Sunday, 24 November 2013

Watch the birdie(s)

I do like me a bird print fabric, no particular reason that I can think of, I am not a twitcher (or twitterer come to that, yet), I just like bird print fabric.

So… here are three dresses which when I saw them in their respective shops I had to have.  The first one is a current season Cath Kidston which first came to my attention on Coopknits'  blog.  It’s the garden birds dress and gets a link because it’s still available.  I tried on both colourways and decided that the charcoal looked better on me, although I’d gone shopping intending to buy the olive/khaki version.  I love this print, and inspired by Dolly Clackett’s recent post about her mushroom dress I also bought some of the furnishing fabric – same print but a different background colour – although the birds are the same colours as on the rtw dress, just a bit larger.  Not sure which pattern I’ll use for this, possibly a sleeveless Elisalex, definitely NOT anything with a gathered skirt as it will be too bulky round the waist.  It may be months before I get around to making this up though.
Cath Kidston garden birds dress

Dress number two I got in White Stuff three or four years ago and it’s now a bit big on the chest as I’ve lost weight since then so I really should take it in a bit (it’s pinned at the back in the photo).  Haven’t yet added it to my enormo pile of clothes which need altering though.  I keep everything which needs altering or mending in a large blue Ikea bag next to my sewing area – thinking that if I can see it every time I sit down at the machine I might actually do some of it.  This only works very occasionally unfortunately, I’d probably be better off blitzing it in two or three sessions.  Anyway, I digress.

Skein Queen was wearing this dress at Unravel (she is on the left in the photo on Coopknits’ post, so we now have at least two dresses the same) and it was another case of see it, want it, buy it.

White Stuff birds dress

And the third one is a tea dress which I bought at Zegerman & Lusky in London this summer.  It’s by Vanity Project and I love it.  Unfortunately they don’t seem to do this style any more, but I have plans in my head to make something similar (actually probably several somethings similar) because it is such a flattering shape.  I also love love LOVE the fabric and am very tempted to buy some and make another dress in a different style from it.

Vanity Project tea dress

Vanity Project tea dress back view

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Oranges and lemons

Yes, there are an orange dress and a lemon yellow dress coming up.  The orange one is Vogue 8789, I can’t remember when I bought this, but it was one of my first pattern purchases.  I like the neckline and kimono sleeves and the fact that the bodice is cut on the cross – I think I’ll probably make one of these out of tape measure fabric at some point.  I altered it to put the zip in the back but I won’t do that next time I make this (and there will be a next time – it was a quick make); I’ll also make the bodice a bit shorter and maybe take the bust darts in even more than I did on this version.  I also didn’t use the skirt pattern pieces; I think there would have been too much bulk around the waist if I had.  So the skirt is just two widths of the fabric (about 60” wide) and that is plenty full enough as it is quite thick cotton.


And now to the lemon.  This is the first dress I made back in June of this year when I returned to sewing.  I had seen lots of lovely Cambies by Sewaholic on the interwebz, decided I wanted one and that I had to start somewhere so that’s how this became the first dress I’d sewn for hmm… let’s say 20+ years.  The yellow seersucker fabric which I used I’d had for so long that I can’t remember when or where I bought it, and it was 36” wide which I seem to recall used to be a standard width for fabrics in my dim and distant youth, but not any more.  Because of this I didn’t follow the recommended cutting layout and used pretty much all of the 3m that I had.  I put a centred zip in this, and after it was finished decided it was time to buy an invisible zipper foot and all the dresses I’ve made since have had concealed zips.

This is such a pretty pattern, I really like it a lot a lot a lot and will definitely make more.  Although not in the depths of winter.  But come next spring – oh yes, I have lots of fabric permutations in my head already.

Yellow A-line Cambie

Monday, 11 November 2013

Anna the first

On Saturday I took part in a sew-along for the lovely Anna dress at the newly opened Anthropologie shop in Guildford.  There were 8 of us and Elisalex and Victoria of byhandlondon were there to help and answer questions.  We all started from scratch, so there was fabric to be chosen - we all chose the same one - and then cut out.  Everyone made really good progress with their dresses and by the end of the afternoon I’d got most of it done.  Once home I put in the zip, hemmed the skirt and did a few little bits of finishing off et voilĂ  my first dress in a day!  I’m really pleased with this, it fits beautifully and is a very flattering silhouette.  There will definitely be more Annas in my sewing future!

Spurred on by this, I finished another dress on Saturday and two more on Sunday, although I should point out that they were all mostly done – I don’t sew at the speed of light.  So, all in all an excellent sewing weekend.

Anthro Anna

Post the first

Well, I've been thinking about starting a blog for ages, and now finally, I've set one up.  Just need to learn how to use it now!