2nd Secret Santa – Squared

I decided it was easiest to give my Secret Santa recipients  a slip dress each. That way I could tailor it to their tastes so that hopefully they were really unique gifts. This is my second dress – made for my brother’s girlfriend, Steph.

My Mum showed me this top, basically a square with some arm holes and a neck hole. Simplest style I have ever seen! I traced a quick pattern, with a few alterations and cut the fabric out, a lovely light fabric with mini hearts all over it which I got from Centrepoint Fabrics in Auckland.

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Again I didn’t know what size my SS recipient was so I made the pattern quite big and added ties at the back so it could be worn tight around the waist, for a more fitted look. Or alternatively loose and draping.

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This was honestly the quickest and easiest pattern I have ever sewn. The hardest part was sewing the facing around the collar. And the best part, it doesn’t actually look like a square sack once it’s on the figure.

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Has anyone else sewn one of these square dresses or tops before? Or a pattern of equal simplicity?

I am very keen to keep making this pattern. I can churn new outfits out in 2 hours tops (including the trip to the fabric store)!!

 

 

 

The Super “Boring” Skirt That I Love

Oh yes, I have completed the third of my patterns from the big pattern splurge I had a wee while ago. This may look like a super boring skirt. Plain black. Straight. No waistband. No frills. No pockets.

BUT BEFORE I PUT YOU OFF – let me say that I love my new skirt and let me tell you why.

First – look at that luscious material! It’s 100% wool and 100% machine washable. It’s delicious and warm and has a lovely subtle sheen to it.

Secondly, I love the fit! I sewed a 12 straight of the packet even though my measurements are definately for a 14. Previously I wanted to do things ‘right’ and would always cut a 14 but I always ended up taking it in so I’ve decided that I don’t care what McCalls says I think I’m a 12 – and so far it’s working out well. The sewed the petite (short person’s) version of this pattern as I usually have to take two inches of the bottom of anythign I make! Aside from that adjustment, the only chage I made to the pattern was to install an invisible zipper instead of a normal one.

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Third, I love the pattern. I used McCall’s M5523 and made view D (the yellow one). And without further ado here’s the most exciting part of the shirt – the back (I feel a bit odd posting a photo of my backside to the internet so be kind!)

I think the pleats really make” this skirt if you know what I mean. I think they’re simple but dress the skirt up without being fusy. The material I chose doesn’t hold the pleats in place quite as firmly as I’d hoped but all the same they do stay.

Similarly to Sew Busy Lizzy this was the first project that I used a double needle on. This, along with my new serger, I think, isstarting to make my sewing look a lot more professional than when i started at the beginning of the year. In case you were interested I found this video about sewing with double needles:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m03QoutPNDU]

I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK FILLED WITH LOTS OF SEWING!

Confessions

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I have a confession to make. I accidently-on-purpose bought 11 patterns during the recent McCalls/ Vogue/ Butterick sale.

W O W I’m not making any apologies!

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The thing is that in New Zealand patterns are – too put it mildly – horrendously expensive. To buy a normal vogue pattern, such as the one at the top of this post, would cost NZ$33. To put that in perspective, that’s US$27.36. A “Vogue Easy Options” pattern is NZ$25. Hugely expensive right? So when they were reduced to US$2.88 how could I resist?

To combat the cost of shipping I used a a service called ship2u to make the postage cheeper (McCalls was going to charger me $55!!) I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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So when I saw the massive sale that the McCall’s company was having I had no choice but to buy at least a few…

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I mean who doesn’t need a new work shirt ? ? ?

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And a skirt to go with it . . .

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Or maybe a second – I do work FOUR days a week you know!

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And of course I needed some sensible trousers comme ca

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Having another party dress never hurt anyone, right?

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OR another one. . .

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And it is e s s e n t i a l to have a loose summer dress/ top to throw over your togs at the beach in this harsh Antipodean sun

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And getting into knit fabrics really was one of my sewing goals for the year – what better opportunity than now to achieve goals?

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So I thought I’d buy another just to get some good practice in.

Reasonable enough right?? Or is sewing becoming an obsession? Am I loosing perspective?!

Retro Pattern Giveaway

I’M HAVING A GIVEAWAY!

I will be giving away these three lovely vintage patterns:

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Pretty right? All you have to do to be in the draw is like my facebook page and tell me which country your in! Easy!

