November 25, 2012

Sew: Liberty Lonsdale Dress

I'm on a bit of a Liberty roll at the moment. This is my second Liberty dress this week! Plus I have a Liberty Grainline Scout tee cut out and waiting. Maybe I can make it three in a week...

This project has been on my list since the end of last Summer but Winter rolled in and it was put aside waiting for some warm weather. I pulled it out last week hoping to make it up for Mr H's birthday party. Thankfully it was a very simple and enjoyable project. That didn't stop me from hemming it two hours before the guests arrived!

Project Details
Pattern: Sewaholic Lonsdale Dress
Fabric: Liberty Amy Hurrell Blue from Shaukat
Alterations: Used 4cm seam allowance for centre back (will go down a size next time).

I am still getting used to Liberty prints. The patterns are lovely but some of the fine patterns look lighter from a distance.  The Amy Hurrell print looks quite dark and blue up close but when made in to a dress and from a distance the print looks quite pale. I am used to wearing dark prints and just need to keep this in mind.

Two of the party guests were also wearing handmade Liberty dresses. So we got a photo of the Liberty ladies. Unfortunately the light was not good.

We had a lovely afternoon with friends to celebrate Mr H's 2nd birthday. I feel a great sense of achievement to have made it sanely to 4 years of motherhood and 2 years of Mr H. Mr H has been trouble since his arrival with a stint in NICU with neonatal meningitis, two separate eye injuries and a partial thumb amputation. But we've made it. I did however recently do a paediatric first aid course...
Happy 2nd Birthday Mr H!! We love you to the moon and back. 

The last minute madness may have been associated more with the cake than the dress. Look at this masterpiece!! It was a Vanilla Bean Rainbow Layer Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting and it was awesome.

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. We certainly did. I'm off to recover from that rainbow cake and to find out how to make a Lightning McQueen cake for a soon to be 4 year old...

Wish me luck!

L x
November 23, 2012

Sew: Simplicity 2215 Liberty Dress

Simplicity 2215, how I love thee?! I've made the skirt three times now so it was time for the dress version. I asked you all what to do with this Liberty way back in March. It was a choice between the Colette Peony dress and Simplicity 2215. The Simplicity won out.
Yet, it was almost not meant to be. I had great difficulty with the neckline gaping, both back and front, and was very tempted to cut the bodice off and turn it into a skirt. Wouldn't it be a great skirt with a red grosgrain ribbon as the waistband?!


Despite the temptation I persisted and make a few alterations to achieve the finished result. I inserted two small darts in the back neckline to remove the gaping. Thankfully Liberty prints are very forgiving. I couldn't use darts in the front so I asymmetrically overlapped the front by an extra 1cm at the top to remove the gaping. I then simply stitched the buttons on in a straight line. The bottom four buttons are non-functioning and stitched right through. The top button is also decorative with a snap to close the front. You need that to open so you can get your head out.

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 2215 Dress
Fabric: Liberty Tatum Dark Blue from Shaukat
Alterations: Inserted two small darts in back neckline and overlapped front top by an extra 1cm.

I really need to sort out this alteration for back and front neckline gaping. I have noticed it a lot in dresses I made last year which have high necklines. Fit for Real People has no helpful suggestions. Any suggestions?

I'm really pleased with my new Liberty dress. I do love a bit of Liberty. I'm actually sewing a Liberty Lonsdale dress for Mr H's birthday party tomorrow. It is coming together superbly.
I'm off to bake a rainbow cake!! Wish me luck.
L x

November 22, 2012

Sew: Denim Simplicity 2451

This is Mr N's first blog photo. I think he did very well! He even captured some new Liberty hanging on the line. And a rubber ducky...

I made this skirt way back in early June but it was too tight for Melbourne layering. So it's been sitting patiently waiting for the weather to warm up enough so I can wear it without leggings and an under singlet.

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 2451 View D
Fabric: Indy Dark Denim 6GSM Light Weight Denim from Kelani Fabrics

I have made this skirt previously but have since cut it up for my Freddie Vest as it wasn't a good fabric to pattern match. It's a great pattern but doesn't make an exceptionally versatile denim skirt as you have to tuck a shirt in to it. Next time I'm going to do a straight denim pencil skirt or even the new Grainline Moss miniskirt for a basic summer skirt.

All in all I'm pretty happy with my skirt. And my photographer!

