Archive for the ‘Modern Clothes’ Category

We Have Productivity, Captain!

See, all that work on Tilly’s Sewing Productivity Project wasn’t just procrastination!  I’ve spent a couple of days sewing over the long weekend (though now I have coldy-migraine-y badness going on, so bleh!).

Speaking of Tilly’s project, she has collated an excellent list of tips from the various participants: go look up some tips for sewing productivity.  I might make these into a pretty list to print out, laminate and put on my pinboard!

As for what I’ve been doing, I made a super-simple dirndl skirt (sorry, I’m feeling too ill to model it!  Also, it’s a bit crinkled, as I’ve been wearing it!):

The fabric was £1 from my craft class – the zip actually cost more than the fabric!  The photos really don’t do this fabric justice – it changes so much in different lighting and at different angles, from a turquoise-green to a golden orange and even a strange, almost sagey green.  Very odd.  There was no pattern – dirndl skirts are so simple and easy, you just use a couple of rectangles and some gathering.  I did use this tutorial to help me work out how to do the waistband:

As I was a bit tight on fabric (it was basically a scrap that was just big enough to get two rectangles for the skirt with a long strip coming off it that I used for the waistband), I used bias binding for the hem, which I also used a decorative topstitch on:

I used the same stitch on the waistband, which also features my first ever zip (shock, horror!):

Using Michelle’s tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew made the job easy, though I basted the zip in place instead of using glue.

And there was another pretty thing made over the weekend, but that’s for another time.  In the meantime, here’s a little teaser:


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Back in the summer I fell in love with this dress from Miss Selfridge:

That collar, those little cute button details and dogtooth check – what’s not to love?

Oh yeah, the fit.

As soon as I saw it, I was in love with this dress – I walked past its window on my way to and from work for weeks and it haunted me all that time.  So I finally went in, prepared to buy it, especially as it would be good for work, home and even going out with some dressy accessories – that’s a hard-working dress!  But when I tried it on, it really didn’t fit well – tight on the boobs, loose everywhere else – and for £45, I wasn’t going to put up with a poor fit or faff about fixing it.

What’s a girl to do?  I saved photos from the website and have been on the lookout for the right fabric ever since.  I haven’t found it yet, but I have found a similar pattern:

The photos look a bit bleh, I know, but you get a better idea from the back drawings:

I’m thinking – full skirted version with the button tabs and adapt the top (perhaps using the bodice from Simplicity 2444) to make it a regular sleeveless bodice and then mess around with calico until I work out that asymetric collar.

So, I’ve got my eyes out for the fabric in the meantime.

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Yay-ness – I just won this lovely early 60s pattern on Ebay (it’s not the right size, but just needs a little bit adding here and there and it’ll be fine):

And for just £7.50!  I saw the same pattern go for £15+ a couple of weeks ago.

Just check out that cute jacket!  I love the dress, but there’s something about the jacket that makes me smile – I think it’s the combination of the buttons and cropped-ness.

With narrow- and full-skirted options and the jacket, this pattern gives three different items – I definitely consider that a bit of a bargain!

Together with my other 60s pattern, I’m starting a very small collection of vintage patterns:

I was originally planning to use the pattern to work out how to make an early 60s pleat-skirted dress, after seeing one in the window of a vintage shop in town (I love those bell-shaped skirts with inverted box pleats!) but the separates have grown on me and now I have Simplicity 2444, I’ve got an appropriately 60s-esque pattern:

Aaaand, the other week, my lovely Mum bought me this silk crepe to use to make the blouse in The People pattern:

It was on sale in John Lewis (£10/metre rather than £20!) – huzzah for that!  I’ve also handwashed it in cold water ready to go/sew.  Dry clean only?  HA!

Also, I’m currently working on the cat from this book:

It’s my first go at crochet and I’m enjoying it – photos when the kitty is complete!

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Hmm… so, the problem is that I’m a bit behind schedule on my three projects: the PoP: Tamina costume for the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival; my Birthday Masquerade outfit (AKA, Lady Luck Pierrot outfit); and a waistcoat for my young man (for work and for his steampunk outfit for my Birthday Masquerade Party).

  • Prince of Persia: Tamina – I’ve done a quick mock-up of the harem pants in natural muslin (that is, the English definition – I think Americans call it muslin gauze?).  They are very sheer, so I’m glad I’m going for the long-length tunic over the top, otherwise I’d be a bit of a flasher!  I have gone for a very baggy leg because the fabric is so sheer and drapey, which seem to work well, especially as I’ve also decided to pleat the excess fabric rather than gather it.  More on that another time. Still to do – er, pretty much everything?  I might have to go for just the tunic and harem pants in time for the festival, and leave the cropped waistcoat for another time.  Deadline – beginning of October.

  • Birthday Masquerade outfit – I’m still working on these damned stays, but they are an integral part of the costume (and any other 18th century costume I want to make in future), so they need doing.  However, I am currently trimming down the fray allowance and applying fray-check to the edges, so after today the stays will be in a wearable state, even if they’re not quite finished yet (no bias binding).  Still to do – again, almost everything!!  A pierrot jacket, a few petticoats, a sash and a mask.  I had hoped to make a cool hat and a fan, but these accessories might have to wait until a later date.  I have most of the fabrics (just need some cheap white sheets/fabric for the under petticoats).  Deadline – 24th November.

  • A Modern Waistcoat for an Architect-In-Training – we have the fabric (including a rather fun tartan lining, which was free from a friend!) and I’ve traced an existing waistcoat to use as a basis for sizing; his lordship has sketched what he wants (it’s a bit complicated!) and we’ve worked out the construction.  To do – tonight I should be pinning a mock-up to him so we can finalise the pattern; then it all needs making (still – argh!).  Deadline – 24th November.

As you can see, I’ve cut down on some accessories I had planned, so I’m going to try to continue with what I’ve outlined above.  But (isn’t there always a but?), if I get any further behind schedule, I might have to put Tamina on hold and use what I’ve done of my Birthday Masquerade outfit for the festival.

So, I’m afraid blog posts might be a bit thin on the ground as I’m so busy at the moment and I also have some work-related news to share with you in the near future (but more on that later), which means more busy times – goodness!

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Good morning gents of the womanly and manly persuasions!  As the title suggests, I have something pretty to show you and recommend most heartily – new tee:

See me pose!

I was very pleased that my t-shirt arrived so quickly (from the USA, as well!), nicely wrapped and with excellent sizing advice from the artist herself.  A lovely cotton t-shirt, nice and cool for the summer and great for layering in winter; I particularly like the long length – no accidental stomach-flashing for me!  A massive thumbs up for American Duchess.

These would make fabulous presents, if you can bear to give them away … maybe it’s best to buy two and keep one for yourself, and at the good Duchess’s very reasonable price, that is actually in the realms of possibility!

Hmm … now to chose which one to buy next time …

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