Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some sewing!

It's a little late, but here's the post about my second attempt at Kwiksew 3521.

For this one, I chose view A, the scoop neckline, but I kept the length of view B.
I chose a gorgeous red floral quilter's cotton, and the end result sits much more nicely in the skirt area than the first one I made. It was easier to sew with, too.

It was much easier the second time around, but it still needs some tweaking. It's a tiny bit loose around the back of my arms and the top of the side seams.

I really, really need learn to be patient when it comes to zippers. Instead of hand sewing the bodice lining to the zipper, I was lazy and machine sewed both layers of the bodice to the zipper at once. The result? A lining that catches on the zipper. Unfortunately I'm not the kid of sewist who likes to correct mistakes that aren't completely catastophic. Anyway, it's nothing that a good hard tug doesn't fix :)

Oh, I made belt loops, too. My own idea. Gee, I'm so clever!

I had a length of belt loop strap left so I dodgied up this matching hair clip. I got the idea from my friend Trudie over at My Vintage Vow and thought it looked super cute.

I already did the rundown on this pattern on my first sewing post,so I don't have too much more to add.

Pattern: About $6
Fabric: $4/m...I used just under 2m, so I'm guessing $7
Zipper: $1.50
Thread: Stash
Hook and eye: Stash
Total: $14.50

I think I might make one more this summer, probably in the next couple of weeks, then try another dress pattern.

Ciao for nao! xox

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A dummy for a dummy!

I found an ad on Gumtree for an old dressmakers' dummy as I had been outbid on the one I was hoping to get last week. She was in Toowoomba but was the perfect size for me (anything with a bust less than 34 inches is very hard to come by) and only $80 and I was determined to have her. The seller took her down to her daughter's place in Cleveland and we went for a drive there this morning and picked her up.

Isn't she lovely? Her name is Jane. She is an Ese Jane, and had been in the possession of her previous owner for about 40 years. She's in fantastic condition!

I'm in love!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More opping!

We went down to North Burleigh this morning and stopped off at the AWL store on the way home and I picked up a few things. This was my favourite- a cute little summer dress for $4.

I also got a high waisted skirt that wil be great for winter, and a little denim 1960s style dress that turned out to be way too tight for me. Och well!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My first sewing post!

Here we go- my first post about sewing.

I decided a few months ago that I wanted to tackle something I haven't attempted before...a tailored dress.
I've never made anything tailored before, preferring smock tops, skirts, and baggy tunic tops. Mainly for ease of sewing, not because I think those styles suit me. Which they don't, really. I have a tiny little up-an-down figure so I really should be making more structured, ladylike items of clothing.

This is the pattern that I decided to cut my teeth on. Looked easy enough. However, looking at the measurements on the back, I knew I'd have a bit of trouble. My waist measurement fits into the 3rd size, but my bust measurement fits into the first size.
I don't have a ridiculously small set of boobs (I'm still a B cup, same as I was pre-kids) but my chest is very small. And I've put on a lot of muscle mass around my waist in the past year. As well as gaining 5 kilos, I've gained a good inch or two on my waist, which I'm not too happy about. I'm not clever enough yet to figure out how to tailor patterns to my size, so I just cut out the smallest size and hoped for the best.

Thankfully, I had the sense to make a toile before destroying my lovely cotton prints....

This is how the first toile turned out. As you can see, I didn't sew the darts very well because they are puckered at the points. Also, the fit around my bust was terrible. It was really, really tight around my waist.

So I cut out a second toile. This time I cut out the 2nd size, but kept the darts in the same position as the first size. Don't ask me why I thought the bigger size would fit me better. It was a complete disaster and went in the bin.

This is the 3rd toile. I moved the bust darts up by 1cm and made the waist darts 1cm longer. I also added an inch to each waist seam, and an inch to the length because I thought it was too short. The fit was so much better. Not perfect, but I was totally over it by then, and I deemed it good enough. So I cut out my fabric and sewed it up.

Because I really have no idea how to alter patterns, it didn't really work when I attached the skirt. The waist seam was as crooked as a dog's hind leg, and the bodice was way too long. Also, when I put in the zipper, the bodice was way too big around the side seams. So my alterations to the length and the side seams had to be undone.

It's still far too big around the waist, it's really tight around the front arms, and I totally ballsed up the zipper, but I was so over the whole thing that I just left it as is. It still looks nice on.

So, here's a breakdown of the project.

Pattern used: Kwiksew 3521

Does it look like the drawing on the pattern/ envelope?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very. I find that all modern patterns are aimed at dullards like myself who need everything explained in very clear terms.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that it has two neckline options. I don't think there's anything I didn't like about it.

Fabrics and notions
I bought this very light cotton (not sure what it is...possibly a voile or lawn?) for $4/m a couple of months ago especially for this project. The 20 inch zipper was purchased for the project too. I had the hook and eyes in my 'stuff' box already.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
I did make quite a few changes, but the only ones I kept were to move the bust darts up by a centimetre and lengthen the waist darts by a centimetre. Oh, and for the next one, I reduced the front armhole sleeve by a centimetre.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I did sew it again, as you will see! And I would recommend it to others.

Did you use any new skills?
Yes, a new way of sewing in a zipper (I usually just do it my own way, which I still did, and which sucks. but for the next one I did it properly.)
Oh, and I learned how to sew darts properly.

Pattern: About $6
Fabric: $4/m...I used just under 2m, so I'm guessing $7
Zipper: $1.50
Thread: Stash
Hook and eye: Stash
Total: $14.50

It's a very light, cool, breezy dress. I feel very feminine in it. Just don't look too closely at the sewing...