Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June Challenge Dress Two: Je voudrais un cafe*

I am lucky enough that my local library has Burda magazines that you can get out on loan. I get them out but hardly ever trace the patterns because it seems like too much work. I actually liked this dress so much that I did get around to tracing it. The dress is called the Parisian dress for whatever reason. I think it's meant to suggest that it's super classy and elegant, much like Parisian women (stereotyping much). Maybe it will make me classy and elegant, but I doubt it considering most of the time I can't be bothered wearing makeup or brushing my hair.

Burda #128 dress

Unlike the last dress I made, this one is actually winter appropriate. I said I was going to make winter dresses for the June Challenge and then went ahead and made a summer dress for my first one. I blame it on 'earthquake brain'. Apparently, it's a thing.

The fabric is a poly blend double knit. It's fairly thick and stable. This is pretty much the first time I've sewn with a knit and it was surprisingly easy. I sewed it on my lovely green Elna supermatic. I wasn't sure how well she would sew it since, being made in the 50s, she wasn't really meant to handle knits. I needn't have worried. She sewed like a champion.

Burda 128 dress

I look really annoyed but this is just how my face looks.

As per usual, I took no notice of the instructions because Burda instructions and I are not friends. I think it's the lack of diagrams. Luckily, it's a pretty basic dress, so I didn't have any trouble.

Burda #128 Dress Back

I love this dress. It's so comfortable. The fabric is lovely and soft. It feels like I'm wearing a sweatshirt but looks slightly classier.

Thanks for all your sweet comments on my last post. Some of you were surprised that I kept sewing and blogging through all the earthquakes. Much in the same way that, in Christchurch, we have to laugh otherwise we'll cry, I have to sew otherwise I will go insane. Amid all the chaos and weirdness, it helps to do normal things. Not to mention the fact that I have been so fortunate. There are so many others here that are having a far tougher time of it that I am.

* Pretty much the only things I remember from 3 years of high school French are related to food and how to order it. Obviously, I have my priorities in order.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June Challenge: The Earthquake Dress

I meant to do this post on Monday but we had two more big aftershocks. The power was knocked out again but thankfully we got it back on in the evening. We're back to boiling all the water too. Luckily, the house wasn't really damaged further. The cracks (including the one above my door which reminds me of the crack in Amy Pond's room) all seem to have got bigger but apart from that there wasn't any significant damage.

McCall 7622 Dress

I was actually wearing this dress at the time of the big 6.3 magnitude quake. I was also wearing a pair of relatively high heels, which is something I would not recommend.

Nothing about this dress has really gone to plan so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised that my attempt at posting on Monday was thwarted. Do you recognise the pattern? I thought not. That's because the dress looks nothing like the pattern envelope. It's the peplum dress pattern. Once I'd cut it out and started sewing it I decided that I didn't like the way the peplum sat so I got rid of it. The neckline looked funny as well so I folded it back and added two buttons as decoration.

Neckline close-up
I swear it looks more even in person.

I did lots of handstitching on this. The hem, the armholes and the zip were all done by hand. Usually I hate hand sewing but I found it strangely relaxing this time.

Dress Fabric

I love the print. The fabric is a thin cotton I've had in my stash for ages. The buttons, zip and cotton were all from my stash as well.

McCall 7622

I look slightly stunned. It's probably the lack of sleep.

After all the drama, this dress is kind of...meh. It's okay but I don't love it. Don't get me wrong, I will wear it because I didn't spend all that time hand stitching to just discard it.

I have started on my second dress. I am pretty behind on the June Challenge but, since I (thankfully) don't have any exams, I can hopefully catch up.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sewing Lingerie Part Two: I made a vintage lingerie set

I posted a while ago about my plan to delve into the world of lingerie sewing. I have (finally) dipped my toes into the pool, so to speak. I wanted to start simple so I made a bra type halter top and matching french knickers.

I used Simplicity 3250, which I have made before, for the top but I lengthened the bottom pieces so that it's more a midriff style. It looks way cuter on than in the photos (I know, I say that all the time), but you're just going to have to trust me on that because I am too shy to put pictures of myself wearing it on the internet.

The fabric is some vintage silk I got for $7.00. It was my first time sewing with silk but since it was relatively thick and stable it wasn't too much of a problem. I didn't have any bias binding that matched the fabric so just used some black for contrast.

The french knickers have little bias binding bows because well...I put bows on everything.

I'm pretty pleased with them for my first try. It's given me more confidence to try something a little bit harder.

I have started my first June Challenge dress but I've got two essays due on Friday so I probably won't have time to finish it before then. I have the rest of June off after that though, so I will (hopefully) have plenty of time to do all four dresses.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sartorially Ambitious

My love for floral prints is well documented on this blog. Pretty much every second thing I sew or buy has flowers on it, but I also love vintage novelty prints. I have a few, but I'm afraid to cut into them in case I spoil them.

Vintage Barkcloth Carriage Novelty  Print

This vintage barkcloth is the newest addition to my collection. It's actually a curtain. My Mum bought it for me last week from the Painted Room, one of my favourite shops. Unfortunately, their shop was destroyed in the September earthquake, they re-opened somewhere else and then lost that shop in the February earthquake. They have opened for a third time though, at 407 Selwyn St. If you live in Christchurch they are well worth a visit.

Vintage Novelty Border Print  Fabric

This is a border print which I plan to make into a skirt at some point.

Vintage Alcohol Bottle Novelty Print  Fabric

Why yes, those are tiny bottles of booze. I'm thinking of using this to make the peplum dress that was in the previous post.

Vintage Japanese Scene Novelty  Print

I have two versions of this gorgeous Japanese scene fabric. The other one has the same print but has more green tones.

Vintage Kiwiana Novelty Print  Fabric

I think this is from the 50s or 60s. It has a stamp on it saying, "Passed by inspection house. Japanese Government", which is strange given the print is a New Zealand one and I bought it here, on Trademe.

I haven't started on my June Challenge dresses yet because I have an exam tommorow, as well as two essays due next week. After that I'm on holidays though, so I'll make a start then.