Sunday, 25 September 2016

Malvorosa take 3!

I have been lusting over this Victoria Beckham dress for a while now. But as it was made a good few years ago and carried a rather hefty price tag I decided that I would have a go myself.
I already had the Malvorosa pattern by Pauline Alice which I thought was a pretty good match. It even has the same pockets at the front. I have tried to hack this pattern before into a dropped hem dress but I wasn't very happy with the result. This time I decided to drop the hem on the back bodice piece and I'm far happier with how it has turned out.
I bought the fabric from Minerva Crafts. The quality it really nice but I was disappointed with the colour when it arrived. It was labelled as grey but the fabric is so dark that I feel it's more black than grey.
The skirt was tricky to gather onto the back bodice due to it being cut on the curve. On reflection I should have stay stitched it to stop it from stretching out of shape. The gathers definately have more of a bulge on the back rather than the neat gathers I wanted.
For the facings I used some fabric from an old Topshop dress I didn't like anymore. I love the black polka dots with the fabric.
To recreate the original hem on the dress I made a strip of HUGE bias binding from a piece of plain grey cotton. I really like the effect of it as it draws attention to the dropped hem.
Whilst it's not as luxurious as Victoria Beckham's dress I'm really pleased with how it has turned out. It will definitely get a lot of wear in the coming autumn months.

Happy stitching x

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Swooning for Marylin...

When I saw Ralph Pink's Marylin pattern I absolutely loved it but it's very different to how I would usually dress. My wardrobe has definitely changed since I started sewing and I have more confidence to try new styles and step out of my confidence zone so I decided to go for it! Because I wasn't totally comfortable with having a huge amount of my stomach on show I lengthened the bodice by an inch and a half which also means that I used an extra button.

I made the two piece set using a linen and silk mix from the man outside Sainsbury's. I'm kicking myself for not buying more as it's completely gorgeous.

The cut of Ralph Pink's patterns are beautiful. I love how they are so different to other independent pattern brands. Just looking at his patterns makes me feel very inspired. His instructions however are sometimes quite sparse. Because of this, I always read through them first to check that I understand where I'm going! I made a few alterations; choosing not to top stitch the facing down, and also changing the order slightly when sewing the fly. I also finished the skirt pieces before sewing as there aren't any instructions as to when to finish the seams.

Fit wise I made no alterations to the skirt which is incredible for a pencil skirt! I made a few alterations to the top; shortening the straps, taking the side seams in by about one inch each side and slightly altering the shape of the darts so they aren't too pointy.

My machine didn't like the fabric and it snared it a few times when sewing the button holes. Luckily they unpicked easily and there aren't any holes.
I used plain blue buttons as I wanted them to blend into the fabric.
Overall I love my Marylin. I think that I will get much more wear out of the skirt with a different top. But for those special, warm days I will certainly have the courage to wear it as a two piece.

Happy stitching x

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Emerson Crop Pants

I love culottes! I have a few RTW pairs which I live in when it starts to heat up. So I decided it was time to make some. After a lot of searching all I could find were culottes with pleats resulting in very large legs. I knew that I wanted something a bit more streamlined.

Lucky for me, True Bias released the Emerson pattern. As soon as I saw them, I knew that I wanted them!

I have a confession to make...I am a lazy sewer. I never make toiles. It's always a dangerous game to play and I have more than a fair few failures which probably could have been avoided. As they were trousers I decided that I would break with tradition and make a toile, and I'm glad that I did. I ended up adding 4cm to the crotch seam to enable them to sit a bit higher (and more comfortably) and I also added 3 inches to the length of the trousers.

I made the trousers in a wool rayon mix which has a really nice drape. I bought in on a recent trip to Walthamstow market. The construction was very straightforward and I didn't need to make any changes to the instructions or construction of the trousers.

I really like them and I think that the fabric means that they will transition nicely into my autumn wardrobe (I know, I can't believe it's that time of the year again either).
The only element of the trousers which I'm not sure about is the waistband which is gathered at the back. It may just be my fabric choice but it feels a bit bulky.
Any there any other culotte patterns out there which you recommend?

Happy sewing x