Thursday, 27 October 2011

A new dress for Friday

I don't know about you but I love to end the week with a new frock. The end of the week is special and deserves something pretty. (The start of the week is tedious and tiring and should be taken out at dawn and shot). So I've whipped up this little number for my own version of Casual Friday; call it Fabulous Friday. (Ok, so it's not very original. How about Frock Friday? Frockin' Friday? Whatever.)

This dress is very simple and easy to make. If you look closely (ignoring the inside of the sleeve there, ahem), you will see that it is in fact nothing more than a very long t-shirt. All you need to make it is a t-shirt pattern and about 1.5m of a stretch knit, double-stretch for preference. Then you cut out the t-shirt, adding approximately 18-20 inches of length, depending on your height and how long you'd like it to be. I've cut this dress to be just above knee length.

It sits a little differently on me than it does on Doris. The waist and hips are pretty accurately represented here but Doris has a very broad back and small pointy boobs, which is the exact opposite to me. Not that my back is pointy.

Molly: "I should totally be in this fashion shoot."

"Hey lady. Beat it. Go on, scram."


Sunday, 23 October 2011

But I can't make shoes

For day to day wear, I can make most items of clothing; dresses, coats, trousers, t-shirts, skirts etc. And one of the reasons I started this blog was to stop myself from shopping so much. So often I would find myself in a shop holding an item of mass-produced, over-priced apparel and thinking, "Pffft. I could make this." So why didn't I?? Sheer laziness mainly. And I'm not keen to let my sewing skills go to waste.

My crystal ball tells me I have several new (bright!) projects coming up over the next few weeks...

...but I don't see any sudden acquiring of shoe-making skills, hmm...

I really like these. They're available on ModCloth now. They're not leather. They're cheap. Would it be so wrong?

By the way, I really like the fabric in the center of the first picture. It's a huge satin remnant I picked up in a bargain bin. I love the way it photographs - it looks blurry with movement. That's just the way the pattern on the fabric looks. I'm trying to decide between turning it into a long dress similar to the cream florals, only with a squarer neckline, or a knee-length style with a full skirt. I don't really enjoy sewing with satin but the colours and pattern were too good to pass up. As for the others, stay tuned!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Cream florals

Is it just me or does this dress have a slightly 70's look about it? I think it's the creamy upper half that makes me think it does.

The upper half which, by the way, I am not showing off in any up close-ups. Given how beautiful this fabric is (rayon) I decided to not "ruin" the dress by including the skirt front center seam the pattern instructs one to specifically sew. I thought a seam would spoil the continuity. It also made sewing the skirt to the bodice a complete nightmare, involving many home-hair-cut remedies, ie, it needed "evening up" a few times. You can see a tiny pucker in the bodice in the photo above and that's all you need to see, really. The rest of it went together like a dream. There are supposed to be darts in the skirt back sections but I left them out for a more flowing look.

I bought this fabric in Lincraft in Melbourne about 5 months ago. It was minding its own business amongst all the other fabrics until we made eye contact and it screamed "DRESS! I'M A DRESS!" at me. When I finally took it out of the bag last night I discovered it had paid me back for my months of neglect by crumpling and creasing like tissue paper.

I really did iron it. Straight away. Clearly it's going to be a high-maintenance kind of gal. But since it has actual purple blooms in the border print, I'll put up with it.
Pattern is Simplicity 4577.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Blue/green tartan

These are the first of 2 pairs of tartan trousers in the works. The second pair will be red. These ones were made for my Other Half with an old favourite Vogue pattern, V7573. I'm not sure if it's even available any more, as I've had it for years. The pattern is for more of a boot-cut style, so I had to adjust these quite a bit. I made them in a straight leg and slightly tapered, so as to be stuffed into boots or over sneakers. I also cut the waist slightly higher. The belt loops & pocket are not part of the pattern.

I really love this pattern for the side zip closure. Technically it should be made with a side button closure but I always use a zip. There's an option to make it with a front mock-fly zip as well but the side zip is just so much quicker. I'll update these ones soon with some more pockets and zips, so they are more punk (so I'm told).

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

In the garden

This is the extent of my flower garden so far. I have plans for decorating the entire front yard with flowers, so I suppose 3 pots of flowers is a good start. Although these ones are in the back yard. The purple ones are heartsease.

Eventually I'd like to have a garden and window box bursting with colour, a la every single building we saw in Europe.


PS. Stay tuned for tartan! Yay!

My Little Lamby

It's kind of like My Little Pony, only with more hissing and growling.

Yes, someone had a day at the beauty parlour today. Surprisingly, they agreed to give her a little puff on the end of her tail. This is the best photo I've been able to take so far. She's spent most of the evening skittering around with dark eyes and hiding in corners. She was happy to come out for her dinner though. Some things won't change.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Black florals

I started this dress about a week ago. The idea was to wear it to a wedding in a couple of weeks, but now that I've got this far, something just seems... off. The length? The fabric? It's a cotton voile so it's exceptionally light and perfect for warmer weather, but now that I've got it pinned on Doris it looks like it's more suited to winter boots and a cropped jacket. Not a wedding. ARGH.

When I've actually stitched it up and can try it on I may feel differently, and I need to do that in a hurry if I'm going to abandon it and wear something else. I really don't want to cut it shorter. The pattern is McCall's M5094 and the fabric is from Spotlight. At least if I don't wear it to the wedding I will definitely be wearing it in summer. I hope.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Welcome to my patch of the internet. I have been sewing for over 10 years now, and I love it. Despite this love, I don't always feel like getting the Singer fired up and making one of the dozens of dresses I've been meaning to get around to for the last month (or more). The aim of this blog is keep me inspired and to hopefully inspire others to get creative. You will find no professional advice here; I've learned everything by experience and haven't taken a class since high school. It's been a labour of love (and, at times, utter annoyance). After 10 years and a lot of swearing, I don't want to lose my skills for lack of motivation. So feel free to encourage me or otherwise to be encouraged by my latest projects!

My cat Molly will also feature here quite a lot. She hates everyone except me. You will love her.