Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Profoundly Loved Blog Party

The lovely Seanna tagged me in this post a few months ago. I started my own post at the time but completely forgot about it til now! So here is some stuff about me. If you read this and would like to do the same, please say I tagged you :)

1} Tell me about something you love and why?

I love sewing. I have been sewing since I was about 14 years old. I started to get interested because I could make new and weird clothes for myself which no one else would have (think bright blue cheese-cloth flares with green ruffles around the legs - yes, really) and because I could make gothy  capes and skirts. Over time it became my creative outlet as I realised drawing/painting wasn't exactly my forte. Then I became more interested in vintage and retro clothing, which was often quite expensive and/or didn't fit my hourglass figure. Sewing dresses was a cheaper alternative and I found I could get very creative with retro/vintage patterns!

2} What is one think you do that makes you feel like ‘I could do this forever,’ when you do it?

Being genuinely relaxed and stress-free. Or playing stupid addictive Candy Crush on my phone. Or drinking tea.

3} What do you love about yourself?

My boobs! Ok, I realise this question does not specifically refer to physical attributes. But this is honestly the first thing that came to mind. I really do love mine. But, if we're talking more about mental attributes, I do love knowing how strong I can be and what I can endure, whilst also knowing how completely capable I am of falling to pieces (I don't love that last bit).

4} What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t believe he/she is beautiful?

I don't know that I would give advice. I know what it's like to truly believe horrible, mean, bad things about yourself. I suppose I could say I know how they feel. I wouldn't tell someone they were beautiful if they honestly believed they weren't. I would probably empathise with the feeling of being ugly, whilst not supporting it. 

5} What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about confidence?

Act confident. Sometimes acting as though you are confident, really does make you confident. 

6} If you were your own daughter/son, what advice would you give yourself?

I would make it come with a magic wand so I could turn it into a rainbow unicorn covered in glitter. I do not want a mini-me.

7} A verse, poem, sonnet, ancient-old proverb that inspires you to love yourself and others?

No particular group of words has inspired me in such a way. Which is not to say I don't love myself, or others.


Well, that feels like a sour note to end on. Remember I do love something about myself at least!


Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Winter is Coming dress

No, this dress does not have anything to do with Game of Thrones. But it is the last summery dress I'll be making this year.


 I usually make at least one coat every winter. Last year I got carried away with summery dresses and made nothing else (almost) all year. By the time we got through winter and summer came around again, I was kind of annoyed at myself.

So here is the last summer dress of the year.

I absolutely love the fabric I've used for the bodice. The print is just beautiful. I have a feeling it would also look amazing with a skirt in a rusty red colour. I don't completely love it with the blue skirt of this dress, but it will do.

For some reason the skirt came out really tight. It fitted really well at the waist but there was a lot of seam allowance along the zip, which I had to let out. I haven't tried sitting in it yet so I'm going to assume it will not actually split open when I do.

I have crazy cat lady hair in these photos. I started with my hair in a bun, decided it was boring, so I took it out and it just fluffed up everywhere. I still have one short side from when I shaved half my head a while ago; at the rate it's growing it should be shoulder length by the end of the year.

And just to prove I really am going to make wintery stuff for winter, here is a little sneak peek of a coat I've started on.

F*ck off summer. There is velvet and fur and silk in my future and I must wear them.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Valentine's Day dress

 Now, I certainly don't need an excuse to make a dress.
Oh, it's Wednesday! Better make a dress!
A blue car! Time to make a dress!

However, having my first Valentine's Day date with my boyfriend is most definitely an excuse to make a new dress.


For this one, I used New Look 6587, view E. I've made this before, and I found it way easier and less fiddly to just insert a zip up the front, rather than time-consuming and more-difficult-to-undo (ahem) buttons.

I love the bodice style. It's almost corsety, and it's a good one for getting a really fitted, er, fit. The material has a slight stretch so it was quite comfy. 
It's not really easy to see but there are two large patch pockets on the skirt.

I think the camera or the light washed this out a bit. I had 10 different shades of red and pink on my nails. 

We went out for dinner, which was delicious, but I was just waiting for dessert... because I knew I was having salted caramel creme brulee *makes Homer Simpson drooling noise now*

I might have been spoiled a bit, too.


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Movie 'college' dresses

I wasn't supposed to buy any new fabric, having accumulated a lifetime's supply in my sewing room, but I couldn't let this beautiful stuff pass by. 
It was called Movie College print but I'm pretty sure they meant collage.
I thought I'd make one dress but ended up having enough for two! How terrible! Not!

First dress.


I used this New Look pattern for both bodices. For the first dress, I used the bodice from view D. I just used a long rectangle for the skirt and gathered it onto the bodice. It's a really easy, cheaty way to make a skirt.


I love how the print sits across the bust. I actually didn't plan that.

