Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas Dress 2015

This year's Christmas dress! I've made one every year for the past few years. This year's dress is made with vintage children's fabric (cotton), self lined in the bodice and lined in satin in the skirt for extra puffiness. Pockets for stuffing extra food away for later.

The print is actually tiny blue flowers with little green leaves.

Worn with the usual Christmas mouse earrings, although they're a little blurry here.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Butterick 6094 | Patterns by Gertie

Hello! It's only been 7 months since I wrote a blog post! This dress was kind of special so I thought it warranted a whole post rather than just throwing a heap of pictures up on Facebook.

This dress is really beautiful and easier to make than I thought it might be. I don't feel that it suits me very well, but I may try the pencil skirt version in the future and try adjusting the darts for a better fit around the bust.

The bust is rather squashy on me. The waist turned out too wide, so I came to the conclusion that it is better suited to a figure which has a smaller bust/waist ration than mine. I took the waist in by about an inch, but there wasn't much I could do about the bust. 

Even with a rather minimising bra, I feel a bit squashed. I may also try the other version with a slightly lower neckline.

Besides the fit issues, I love the style. It's very simple and the back detail makes it unique. I used a beautiful vintage floral fabric from Audrey Scarlett Vintage (Instagram link). The lining is Japanese silk. The back contrast is a cotton/silk blend.

The pattern includes a petticoat skirt which I left out. The dress is really summery and light (I used the lightest lining I had) and I didn't want to weigh it down or make it too hot with too many layers. I have a separate petticoat I can wear with it anyway if I want to fluff it out a bit.
I also left off the button detail on the back. Even with buttons that matched, it was too much with the print of the dress. I just put a small stitch on each side to stop it from flapping about.

Has anyone else made this dress? I had a lot of fun with it and would highly recommend giving it a go.

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.