Wednesday, 2 April 2014

My Anna For Nanna Dress

This dress is in honour of my Nanna, Valentina, who I will forever love and greatly miss. 

I found this vintage polyester fabric in my stash and was instantly reminded of a dress that she used to wear with the same vidid colour combo.  I had the Anna Dress pattern from By Hand London all traced out ready to go for the Mad Men Challenge but instead thought I'd like to make this dress now.

Getting primped for the 'shoot'
Like everyone else out there who has made this dress, I too fell instantly in love with everything about it. I love the comfort of it, how easy it was to whip up and the pleats under the bust that make it so sweet and give it its shape. I am definitely making the maxi version for my birthday, in fact I already went out and bought the 4.5m of fabric needed for it in my excitement.
I will however be making it slightly smaller as it was a bit loose but not too much that I'd need to go down a size. I might just take a slightly larger seam allowance.
I can see a lot of Anna variations's just that kind of dress!

The place I wore the dress out to was the Joondalup Festival which was rained out the first day, but great on the Sunday. I caught the Urban Couture fashion show which showcased Polytechnic west students, San cOra and seePrinci designs. Below is just a few of the amazing designs that were on show. 

And how cool is this? Up in the trees were these amazing lanterns made from sewing patterns! I might just have to steal this idea one day!

Can you believe it's already April? I have so many sewing deadlines rushing quickly towards me that my head's spinning! How about you?  How has the year been so far for all your sewing plans?


Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Pearl Jam Dress

Dodgy pics due to rushed excitement! Sorry!

I made this dress to wear to the Big Day Out this year that was headlined by Pearl Jam! So in ode to one of my most favourite bands I decided to grunge it up a little with this plaid in paisley print. At first I was searching for a full plaid print but when I came across this fabric I was pretty happy. It's a nice soft cotton blend and ended up being really nice to wear all day and night while dancing my head off!
I used the Simplicity Lisette pattern 1878 which was a quick and easy pattern to whip up. What made it even easier was that due to the bust size I went with, it ended up so big that I didn't need to put the back zipper in! So essentially it's quite a big sack of a dress. Because the fabric is so soft, pulling it in with a belt was ideal and it's a comfy thing to wear. 

photo credit
Pearl Jam rocking the plaid as usual.

photo credit
Can't have enough Eddie!

Originally I was going to hem the dress with a pearl trim but ran out of time and instead decided to add a pearl button to each sleeve. This worked out great as I pulled up the sleeves which were quite large, and made them a better fit.
The front split kept flopping forward so I just ended up folding them both down. If this fabric was stiffer it would look better I'm sure.

It was an awesome day, and if it really was the last Perth BDO, then it couldn't have been better! Maybe due to the last minute venue change or the lineup (I don't know), there was hardly anyone there! I've never seen a BDO with so little people. This made walking up to the front of every band super easy. Highlights were of course Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Grouplove and Kingswood. AMAZING! And I have to say that I didn't feel like one of the oldest there this time!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Darling Ranges Dress

I have finally finished this Darling Ranges dress! I started it over a year ago while pregnant and was silly to do so! My head was totally not in the game, as everything I attempted for myself last year was a complete FAIL! So this dress hung in the closet unfinished until last week when I saw it there, begging me to give it another chance and not completely waste the lovely vintage bedsheet fabric that I had used. And I'm glad I did, in that it feels good to get unfinished things done. Even if it didn't turn out great, and if I'll probably only wear it around the house in future, I'm ok with the hack job that this dress is.

I bought this pattern from Megan Nielsen herself at the Perth Upmarkets in late 2012 and was keen to give it a go after seeing these awesome versions here, here and here!
Now like I said I was pregnant and loco so I will never let anyone close enough to look inside this dress! The insides are HORRIBLE!!
But moving on, I would like to remake this dress properly one day, in a more drapey fabric as the cotton is just a bit too stiff for my liking and puffs out quite a bit in the skirt. I would also try the sleeves with a normal hem and narrower, and next time buy enough buttons! They start out close together up top and then quite rapidly get very spaced out closer to the hem!

