Thursday, 27 August 2015

Vintage Vogue

I am absolutely in love with this dress which I made for a friends wedding. As soon as I received the invitation I started rummaging the Vintage Vogue patterns in John Lewis. I decided upon the V1172 because of the dreamy neck line and beautifully huge skirt. This pattern took a sky rocketing 6 metres of fabric 115cm wide! I bought the fabric, which is a medium weight cotton, from Sew Over It.
As you can see, I was seduced by the red illustration on the front cover...
With all that fabric, who could resist a little twirl...
I made a size 8, but possibly should have made a 6 on top and graded out to an 8 at the waist as when I tried to adjust the bodice through the bodice side seams I was unable to due to the amount of ease in the curves which was frustrating. So, as you can see above, the fit of the bodice is not as good as it could be. The skirt it made from 5 pieces, including two large godets which give it a beautiful shape and plenty of movement. I feel like it's crying out for a petticoat!
I tried to keep as many of the vintage touches as I could, which included lingerie straps. Horary! No need to a strapless bra! I don't know why all dresses/tops don't have these? The dress has a side zip which was sewn into a small pocket. This was my first time sewing a zip in this way and although far from perfect, I'm happy with the result. There was one vintage touch I didn't keep. The design has an inside belt which they recommend making from grosgrain ribbon. I made this but found it so uncomfortable that I decided not to include it.
I am officially hooked on Vintage Vogue patterns, do you have any recommendations for my next one?

Monday, 24 August 2015

1940's Tea Dress...Like a phoenix from the flame

I excitedly bought the pattern and fabric (rayon mix) from Sew Over It in Islington for the 1940's Tea Dress. I couldn't wait to start sewing and in my enthusiasm I once again didn't wash the fabric (I clearly didn't learn my lesson!). I absolutely loved this dress, it fitted beautifully and reminded me of the vintage Biba dresses my mum used to wear. The only alteration I made was to take it in at the bodice by a couple of centimetres. After washing it, I winced when I saw the curving zip, immediately alerting me to the fact it had shrunk. Because of my love for the dress I spent a weekend letting out all of the seams, adding a bias binding hem (in the hopes of adding a centimetre or two) however I couldn't rescue her. She had become an ill fitting, wobbly hem shadow of her former self.
I decided to replace her with a spotted version. I bought the fabric from Walthamstow market, I think it's a rayon mix again but I couldn't be sure. This time, I washed the fabric first! I made the same alteration to the bodice but other than that the fit was once again perfect. I added three red heart buttons to the front, which I bought from The Makery. Whilst I love this new spotty version...I can't help but think wistfully to the original. Perhaps my next project needs to be a remake? Have you ever remade a whole item of clothing?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Espadrilles in Petal and Bud...

I am a bit late in blogging these as I made them quickly to take on excuse the slight dirt on the soles! I was inspired to make espadrilles after reading Karen's post on 'Did You Make That'. So I quickly ordered a sole from The Makery and a fat quarter of Liberty Print 'Petal and Bud' from ebay. The instructions recommend a medium weight cotton, however I just couldn't resist making a pair in Liberty Lawn! Because of this, they probably aren't long for the world! I have however worn them pretty much every day on holiday (on some very pebbly beaches) so I think that they are holding up pretty well! I lined them in a purple spot (also cotton lawn), to highlight the purple in the Liberty print.
The soles came with instructions and a pattern. The soles do come up big, so if you aren't sure what size to buy I would buy the size down. It's worth mentioning that you do need to add your own seam allowance to the pattern provided. There is a small amount of machine stitching to create the lined front and back but after that it's all hand stitching. Blanket stitch is used to attach the pieces to the soles. I hadn't sewn using this stitch before but found a useful tutorial online. I used Prym Espadrille Yarn Thread for the blanket stitch, however I'm sure that a strong thread would also work well. Karen is indeed right, making your own espadrilles is easy!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Oh my darling Clemence...

I have been busy sewing again! This time I have decided to make the Clemence skirt using the self drafting instructions by Tilly and the Buttons in 'Love at First Stitch'. I really enjoyed sewing this skirt, particularly as it has French seams (the zig-zag stitch on my machine is pretty pathetic) which makes it beautiful both inside and out. I love the gathered full skirt and just couldn't resist a swishing picture!
This was my first project dabbling with pattern drafting and I loved it. It has resulted in a skirt which fits extremely well and which needed absolutely no alterations at all. I had some large paper which had centimetre squares on it which made the whole process even easier as I could be sure everything was completely straight and square. I had some difficulties with the zip insertion this time. I bought a different style zip which was softer and had material sides which were akin to netting. This didn't work well with the skirt which is made of medium-weight cotton. However, after a couple of attempts I'm rather happy with how it went in.
I couldn't resist styling Clemence with my Kate Spade Flower Pot bag which Susie and Belle (her seal-point sister) were very interested in!
What projects have you been working on this week?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bright pink Clemence!

Hi! After enjoying making Megan from 'Love at First Stitch' I have decided to make another pattern from this book...The Clemence skirt! The Clemence is a high waisted gathered skirt. I have purchased a bright pink Makower cotton from Sew Over It in Islington. If you haven't visited, it's a beautiful shop with plenty of fabrics and patterns to choose from. I couldn't help indulging in quite a few of Lisa's patterns when I was there as well as this fabric!
The Clemence skirt involves some self drafting, however this is simple and only relates to one measurement, the waist. I'm slightly concerned that the fabric I have chosen is a mid-weight cotton which could become bulky at the waist because of the gathers. Does anyone have any tips to avoid this?

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Megan in wonderland!

Hi! I have actually managed to make a dress! I made the rather beautiful Megan dress from Tilly and the Buttons 'Love at First Stitch'. I have to say that I am really pleased with the end result.
I got in a bit of a muddle with the darts and managed to have them going different ways but with a quick unpick this was easily rectified! What would I do without one! Sadly, I have had one other lesson to learn from this project which I can't rectify with a quick unpick...always prewash fabric! This dress has gone from fitting comfortably to feeling slightly too fitted for my taste. However, as my first make I'm sure that I will still get plenty of wear out of it!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

I have a pattern and a piece of fabric!


I have decided to start a blog to document my aim of an entirely handmade wardrobe (apart from knitwear!). My mum has always been excellent at sewing and I remember spending lots of my childhood wearing a handmade Beauty and the Beast costume however I have only recently developed a passion for sewing after deciding to create a Kaffe Fassett bed quilt.
I have decided that for my first project I am going to make Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress in an Alice in Wonderland inspired fabric.

Keep your eyes peeled for the finished project!