And a close up:
New favourite shirt. I hardly have any button ups (just one other) but have decided they are great. I was going to make an Archer for the first time but then decided that I could make a pattern myself by copying my other button up shirt. It had a collar, collar stand and cuffs but I decided to leave those out as I wanted this to be an easy make. Trying to copy collars and collar stands from an existing shirt is a recipe for frustration (how do I know that?). It was really easy to copy the front and back bodice. I didn’t even attempt to copy the sleeve but just adjusted one I already have so that it fitted the arm-scythe. The placket is actually just done as a facing turned to the right side – so easy to make the pattern and so easy to sew.
The fabric is a foil printed cotton on sale from The Fabric Store for about $9 p/m so this cost about $14. It feels like a normal soft cotton on the inside and weird crunchy feel on the outside. Of course being cotton it creases heaps and the shine makes that show (as the photos attest too). But for some reason I think a few creases suits this top. I’m loving it lots and have ideas for making more. Though next time I will either make the V neck much lower or much higher. Despite making a muslin somehow I ended up getting the point of the V at a really weird place. Oh well. Also I think I made the sleeve tabs too long. All things I could alter if I want but I’m just not in the mood for that at the moment. Maybe later.
We were lucky enough to see the Australian ballet perform Manon at Queensland Performing Arts Centre last night (spectacular!). So this dress was dragged out. I made it about 8 years ago to wear to a church wedding – see original below. Because I just can’t leave alone I decided it needed altering. I made the skirt more straight line and more fitted around the hips which was easy with all those seams being a Princess line. Then I hand stitched the sequin band to the hem and made a sequin belt. The sequins came as a stretchy band so the belt is really comfortable
I wish I had taken my camera to the ballet rather than relying on a phone so that the photo was a decent size so you could see it a bit better. I tried resizing it up but lost too much clarity
The fabric is a dark green silk duponi. When I was altering it I was able to see evidence of how far my dressmaking skills have come in the last 8 years. The biggest thing I noticed is that I didn’t cut it exactly on the straight grain as at that time I hadn’t worked out how vitally important it is. These days I’m there with a tape measure getting all the pattern pieces exactly on the straight grain and it totally pays dividends. Also when it came back from the dry cleaners years ago they had pressed all the seams of course and they were visible as lumpy ridges as I had overlocked them. Ugg. I thought it was ruined and didn’t wear it for ages. But my recent purchase and discovery of the wonders of pinking shears gave me the idea of trimming back all the seams. And all the lumps pressed out. Phew!
The pattern is one of my essential basics that I use over and over for an excellent fitting shift dress. Being Princess seams it is easy to get a perfect fit. In this version I omitted the pockets and made the pleats at the neckline which were in fashion at the time, but not so much now.
This version is fully lined with a really light weight cotton as I don’t like slippery lining on fitted clothes. It feels so comfy to wear. The wedding I went to in the above picture was during the hottest time of the year and we were all sweltering. I was thankful for cotton lining rather than synthetic to help me feel and look fresh.
The second ’Avignon Dress’.
This shape has been an experiment for me as I haven’t worn anything similar before. And I’m still not sure about it. The original ‘Avignon Dress’ seems to suit me more as the fabric of the skirt has more drape so it isn’t as boofy around my bottom as this one.
It does get me thinking about the ‘perfect’ dress for my shape. After I finish the next project I’ve already started on I might just work on that more.
The top part is a cotton that I bought intending to make a sleeveless top. But I didn’t pay much attention and didn’t buy enough as it was only 100cm wide. Hence why I went with the different fabric for the back and made a yoke to visually link it with the front… and use up as much of the fabric as I could.
The skirt fabric is from about 3m of new fabric I found in an op-shop. I behaves like a polyester but has the feel of a stiff, woven cotton.
I really struggled with some parts of the construction in this one (read: lots of unpicking). Although I spent ages lining up the pattern for the centre front it didn’t work. After unpicking and trying again several times I gave up and put in the placket instead so that it didn’t have to line up as much. Even then I managed to stuff that up the first time and had to redo it. Luckily it still turned out ok.
Err… not much else to say about this dress really that I haven’t already said when I made the first version of this dress. I’m not in love with it like I am the first one, but that’s ok I’m already onto my next project which I’m excited about…
So I decided that 3cm off a hem makes a big difference and about 8cm off the circumference at the hem definitely makes a big difference. And not holding my breath when posing for pictures will also be good… and working out how to take pictures of myself using a timer that are actually in focus will be fantastic.
Well, I’ve achieved the sewing aims.
This denim skirt has been one of my favourite basics. Almost every top I own goes with it. It is easy and comfortable to wear. Despite this I thought it was a bit dowdy on me or just not quite right. Solution: take a bit off the hem and make it more of a straight skirt rather than the sort of in between straight and A-line that it was. The picture below with the stripe top is how it used to look. The pics with the satin top is how it is now. Not sure if you can even tell but I can and I like it better now.
The satin top is one I made ages ago but for some reason didn’t like straight away. It is just a super basic style, a self-made pattern I’ve used a few times before. The fabric is lovely as it has a kind of flock backing which makes it soft and cosy without being hot.
How could I resist this magazine when I saw it at my local antique centre at Paddington.
Loving the dress of the one checking out her nails.
This magazine has all sorts of things in it including short stories (she thinks he is in love with her sister, but actually he broke off with her sister because he realised he loves her) some really funny advertisements, and reviews of the latest plays and films.
Can’t say I will actually make any of these dresses as I don’t think this style suits my shape unfortunately. But I just love the pictures.