Thursday, December 27, 2012

The madness is over!

...the madness that is Christmas, of course! 

We had a great day, full of food, laughter, and presents. 
My children got thoroughly spoiled by our extended family, and so did I. 
My favourite gifts were my first-ever Colette pattern from my sister-in-law (I have the sewing handbook, but that doesn't count) and a book called The Dressmakers' Bible from my mother-in-law. Although I already have three or four sewing books, this one is great as it concentrates solely on dressmaking techniques.
I'm looking forward to making up the Lily dress in the new year.

Also, I may have treated myself to a dress or two...or three! Teehee. Every single day I go to Modcloth and drool over all the loveliness there, and in November when 3 dresses I loved were on sale, I bit the bullet and placed an order. They arrived last week and I wore this baby on Christmas day. I also got this and the same one in red.

I'm always in charge of desserts on Christmas day, and as usual, I didn't disappoint. This is a spiced Buche de Noel (Christmas log) with maple marscapone cream and toffee shards. YUMMMMM. 
I'm a pretty crappy cook, but when it comes to desserts, I rock!

 Here's a pic of the kids and I. They are all still in their jammies.

At the moment I am working on Colette Pastille, from the Sewing Handbook. After I traced and cut my pattern, I did some research and it seems the general opinion of this pattern is that it's a bitch to fit!!! Gah! I will give it a red hot go, though. I will sew up my muslin tomorrow and see how bad it is!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 sewing round-up

My main sewing goal at the start of this year was to make two garments a month. That doesn't sound like a very ambitious goal, I know, but I have two small children and it is really difficult to find the time for sewing. Anyway, it's time to see if I managed to attain that goal. I haven't even counted them all up yet so I have no idea!

So here they are, in no particular order.

 Two skirts for my little girl

 Pinafore dress for little one

 Self-drafted cot quilt cover

 Two reversible, appliqued pinafores for little one

So, it does seem that I pretty much reached my goal of two items per month! I probably cheated though, since there are a few tiny person's clothes and some items that are technically muslins, and a few that are not that wearable.

So what were my hits and misses?

New Look 6808- it doesn't fit all that great.
Blue Kwiksew 3521- it was the first dress I made and boy, is it obvious! I've probably worn it 3 times.
Study Hall skirt- even though it looks fabulous and took me ages, I just don't like the length. I'll try to give it more of a chance in 2013.

Hawaiian shirt/dress- I love it and can't wait to wear it again!
Red Kwiksew 3521- gets worn once a week in summer
Winter New Look 6078- I just love it!
Springtime Watermelon dress- always gets comments!
Easy gathered skirt- it gets worn a few times a week and is easy to dress up or down.

So there you have it! 
If you are reading, please leave a you have any tips for me? Which kind of dress/ outfit do you think I should stick to making and which ones should I steer clear of?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hawaiian skirt-dress

I bought this skirt a while back from an op shop. It never saw much daylight as it was slightly too big for me and sat too low down on my hips (especially recently as I've lost about two inches from my hips) and the rather hideous 1970s colour scheme made it impossible to make a decent outfit with it. So I decided to make a dress out of it!


I used Kwiksew 3521 again for the bodice. I know, I'm so boring! I just can't be bothered going through the drama of trying another pattern and getting it to fit me. After the teeny tiny bodice I produced last time, I added a bit here and there to compensate, and it came out huge! Gah! So frustrating. It was much easier to fix than the too-small one, though!

The fabric is some lovely butter-yellow cotton sateen that I just adore, and I lined it with an old pillow case.

The fit is still far from perfect, but it will do.

You may have noticed that the bust darts are freakishly high. No, my nipples are not that high up on my bust. I really have no idea how this happened as I didn't touch the dart position when I made my 'improvements'!


...but wait, there's more!

My neighbour gave me a bag of jeans a while ago and not surprisingly, nothing fit me- except for this hideous thing: 


I thought it was okay in theory, but when I put it on, I felt like a complete dork. 
It's like a girdle in the front...and check out the back! Corset!!!


I held on to them because the fit is really good, and it's basically impossible for me to get jeans to fit me well now since I've gained 3-4 inches on my derriere and lost a few from my hips. So off came the silly girdle-corset, out came my new denim needle, and hey presto! New pants!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good Enough To Eat dress

Here's my latest completed project. 

I ummed and ahhed about what to do with this one. First I wanted to make a dress entirely out of the cupcake fabric, but when I laid out my chosen pattern on it, I didn't have nearly enough fabric as the skirt back were cut on the bias. So I tried it on two more patterns and still didn't have enough, and finally decided on my original pattern with some of the black suiting that I used in my New Look 6782 skirt on the bottom and the cupckae fabric for the bodice.

The skirt is from New Look 6886. I've decided that circular/ semi-circular skirts suit me better than gathered or pleated skirts. The bodice is from my usual dress pattern, KwikSew 3521, and the sweet, cute, adorable little pouffy sleeves are from New Look 6808.

The last time I made a KwikSew 3521, I thought the bodice still needed some more tweaking as it gaped a bit around the neck and was a touch too baggy between the sleeves and waist (but not actually AT the sleeves and waist- just the area between them). So I took a bit off the side seams, sewed it up, basted in the zipper, tried to stuff myself into it....and failed. 

The first time I tried it on

I was home alone at the time so I went across the street to my German neighbours and asked the wife to zip it up for me and check the fit. "It's too small!" she proclaimed. She suggested I reduce the seam allowance at the zipper and then perhaps at the side seams. I knew there was no way in hell I would do anything to the side seams as I'd already overlocked the waist and sleeve seams. I unpicked the zipper and managed to get an extra inch out of the seam allowances. 

It fits now, I just have to make sure I don't try to do the following things while I'm wearing it: play the flute; eat food; breathe too deeply. 

Husband likes it because, quote, 'It doesn't make you look like you have no tits like all the other dresses you make'.

Every time he says that I point out that if he would like a wife with large breasts he should go out and find one.

Anyway, here are some pics. I don't think I'll bother with all the other mumbo-jumbo pattern review stuff. Suffice it to say that it cost me about $5 to make.

Haven't worn it yet, but will be wearing it to a party this Saturday so I will add some action pics after that.

No, I'm not pregnant. I just have a big belly.
Tummy sucked in.