Needing a present for a friend who is about to have a baby I made this little number. I just love the fabric, it is so fun and happy. Kids get all the cool fabric!
This time I remembered to do that thing of making sure the zip is shorter than the opening so as to get a nice neat corner. Not sure how others do this but I just add an extra little strip of fabric to each end of the zipper tape. That way when I sew up the side seams and turn it right side out I only have fabric at the corner to turn, not chunky zipper.
This is the first thing I’ve sewn for ages as I was in such a sewing frenzy for a few months there that I neglected some handyperson tasks that really needed doing. So I banned myself from sewing and reading novels until I get some things done! I’ve almost finished the room that we had re-plastered, just need to finish varnishing the skirting boards a mahogany colour and then put them in place. Then I’ll re-grout the bathroom. Big jobs that end up taking way longer than I expect. So no sewing for a bit longer. Am hoping to at least have time to sew one dress before Christmas…we shall see.
made finished this dress at the end of last summer and I’m very happy to be wearing it again. When I first made it dress I really made a mess of the fitting (read, I didn’t make a toile). It was way too large in the bodice and I had gathered the skirt and used way too much fabric, and it was too short for me. It lay in the ‘ugg’ pile for awhile until I pulled it apart and refashioned.
Wearing this today has gotten me think about making some more in a similar style for this summer. Though sewing is a bit on the back burner at the moment as I’m renovating a room in our house.
I think it would be a pretty boring dress without the colourful band at the hem. I actually picked it up in Thailand years and years ago and it has just been stuffed in with my ribbons etc for most of that time. So happy it now has it’s outing.
The fabric is stretch cotton sateen which is so lovely to wear and sew. But these plain sateens do show creases really easily. I’ve noticed that the printed sateens manage to hide creases pretty well.
The pattern is one I made myself though based the bodice on a Simplicity pattern I have.
Here is a bag I haven’t used for awhile but it was the only one that went with the rest of my outfit today. You may recognise the fabric from this top and fabric flower.
I made the pattern for the bag myself and designed it to be super simple to sew up quickly. The base is an oval shape. There are just two layers of fabric, no interfacing etc and it is reversible. For this version I used a plain red for the other side, the same fabric as the flower I’m wearing in this picture. I like how this style of bag looks good whether full or empty and can fit a surprising amount in it – a little bit of Mary Poppins magic. Ages ago I had another version of this bag that I used for years until it was probably past its time.
This flower (below) is really simple to make also. I cut out lots of flower shapes like the ones I used to draw as a kid. Then I gathered them in the middle slightly and put a thread through. All the pieces are then attached to a small bit of fabric at the back. There is a safety pin and hair clip on the back too. As the fabric is just a soft cotton it originally flopped everywhere and didn’t look very good. So I sprayed it with lots of hairspray as that is what I had – it worked
The skirt I’m wearing is this one. I’ve had such a drama with this skirt! It was so great to sew and came together really well. But then I decided that I didn’t like that it sat so high on my waist and added a piece to the waistband and let out some gather so that it would sit lower. But I made a mistake and added too much so it sat too low. So then I unpicked again and made it tighter. I’m still not happy with it as I used a straight waistband but curved would be much better and I think I would prefer it slightly shorter. Oh well, it is the first time I’ve made it so next time I will do it differently.
In other news I went through my wardrobe and cleared out so many old clothes or ones I just didn’t wear. It is so liberating. For some reason I feel that I have more choices and better clothes. Odd huh. Though it does remind me of something I read in a book about cultivating personal style. Apparently, ages ago a famous and stylish French woman (Andree Putman I think) visited the US. When asked what she thought of the US she said something like: ”I love America, and I love American women. But there is one thing that deeply shocks me - American closets. I cannot believe one can dress well when you have so much...”
Spring has sprung quickly here so I’m wearing this dress that I made at the end of last season. Though I do have a layer on underneath for a bit of warmth as the fabric is really thin.
I would say ‘simple spring dress’ but although the style is simple it turned out to be a bit tricky to make because of my mistakes. The fabric (rayon) was really slippery but I just treated it like a cotton voile or something like that so I ended up with some seams that didn’t match at the hem:
I can’t remember now what initial mistake I made on the arm holes but I ended up having to pull off the bias binding and put it back on three times! Yep. It was gaping and showing more of my arm crease than I wanted. Even now it isn’t quite right as you can tell by the singlet I’m wearing being a bit visible.
