Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Motley Crew

New vintage dress
(um..I really need a haircut)

I bought this lovely summer dress off Trademe a few weeks ago. I have a bad habit of buying/making things that are completely weather inappropriate. I do tend to wear my summer dresses in Winter though. Of course, I usually pair them with thick wool socks, thermals, cardigans and coats.
The dress originally came with a plain light blue ribbon threaded through the bodice but I didn't think it really went with the dress. I made a bow out of some black petersham (my favourite kind of ribbon). It threads through slits in the bodice and closes under the bow with a couple of snaps.

Handmade bow

The lovely Reana Louise from Curves, Patterns and Pins has passed on the I am all that! blog award to me.

This is the description from Beangirl's blog:

The recipients of this award are asked to answer the following questions, link to whoever awarded them and then pass it on to five, no six people (who they think will actually be willing to answer these totally intrusive and possibly inappropriate questions). Feel free to snag the badge too, right?


1) What size shoe do you wear? If you wear a size 7, can I borrow your shoes?

US 5/UK 3. I have freakishly small feet. Everyone thinks small feet are cute but let me tell you it's a total pain finding shoes that fit. Most shoe stores here start their sizing at six so I pretty much wear vintage shoes or too big shoes. Sure, you can borrow my shoes...if you can squeeze your feet into them.

2) 30's or 60's?

I don't own any clothing or patterns 30's because it's so hard to find here. I just bought this cute pattern from 1960 though, so I guess 60's.

McCalls 5458

3) Have you ever kissed someone you shouldn't have?


4) Have you ever been poisoned? Was it by the girlfriend of the person you kissed?? That is awesomely "Knot's Landing".

No. The closest I've come to being poisoned is having an allergic reaction to a nectarine. My lips swelled up and I got a rash on my face. It was not pretty. I guess if you want to poison me you now know to feed me lots of nectarines though.

5) Who's on your "Celebrity Free Pass" list (top 5)?

Patti Smith, Janelle Monae, Ellen Page, Beth Ditto and Joan Jett.

So now I'm going to pass this on to:

Kat's Creations

Helga von Trollop

The Velvettes

Sew Darn Tired

The Evil Dressmaker

Sewing and So on

By the way, thanks so much for all your suggestions on my last post. I tried a few and it looks like the bleeding has faded quite a bit so I can finally finish it. Hopefully I'll be able to show you it soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Disaster (this time of the sewing kind rather than the natural)

I am not a follow the rules kind of sewer; sometimes I don't pre-wash my fabric, I don't like making muslins, I use the word sewer instead of sewist (badass, I know). This is why it's all the worse when I try and do everything right and it still doesn't work.
Let me start at the beginning. I saw the fabric in Spotlight and I had to have it. It was the perfect weight and print for a Spring coat. I knew the perfect pattern to use. Simplicity 1411. I wanted three-quarter set-in sleeves so I redrafted the pattern to have those. I made a muslin. I kept faithful notes of all the changes I made to the muslin. I pre-washed the fabric.
Everything came together perfectly until it came time to do the buttonholes. I noticed a tiny stain on the fabric so I put a little bit of stain remover on it, rinsed it off and then washed my almost finished coat. I have used this stain remover heaps of times, even using it on my precious vintage dresses and it's been fine.
When my coat dried the blue dye had run in several places all over the white dots. It's strange because it ran in places that were nowhere near where the original stain was.

It doesn't actually look that bad in these pictures but it's pretty noticeable in person.

So, now it sits on a hanger in my sewing room. It's too stained to bother finishing it but too pretty to just throw away.
Moral of the story: don't be seduced by cheap and pretty fabric from Spotlight.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Folks would kill to fill your shoes

A source of great frustration for me is the fact that I can't make everything. I would really love to learn how to make shoes and hats (obviously making hats is a more realistic goal). I am always on the lookout for shoe lasts or a hat block. I had never thought of covering shoes with fabric until I saw the tutorial on Burdastyle. I wanted to cover some shoes as soon as I saw it but it took a while to find the right shoes and fabric. Although, it isn't quite making your own, it's still a fun way to personalise your shoes.

Wedges pre- makeover

I started with a pair of second hand wedges that I got off Trademe for $10 and a skirt that I had bought at the op-shop. The skirt was made of gorgeous fabric but didn't fit me very well.

Skirt used to cover wedges

I did a few things differently to the Burdastyle tutorial. I didn't have any self-adhesive fabric so I just used some fabric scaps and attached them with double sided tape to make the pattern. It seemed to work. I used Mod Podge glue to glue the fabric on and then did another layer of glue over the top to seal it. I left the shoes overnight to dry and then cut off the excess fabric around the sole with a craft knife. There was some dried glue bits on the thin strip of sole that you could see around the bottom of the shoe so I used some black nail polish to cover it.

Floral wedges side view

It was quite difficult getting the fabric smooth around the curves, especially on the toes. The glue also makes the shoe very stiff so I wouldn't use shoes that are a little bit tight. These fitted me perfectly before and they still fit me but they are a tiny bit snug. I think next time I will use shoes half a size bigger than I normally wear.

Floral Wedge side

I'm really pleased with the way they turned out though. I can't stop thinking about the next pair I want to do.

Floral wedges in action

Floral wedges side