Then I used this gorgeous pattern I found in an op-shop to make a jacket to wear with it. 

The pattern of the jacket is boxy and hip-length, so I cropped it at the waist, and added a couple of wide darts at the back to make it more fitted. I also lowered the neckline by a couple of inches.

Dress number two.

For this I used the bodice from view B. I can't remember where I got the pencil skirt pattern from but it's pretty basic anyway.

I made the skirt in brown, as black was too harsh. The black in the 'college' print is actually faded to brown, so the brown skirt works better.

Oh, this? I'm just practicing my over-the-shoulder-and-over-the-glasses gaze. You know.


Friday, 30 January 2015

They don't make 'em like they used to...

Now, would you look at these silly pants? They are just so small, it's ridiculous. You would think, in 1969, that they knew how to design a flared pants pattern.

Clearly, I'm joking. These are ENORMOUS. I absolutely love them. The legs measure 118cm or 46 inches around the bottom.


Wish you could still buy patterns for 80c! The pattern is indeed from 1969. I have made these a couple of times already over the years. The blouse is nice but not really my style.

Standing flat-footed...

...and right up on my toes. Even with a 2 inch hem, these are loooong.

Like, stupid-long. They flap around when I walk and if I don't wear them with high enough heels/platforms I will trip over them.

They just have a folder-over waistband which is very simple, and a side-zip fastening. I would actually like them to be a little higher in the waist, and I want to make another pair in a very soft denim. This pair is made in a denim which is fairly stiff, so they stick out a bit.

Especially when you stand like this.

Or this (this was taken while I was attempting to pose for the first photo above. I have a lot of photos that don't usually make it to an actual blog post. I call them transitional-posing photos. I just like the weirdness of this one).

Wave your feet and your flares like you just don't care.

Not sure why I look a bit grumpy in these photos. Next time I will be all sunshine and rainbows.

Monday, 26 January 2015


Seersucker is one of my least favourite fabrics. The texture is just weird, like it's constantly in need of an ironing. The print of these fabrics won me over the weird bobbliness. 

This is the same pattern as my Christmas dress. I didn't want to make the two dresses completely identical though. The red reminds me of a vintage table cloth, so I decided not to use it for the skirt. Nothing says sexy like a dress resembling a table cloth.

The skirt is cotton drill, which is one of my favourite fabrics to sew with. No stretch, nice and firm and it holds a structured shape very well.

The blue version is my favourite of the two. I don't wear bright red a lot as I don't think it's terribly flattering on me. The cooler blue is lovely. This one is actually lined, because the skirt is very sheer.

The neckline of this pattern is cut straight across, but I altered it for this one into a slight sweetheart neckline.

I do like my new posing couch.

If you're wondering where my new tattoo went, I made these dresses a little while ago.... this is a catch-up post from my blogging break last year.


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Favourite vintage McCalls pattern

Lately I've become a little bit obsessed with this McCalls pattern from 1958. It is a very simple, easy to make pencil dress. 

It consists of three main pieces; the front, which is cut on the fold, and the back, which is in 2 pieces. Then there are the straps and the facings (Joy! It's not lined! Or rather, the pattern seems to call for lining AND facing... complete waste of time in my mind)

Just going off track for a second, I absolutely hate lining things. It's like making two of something but ending up with only one. I don't mind lining coats; you're supposed to see it then, so you can make it pretty and part of the garment. But lining a dress? I mean, maybe a winter dress, so it's warmer. Otherwise, No.

Anyway back to this amazing dress. I've made a few now, so rather than bore the pants off anyone who still reads this blog by ranting about it over and over again, I've decided to show off everything at once.

First up: Blue florals.

This first attempt is not quite right. It looks nice and the fabric is very pretty, but I didn't get the sizing right. The pattern is a size 16, and it's not too far off a modern size 12 as far as I can tell. I took in the seams and altered the darts a little, but it's still a little loose, especially around the bust. 

I suppose I could fix it, now that I've made a few and I know what I'm doing, but, meh... I don't really want to. It's wearable.

Second attempt: School plaid.

Yes, this looks like school uniform fabric. However, it does not look like MY school uniform, so it's ok. As you can see, I got the sizing and alterations right this time.

Then I made this dress pattern version, which I have a feeling I've already posted up here before. Just in case I haven't, here it is (possibly again).

I'm not wild about this version. The fabric is nice but it feels too busy. I feel like it doesn't do the pattern justice.

Final and most recent version: Barbie pink.

I looooove this one. The fabric is stiffly stretchy (is stiffly a word? It looks weird but I'm not being asked to spell-check it) and really comfy. The top edge around the bust is really firm, so I can't take any deep breaths when I'm wearing it. There must be too much stitching up there for it to stretch properly, or maybe I just didn't allow the fabric to stretch when I was sewing it.

I will probably make more of these dresses.