. So all together this dress consumed 7 meters of fabric and only half a meter came from my stash ... sigh ... and it's not finished yet.

On the plus side I have 'graduated' from 'really easy' and 'easy' patterns to 'middle/average'. Yeay me ...

I started with the petticoat  and she loves it ...

There are French seams and the tulle gathering is completely enclosed by fabric as to not irritate her sensitive little legs ... please take note that she can put up with all sort of itches and scratches from the aforementioned polyester costumes (even though we didn't buy that one, we do own a great many of them), but other clothes irritate her to no end. I blame her father, he never liked wearing clothes - or shoes, in fact, he didn't wear shoes really until he went to high school (can only happen in North Queensland, everywhere else in the world you'd suffer from frostbite) - and we only just managed to get her to the point that she will wear at least undies when interacting with other people :-)

Onwards with the dress now ...

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Hollyburn Intermission Skirt

I actually drafted this blog post in February, which is when the skirt was finished to the point that it only needed to be hemmed ... I finally hemmed it a week ago. I loath hemming, it is my least favourite bit of sewing, mostly because I feel like it I mess it up I have ruined all this work. I am being unrealistic there though, because looking at my RTW clothes, they are not hemmed perfectly either and NOBODY notices. Sigh ... my perfectionism ruins it all a bit.

I sewed this skirt mostly in January during my 'down with the UFO's' time whenever I got fed up with my UFOs. It's a heavy linen in raspberry that was part of my remnant haul from the fabric store for Christmas. I hadn't actually realised when I bought it that it was quite as heavy as it was. Originally it was supposed to be a dress for my daughter. I am not very good at judging fabrics and fabric weights and just what it'll look like after washing, but I guess that'll come with time. The fabric was only 70cms long, but about 140cms wide so I managed to squeeze a Hollyburn skirt minus the pockets out of it. The pockets are from a Kaffe Fassett fat quarter -  and I had all I intentions of having a close-up picture, but alas the camera problem persists.

We have this beautiful quilting store Peppermint Stitches just down the road from me and it is a lovely store that never ceases to make me feel good. I like to just browse, but occasionally I will pick up a fat quarter on an impulse. The problems is that those fat quarters are just languishing in my stash with little hope of usage really. They just get totally lost amongst everything else really, but when I run out of fabric for the pockets I rummaged through the stash in the hope of finding something to go with the linen and I think this fits perfectly :-)

Overall I am still not quite sure about the Hollyburn skirt. I have been following the Wardrobe architect series over at Coletterie and realistically I think I prefer wearing the type of slimish fitting A-lines skirts like the Butterfly Burda one. It is hard to find the right length for me in this skirt, because I am short and wear flats most of the time. I have 4 Hollyburn skirts overall and I do wear them frequently, but when someone compliments me on one of them I am always a bit taken aback, because I feel like they don't suit me as well as some other skirts. Maybe I am just Hollyburned out and with a bit of time I will gain perspective and fall in love with the pattern again :-)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

the girl with the dragonfly dress

Not the most original blog title, but it was either that or 'how I made this dress yet again'

This started out as a potential Easter dress and an experiment. I wanted to see whether I could make a dress in a week. Well ... as I am posting it now when I believe we are in fact fast approaching Pentecost ... it can safely be said that whilst I might be able to make a dress in a week, I was unable to make this dress in a week.

I hadn't set myself up to fail as I made this dress twice before in exactly this kind of fabric (cotton poplin), yet somehow I had little stumbling blocks with the bodice and then there was a fabric fault in one of the skirt panels, which I obviously only found after I sewed the skirt section, so that needed to be recut and refrenchseamed. Also, what was I thinking of trying this the week before Easter with both children on school holidays, not really, not exactly sewjo inducing atmosphere.

As this is the third version of this dress, I should probably look and expand my horizon, but I think I have 1 more version of this dress in me. Perhaps I should go a size down next time as I fitted this one when I was 8 kilos heavier and it is a tad roomy now. I actually thought about this before I made this one, but as I intend to wear it to my sisters wedding (unless she tells me it is not fancy enough) I thought having a bit of room to eat an extra piece of cake might not be a bad thing ... not that I am greedy ... just sayin' :-)

PS.: the more that I look at the pictures (especially the ones I didn't post), the more I am becoming convinced I should try and take it in a little after the wedding, but we will see. Reality is that I am not a fan of a lot of ease, but some people have complimented me on the other 2 versions of this dress and said how well the fitted me, so I was left wondering whether I always fitted things too tightly and that a little extra ease would actually look better on me. However, looking at the pictures for the back, there are now fabric folds indicating extra fabric whereas previously it fitted just right. It could also be that these pictures were taking with my phone in a hurry (because my camera has no batteries and I finished this dress 2 weeks ago) and that they are simply not the best pictures and there is nothing wrong with the dress as it is fitted ... sigh

Monday, 2 June 2014

why I fail at MMM

Me-Made-May ... sigh ... I actually signed up this year ...

I pledged to wear 5 me made things each week ... I wore on average 6. So 'what is the problem' I hear you ask ...

Well, it's the pictures, I think. I took pictures for about 10 days, intending to post them every week, but as the first 'deadline' came and went without a smidgen of a post, my enthusiasm for taking the pictures waned considerably. Then the camera ran out of batteries, then I realised I really only wore the same clothes over and over again, then the second deadline came and went and my sewjo took a nose dive and the machine was starting to gather dust ... eventually I just gave myself permission to quit and carry on as normal and I felt so very relieved.

It is funny, because I do actually wear Me Made items most day, yet I was stressing about it to no end. The lesson that I take away from this particular experiment: If you don't enjoy something that is not necessary for your life, well-being or family, then for goodness sake just stop doing it.

So MMM is joining the ranks of fast-paced sew-alongs and perhaps self-imposed tight deadlines, something to avoid next time around :-)