The Very Yellow Minoru

The other day I posted this selfie on my Instagram. I am SUPER PROUD of my Sewaholic Minoru. It is the first jacket I’ve ever made – moreover – the first sort of outerwear that I’ve completed full stop. So the fact that it is wearable is pretty amazing to me!

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I asked my sister if she could take these photos in front of a garage for old times sake! This one is at my parents house… So shall we get onto this jacket?

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I made my Minoru out of a heavy weight cotton. Yes it is as saffron yellow as it looks I the pictures and yes it does have a shine to it. I’m such a magpie. I originally bought this fabric to make an A-line dress but decided against it as the fabric was too heavy. It’s much better as a jacket right?

I cut my pattern as an 8 and graded down to a 4 at the hips as (we all know) Sewaholic Patterns are designed with pear shaped women in mind. My fabric was, in truth, a bit if a mare to sew with as it had a bit of a stretch to it. Holy heck it was hard to get that hood zipper in! If I was a smart person I would have interfaced around the zipper slash to prevent stretching. Alas, this only occurred to me much later. Also I’m a bit bummed that I couldn’t find an open end zipper in yellow. But you can’t get what the shops don’t have.

I’m not entirely convinced about how waterproof this jacket will be bit I’m sure it will serve as a great wind breaker! Here’s a wee close up of the front and collar:

I made a few mistakes with the construction order of my Minoru, particularly with the collar/ hood. This meant that I had to do a whole lot of hand stitching. However this was entirely my fault as I was very casual about following the instructions. I find that while I study the pictures very carefully, I often fail to read the words on the instruction sheets. Le sigh. I got there in the end!

[Currently in London]

Renfrew in Purple

Renfrew by SewaholicI made a Renfrew! This sewaholic pattern was so quick and easy to put together! I think I’m finally getting the hang of knit fabrics. I bought this fabric from Nick’s Fabrics on Dominion Road (did you hear they’re moving?) for $4 per meter. It’s a very light weight woolen material with a vertical design woven in.

Renfrew

This top was, in truth, a practice run. You see, I’m not really sure if I’m a cowl kinda gal so I thought I’d do a test to see if I liked the look on me. Being the busty lass that I am means that I’m very aware of styles that make me look bustier. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this cowl is flattering on a larger bust. Hallelujah!

Renfrew

There’s not much more to say on this top except that I love it and I’ve already cut out another in black (well actually it’s the same material as my Little Black Dress – which in case you were wondering I wear all the time!)

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!

Inpiration: Capes

Well, as everyone says – or at least as some of us think – If Victoria Beckham’s wearing it, it must be fashionable, right? So here are some capes – for inspirations sake. 
(Click on the photo for the links)

The fashionista was spotted recently wearing this cape:

She was also seen a wee while ago wearing this stunner (looks a lot like the vogue pattern I’m using don’t you reckon?)

Cape Newport News

Have you seen any great capes recently?

I’m Making a Cape!

The other day when I was choosing fabric with my sister for her birthday dress (link here) I saw these in the end of roll basket.

I know – white wool – what an extravagance!!! …and how impractical…

A long time ago I blogged about Capes, Yay or Nay? after I first fell in love with Erica’s Camel Cape. Since then I’ve seen some lovely capes that other bloggers have made. The overwheming response was that people in blogland think that capes are awesome. And who am I to argue with bloggers? (A very opinionated lot!) So I guess I’m making a cape.

I think I’ll go with the same pattern Erica used – Vogue 8776. I love that this pattern is loose fitted and has the high collar so snuggle my face into when it gets cold.

So more opinions please – shall I go with this pattern and this fabric?

Mad Men Skirt

Over the long weekend managed to whip up a skirt. I know – usually it takes me about a month to complete any piece of sewing – so yes I am quite pleased with myself.

Last week I blogged about this material (below). I had decided that I wanted to make a nice snuggly-warm, yet sophisticated, winter skirt. I thought with any luck this will look like a skirt from Mad Men. I’m not really sure if it did in the end but I’m happy with it all the same.

I decided to go with the Butterick 6662 pattern (above) as I thought a simple pattern would be best for a potentially bulky fabric like this wool & polyester blend. I went with view A so that the side split would make a potentially boring skirt a bit more interesting.

I only had 0.7 x 1.5 meters as I had bought the fabric on a whim from the end of roll basket at Global Fabrics in Wellington (my favourite shop EVER). This was a five piece pattern so it just fitted on the fabric, though was a bit of squish when it got to the waistband:

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This pattern was pretty straight forward and the instructions were easy to follow. The only hiccup I had was naturally when I was putting the zipper in. The needle snapped in three places when I was sewing over a pin.

However, I got over that hurdle and carried on towards the finish line. Next, I hand over-casted the all the edges as they were fraying in my hands, my sister then measured the hem length for me to just above the knee, and lastly I hand stitched the hem up comme ca:

And here is the finished product:

Upon reflection this was one of the cheapest items I’ve sewn. The material was $9, the zipper was free (from Noeline’s stash), the pattern was $1 from the SPCA Op Shop and I already had the thread. $10 for a skirt isn’t bad!

Have you been thrifty recently?

 

 

Skirtsandme

Now that I’ve finished my velvet dress I’m thinking about the next thing I want to make. As we’re heading into winter in the Antipodes (the ends of the Earth) I was thinking of making the wool I bought in Wellington into a pencil skirt. So these are my pattern options:

From top left: Very Easy Vogue 7101 c.1987, view A (brown); New Look 6274c. 2003, view A (floral print); or Butterick 6662 c.1993, view C (yellow).

And here is the wool. It is woven out of thick strands (?) of cream, brown,and dark pink, almost fuchsia. Its a bit on the thick-side, and does not have any stretch. My first choice of pattern was the Very Easy Vogue, however I wonder if the pleats, belt loops and the pockets will make it look too bulk? So my next thought was the New Look pattern. This is a very simple two piece pattern (plus facings). It would be simple to put together and and definitely not bulky-making. The third option, the Butterick pattern was a bit of an after-thought. I thought that making it with the split to one side could make it a bit more interesting.

Can anyone offer any suggestions? All much appreciated!

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:

Velvet Inspiration: Pattern Suggestions Please?

So I haven’t exactly finished my current velvet dress project but I’m already onto thinking about the next one. I saw this amazing dress in an etsy shop but unfortunately it is a touch too small in the waist (damn you 1950s sizing!) Also, I feel like I’ve seen a couple of sewing patterns for this type of dress and was wondering if anyone had any pattern suggestions to make this?

VELVET HOURGLASS Dress – 90s does 50s – Handmade – xs

But it got me thinking more about velvet and velveteen dresses and how they are both classy and super warm – which is important as we are heading into winter down here in the Southern Hemisphere. So here are some velvet dresses for inspiration.

Velvet A-Line Dress
ASOS Velvet Puff Sleeve Dress
Velvet Halter Dress – Looks Lovely in Plum Too
Little Velvet Dress – Red Dress

And my personal favourite – unfortunately no link *cries*

What ‘s your winter fashion fix?