Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Please someone I know throw a sixties themed party!

Now, this isn't the greatest thing I have ever made - in fact it isn't even the greatest thing I have made this fortnight!  I really liked the toile of this dress - and then I became a victim of my own 'tweaking'!

The background story to this dress is that in one of the Ebay fabric bundles I like to purchase when I am at a loose end, there was this very cheap looking check fabric.  I knew that there was over a metre of it in the bundle but what I didn't know was that it was a piece only about this wide.  The joy though is in the challenge of finding something to do with this fabric and then this dress popped into my head and I couldn't get it out!

So, throwing good money after bad I purchase a few metres of black flannel and a 20inch black zip and set about creating a dress that I really didn't think I would ever wear.  Just to get it out of my head.

I used New Look 6145 and sewed the check fabric to strips of the black flannel before cutting out the front bodice.  I thought that my toile was a little on the tight side on the hips so I re-drafted the pattern to be a size 14 bust and a hip size that went off their chart!  Sewed it all up bar the hem and armhole finishes and lo and behold I had made a sack!

I didn't really want to unpick for hours a dress I thought I would only wear once in a blue moon so I winged it.  Really quite badly.  I took in the back darts (ok that is acceptable)  I sewed a convex line along the bust dart without taking apart the side seam (yeah, a little weird) and then I tackled the obvious swayback by putting handsewn darts in the neckline without taking the neckline facing apart (that is just plain crazy). 

I am left with an 'interesting' back detail, but I am also left with a dress I can wear without someone thinking that there should be several trapeze artists and a clown performing under it.  Actually, there is a clown performing under it!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Groovy Toile and A Grand Day Out!

I have made yet another duvet dress!  This was meant to be a toile for a Black and White dress I have got in my head, but I liked this version so much I wore it on a day trip to Bath Spa.

The pattern is New Look 6145 and I made the simplest version I could because I knew the fitting would be a nightmare.  I cut a size 14 bust and tapered it out to a size 18 hip - despite the fact that my hip measurements were way over the largest (size 18) sizing.  I have only just got away with it and, truth be told, it is too small across the hips but it was so darn lovely to wear I went out in it anyway.  I don't know what it is that I like about it really.  It was a boiling hot day and the top is a lot looser than I would normally go for so that may have been it - and I liked wearing the shorter length even if my knees did scare children.  It just felt comfortable.

I also liked the fabric placement.  The duvet I used had a large central design (which I used at the front) that rather unusually blended with a smaller print at the sides (which I used at the back).  It meant that I didn't have to pattern match at the sides of the dress but the different patterns obviously toned well together.

These photos were taken in a lovely little coffee shop up a small side street in the centre of Bath.  I recommend the real fruit milkshakes!

We had a lovely family day out which included myself and my daughter sneaking off to the Bath Fashion Museum.  I have linked to their website rather than put my own photos on here as I am always wary about copyright and also, as no flash is understandably allowed, my photos of the clothes did not come out brilliantly.  I do recommend taking a look though (I would love your views on their Dress of The Year 2013). 

The one thing I can show you however is the fun we had drawing dresses to put on their notice board.

About the most fun you can have with a fineliner!

My daughter completely trounced me in the design stakes though!

Finally, a walk around some of the vintage clothes and charity shops led to some purchases.  I managed to get three metres of this fabric which I am hoping is from the seventies.  It is going to become a seventies dress anyway!!!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Colette Peony Squirrel Print Dress

After spending a large chunk of the Christmas holidays fitting a toile for the Colette Peony dress, there was no way I was only going to use the pattern once.  This is my second version since the refitting - finished just in time for a night out with the girls.

This fabric was on sale last year at John Lewis for £5 a metre.  I can remember telling the sales assistant that I was going to make a child's quilt using it!  In my 'woman in her fourties wearing pink squirrels and acorns' defence - my friend was wearing a top the other day that I thought had acorns on it and it looked lovely and then I couldn't get this fabric out of my head.  So I used it.  For me.

I spent a stupid amount of time hand picking the zipper in.  You can see that I didn't really attempt to match the tiny print - save for keeping it on the straight grain of course - but the squirrels seem to have kept their tails!  The dress is fully lined (apart from the sleeves) with white cotton.

I loved wearing this on my night out. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

They predict a heatwave just as I've finished an aran!

Almost two years ago I purchased some aran wool from an organic campsite I was staying at.  That is how I know that this Study Hall Vest has taken that long to complete! 

Embarrassingly, on researching this pattern on Ravelry, it came up as an 'Easy' pattern.  I tend to disagree with that.  I could only knit it on my own, in complete silence, chanting things like 'slip the next two stitch onto cable needle, hold at back' out loud over and over as if I were seeking enlightenment.  But then again maybe I'm not that adept at cables!

But I love a cable! 

I am quite pleased with the result but I do feel humongous in it - so I think it will be reserved for a very layered Autumn look.

I've also just finished the two cushions in the background of the picture.

They are teacher gifts for the end of term - hopefully to be used in the reading corner of a classroom.  They are made out of recycled materials - including a few more pillowcases left over from making my duvet skirt.  I think my sewing is slowing down ready for the long summer break!