Saturday, February 22, 2014

Marfy 1913

I've joined Leisa from A Challenging Sew with the free Marfy sew along.  The first make is the top 1913.


  • I didn't do a muslin but did check the measurements to ensure I have enough room.  It is a loose top and  the smallest size offered (42) I have found to be a bit big on me in the past.  I figured I could always take it in.
  • I used a 20 + year old poly I had in my stash.  I know it is at least that old as I bought it from Lincraft at Eastland before the redevelopment back in 1993.  Surprisingly it sewed up really easily, no puckers at all.
  • I added 1cm for seam allowances and sewed french seams.  
  • I added 2cm for the hem and used Leisa's method of hemming. I think I can omit this next time as a normal adjustment for me is to petite the bodice by 3cm, which I did not do with this. Not really necessary as there is no defined waist.
  • I used self made binding for the armholes and french binding for the neckline.  I followed this link and added the cute bow at the back.
  • I cut the back and added a seam.  This I did before I read all of Leisa's instructions - oops.  I am happy how it turned out actually as it doesn't gape as much in the back as the slit versions of others seems to do. I will try the slit version next time and see how I like that.
  • I didn't use the collar for this version.
  • Just happened to have matching belt and shoes in the closet - sweet!


I would like to try the elastic hem and collar for the next version.  And I have ideas also of making a lower neckline version with less cut away shoulders.

Details: Back closure with bow, shoulder seam with french seam and edge binding, hem treatment, neckline french binding.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vogue 8706


Some more fabric out of the stash and another pattern used! Vogue 8706 is a nice knit dress and a relatively easy make.  My fabric is a reasonably thick polyester lycra bought many years back from Frou Frou fabrics, which closed down a few years ago.




The pattern has a few interesting details - the armholes have piping, the shoulders are asymmetrical in addition to the gathering.  The back is cut on the bias which I don't think is really necessary for a four way stretch fabric however I cut it that way as instructed.





While the pattern was out I also made a top from a fabric that is even older than the one above.  Ah it is good to get it out of stash and into my wardrobe!
This version I didn't bother with piping (I just bound the armholes) and didn't cut the back on the bias (didn't notice any fit difference).






And while I was at it I used the remnants to whip up an elastic waist skirt.  I had to join a piece into the back so make a feature of it.  Some top stitching and split are nice I think.





And for some fun a la Carolyn, some dance moves!




Friday, January 10, 2014

Vogue 1250

Another year!  I have joined the RTW Fasters and have started off the year with putting Vogue 1250 to good use.  This is a pattern that has been around for a few years.  A very easy pattern that looks fabulous on everyone.  I made three versions it is so good.  Two dresses and a tunic length top:



For the tunic I shortened it and redrafted the bottom back section to have more flare.  Time now to step aside from V1250 :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It has been a long time....

I have been away from this blog for a long time.  I haven't been sewing.  I haven't been doing much except following along with everyone else.  But over the last month or so I have felt ready to get back into it.  In fact I have started a new blog called Create.

I want to keep this a sewing blog yet I wanted to talk about my other creative outlets.  I am not a sewing but nothing else kind of gal.  I go through stages.  I follow a lot of design blogs and motivational blogs.  And lately Paleo blogs.  I will cover all of this on Create.  I would love you all to follow me on Create as well as here.  I plan to keep sewing mainly to this blog.  I think sewing blogs are a pretty special place and I didn't want to clutter this with other random stuff you may not be interested in.

Many thanks to all of you who have been sewing up a storm while I have been absent.  I have loved following along.  And a special thank you to Rhonda who has included me on her Wednesday Showcase Hall of Fame!  Woo hoo, I hardly deserve it but am very appreciative none the less.  I also need to thank Rhonda for posting about The Artist's Way a few months back.  I read her posts, then purchased the book, and spent 3 months working my way through the exercises.  You just never know when you post something how it will effect a reader.  This creative exercise started the ball rolling.

I was lucky to follow up the Artist's Way with a Women's retreat in Bali.  This trip I shared with my sister and it was a spiritual and creative reflective time.  Bali is beautiful and very spiritual.  I had never been before.  I created two dream boards - one with the Artist's Way and another during the retreat.  A dream board is a collection of images that inspired your put together on a board as inspiration.  In both cases I came up with home and garden pictures mainly.  Beautiful images of serene places.  My quest for 2013 is to create these beautiful images around me in my home and my garden. I hope to explore this on the new blog Create.

I also discovered that I am very much a DIY person.  Always  "I could do that".  But as would be shown by my lack of posts here, I have lots of plans to DIY but little energy or motivation to follow through.  So what is different now?  Paleo.  Yes, change of diet. I was looking for ideas to help me sleep and googling up I found details of the caveman diet.  I have previously followed strict eating plans due to digestive issues but I have never cut out all grains.  I found the 30 day challenge and I thought why not give it a go.  I am good at following through when I decide what I am going to do and completed the challenge on 22 December.  And following this diet plan was easy to do.  The results? I somehow lost my "can't be bothered" and have since been completing projects ever since.  Not any garment sewing...yet.

