Tuesday, 20 January 2015

inspired by the 1920s and tea-rose coutil

I didn't anticipate needing one myself, but the The Roaring 20s is close - every February in the Blue Mountains.  I'm hoping to go to a daytime event, and before I can make the dress, need an appropriate brassiere for my substantial acreage.  I'm hoping to use the pattern in Jill Salen's Vintage Lingerie.

Other than if it will be effective, I'm concerned to know how I'll be able to fasten it. It was designed to fasten by hook & eye at the side seam.


Except due to my height (thus short arms), and stout self I'm physically unable to do that.  Could I lace it closed under the CF and then hook & it down the bust seam - like the tudor gown Hunnisett has where the stomacher pins over the front lacing gown.

Does that make sense??

I've also become obsessed with making it in a tea-rose broche coutil, although I don't have any. So I'm going to visit Metro Fabrics on Saturday and hope they still have a floral broche in a sort of pink. Even just broche, and I'll dye it!

Obsession can be both good & bad. If it motivates me to start sewing, then I'm likely to get the happy-sewing-juju back.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Figured out why I'm demotivated

It's not a problem you'd think I'd have, living here in Australia. It's summer and I have the winter glums aka SAD. (https://theconversation.com/seasonal-affective-disorder-why-you-feel-under-the-weather-937)

It's been another ridiculously grey summer with some weeks being 6 days grey sky (with or without rain) and 1 day sunshine, and this is yet another one. We had 10 grey days in a row in December. So very wrong in our SUMMER!!! I've been so demotivated and unproductive cos I'm not feeling it. A few days sunshine and I perk up and then we get hit with another seven days of solid cloud cover.

So, I'm going to look into getting a lightbox, or full spectrum lightbulb to put on my desk at work. I'm hoping it helps to perk me up again.

And please, no comments about dams and gardens and farmers needing rain. I've past that point of them being any form of consolation. It worked in December, not so much January. Also grey overcast days with no rain isn't filling dams and gardens. When it comes time to harvest, farmers need no rain.

One reason I stayed in Sydney was the amount of sunshine hours, but this and the previous 2 summers have been severely lacking in sunshine hours.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Tonight's pesky chore: grading the VPLL pattern

I really want to make the dresses while it's still summer, so today's sewing chore is to grade up this pattern to my size. Then I can do the alterations like FBA and shortening (including high hip) and see if I need to my traditional narrow shoulder alteration. Though if I play my cards right I can do the shortening incl high hip at the same time as I trace it off & grade.



I'm only going to trace the pattern pieces because I need to grade them, and I can do that as I trace rather than slashing & spreading and sticky taping it, and then doing the other alterations until it's a sticky taped hideous mess. Because I'm short, I'm only going to grade extra width and I realise that this technically no longer makes it grading.

So at long last I'll open & start to use my 49metre roll of 60cm (24") wide architects tracing paper.

EDITED TO ADD: Done, taking 45 minutes

Monday, 5 January 2015

Another fabric for a vintage summer dress

OK, not the only thing.  At the end of December I bought this piece of brown cotton satin with a duckegg & cream print.  I needed to get fabric for the collar cos I realised it's perfect for the wrap 1930s New York dress pattern.  The olive foliate print I had been planning to use was impossible to find a matching plain, except in white. I looked for a few years and not only does white not suit me, I figured it shows marks to easily for someone as clumsy as myself. 

The choices of plain duck-egg or mint were un-inspiring. They looked flat and dull, and not right for this lightweight fluid cotton satin, and then one of the shop assistants suggested the quilting micro dot fabric. It works really well and is a lovely soft and spendy cotton.  This metre of fabric cost 75% what my 4 metres of brown print cost - ok that was ridiculously cheap for Australia, but still. meeep



I also got some black for contrast collar on my red/black print cotton. Red was meh, white a no-go-zone.

A flower will NOT mark the spot

A couple of months ago I started sewing another summer dress version of Lilly Rose.  The print fabric was from my stash & bought on hols during a fabric shop tour with my Brisbane posse. The plain fabric bought earlier this year to go with it.  The skirt is assembled and the back darts stitched.  Thought I'd cut out the sleeves but hadn't - so I must find the shirt pattern I've taken them from.

What ground production to a halt?  Realising that I didn't want a flower on either (or both!) bust point like a target.  Who needs their clothing to say "look at my acreage".


So on Saturday, at the Australian Sewing Guild group, I stopped procrastinating and traced the full front bodice pattern onto see through non-iron interfacing. Next I placed the full pattern on myself and marked BP (bust point) on each side. Only to startle when someone said to look out that the ink didn't bleed through onto the top I was wearing. Yep, I was a bit tired & silly yesterday. 

Then with a full pattern piece I could cut a single layer piece after shifting it around to make sure it was on grain and dodging both BPs.


Having made sure that there isn't a target on either ... a + marks the BP spot.


That's pretty much all I did all day, I was tired and thought I was bound to make a dumb mistake if I stared sewing & cutting.  If I got this wrong I still have enough fabric to cut another bodice piece as well as the sleeves.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Not the parcel wrapping I expected.

Who'd expect this in the post - it's how my copy of Barbara Johnson's Album arrived, and clearly it wouldn't fit in my mailbox. How could I fault it's secure packing.  I wondered what was in it, and was hoping it was a mystery present. Still exciting though! Inside the sack addressed to me was the book in a corrugated cardboard book box, also labelled with my name.



The book is a big slab of a thing and as it's a fascimile reproduction of her album the household accounts are interesting too. From memory they're about 60 years older than the fabric swatches she glued over the top.Not on every page either.  Nice to see fabrics that I'd wear, even if not all of them are my choice.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

the older dress pattern, from the stash

For the curious, this is the pattern I bought the bundle for, it's an un-marked mail order pattern, for a 48" bust. I'll need to narrow the shoulders more than I would if it was my size, but it might make a nice dress for at home in a lawn. Maybe, but as it's not what I'd wear to work then it'll have to wait a little longer.



Look at those step by step sewing instructions on the pattern envelope! 9 steps in total with no pictures