Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Kay Unger Dress

Dear fellow Bloggists
My three hobbies in life are writing, sewing and photography and like children I love them all equally. Blogging allows me to combine all three. It was with a bit of trepidation I set up this blog six moths ago and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I do - so thank you for reading and for visiting. I didn't expect to find such a number of kindred spirits and I am thankful for all of you.
But first... I've finished the Kay Unger dress wearable muslin. I like it very much and am wearing it as I type. Here it is
And  a full shot
I've got to learn to push all my sewing stuff further out of shot. My styling capabilities need some work..

the back
I'll be doing a PR review later. This is unlined, out of stash quilting cotton. I love the style and have silk ready to do a special occasion version. I am working some crazy hours this week so the real one will have to wait until after Christmas. I'm not sure if I'll be doing any more posts between now and then so
Merry Christmas to you all.

Monday, 13 December 2010

We Interrupt This Sewing Blog

To bring you my entry in the Timeless Wonders photography contest. Here is the link on Nessaknit's blog about the contest.
Timeless Wonders
I love phototgraphy and sometimes a photo captures something more than words. I love looking at photos on other people's blogs that give a glimpse of their part of the world, so there's my entry of five photos.

A Summer's Day

I hope you like my photos.


Friday, 10 December 2010

Something For Meeee!

Days of December

It is zooming in towards Christmas. There are fairy lights on my balcony. The days are warm. Here at the moment, due to an el nino effect causing lots of humidity and rain, even the nights are warm. Everything is blooming and green and there are cicadas humming in the trees. This is Christmas as I've always known it with hot summer days and parties and cold drinks and the Boxing Day one day cricket on the radio in the background at my brother's place during his annual day-after-Christmas barbeque.

My balcony

All this means dresses of course!

I'm going to a party next weekend at at yet another fabulous harbourside venue. It is a lunch time event but 'dressy' is on the agenda. I've been busily sewing a muslin of V1206.
I had some craft cotton and some georgette and have knocked out a half-finished wearable muslin.


It is this pattern which no one has reviewed on PR. This surprises me, it's so pretty.


The bodice needed a bit of tweaking - mainly a little bit of taking in along the sleeve/bodice join both front and back, a sway back adjustment to the back, a bit of letting out of side seams...
I've hand washed some of my lovely stash silk and it is almost dry in today's heat. People are saying that Oprah, who is here at the moment with three hundred of her fans has driven the rain away. I say well done!
Enjoy


Sunday, 5 December 2010

My Daughter's Georgette Dress

Dear Fellow Sewists
I am sitting here in my bicycle sweats, catching up on my favourite blogs, checking out some new ones and cooling down. It has been so nice to relax today, just cleaning house, shopping, getting out to exercise...all the normal things. Yesterday I finished the georgette fantasy based on V8182. I'd already done a wearable muslin. I then made the apricot and black one for my daughter's work Xmas party. Here are some photos.


Getting ready.

I've cropped out my daughter's partner because I'm not sure if he wants to be on the internet but he looked  very smart!



The oops! frill

The save

 The two added tiers to the bottom of the skirt look like a design feature but were actually a fix-it because the original skirt ended up too short. I had cut out the material one layer at a time but one piece ended up three inches too short on one side. Cutting material on the bias is better done on a sheet on the floor rather than on a slippery table. Lesson learnt. Anyway luckily I had extra georgette and I cut two layers of bias frill and attached them to the skirt lining. I had a horrible time trying to get them even. I had a terrible time with the whole skirt generally even though I had let the dress hang on a hanger before attempting any hemming. It just kept stretching... unevenly. I'd cut it even and it still ended up uneven. All this cutting contributed to it being too short so I added the frill.
She looked beautiful in the dress anyway. I'm not saying 'poor me'. I wanted it to be perfect for her.
* Edited to add I have since found that the material - a poly- acted quite strange on another project so it wasn't all me. That restored my confidence a bit. Another lesson learnt- for a special occasion dress do a quick modified muslin out of the SAME material to see if it is worth using. argh

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Some Sydney shots

Dear Reader
I know that some of you enjoy hearing about my home town and seeing photos so this is for you. On Saturday my DD and I went to the ballet at the Opera Hall of the Sydney Opera House. This is nothing new to me. I watched that building get built and have always loved it, inside and out.

Posing pre-ballet. Recognise the dress? I like it now.

Trying not to get blown away in the breeze

My beautiful harbour

Sydney ferries. Aren't they cute?

The atrium at the back of the building where we went for refreshments between acts

Outside shot


 The Rhapsody of the seas was docked at the Overseas Terminal


A bridal party heading for the Museum of Contemporary Art. This building is on the same side as the ship was docked. I'm not sure if they were tourists or locals but my they looked stunning.

Goodbye

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Georgette Fantasies V8182

Dear Reader
I am seriously considering making a New Year's resolution of not sewing for anybody else, as advocated by the selfish seamstress. She does have a valid point that your precious sewing time can get swallowed up by other people's requests. ... but how could I not make an exception for my DD? She's my biggest fan and  looks gorgeous in anything. (I can hear her saying 'no you're not biased at all are you Mum'). Anyway here is party dress number one



This is a wearable muslin of V8182. It's been modified and doesn't look much like the original but it is based on it

At first we tried the original bodice but with a narrowed band without the overlay.

