Tuesday, 26 July 2016

wanting to prioritise a casual wear dress over work clothes

Several months ago - possibly even late last year - I saw a mermaid print fabric online, that I thought would be wonderful in a casual wear dress.  I googled it and found it came in 3 different colour ways, and loved the darkest version.



Finding yardage (not a half yard piece) was trickier than I expected, but I found it at Never Enough Fabric in California.  I got great customer service & communication from them too.

The only glitch in my plan - is entirely my error. Despite knowing that the States use imperial not metric measures I didn't realise the scale of the print because I saw the ruler on the website image (which isn't the one above) and thought it was centimetres not inches hence the print is 2.5 times the size I anticipated. I thought it was hawaiian shirt size, not this scale:


Not quite as subtle as I'd thought, but I'm still going to use it, and carefully place the bodice pieces on the yardage.

I found this blogger who's made a dress using a similarly scaled Alexander Henry pin up print

Monday, 25 July 2016

a quick pic of my1920s outfit

I had a fabulous time at the 1920s lawn party & will post more photos when I have time on my computer at home (not tonight cos I'm going to see the Cure in concert).

I used a bone brooch to gather up the centre front of the collar, and am really pleased with much better the dress looked. Wearing the right underwear, accessories and make-up also helped me feel much happier with me+the dress. It's looser than I would like, but as it has no side fastening it needs to be able to go over my acreage of boobage.

Here's a quick post with a photo taken by Desir Brulant. I haven't even seen my own photos from the weekend.


Friday, 22 July 2016

Sewing project completed at last - waiting from back in January

Way back in January I was dithering over a 1920s dress for the Roaring 20s festival.  A dress that I didn't finish then cos I got some virus and the start of my missing sewing mojo (which would normally have me power through regardless).

What I didn't blog about was the dress I started making back then.

I borrowed this OOP Vintage Vogue pattern #2535 from a bestie.


I found some black rayon in the stash, and got enough of this embroidered border silk/cotton to use on the lower band with a straight hemline.  I used the plain top half of the silk/cotton to line the sleeveless bodice.  I'm planning to do a shaped hand rolled hem, following the lower edge of the embroidery. 
Inspired by reading this blog post by witness2fashion on 1920s Accessories: what's missing? I'm also going to gather the centre front line of the cape collar because with my boobs it just doesn't look quite right, and I'm thinking of placing a 20s-ish brooch over that. I also have a giant peony fabric flower that I'll put towards my left shoulder to draw the eye up towards my face. 

I'm not going to look my prettiest because I'm a short stout woman and not the ideal figure for 20s, but I'll look fashionably dressed and that's what counts.

Oh, and I finished the dress earlier this week, and am wearing it to a 1920s lawn party on Sunday.



Wednesday, 20 July 2016

In lieu of actual sewing - here's a new-to-me 1920s drawers pattern

I bought this Pictorial Review Pattern on The eBay earlier this year because I was fascinated by how it's a fusion or mash up of bloomers and 20s loose leg drawers.  So fascinated that I had to buy it - it wasn't spendy - and I do plan to grade it to my size and make some myself.  I've seen open legged patterns, and fully banded  but not this half'n'half version.


PPS I still haven't finished my strawberry print dress. That sewing mojo is still in hiding.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Prioritising work clothing over costumes for a while

Due to a massive restructure (dividing the division that I work in a government department into 3 separate entities with a new reporting line for each) I have employment uncertainty as my unit doesn't exist in the new order that starts on 1 July.  I'll find out around the end of this month if I'm being made redundant or redeployed and if redundant if it's 1 months notice or not much more than that with an end date of 30 June.  So I'm proatively job hunting as well as aiming for redeployment.

However I'm facing the reality that my work clothing has deteriorated ... I barely have things I'd wear to a new job. Some but not a weeks worth.  I'm working with files which are grubby etc so not having quality hasn't been a major problem until now.

At least 2 of my planned dresses were in prints that aren't work appropriate - martini glasses or mermaids.  So I've bought 2 vintage fabrics that I can use without facing an awkward conversation.  A dark maroon/brown print and a blue/green sateen with zero stretch. Like pockets I don't do stretch wovens.





Saturday, 2 April 2016

Cutting out the March dress in March

Inching my way to productivity, I also got my March dress selected and cut out in March.



