Thursday, 30 July 2015

An Outfit-A-Long (Or, Birds and Bows and Vianne)

Evening guys - this is a very exciting post, but will be short. It's Thursday night (technically Friday morning), I have work tomorrow, my alarm goes off in 5 hours. I should be going to bed, but I needed to get this post up now before the weekend.

So, last year Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots and Lauren of Lladybird hosted the first ever Outfit Along, or OAL. I loved the idea, and also the dress (it's still in the queue - soon, soon...), and so I tried, but my knitting skills were not even nearly up to scratch! I failed before the first hurdle, as it were. But when they announced it was going to happen again this year, I was ALL. OVER. THAT. Because now I can actually knit things!

Birds and Bows 3
(So my hair is a bit crazy in all these shots - it was super windy! Also it bothers me that the bottom of the ribbing doesn't line up properly - I think that was my blocking. What a noob.)

I actually didn't follow the OAL exactly, but that's part of the beauty of it - you don't have to. I made a dress and cropped cardi, but as long as you sewed something and knit something within the time frame, it counted. I started my cardi about a week into the OAL, thinking I'd need all the time I could get, but actually got it finished a couple of weeks ago. The dress only took a couple of days now I've used the pattern a few times.

I chose Andi's pattern the Vianne for my cardigan, the official OAL pattern, but followed her guide to knit the back plain. I felt that plain meant more wearability. Also, you may notice mine looks different, it's more lines in the detail rather than lace... That's entirely my fault. At almost completing the cardigan, I was knitting it with my Mum, when she lent over and casually said, "You do know you're doing your yarnovers backwards, right?" FACEPALM. No. No I did not. But it looks okay, so I'm happy with it. The fit... I made a M, but shortened the sleeves slightly (just by trying as I went with the first and copying it for the second), and did half the ribbing on the body to match the number of rows on the sleeves. Next time, I'll go a size down on the sleeves - I like my cardigans a little tighter around the sleeve, but it's certainly nothing to frog about.

Birds and Bows 2

It's my first wholly completed cardigan (the first attempt I gave up on, the second is just needing a button band now that this one is finished), and I'm very happy with it. The pretty metal buttons I picked up for 15 cents each at the charity sewing store - so awesome!

Birds and Bows 1

AND now, on to the dress. This is another New Look 6048, size 16 with the tweaks I added to the bust (see my Blue Flowers dress or TARDIS dress for proper details). The bust sits properly flat and fits right now, which is awesome. I used this darling birds and bows cotton I bought last year in Melbourne (originally was being saved for a Cambie, but I'm glad I went with this instead), and the contrast is just plain white cotton sateen, for the extra weight. I love the fit and shape of this dress so much, I will certainly come back to it again - I just need to make some other things first!

Birds and Bows 5
(I look really grumpy, but I promise I'm not...)

The fabric only has the tiniest amount of grey in it, but I thought the grey cardigan would be a neutral (of sorts) which I could wear a lot. I'm super super happy with this outfit, in short, and in long, it's awesome and I'm wearing it out to dinner this weekend!

And now, it's bedtime. Someone has to be coherent enough to teach Year 6 tomorrow...

Friday, 24 July 2015

Blue Flower Dress

Hello, my friends! It's been a busy few weeks - the first weeks of term always are. I've still got a huge backlog of projects to share, but also now a bit of a backlog of photos to be edited, which is awesome. Means hopefully I'll be able to have a bit of a queue for posts!

Anyway, this is one of my more recent dresses, and was intended to be a wearable muslin. It turned out so nice that I can't wait to wear it (I'm just waiting for the weather to warm up a little). The pattern is New Look 6048, a dress which I have wanted to make for a while. I was inspired by several versions, including this one made by Hell Bunny (I love their designs, even if I don't love the price tag!):

I also love this and this version - both gorgeous - from Bobbin and Baste, and I adore this one from Sew Busy Lizzie (Aussie sewers represent!). The pattern itself needs a little tweaking to get to the stage of the Hell Bunny dress, so I made it as is for my wearable muslin (plus I need to learn how to put piping in...)

But here is the first version!

Blue Flower Dress
(I think this is my 'Look! I made a thing!' face and pose)

The fabric is a lightish cotton. I'm still learning about fibre contents and things like that, but it is definitely cotton (crisp like a quilting cotton, but thinner). I picked it up a few months ago on a trip with my BFF to Cabramatta (where nothing has labels), a suburb of Sydney which is well known for it's reasonably priced cheap fabrics. I bought many metres that day (something like 18) and most were only $4 or so per metre.

Blue Flower Dress 2
(So now on I'm sometimes attempting actual poses 
instead of just being awkward... This one is okay...)

