I went to ‘Selling Dreams – 100 Years of Fashion Photography’ at the Auckland Museum yesterday. A very good exhibition. Most of the images I had never seen before so it was great to be exposed to something new. I don’t usually read the blurbs next to the art when I am wondering through, I prefer just to take in the image. But the written information in this exhibition was historical, succinct and interesting – I read every word! Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
I couldn’t take any photos in the exhibition but this quote appeared at the very end… I couldn’t agree more Vidal. Well said! These words completely sum up for me why I continue to make my own clothes and get so much joy and satisfaction out of it!
Why do you sew and make your own clothes?
I’ve finally finished my vintage style blouse.
I made it using a vintage pattern I found at a shop in St Kevin’s Arcade on K Road. This pattern was more vintage than most of what I would describe as vintage. Its the type that comes before printed patterns, the type that only has holes to indicate where the notches, darts and button holes should go. It was kinda intimidating but it did make it easier for doing my tailor’s tacks.
I chose to make View 2 out of a polyester crepe de chine from Global Fabrics (have you seen their new winter fabrics – be still my beating heart!) I thought that this fabric had great blouse potential as its so lovely and drape-y. It’s just lovely to wear too, it’s very light and cool.
The blouse closes by buttoning up at the back. Although I picked very plain buttons I like the simple look they create. I spent the better part of the morning looking at buttons for this blouse as I had my heart set on something Mother of Pearl looking but the only ones I could find were shank buttons but that would that would drive me insane!
I chose not to put the facings in partly because I abhor facings and partly because this fabric is a tad sheer and I thought it might look odd to see the line where they ended. Instead I finished the neckline using store bought bias seam binding. I finished the sleeves with bias binding too (which is why they flare up a little) but this was actually advised – do I get points for following the instructions?
Recognise that skirt? That’s my Ginger by Colette Patterns.
PSA: Will you be in Auckland the weekend of 27 – 27 April? Do you love to sew? Come to the inaugural meet up! All welcome!
Earlier this week I posted about the Pattern Pyramid I hosted. BUT THAT WAS ONLY HALF THE STORY – I received another, very thoughtful gift from Sew Biased, a copy of the original handbook that would have come with the Elna Grasshopper. Sew Biased noticed that I had previously blogged about My Grasshopper which was my grandmothers 1950s (or ’60s?) sewing machine. I used it for many years and even though I now have a computerised Janome my Grasshopper still keeps me company in my sewing room.
The manual has many pearls of wisdom…
Turns out there are 17(!!!!!) place that you’re meant to oil
And that I’ve been refilling the bobbin incorrectly all this time…awkward
There’s also five whole pages on what to do when things go wrong. Very handy indeed.
Now on to the thing you’re actually wanting from this post … The winner of the Pattern Pyramid … AND THE WINNER IS Country Girl Couture – WELL DONE! Send me an email and I’ll send this package your way!
For now I’ll leave you with this slightly weird video of someone demonstrating the Grasshopper’s functions…
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.
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:
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:
That’s my I’m not entirely convinced it’s my look face
So that was my experiment for the week. Have you tried something new recently?
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…
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!
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.
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.
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?
SIMPLICITY 5953 c. 1960
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.
My favourite view-fabric combination is probably this purple silk (above) with view 2 (below).
And here’s all the pattern pieces carefully noted so you know what you’re getting yourself into
The blouse with bateau neckline has extended shoulder lines, slits in side seams and back loop and button closing. – A very simple pattern this week but one that I think has lots of potential.
Glamorous as always Vogue – gloves, hat, pearls – oh and an elegant dress.
I love how vintage patterns show the pieces on the back – so you know why you’re getting yourself into! I also adore how the characters wear gloves, it’s so dainty.
I hope to make this pattern closer to summertime. Id like to make view B in a large floral print like the one above (found here)…