Blue Velvet Vintageness

A very long time ago I made this dress. Although I wrote a blog about it at the time I never posted photos of me wearing it. As I wore this dress to a 21st last Saturday night I thought I’d get some snaps with it on. Blogging about this dress has got me thinking – do you blog about everything you make? How do you choose which items make the cut?

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This dress is made of deep navy velvet using a vintage McCall’s pattern. I bought it from etsy at least a couple of years ago and used it first for this dress, and later for Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Sewalong last year. I chose it because I like the dramatic low back and I high neckline. I love this dress and have worn it a lot. It’s strange to me that it’s taken so long to get some photos of me wearing it! I blog extensively about the creation of it so perhaps I thought you readers must be over it by the time I finished!

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Also this is how I did my hair, or more correctly, how I saw my hair with my ipad!

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Finishing with a Serger

When I finished the seams on my merino cardi I simply used a three thread overlocking stitch. This was, admittedly, what the instructions suggested you do. But I thought I’d share how to finish my finishing.

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Unravel the tail of your overlocking threads, with a hand needle take the threads back into the seam bringing them out about a centimetre away. Cut the threads at/ close to your fabric. Stretch the fabric out to pull the threads back between the two layers of fabric. Finishing in a neat way was particularly important on the sash ties and hem of the cardigan.

how do you finish your finishing?

Ps – don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win some awesome vintage sewing patterns! Simply like my Facebook page! Easy!

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What I Do: Metric v Imperial Measurements

I realised the other day that I do something very odd. I use both inches and centimeters when sewing. I don’t used them interchangeably, they are each used for measuring different things, and only those things. I’m quite clear in my mind about when to use metric measurements and when to use the imperial system.

Background of tangled and entwined tapemeasures

Source

For example when I’m looking at the back of a pattern envelope for body or finished garment measurements I’ll only read the inches and I actually have no idea what my metric measurements are. However, if I’m adjusting a garment, mid- or post-construction I will always note this in centimeters. Also, I think of my height in feet and inches, but of the width of a bolt of fabric in meters and centimeters.

I’m not entirely sure why I do what I do. Perhaps, for me, it’s the most logical way. I guess it could have something to do with working with vintage patterns when I first started sewing, or perhaps because my mum talks in imperial measures so it’s easier to fall in line.

Do you work in metric, imperial measures or both?

Mad Men Sewalong

DID YOU SEE THAT JULIA BOBBIN IS HAVING ANOTHER MAD MEN DRESS CHALLENGE???

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I’m sorry for yelling but this is pretty exciting! When Julia Bobbin had her first Mad Men Dress Challenge I was fairly new to this game (both sewing and blogging!) but now I’m up for the challenge! Julia has made some great Mad Men dress replicas that I’m super envious of like her Peggy Dress and her Joan Dress

So now I need to decide what I want to make… I don’t want it to be too costume-y if you know what I mean, so that I can wear the dress normally too. I originally thought of making a houndstooth office dress similar to this …

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… but then I would need to buy a pattern too and right now I’m seriously stash (and pattern) busting. And then I saw this poster and I was sold!

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But which dress you ask? And which fabric? BETTY’S

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Will this look too costume-y? I’m so blinded by the pretty fabric! Advice/ opinions welcome!

Vintage-y Goody Gumdrops Dress

So I finally made this dress that I blogged about earlier in the year as a part of Vintage Pattern on Sunday. It’s a 1950s -ish looking dress with a fitted bodice with a gathered waistline.

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This dress was somewhat of an experiment. There have been a lot of bloggers posting about dresses with gathered waistlines like Colette’s Hazel and Sewaholic’s Cambie. I liked the look but wasn’t sure if it was me, if ya know what I mean… So I thought I’d try with a pattern I already owned and some cheap material (cotton lycra blend, $6 per metre)

So here it is:

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Side shot is not super flattering – but necessary to make my point – gathered waistlines are not mega flattering on my body shape. I think this style of dress is suited to tall, slender types. A club to which I am not a member (sadly). However, I still do quite like this dress. It’s fun and happy and I can imagine myself wearing it to the beach in the summer.

On a side note, I secretly really enjoyed hand stitching the lining in:

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That’s my I’m not entirely convinced it’s my look face

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So that was my experiment for the week. Have you tried something new recently?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Coming up this month is Dresses and Me’s six-month-aversary. To celebrate this momentous occasion I thought I’d pick the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the things I’ve made so far this year. Without further ado…

The Good

My Bow Dress, My Sister’s Vintage Pattern Dress and my Mad Men Skirt are my favourites so far because they went together easily, I’ve gotten heaps of wear out of them and I (or in the case of my sister’s dress) she actually likes it!

The Bad

 My cape is here because I thought, for a long time, that I had bitten off more than I could chew. It is getting there, but I was not counting on felted wool being as hard to manage as this is! Seriously – rangling it is a real endurance test!

The only reason my orange singlet isn’t in the catagory below is that I love the silk I made it out of. However, this top ended up the Bad because of my experience with the bias seam binding – disappointing.

The Ugly

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I don’t even know where to begin with this dresss. Click the link to read all about the failblog that this was. And in case you were wondering – yes, it is still unfinished.

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I feel a bit mean for putting this dress in the Ugly category. I was so proud when I finished it because it was the first dress I had made since I took up sewing again and the first dress I had made in about 6 years and I made it in about 10 days flat (record!). However, when I look at it with my six-months-more-learned eyes I wish I finished the seams in some way and that I had lined it. It’s ugly on the inside.

So that’s my last six months. I’ve made a lot of other things too and learnt
so much in the process. Thanks for reading this blog and all your words of support!

What have been your favourite items you’ve sewn this year?