I didn't need to put on the tie at the back as my waist filled out the dress already. I also moved the bust dart to a less crazy spot for me.

So lessons learnt for next time (I do really like this pattern):
Softer fabric with better drape,
buy enough buttons,
don't sew while loco (this is my motto for 2014!),
move the bust dart
and finish the insides!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A Scout Woven Tee - and the decision that it's just not meant for me.

So I've just finished my second Scout Woven Tee from Grainline Studios and have decided that this is just unfortunately not the most flattering pattern for me. Now I've seen ALOT of cute ones out there in the blogosphere which is why I gave it a go not once, but twice. The first version went straight to the op shop pile after what I can only blame on a very bad fabric choice and pregnancy hormones. I made the size according to my bust size which ended up very big everywhere else, but just enough room to pull over. Which is what it's meant to do I guess, but a baggy midriff section is not what I need going on right now!

So my second attempt was with some lovely fabric from a vintage bed sheet given to me by a friend. I liked the light airiness to it and thought it would be a nice option to go with jeans.
So ahead I went, using the same size as last time (unfortunately my breasts have not reduced in size) but thinking maybe it would hang nicer as I'm now minis the pregnant belly.
BUT no..... Wearing this top I look like a giant square. I need to be longer in the bodice or slimmer in the hips to pull this off. I would take either!

I WILL say that this pattern is extremely easy to whip up. I also decided to French seam within and doing the sleeves this way was a first for me and something I'm pretty happy with. I just love the look of totally encased sleeve holes!
The only adjustments I made was to lower the armscye by about 2cm and increase the side seam allowance to reduce the bulk, although I could have brought it in a lot more. I also sewed down the french seams on the shoulders for a smoother finish.

Overall I'm happy with the construction and the seam finishes, even if this top is totally unwearable for me. I'm loving the bias tape finish at the neck seam too. First time I saw this method was on the Darling Ranges dress (that I'm yet to finish as I started that while pregnant last year, why, I don't know!)

A lesson learned: pay more attention to what suits my body shape. It will save a lot of tears in the future!

Friday, 20 December 2013

5 sleeps 'til Christmas! Simplicity 1880: My dress is done!

So only 5 sleeps til xmas peeps!! Excited, especially since I've just finished a dress for myself for the day. I've always made my daughter a christmas outfit, but never one for me. And not only that I also managed to whip up a pair of xmas shorts for the man and a baby dress for, well, the baby :)

Now I actually was in the process of making another dress for christmas, a Cynthia Rowley pattern, in fact I had traced the pattern ready to cut when I went looking in my boxes for some fabric. While searching for some white fabric (I figured white was best to disguise any rogue baby spew incidents...), I found this music fabric dress that I had started 2 years ago, actually 80% finished and thought why not? I'm of limited time right now, and music is within the realms of this very festy period! All I had left to do on it was attach the skirt, insert the side zip, add sleeves and put in buttons (I ended up with I said, limited time...some might say laziness......I would:).
This pattern was the Simplicity Project Runway pattern 1880. Why I hadn't finished this dress 2 years ago became apparent pretty quickly. I had stuffed up the collar, requiring alot of refiddling. I'm still not 100% happy with it. I had also cut out the dress 3 sizes too big (why I don't know!) therefore taking it in A LOT! It's still quite big but because I only had a tiny zip for the side, it means I can still pull the dress over my head. It's quite a comfy fit actually, which I feel will come in super handy as my belly will probably be expanding rapidly on the day!

I adjusted the skirt by taking out quite an amount of fabric from the front as it was too bulky for my liking and just hung in quite an unattractive way. I took about 8 inches from the bottom out, tapering up to 3 inches out at the top of the skirt. I also shortened the bodice because where it is meant to sit, is not a good spot for me. The sleeves were close to the original design except that I didn't put in all the tucks, just one on each side. 

Well I hope you are all ready to rock 'n' roll on the 25th! Have you made a special dress for this silly season?

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