I selected the Anne Adams 4843 and the red/black vintage print and will use the contrast black for the lapel collar.  I compared the bodice of AA4571 with the AA4843 and although the pattern size is 22.5 & 26.5 respectively there was a change in size numbering so that there's 1 size difference.  Other than being one size larger and having neck not shoulder darts on teh back there wasn't any difference between the two bodices in regards to size so I simply used the 4571 bodice with the 4843 skirt pieces. I cut the hips wider as I'm concerned about sitting ease, better to need to take in than be faced with too small. Especially after my Lilly Rose disaster.



Oh and I'm going to stitch darts under the bust not leave them as tucks. I need skimming under the giant boobs of doom, not extra fabric fluffing out to resemble a potato. I'm going to make three-quarter sleeves and stitch a shaped cuff in black on it (no extra volume) to work with the black revere. And zero pockets.  Me and pockets aren't a thing.

Cutting out the February Dress in March

I got to the point of having to do the intitial fit alterations  height + FBA (full bust alteration) on my January dress pattern and balked.  Doing it properly is the only way it's going to work and I just wanted something simpler to sew. So in March I finally got my February dress patternwork done and the dress cut out.

I'm using Anne Adams 4571 with my strawberry print fabric and a green undercollar.  I tried navy or raspberry and it just looked drab. The pale green and yellow would make me look ill, so I went for the green.  I might even have buttons in stash, once I find some old shirts that I was going to patchwork a throw blanket from. If I can't find them quickly then I'll buy some new ones tomorrow. Done is better than procrastinating.


I added 1cm at the side seam cos it seemed like a snug fit, added a 4cm FBA and made the mock up.  I ended up having to do a square shoulder alteration, adding 2cm at the shoulder edge (1.5cm on the back, 0.5cm on front) tapering to zero a the neck. I also had to do a narrow shoulder alteration of 1.5cm and raise the underarm by 1cm. Plus lower the bust point and shorten the dart as it finished far too close to bust point.  It looked better to move the underdart ending too, but not  necessarily shift the darts closer to the side seam.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

shelving my UFO Lilly Rose floral dress

Last Saturday I went to the sewing guild group and took my Lilly Rose ufo, and the December dress.

Yes, December dress is still unfinished in March! No progress pics because it has zero hanger appeal. It looks like a shapeless sack with cute pockets. I hate pockets, but the collar on the dress will look ridiculous without the pockets.  On Saturday I moved up the 3/4 waist belt up to a more flattering place and shortened it as I'd marked. The new placement is ideal BUT the carpenter's mantra of measure twice, cut once holds true for sewing.  As I shortened the waist belt I did think "huh, that's quite a bit" and lo, behold it was far too short ... an 8" gap in the back. What was I thinking? I realised I marked the wrong end of the belt pieces. So I need to recut, stitch and re-insert them. I got some 1cm or narrower bias tape for the sleeve hem, and 1.5cm bias tape for the hem itself. Oh, make the collar pieces too. Plus I need to cut a neck facing - the pattern says to use self bias but I'm not going there.  I should finish it this month HAH.

The Lilly Rose is a bust. I finished the second side seam, inserting the zip so that I could try it on. Whatever issues I had with cutting it out that included having to let out skirt seams so the skirt wasn't too narrow for the waist yoke, well it's too tight overall so grabby in the wrong way. The only fix I can think of is to unpick the skirt/yoke seam, lower the top edge of the skirt (so it's wider), reshape the panels so the top edge fits the yoke but the hip is wider and get more contrast fabric to add a border to the hem.  TBH I'm just not feeling the love after all the hassle. I want a pretty new dress that doesn't have so much UGH and potty mouth associated with it.

The January dress hasn't even been mocked up. I'm staring at the front bodice pieces going umm, full bust alteration how?  Need to mock up and finesse that but I'm needing something easier than that right now.  No more fiddling and trying to fix things.

I compared my (unblogged cos I haven't even mocked up January's) February dress pattern to a blouse pattern that fits and all I need to do is the FBA and get cracking. Oh and raise the underarm level by half an inch, but not the bodice length cos YAY half sizes!

I also bought another vintage half size pattern on The eBay a couple of weeks ago, and it's just as cute. I see it in my future ... if only I can cure my procrastination. but hey, I'm no longer anaemic after an iron injection in my "hip" that for the next week felt like I'd been kicked in the *ahem* by a mule. Is this going to be my March dress?


Okay, I've stopped buying fabric and aiming to use stash, stash and more stash.  However today I bought another half size vintage dress pattern. This time on Etsy ... I love that half sizes fit plus I love vintage cuteness so I'm sure that I'll be getting more of them. I like the mail order brands eg Anne Adams or Marion Martin because they're very much RTW rather than high fashion.