I totally fell for this print when I saw it. It is so happy and colourful and fits well into my wardrobe (ie. I have handbag, shoes, scarf, jewelry, and cardigan that go with it). Initially I was thinking about making a more complicated design but then decided that as the print is so busy and lovely that I could keep the design simple and just let the fabric be the star.
The pattern is one I have used to make this dress and this one. It is Simplicity 3744, a princess line dress that I’ve adjusted slightly to make it less A-line.
Lately I’ve been not sewing as much and perhaps for a reason you are going to think is really bizarre. I needed to slow down in a few areas of life. Even with sewing which I think of as a satisfying hobby I was getting really obsessed, to the point where I even contemplated not going away on holidays so I could get more sewing done. Yep, that was the sign to put the sissors down! Over the holidays I’ve been getting lots of ideas and inspiration from these books I bought or borrowed from the library. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure
Oh, and in case you are interested, this is a picture of where I went on holiday – Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Just a 1.5 hour drive from my house paradise exists.
The following is a new book I bought. It is 603 pages of images and hardly any text. It groups the decades of fashion by themes such as ‘Belle Epoque 1900-14′ and ‘Make do and Mend 1939-46′. I am totally loving it! The little bit of text is teaching me about fashion history.
This is another book of images I bought a little while ago. It has no text at all just images of clothes by contemporary designers that have a retro influence.
I found this book in my local library. It has lots of pretty pictures of other creative people’s spaces.
Another book from the library. I’m not sure what it is about as there is no English in it. But my guess is that it is images relating to a particular fabric and clothing designer.
Another book from the library. How awesome is the Brisbane library service! I really love the style in this book but it doesn’t suit my shape. They are cute but totally shapeless. I would look like a huge person in a pretty sack. Inspirational none the less.
Now I’m all filled with inspiration, and am back from holidays so time to start sewing again. Moss skirt draft 2 is what I’m working on at the moment.
What is inspiring you right now?
So I was going to try making my own pattern similar to the Moss Skirt by Grainline studio but changed my mind and just bought it.
I made a super quick and basic version out of an old bed sheet and I’m so glad I did. The fit was way off. It was too tight around the hips even though I followed the sizing chart. I have noticed looking at other bloggers Moss skirts that there are a lot with the horizontal wrinkles across the lower hip/upper thigh which tells me that it is made for more boyish shapes than many of us lasses.
After making lots of alterations to the pattern I still wasn’t convinced I had it just right and so decided to sew it up properly. This is the result. This fabric has been in my stash for years as I don’t like it. So this skirt will never leave the house but I’m very much enjoying it as an ‘around the house’ skirt. Actually I’m wearing right now. If you look closely you might even see a stain on the front from when I was cooking just a bit earlier today
Anyways… back to the pattern etc. I found the instructions easy to follow and it was easy to download etc. But I do want to change some things before I make this up in good/expensive fabric. The fit and style of this one is fine for at home but it isn’t good enough for wearing out (even if I did like the fabric).
Next time I will incorporate the fly and fly shield into the skirt front pieces so that there are less seams and bulk at the fly. I want to change the pockets so that they don’t go all the way to the centre front seam as it creates unnecessary bulk at the fly too. The pockets on men’s shorts don’t go all the way to the front so mine don’t need to either. The pocket facing really doesn’t need to be self fabric either, lining will reduce bulk again.
The pocket gape bothers me. I have some ideas about how to reduce this on the next skirt, but I’m not sure if they will work. Will keep you updated of course
Have you worked out how to minimise pocket gape? I am keen to hear other’s ideas.
This top has had several refashions now. I originally made it with 3/4 length sleeves gathered at the shoulder and hem. But I did something whack when I made the pattern and the armhole was just too big or something. It just didn’t look right and so I didn’t wear it. Finally I had the idea of removing the sleeves. I cut the sleeves off leaving just a couple of centimeters and used that as a sort of binding to finish the armholes (read minimal effort and stuffing around).
I wore that for awhile and then decided to reduce the amount of gather at the back so put in a centre back seam.
Now I think it is too long for wearing un-tucked so I will probably end up changing the hem. What an effort, just for a simple top. Remind me why sewing is my hobby again! Oh, I remember, I get to be this fussy.
The fabric is a quilting cotton – I fell for the print not the drape.