I made it up in a size 16, which fit pretty well. For future versions (I've actually made 2 others already, one of which is my TARDIS dress) I have taken 1.5cm out of the front bodice/side bodice seam, which takes care of the gaping you can see on the bust line in the pictures. It's totally wearable without the adjustment though! The skirt is also as per pattern, although I removed the single pleats on the back because they kept getting caught in the zip.

Blue Flower Dress pockets
(As always, look at the pocketses!)

The dress is fully lined, although it took my brain some wrangling. I ended up saving the straps for last though, so they are hand sewed to the lining on the inside instead of sandwiched inside (honestly, I couldn't work out how to sandwich them - plus I figured this way they're really easy to adjust if I need to after I've worn it a bit). I can foresee me wearing all my versions of this dress - and making more - as soon as the weather warms up a little. I like this best without a scarf and layers of stockings...

And while we had the lights set up and were doing a marathon of photos in the apartment the other night, the Boyfriend was taking test shots while I was mucking around... Look what happened! I feel like such a Bimble and Pimble copycat (to be fair, I love Amanda's makes and was explaining to the Boyfriend about how she always does raptor poses... I may have asked for it).

Blue Flower Dress 3
(Bonus awkward raptor!)

I love when you can try a new pattern and it's (almost) ready first go! I'd love new pattern recommendations if anyone would like to share their current favourites - especially for woven tops, I really need some of those... And don't forget to have a lovely day!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Keeping a Good List

Hey lovelies! I have a wordy post for you today, for a few reasons. I'm out of town at the moment, and it's so cold (feels like 2!) so I haven't brought many me-mades for taking photos of. I need to get on making more practical colder weather clothes (read: not all dresses and skirts!).

I thought I'd share with you today some of the things on my sewing 'bucket list' at the moment, in case anyone has advice to offer or has similar goals. I currently have these in a list on my phone entitled 'To accomplish'. I do like a good list.

         The first thing on my list, was pajamas. For me, that meant one of those lace edged slip nighties, made up in a slippery fabric with some stretch. I wanted a pattern with separate bust pieces rather than darts, to fit my bustiness a bit better and allow for more modifications if I need to adjust it. 
         I ended up making Butterick 6031, Gertie's pattern, in a slippery poly with a gorgeous Japanese inspired print from Spotlight. It probably won't make it onto the blog, because honestly, I'm not that brave (maybe on the hangar though?) However, it needs some work - I hemmed it way too high (my fault entirely), and the bust pieces do need a little bit of help. I'm also still learning about using knit stitches on my machine (I'm forever fighting the tension with knit fabrics). I like it alot and I do wear it, but I'll remake it when the weather gets warmer.
         I have also made wintry pajamas (also worn all the time as lounge pants) using Tilly and the Buttons Margot pattern from Love At First Stitch. They're flattering looking but still super comfy, and I've made 3 pairs in flannelette (to appear on the blog soon!)

          Sewing with knits is my big nemesis... I suppose that should actually be listed before the first one, but I have so many issues with my tension, and machine in general, the one time I sewed with ponte (I ended up doing a circle skirt hem entirely by hand, it was so difficult!!!). I would like to be able to make comfy knit tops and ponte dresses, but I need some help. I'm thinking in order to tick this one off the list, I'm going to take a class, so someone can help me. I'm going to try one more time first though, as I have a few fabrics (including a gorgeous hunter green stretch panne velvet) which are just waiting to become Lady Skater dresses!

LACE OVERLAY DRESS          I really want a lace overlay dress. Almost every time I see these in a store, I love them, especially sheer lace sleeves. Specifically, I have an image in my head of a 3/4 sheer sleeved navy lace dress, but that's still a while off. In the meantime, I have made one broderie angliase dress, navy blue on white (I love it - it's a Tilly and the Buttons Lilou dress), and am planning to dye some fabric and make a green one soon too! To achieve the final lace dress I have in mind, I just need a lot of patience, which at the moment I don't have. Simple as that.

          I'd love to sew myself a swimsuit. This will probably take the longest, for a few reasons. Firstly, I don't actually swim all that much! I also feel like I need to conquer knits first, and I haven't made anything using the kinds of notions in swimwear. I do want to try it though, because I struggle to find nice swimsuits which cover enough and are supportive enough. I think the Bombshell would be excellent, but that requires special notions and skills which I don't yet have.

          For a while, I've wanted a vintage style coat (which in my head means with a fuller skirted silhouette), and was planning on making one. I was looking at patterns, thinking about colours, wondering how much wool content I could afford to include in the fabric, and then the Boyfriend decided he wanted to buy me a new winter coat... So this happened. So, now I have a new winter coat. I adore this coat so much (as you will hopefully have realised from my previous post), so I won't be making a coat anytime soon, but it's still definitely on my list for eventually!
These are on my list (my ever-growing list)... What about yours? What sewing goals do you have? And congratulations to all those who made it all the way through that, that was super wordy - well done and thank you!