Then the band was narrowed even more and the shoulder gathers converted into one 2cm deep pleat at the shoulders, both front and back. The bodice was then narrowed to the width of the lining, then the whole thing was taken in half a centimetre more along the neck and armhole seams. Oh and the outer points of the overlaps were brought in by 4 cm.



Wishing for longer arms when taking a one handed construction shot...

I made a georgette flower from leftover fabric that could be pinned on (or not!) I'll do a post on how to make it later on.


Ah I'm so happy that the dress fits and she likes it. I've undone the temporary seams and will finish it today.

Finished dress - front and back are identical except for some lower edge bust gathering

Now for the 'real' version. As usual I'll do a more nut-and-bolts review for PR when I've finished. In the meantime
Happy Sewing everyone.


Friday, 12 November 2010

It's a wrap

Well it's really a poncho dear readers. While I am in the process of busily making a georgette creation (or two) for DD I thought I'd share another garment on the cheap tip for those of you in the northern hemisphere  plunging into cooler weather. Here is my remnant table poncho/wrap/thingy:

It is ironic that here in Sydney as I am posting this we are having a hot beach-weather weekend, but just last week this garment was being used frequently (along with a grey knit cardi-wrap) for very changeable weather that could to go cool without warning.
Here is how to make it:
Buy a piece of knit that looks like a sweater knit, 150cm wide. Mine was an end of roll 70cm length. Most people not vertically challenged like me would need 80, 90cm or even a metre. Serge or zig-zag all the raw edges. Fold it over, leave a 30cm (12") opening for your head. Sew the rest of the seam closed. Voila!
A wrap you can scrunch into your bag. Here's a closeup of the knit.


Happy sewing. Georgette dress adventures to follow.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The 'meh' dress

Dear Reader
I am about to embark on a dress of whimsy, a floaty, hopefully lovely creation for my daughter to wear to a formal Christmas party. This will invlove a full length muslin, lined, with invisible zip ectetera. If both dresses turn out she will have two party creations, one in block colours, one in a casual print. As my pragmatic darling puts it she will 'score well'.
In the meantime I made myself a quick knit dress from M 6069. I'd eagerly waited for a chance to make this pattern. There is a long list of sewers looking fabulous in their creations on Pattern Review. Well I made it and was disappointed.  The dress looks ok. Fine even. Just not the 'wow' effect it has had on so many others. It makes me look - well- ah- straight up and down. It seems to work better on hourglasses or pears - people with a well defined waist. Oh well.



The back is cute, I'd never made a dress with a cowl on the back before.
So even though it's 'yeah ok'.

I'm not complaining too loudly!
Off to sew the next project.
Happy sewing everyone.
ps. I came back to edit this and say it's growing on me.

Friday, 5 November 2010

A Mixed Bag

Dear Readers
Occasionally in my sewing life I let go of whimsy and succumb to practicality. When it comes to night attire I would love to say that I float around in something like this nightgown. I just loved Eva Gabor in Greenacres when I was a kid, I thought she was so glamorous.



Well, for me everyday reality is a little more practical. Here's some almost free nightwear.
Take some bargain table knit, a very basic sleeveless dress pattern and come up with this.




It's not a feathered pegnoir, but it'll do.
BTW remember the box of beaded goodies I ordered? Here it is:

and here's the beaded wrap bracelets I'm making for all the kids


Here's a link on the basic idea of how to do it bracelet
I hope they'll like them.
Happy beading, sewing or whatever you do.
val




Monday, 1 November 2010

What I've been up to

Dear fellow bloggers
I haven't disappeared. I've had a hectic few weeks and haven't posted. Also I've been sidetracked from my beloved sewing by a project I am undertaking of making all the girls in my extended family beaded bracelets or necklaces for Christmas. I saw some lovely pieces online made from semi-precious stones and went on to buy a box of supplies from fire mountain gems. Oh dear bloggers/sewers/craftists this site should come with a warning that it is too wonderful for words. I'm sure there are other beading supply websites but this one is delicious.
While I was waiting for my box of goodies to arrive I started practising with what I already had and came up with these


Chunky hippy style bracelets
and a delicate ncklace and bracelet


Made from an old black necklace and some inexpensive seed beads.
So that's what I'm doing. Some sewing will soon follow.
Happy blogging everyone.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A Quick Cocktail Dress

Blogger Friends
As mentioned in my previous post I had a party at a fabulous venue to go to and needed a dressy dress without spending much money. This is a classic 'thank God I can sew' moment. I did have a RTW floaty silk dress that is more suited to summer parties - even if summer never arrives here the parties will - but it wasn't quite formal enough. I'd had a few ideas, a pattern and material or two in the stash. (Hundreds of each - one day I might post embarrasing photos of all my plastic tubs of stuff). I had this pattern

which is still in print but may be edging its way out of the catalogue.  I had some blue crinkle 'snakeskin' print georgette and some dark blue lining and made this. I had to convert the pleats of the bodice to gathers and take out the bunching of the crinkle until everything hung straight.






Do you remember the green shimmery trench that is really blue/yellow warp and weft threads? It went well with the dress and had a matching lining.
Just as well as it was a cool, cool night in Sydney.



Silver accessories added a bit of an edge. I'll write a review on PR and post more pictures. I'm having a terrible time getting photos up today.
Happy sewing.