Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fabric Shopping - Melbourne Edition!

Hi there! I can see some people have found my little blog through the Sew Dolly Clackett competition (now closed, and good luck to everyone who entered!), so an extra special welcome to everyone today.

I got back home Friday night from a week in Melbourne with one of my bestest friends. We shopped (RTW stores), ate a lot, drank a lot (we're both a bit fan of the 7-11 slurpee), and generally had an amazing time.

While in the city, we popped into Tessuti's, but as I suspected it was a little too expensive for my taste. I loved seeing all the Liberty lawns and japanese cottons though - one day... I really wanted to be able to go fabric shopping while we were there though. My friend was totally on board with wandering the outskirts of the city and browsing fabrics, thank goodness. It took a little research, but it turns out that we could visit 3 stores using one tram line from the city (#1)!

Our first stop was Rathdowne Fabric and Remnants, which I loved. The ladies there were super helpful and were able to give me advice about ponte (I have yet to sew with anything not cotton, so didn't really know what to get). They also had some super cute cottons, and really good prices. Not to mention 20% off! I shall definitely need to go back (plus, they said I could order over the phone, which I might do if the ponte is right - I could get so many colours!!!) The ponte was $15/m (I got 1.5), and the purple with the bows and birds was $7.50/m (I got 3). That's before the 20% off.

Next we hit up GJ's discount fabrics. They have two sections - the entrance room is all cottons, and a few steps up is the dance/glitter/upholstery section. They also have a third section, but it's set up for classes and not filled with fabric. The 'discount' part seemed to be mostly in the glitter/tulle department, but they had this gorgeous fabric (as seen on a few lovely people, Roisin included!) What can I say? I love her style and had a major fabric crush. I decided that Blueberry would be the best colourway for me (the lighter aqua Sky colourway is very me also, but I'm trying to branch out in terms of my colour choices). And even better? I got the last of it!!

(Tula Pink Acacia collection, Raccoon in Blueberry)

It was a litle more than I'd anticipated at $24/m, but I splurged on it, and I have no regrets. I was very very pleased with the day - spent about $100 all up, which will give me 2 dresses and an extremely versatile skirt! The best part is, I convinced my friend, who has yet to open the sewing machine she was given years ago, to buy some fabric (red and white Eiffel towers on black), open up her machine, and make a skirt! I am proud.

Anyway, this post is more than wordy enough. Bye then!

TL;DR - I bough fabric, it looks cool, I'm stupid pleased.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Flashback - Seeing Spots: Navy and Red

Way back when I first started sewing again, this was my first creation. It has a few flaws, but I still love wearing it. I am still working on developing my skills (practised and used my first french seam on my latest dress, and my zipper skills are much better than before!) and love learning new things.

The fabric is Spotmania, a line from Lincraft (one of the 2 major sewing stores here in Australia). They have some available online, but not the colourway which I used. It's not expensive and perfect for someone like me, getting back into the groove and practising almost-forgotten skills! 

The pattern is New Look 6208, a lovely high fitted bodice with a pleated skirt. It has 4 variations (this is View A). I used the measurements on the envelope back and hesitantly cut a size 16. It was almost a perfect fit (I only took 1" off the waist afterwards), and hemmed it 5" to hit just above my knee.

New skills: pinking, inserting a zipper.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sew Dolly Clackett Entry #2 - An Almost-Copy

For my second entry in the Sew Dolly Clackett competition... It's an Eiffel Tower dress! Having obviously seen this fabric heaps on Roisin's blog, I wasn't actually sure it was for me. But it grew on me, and although many of the colourways weren't quite right, you can't really go past black and white, right? Right.

This is actually another Cambie pattern hack as well (the same as my Dorothy dress), as after i finished that one I didn't want a gathered skirt. I had planned to do another with a 1/2 circle skirt, but having not enough fabric meant I self-drafted (if you can call it that) a pleated skirt. That basically means I made it up as I went. I left in the pockets for this one (so amazing and useful!), and the fabric itself is gorgeous and drapy. Again, I cut a straight size 12 for the bodice, and used the complete width of the fabric for the skirt. Lining is plain black polypop (and bemsilk for the skirt lining).

Pleating the skirt kind of meant that it ended up a little like the skirt on the Georgia dress - but only a little. It's not my usual style, but I like the way it looks. More novelty prints for me!

'Dolly Clackett' elements: the pattern (Cambie), the fabric (Michael Miller Eiffel Towers), and the fact it is another pattern hack!

Sew Dolly Clackett Entry #1 - Off To See the Wizard dress!

Also known as the Dorothy dress (which I've been calling it from the beginning). One of the reasons I got so heavily back into sewing was from reading blogs: and the first one I found was Dolly Clackett. I love her style, and the prints she uses, and read the entire blog in less than a week, all the way back to the first post. Crazy, maybe, but Roisin is incredible.

Partly from her blog, and all the other sweet versions online, I bought the Sewaholic Cambie pattern - I just had to have it. And the perfect fabric to try it as a wearable muslin? Baby blue 1/2" cotton gingham from Lincraft on sale!

I cut a size 12 straight after consulting the measurements - it is completely gorgeous! The sweetneart neckline, the gathered sleeves... Swoon.

Now, you can see from these pics that actually, this is not the straight dress. I made the entire thing, completely by the book, and the skirt was just... huge. I took out the under layer and it was better and wearable, but not quite my style. So, I made a self-drafted 1/2 circle skirt and attached it instead. And BOY, does that look better than before (no before pictures though sorry).

I'm entering this for several 'Dolly Clackett' features - gingham (Roisin has 2 gingham Cambie's of her own), the Cambie itself, and the pattern hack! It feels like it has character too, and I think that fits. In terms of construction, I also think this may be the best so far.

(Have a gif!)

New skills: full lining, gathered skirt, french seams