My sleeping has improved but I still tend to wake up early.  But rather than complain, I am OK with it and use the time to read blogs!  And an unexpected bonus is I lost 4.6 kgs in weigh - without even trying!  So I am looking forward to 2013 and hope my enthusiasm to get things done continues.

Anyone else follow a similar diet and noticed similar results?

Next up is some well overdue home sewing projects :)

Goddesses dancing in the retreat pavilion amongst the rice paddies.  Beautiful way to start the day at out Bali Women's retreat.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sofie's Valedictory Dress

My baby Sofie graduated from high school recently and I made her a new dress for her Valedictory dinner.  I anticipated this event a while back and bought some silk chiffon from China on my last Hong Kong visit.  The fabric is an ombra that is black on both selvages and grading to white/cream in the middle.  Luckily she was happy with the fabric.

I used a mix of patterns - a bias cut night dress 12-2008-128B for the skirt and Butterick 5029 for the front bodice.  I then cut long ties - very long rectangles and attached them just under the bust.  To keep things simple I used elastic across the back to keep the dress close to the body as per the nightgown pattern - so no zip or other fastener needed!  I later went back and added elastic under the bust too to keep that area also closer to the body
You can see the bodice here and the rectangles hanging down. I also stitched the beads to the shoulders to keep them in place as Sofie wore the dress.
The ties wrap up over the bust, tie up at the back and hang down the back.  It was a bit of trial and error to see what looked good.  We ended up twisting around the bodice neck and tucking in around the bodice.

Of course the occasion required fake tan, hairdo, heavy makeup and false eyelashes!  The photos (except the dress form ones) were taken on a fancy smancy camera owned by Ellen's (dd1) boyfriend.  More can be seen here

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another dress for Sofie

I am a very lazy blogger.  And a lazy sewer!  But not to worry. I have recently made another formal dress for Sofie.   We used the following dress from Net-A-Porter as inspiration:

 Notte by Marchesa.  Looking closely at the dress on Net-A-Porter it appears the dress is a white strapless dress with a thick black ribbon tied around and joined to the dress in strategic places.

That is how we approached making the dress.  We started with a muslin for a Burda mag sheath dress (can't recall what number and it doesn't really matter as we changed it) and shaped the top to be sleeveless.  We shortened it too! 

Muslin looked good so we proceeded.  I used a silk remnant I purchased in Hong Kong on one of my early trips.  The black duponi was from Spotlight.  We also used up a black crystal zipper purchased way back in Hong Kong too.   I am sure they did not cost more than $10 all up.  The black silk cost as much! 

We won't discuss here all the trouble I had with that zipper!  we won't mention that I shortened it and more than once managed to get the tab off of it.  I thought we were a goner!  Sofie to the rescue with her young eyes.  By the third time she wasn't so happy with me however....

As this dress would no doubt be like others and worn only once, I took some shortcuts.  I didn't do any boning.  We put on a strap and I hoped that would hold up the dress well enough.  Sofie's breasts had other ideas.  If she leaned forward all was showing and even standing up her left breast was escaping.  What to do!?  Here is our quick fix - see the black patch on her left side above the white?  We found a scrap and just sewed it in!  Works well to cover her up and tighten the dress a bit.  Not so pretty from the inside.

The right side was just a matter of arranging the "ribbon" into a pleasing shape and hand stitching in place.  This was harder than I thought it would be.  The proportions were hard to get right as I had made the black "ribbon" smaller as Sofie is much smaller than the model but I didn't take into account that her bust however is much larger than the model.

And the troublesome zipper -

We stitched the zip exposed on the outside.  The dress is also lined.

Overall it is not my best effort but I think she looked gorgeous and the dress lasted out the night.  It is still at the drycleaners as she managed to get a drink splilled on it and plenty of body makeup too.  And did you see those killer shoes I bought her?



Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sofie's bed head

Quite awhile ago, Sofie and I bought some quilting cottons in green and pink to decorate her room. First project was to make an upholstered headboard. After much research (thank God for the Internet) we decided to have a go.


First, Sofie decided on a design. Then we traced a curve on some Burda tracing paper. From there we traced onto the board. We recycled an old desk we had in our previous house but have no use for in the new one.
Next job was to cut out the shape with the jigsaw.




We took the paper template to Clarke Rubber and have them cut out some low density foam (about 4cm thick) to fit the bed head. They also sold wadding which saved us a trip to the fabric store.

The foam was glued to the board and the wadding wrapped around and stapled down. The fabric was then stapled being careful to make sure it was nice and lined up.



We used "hooks and eyes" to attached the head to the wall. More scary power tools! We put the eye pieces on the wall and put the hooks into the back of the head. Here you can see the back is not so pretty, but hopefully this side will never be seen.


Et voila!

All styled up. Next project will be a duvet cover and some matching pillow slips I think. We also plan to recover a stool and make a runner for her chest of drawers.

Unfortunately the fabric was not wide enough and I had to seam pieces on the sides. This was the most time consuming part of the whole project. To make sure that the pattern matched up I used Summerset's way of basting from the front before machine stitching from the back. Works like a charm - can't see the seam can you?


From this angle you can see the width of the head board. Also you can see that the messy back can't be seen.

Not bad, if I do say so myself!