L x
November 18, 2012

Meet: Melbourne Sewists

What better way to spend your Saturday afternoon than with a few friends fabric shopping, talking all things sewing, drinking beer and eating pizza?! Seriously I was in heaven. We met at The Fabric Store on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy and then proceeded on down the street to the Alannah Hill & Gorman fabric outlet, before grabbing a table at Little Creatures Beer Hall. A lovely afternoon with lovely people.

I had sneakily been to The Fabric Store on Thursday as my mother-in-law is in town from Toowoomba and asked if we could go to a decent fabric shop. I'd grabbed two gorgeous pieces on Thursday but had my eye on the Marc Jacobs leaf print. So that was the first thing I grabbed when I went back on Saturday to meet my fellow Melbourne sewists. I then mentioned to the lady that I was after a bright coloured stretch cotton to make another pair of Clovers. She reappeared about 10 minutes later with a fabulous bright orange stretch cotton drill. Perfect!

I'd never been to the Alannah Hill fabric outlet as it involves stairs and I usually have the boys and a pram with me. So I was keen to check it out. You have to be prepared to put some work in to finding the good stuff but I did spot a Liberty jersey and an amazing red wool crepe from Alannah Hill.

In the photo we have my recent fabric purchases. On the top we have a printed cotton sateen from Spotlight (my local is closing down so I had to buy something!), I'm going to make Vogue 8667. Then we have the orange stretch drill for a pair of clovers and the Marc Jacobs leaf print cotton/silk for a Grainline Scout Tee. The red wool crepe is for Vogue 8787 with the cowl neckline. On the bottom is a silk print for a Colette Sencha, a Marc Jacobs cotton sateen for another New Look 6000 and the Liberty Jersey for a few pairs of undies.

So much for my "No more fabric!" pledge... Time to fire up the machines and get sewing!!

Thanks ladies for a fabulous Saturday. Lets do it again soon.

L x
November 12, 2012

Mum: Burda 6776 Dress

Here's my lovely mum wearing a recently stitched Burda 6776 dress in a white linen. We had breakfast on Melbourne Cup day at Pope Joan before heading to the Botanical Gardens for a walk around. I was wearing my red Lily dress and mum was wearing this stylish number. The waitress even asked where we got our dresses! Love it.

L x
November 11, 2012

Progress: Spring & Summer Wardrobe

The chemist in me loves a good list. And there is nothing I love more than to tick items off that list!! It's been almost 10 weeks since I made my Spring & Summer Wardrobe Plan and I have been making great progress.

I find a list and a bit of a plan essential as I simply pick my next project from the list and off I go. I have established a habit of cutting out heaps of projects at once and then putting the fabric, pattern and any required notions in a large ziplock bag so it is ready to go when I feel like it. I really don't enjoy the cutting out process and find this can delay my progress as I procrastinate by reading blogs or something. So I set aside a few hours while the boys are playing Lego in the lounge room and I cut out heaps of items on the kitchen bench.

So here is my progress list.

Work Wardrobe:
  • Vogue 8815 Peplum top & Butterick 3597 pencil skirt - blueberry ponti
  • New Look 6000 - black ponti & grey geometric print
  • Simplicity 2591 - black & white stripe (add pleated band over shoulder)
  • Vogue 8787 cowl neck dress - not sure which fabric yet
  • Butterick 3597 pencil skirts - 3 x remnants in my stash
  • Black blouse - silk crepe de chine

Casual Wardrobe:  
  • Cambie Dress - cotton sateen & CD floral
  • Lonsdale dress - Liberty
  • Simplicity 2215 dress - Liberty - in progress
  • Grainline Scout Tee - black Japanese floral
  • Grainline Tiny pocket tank - yellow floral (refashioned), navy birds, emerging spots
  • Simplicity jacket - gold/beige washed linen - changed plans to McCalls 6611 drape jacket
  • Colette Hazel dress - Japanese "industrial" border print - FAIL!
  • Simplicity 2250 jacket - Kelani denim
  • Kimono Tee - black spots
  • McCalls 6559 Maxi dress
  • Tessuti Lily dress - red linen
  • Vogue 1027 - Tessuti Eruption jersey - changed plans as fabric too light, another Vogue 1250??
  • Vogue 1250 - Tessuti Mystery Girl jersey
  • Little Black Dress

  • Finish:
    I still haven't finished the first three items as I have no love for them...

    Unplanned Items:

    My most worn items, and favourites, are the Grainline Scout woven tee, the black ponti New Look 6000 and the maxi dress.