I’ll be accepting entries from all over the world and entries close on Friday 14th September (NZ time) so get “liking” 🙂

Vintage Pattern on Sunday

SIMPLICITY 5953 c. 1960

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This pattern would look great in a block bold colour. From top clockwise: Cream silk dupion, plum sheer striped silk, green linen, blue linen, baby pink cotton lycra blend.

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My favourite view-fabric combination is probably this purple silk (above) with view 2 (below).

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And here’s all the pattern pieces carefully noted so you know what you’re getting yourself into

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DISTRACTIONS…

So, yet again I have been distracted from my current sewing project. I’m currently making a cape (here for look) however, it seems I have been distracted by another thing I want to make. I am still making progress with my cape and promise to post a WIP update later  this week.

In the meantime let me tell you about my latest distraction – McCalls 6460

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In case I haven’t told you before (we’re all friends here right?) I’m going to a ball! I haven’t been to a ball in absolutely ages. I thought that I wanted to wear quite a simple dress that with any luck I can wear again. So here is my inspiration: 20120716-182325.jpg

Don’t Judge! Yes it’s Taylor Swift, but look at the dress, isn’t is lovely?!

Here’s a similar dress but one with a full skirt:

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Once I started googling I found that most of the images under “black lace dress” had sleeves. I orginally was going to opt for the sleeveless version but after seeing these I think I’m won over by the elbow length sleeves (like Taylor’s).

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Yes I have already bought the fabric and the pattern (danger – what if I don’t get onto this project in time and it ends up on my shelf with the copious amounts of other fabrics yet to be made up!?!?!)

I bought a black floral lace and a champaign-pinky satin to line it with. Upon reflection I’m a tad worried that this will look a bit rude. When I said I’d like something to line the dress with the shop assistant picked up some black and looking at all the photos on google they’re all lined with black too… Please tell me it won’t look rude!

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Hopefully the bodice will look something like this (above)

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And I will look something like this lady – elegant and introspective!

One last note: I despise wearing strapless bras as they are forever cutting into my ribs which is only a tad better, in my book, than being too loose. Anyway, I found this great link giving instructions on how to sew a bra into a dress, I’m definitely going to give it a go!

Sewing Room: Part III

A little while ago I blogged about my new sewing room (also here). Unsurprisingly, yet saddeningly, my graduation bouquet did not live forever *mega sad face*.

So I bought this little pot plant to bighten up my room:

My dad brought me the little Nessy from Loch Ness, Scotland. I put them together so they can live together and have some company.

I’m still on quite a Florence and the Machine buzz so here’s a video of my first favourite Florence song:

Velvet Dress Finished!

As I mentioned yesterday I finished my velvet dress. It’s first outing was to Florence and the Machine. Whilst the dress is not perfect, nothing in life ever is, so I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Here are some pictures:

    

I wore it with this necklace that I bought from Tiger Eye Beads in Wellington (check them out – they’re pretty cool).

In order to get the dress finished on time for Florence, I had a mad rush of sewing the zipper in and slip stitching the facings down. I did a slack version of a lapped zipper where I just lined the zipper up off to one side of the centre. If you want a tutorial on how to do it properly Gerty has written a great one or here’s my slack one:

Somewhere along the line I forgot that my Sewing Class tutor had suggested that I only put in half the darts as there were eight in total. Whilst this seemed a good idea at the time, it meant that my dress was MILES too big for me!

I was in quite a hurry by this stage, so I decided, that rather than doing it properly and sewing the other FOUR darts in I would take it in on the sides and whack off the excess from the sides (I know, I know – slacker!).

I’m very pleased with how the dress turned out and will post photos of me wearing it soon. For now here’s one of me and my Lovely at the concert:

Sewing Class: Week Two

On Monday I went to my second week of Sew, Sew, Sew! I got there early and got cracking with sewing my velvet to the lining as I had finished cutting, pinned at home on Sunday evening (aren’t I good!) Remember this pattern…?

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The instructions wanted me to baste the lining straight onto the velvet shell. My tutor was a bit dubious about this approach but thought it best to go along with what the instructions said. I took a guess and thought that a half inch seam allowance would suffice.

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I then stitched the shape of the side darts, front darts and back darts right through the velvet and the lining as the instructions asked me to. This seemed somewhat unusual aswell (tutor also agreed) but who am I to argue with the pattern?

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The tutor and I also thought that having four parallel darts in the front as well as four more in the back could look be a bit bulky with the velvet. Soooo I have only put in the larger of the darts (closer to the middle) on the front and the back and will see how that looks. I put the side darts in like normal.

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Also here are some more pics of the lovely bouquet my sister bought me for graduation… just cos I felt like it…

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