Friday, 22 April 2016

Me-made-may pledge

It's that time of the year again, when sewists put their thinking caps on and think up their personal resolutions to take part in Zoe's Me-Made-May challenge. 
For anyone doesn't know about the challenge, the details are here and you can sign up here.   

I love this challenge as I really feel it helps me to think about my wardrobe and gaps in it and how to fill them best rather than just sewing up my latest sewing fancy.  When thinking of this years challenge, I looked back at what I did last year. My pledge was to wear one me-made item every day but also to mend one item or do one refashion each week. I was impressed with this challenge and so have decided to repeat it again this year,, last year I didn't quite manage it but lets see what happens.

Part of what I love most about this challenge is taking part in something with so many other sewists and seeing everyone's outfits and the conclusions they make about their wardrobes.  Are you taking part?  Can't wait!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Maxing out the 70s vibes

Hi All.  I'm on a bit of a 70s roll at the moment, it's one of my preferred decades for style, although I'm not a fan of the browns and oranges and synthetic fabrics that original 70s clothes were often made from.  So while I tend not to buy 70s clothes when I find them in charity/vintage shops, I have a lot 70s patterns and I'm currently working my way through them.
I've had this pattern on my to-make list for a while. The collar and the unusual V shaped side panels appealed to me. When I was thinking about doing some holiday sewing, I realised that I had the perfect fabric for it in my stash; a slightly psychedelic, rose print viscose that my mother had bought for me in Paris a few years ago.  I hadn't managed to find a use for it yet as the print is very bold and the fabric was super slinky I thought would be difficult to use.
Great combo, no?

As ever, I didn't make a muslin and I was scared of the dress being too small, so I added 1.5cm all over to pattern pieces.  While this was necessary at the hips, and in fact I could do with a touch more ease across the hips when I'm sitting down, the finished dress is a bit too big in the bodice.  It's still very wearable and the extra room made it nice and cool in the holiday sunshine but it's something for me to note for my next version.
In this photo you can just about see my 'tan' on my arms, of which I am inordinately happy with, but I still look stupidly pale beside your average person.  Damn you, pale Irish skin!

With the exception of the collar, the dress was a straightforward make.  Even the side panels, which I thought would be a nightmare, went in easily.  However, getting that collar in was a nightmare, I must have ripped it out at least three times.  It's still very far from perfect but at least the gap at the bottom looks (semi) deliberate now.  There were no instructions to interface the collar but I did as the fabric was super drapey and would have just flopped over without it.  Like a lot of vintage patterns this one provided no instructions about how to insert a zip, nor which kind of zip to use and in fact in this pattern the part where they tell you to put it in is so brief, you'd blink and miss it!  I used an invisible zipper, which gives a nice clean finish.

While the fabric didn't really pose many problems when I was sewing it together, however, it creases like crazy, as evidenced by this back shot.

You can just about see the side panel detail in this shot.  I think these side panels would look great in a contrasting fabric to make a feature of them and I have some plans brewing for another version of this dress with contrasting panels.

There were arm facings included in the pattern but firstly I'm not a fan of arm facings as I feel like they flick out too easily and secondly I didn't have enough of the fabric to cut them so I decided to make some bias binding from some orange cotton that I had in my stash.  It happened to match the orange roses on fabric perfectly which I found pleasing.  My binding could have done with being stretched a little more round the arm hole, although it sits flatter against my skin than it does against Rosie the mannequin!

This was a really lovely dress for floating around in the sun and the viscose felt lovely and cool against the skin.  I now really want to wear it again and I would love the UK weather to oblige (anyone bored of listening to me whinge about how miserable the weather is yet?)  There has been some distinctly spring like weather this week so you never know, I might get a chance to wear it again soon.

This is another make towards my vintage pattern pledge.  I'm doing pretty well towards my goal already, although, at this rate, there's a distinct chance that all my makes will be from the 70s!  I must see if I can use some of my patterns from other decades, I'm feeling very inspired by all the other makes on the Pinterest board.  How are you getting on with your vintage pattern pledges?    

Saturday, 9 April 2016

From one extreme to another

My last post was about the most summery of summery dresses and I was dreaming of summer sewing but the freezing UK temperatures got to me and the first thing I sewed once I got back was a pair of gloves! 

These gloves are a refashion and I've made them before here. However I wore them to death and now wanted some more warm snuggliness to wrap around my icy fingers. 

Having made them before I knew how to construct them and there were none of the two-left-handed issues I'd had last time. Also boy do these things come together a lot faster when I could run them through my speedy overlocker. 

As my plentiful supply of moth eaten/shrunk in wash jumpers were all pretty plain I decided to embellish them with buttons and embrodery thread from my stash. 

These were such a welcome addition to my wardrobe last weekend as I went back to Ireland for a wedding and in the truest Irish tradition the weather was apocalyptic! Luckily the weather in the UK has perked up a bit so hopefully I won't be needing them again for a while.