    I've also added a few things to my list. I want a black Vogue 8815 peplum and have a red & white polka dot version cut out and waiting. I also bought another piece of black ponti for a pencil skirt as  got a bit carried away with the unfinished version and made it too small. I also have the black & white striped ponti for a pencil skirt ready to go. Plus numerous pairs of shorts for the boys cut out and waiting for some love.

    Mr N did say to me the other day that I was always sewing dresses. He told me to stop as my cupboard would be too full. He did however suggest that shorts for him were a good alternative!!

    How are you going with your spring (or fall) sewing plans?

    L x

    Sew: Vogue 8805


    Introducing my own variation of Vogue 8805, the colour blocked dress. Originally I was planning a dark navy top with fuschia pink band at the bottom but I couldn't get the perfect pink. The ever helpful Lisa from Tessuti Melbourne kindly talked me through the options on the phone one day and mentioned the Ocean Zin linen. She then said excitedly that the Giganta Orange was a perfect match! So my decision was made.

    Obviously, I went with two colours instead of three. I shortened the sleeves by 2cm as they were sticking out due to the thickness of the linen being double folded. So I cut them off, overlocked and turned them once before topstitching. I also opted for an orange button and thread loop as the closure instead of the instructed hook and eye.

    Vogue 8805

    Project Details
    Pattern: Vogue 8805 View A
    Fabric: Ocean Zin Linen &  Giganta Orange Linen from Tessuti Melbourne
    Alterations: Shortened sleeves by 2cm.

    I cut a straight size 18 and only added an extra 3cm to the length. It is a very loose fitting dress (aka sack-like) but will be perfect for those hot summer days. I really like the weight of the zin linen although it does crush as you can see, but that doesn't bother me too much.

    Behind me is one of my climbing rose bushes, Pierre de Ronsard. I have finally worked out how to prune them properly to optimise flowering. It only took 3 years...

    Have you made Vogue 8805? If so, tell me about it and post a link. I'd love to see!

    L x

    November 09, 2012

    Sew: McCalls 6559 Stripe Maxi

    Once again, I am late to jump on the bandwagon. Last summer, maxi dresses were all the rage and I even invested in some lovely jersey from Tessuti to make a maxi. It was an absolute disaster! I was still carrying a fair bit of "baby" weight and the fabric was too thin for the style so it showed every lump and bump. Thankfully I salvaged the fabric and turned it into a fabulous skirt.  

    Moving forward 12 months, I've lost almost 10kg and have gained more experience in matching the fabric to the pattern. Even though I have been taking steps to reduce my fabric expenditure, when I spotted this fabric on the sale rack at Clegs I knew it would be perfect for a maxi. It didn't even make it in to the fabric cupboard!!

    I cut out a size 20 as directed by my measurements knowing that it would most likely be too big but not wanting it to be too tight. I then graded in the side seams from the armhole to the hip an extra 2.5cm. I left from the hip down the larger size as I quite like the loose look and I was very over matching the stripes...There is excessive fabric pooling at my back as I didn't do a swayback adjustment but it a casual dress and I think it turned out fine. 
    Project Details
    Pattern: McCalls 6559 View D
    Fabric: Stretch jersey from Clegs
    Alterations: Used self binding on armholes and neckline
    The only alteration I made to the pattern was use the black stripe of the fabric to bind the neckline and armholes. The pattern instructions have you do a narrow hem on these which I thought was absurd. I simply cut 4cm strips of fabric and folded in half lengthwise. I measured each opening and used a strip of binding that was 85% of the opening length, stretching the binding to fit. Once stitched, I overlocked the seam and then pressed and topstiched the binding down. I also sewed the binding on first before doing the side seams which allows you to change the side seams without ruining your binding.
    This was a quick and relaxing project to get myself back in to the swing of things. The boys are back in full swing after Mr N's surgery and Mr H adjusting to his glasses. I was away last week presenting at a professional conference in Canberra. I'm kind of a geek but I love conferences! We even went to Parliament House for dinner and the National Gallery for dessert and dancing. My mum came down to babysit the boys while I went to the conference. It was lovely going through patterns and fabric and googling patterns with my mum until late in to the night.
    Lastly, this is how I wore my new maxi this morning to playgroup. It is still a bit chilly here in Melbourne...
    Next up, a colour blocked Vogue 8805. What's on your sewing table this weekend?
    L x

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