Florence + the Pre Raphaelites

Ok I know- I’m a terrible student. Last night I, again, missed my sewing class. But I have a far better excuse this time. I went to see Florence and the Machine!!! In my defence I booked these tickets months ago. Far before I booked myself into Sew, Sew, Sew! And in case you were wondering – Yes she was amazing!

In honour of her amazing-ness I thougth I’d wirte a post about Florence Welch. To me Florence and the Machine is a lot like a Pre-Raphealite painting. She is fair skinned, has red hair and many of her songs, like the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, are deep and moving.

This is my favourite right now:

Sometimes I’m not sure whether it is just me that sees these things or if her stylists have modelled her look on a particular theme. But I can find at least one other blogger that has also seen this connection (here for link to their blog post).

Here’s an example of what I mean. Below is Florence Welch and under that is Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (who had a pretty interesting life if you’re interested in reading about it) and then another photo of Florence. Both are fair, have red, thick wavy hair, soulful expressions and are in mystical settings. The women are in sharp focus in all images with the backgrounds blurred out.

Can you see it too, or is it just me?

Wow I got so distracted that I didn’t even get to tell you that I wore my Blue Velvet Vintage-inspred dress to the concert! Will have to blog about it tomorrow!

Sewing Class: Week Four

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to sewing class on Monday. But I did had a lovely dinner with my flat mate Christine instead (home made spaghetti bolognaise in case you were wondering).

However I can tell you about one of the projects I have on the go right now. It’s another dress from the Vogue 1102 pattern. I say ‘another’ because I’ve made it once before (click here to read the post). Here’s how it turned out last time:

What I loved about this pattern was how the open back made it nice and cool as a summer dress. However when I looked at the pattern I thought it would make a great formal dress (ie for going to army dinners with my Lovely. Because of this I had made it out of a delicious wool crepe which undid all the great work of it being a summer dress.

So my plan this time is to make it in a light cotton. I chose this pink and yellow floral/ stripy print at designer textiles ($6/m) and thought I’d give it a whirl.

So far I’ve sewn the lining and the bodice and attached the two together.

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Here’s the finished bodice:

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So now I’m up to attaching the skirt to the bodice.

How’s your sewing project going?

Sewing Class: Week Three

Monday was my thrid week my sewing class where I’m making this dress. During the week I had already finished putting the darts in, joining the facings together at the sides and over-casting the lower edge of the facings by hand. (Here’s how to do it)

My (not very neat) version of an overcast stitch:

Attaching the facings using my Grasshopper

So when I got to class I carried on making the sleeves:

I sewed 5/8″ edge down

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Trimed the excess:

 Matched the front and back shoulder seams and machine sewed them together following the folded down edge as a guide. The facings sat nicely together so I then I hand sewed the facings together. 

 

Here is the finished sleeve – voila!

How’s your sewing project going?

Sewing Class Tonight

Yay I have my sewing class tonight! I really look forward sewing class. I like that I have to set aside the time to going along because otherwise I might not get the chance to do it at all.

This is my sewing machine:

What are you looking forward to today?

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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Sewing Class: Week One

A few months ago I was talking with a colleague of mine about sewing. I mentioned that whilst I enjoy sewing I don’t have much in the ‘skills’ department. Not for lack of trying… I just don’t have a neighbour I can ask, or mother or sister who sews, or really anyone who I can ask for sewing advise.

Her advice: Join a class. She’s so wise.

So yesterday was my first class of Sew, Sew, Sew! (Great name, right?) It’s a night class held at the local high school. We all brought along our own patterns and fabric etc and the tutor went around the class helping us.

I brought this pattern with me:

McCalls 6564, circa 1960: Dress consists of three main pieces plus facings, has long darts at back and front. Neckline is rounded at front, dips to low V at back. Center back zipper and vent in seam. I’m going to make the shorter version

I’m going to make it out of the navy velvet I bought in Wellington a little while ago.

I didn’t get very far in the class, as I find that laying out and cutting the pattern is the most time consuming part of sewing for me. Also, as this pattern is a size 14 I had to add a 1/4 inch to the bust pattern pieces and 1/2 inch to the waist and hip pattern pieces. I just added these to the side seams of pieces as the adjustments were only small.

Things I learnt:
Vintage patterns come in one size – you will always need to alter the pattern pieces (unless you have a oddly perfect body)
Fold the right sides of the fabric together when cutting the pattern. This is so the markings are on the wrong side of the fabric which you look at whilst sewing. (Logical, right?)