Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vogue gored skirt

So I have a kind of sewing plan written up with things I want to make...which gets ignored 50% of the time when I decide on a whim to make something. This is one of those 'on a whim' projects.

I had this ridiculously small piece of sateen in my stash that I thought was far too small to make anything non-child-sized (I had a 22 inch long piece of it). The fabric is gorgeous- the most lightweight sateen I've ever seen. 

After looking through my patterns, I thought I might be able to make this- a pattern I purchased about 15 years ago, long before I know how to sew. I have no idea why I bought it- I guess I thought my mum would make it for me? Anyhoo, by taking 2 inches off View C and using some plain black suiting for the yoke, I managed to squeeze it out! 

It was pretty quick to make. I cut out the pieces on Thursday, did 90 minutes of sewing on Friday night, about an hour last night, then wore it today! All of the seams (except the side seams) are topstitched, and I love topstitching for some insane reason. And I had my (mother-in-law's) overlocker serviced and it sews like a dream now!

Closeup of the piecing and yoke

The most difficult part was attaching the yoke to the skirt. My version's yoke is not as 'pointy' as the one in the picture. I could not get my head around attaching a concave angle to a convex one.

This is a great skirt- very floaty and fun. I like the length even if it's quite a bit shorter than I would normally wear.


I wore it today on a family outing to Kingscliff, about a 40 minute drive across the border. It was a gorgeous spring day, with fish & chips and swimming on the beach.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spring Dress

I said in my last post that I intended to make up for my lack of sewing in August, and I didn't lie! After not having made any nice dresses for months, I couldn't wait to make something really springy. I'm sure you all know the feeling of making pretty warm weather dresses after covering up all winter long!


I bought this gorgeous fabric exactly two years ago. It was $3/m and is really good quality quilter's cotton (it was reduced from $15/m). I love quilter's cotton and I don't give a crap what people say about it being no good for clothes. For  most dresses, I think it's perfect!


I used New Look 6910, the pattern I used for my Shitted Feet Dress, which I barley wear as I'm not happy with the fit. This time I made the scoop neck because my husband hates boat necks on me. I also cut the whole thing on the smallest size instead of grading up to the waist because this thing has a crazy amount of ease. I still had to increase the back centre seams to a whole inch to get it to fit, but all in all it came together really easily and quickly.


Whoops, the zipper pull is sticking up!

I lined the bodice with some white poplin I had in my stash. I was going to make the belt out of the floral fabric, but in a sudden stroke of genius I realised this green polka dotted stuff would look lovely as a belt. As an added bonus, when I tried on the completed dress, I discovered my $5 green heels were a PERFECT match! Win!


I love this dress so much. I finished it Friday night and wore it Saturday, Sunday and today (Tuesday).


Monday, September 16, 2013

Sewaholic Thurlow

Long time, no sew! I didn't complete a single project in August and I plan to make up for lost time. 

After my last project, my black coduroy pants,  I purchased the Sewaholic Thurlow pants pattern because I wanted to tackle something a bit more fitted, and I basically have NO pants that fit me since I put on 7kg in the past two years. I had about 6 pairs of lovely size 8 work pants that I had to sell on Ebay because my new big booty and thighs were far too big for them.

I really need a pair of basic black pants for band and orchestra gigs, and for a smart look at work during winter when it's too cold for dresses with tights. I decided to try the pattern out for the first time using this lovely pinstriped suiting that I bought last year from Spotlight. It looks black but it's really, really dark navy. So dark that I had to take it outside into the sun and hold a piece of black fabric next to it to discover that it was actually navy.

After perusing the back of the envelope, I decided to cut the smallest size (0), based on my waist measurement. I didn't make any alterations to the pattern, but I will have to next time to get a perfect fit. It took me about eleventy-five hours to trace my pattern pieces and then cut out all 47 pieces I needed to make the pants. I think I'd done 3 nights' work, about an hour each night, before I even sat down to sew.

The pants came together very easily. I was REALLY worried about the welt pockets, as I have heard horror stories about them, and I really am not that good at sewing so I thought I would completely balls them up. I took the bull by the horns and didn't even do a practice one, just made them straight onto my pants backs. Let me tell you, if you haven't done welt pockets before, you MUST follow Lauren's from Lladybird's instructions! It is absolutely impossible to eff them up if you do. In fact, if your pockets aren't perfect after following her little tute, then you have a turnip for a brain!

Here are my welt pockets. They look a lot better when there is no bum in the pants making them gape open. And for some reason, one of them is too close to the back crotch seam. Oh well! I think they are bloody brilliant for my first go.


By the time I was 90% finished and was able to try the pants on, I realised I needed at least an inch more in them. The best I could do was to reduce the side seams as much as I could. The fit is just on the small side of perfect.

My major eff-up (there's at least one in every project I make) was that I somehow made the waistband quite a bit wider on the right. And when I sewed my buttonholes, something went awry and the bottom buttonhole is too small for the button, so I just left it undone. If I can be bothered, I'll sew a smaller button on.

It took me just over 3 weeks to finish these pants, for various reasons. One, I had barely any time to sew. Two, the last month of winter was so hot (I'm talking bare legs and arms) that I completely lost all desire to sew pants. Three, I realised that I have basically nothing to wear with navy pinstriped pants.


Thankfully I finished them on Saturday and today I was blessed with a cold, rainy day so I grabbed the opportunity to wear them. I found this white blouse in the bottom of the ironing basket, where it lives for 364 days per year. It is really see-through and I didn't think that having my bra on display while teaching at a boys' school was a good idea, so I popped on this cute waistcoat which very nearly ended up being donated the other week. I'm glad I saved it because I think this makes a super cute ensemble! 


Look what I can do!