Thursday, 27 December 2007

A Skirt for Christmas

I decided that I needed some thing new to wear on Christmas Day and thought a skirt would be the right thing. I had bought this bright Christmas cotton at Spotlight with the intention of making a circle skirt but when I looked at it at home I felt it was more suited to a six gored skirt. So I pulled out a skirt pattern I have previously made and love and went to work.

The pattern is Vogue 7910 and is a really simple pattern and a flattering shape. I decided not to line this skirt and would wear it with a slip .

I love the pockets on this skirt, large enough to be useful but discrete and don't spoil the line of the skirt.

I didn't really try to match the pattern but it seems to have matched quite well by accident.

On the close up of the pocket you can see the shape of the pocket and the detail of the print. I think what I like best is that even though it is a Christmas print it is not overboard.

I wore it with a simple black t shirt as the skirt is quite bold on its own. I had felt it would go quite well with my black swimmers but Christmas was unseasonably cool in Sydney this year and I skipped the swimming. It was very pleasant, not unbearably hot and humid as usual.

Continuing with the aprons

I made this one for the sister of my husband. It is made from quilting cotton with random handbags on it, rather a fun print and very colourful. Simply pleated onto a wide waistband with a large pocket and trimmed with pink bias binding.
The back has very long wide ties and for the photo I decided a super large bow would be cute.

I used my narrow hemming foot for the first time hemming the ties and it was so easy and gave a really neat result. I will definitely be using it again in the future.
The pocket is quite large with a mini pocket on the front. My mobile fitted quite neatly inside it. Another first was using one of the quilting stitches to applique some of the handbags to the mini pocket and to decorate the upper band of the pocket.
Overall I quite liked the boldness of the apron and the frivolity of it and I was reasonably pleased with my workmanship.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Apron Madness Part 4

Matron's Pinny

This is another apron from the Enid Gilchrist book. It was called a "Matrons Pinny" I'm not sure why?

I have made this one out of very tiny red and white hounds tooth cotton with a flannelet finish to the inside. The collar and straps are red poly cotton.

I quite like the shape of this one too, good full coverage where you need it when you are doing dirty things and big pockets.
The ties are long enough to tie around at the front too.

I hope my family like them.

I now have to make one for a 10 year old not sure which style will be best for her.

Apron Madness Part 3

Fifties Fun

The aprons that follow are from patterns from the 40's & 50's. These patterns were from an eBay seller who had scanned a 1950's booklet about patterns and was selling pdf versions of them.

This is made from polka dot poly cotton with contrasting striped poly cotton. I modified the pattern to have a rounded collar .

The pockets have little buttons on them in the shape of strawberries.

I used the stripe fabric for the ties as well.

This one is made with the original square collar. I trimmed it with orange ribbon. The fabric is cotton printed with tropical flowers.
A back view, you can see the points at the back of the collar.

I wanted to make colourful and original aprons, unlike anything in the shops, I hope I've succeeded.

Apron Madness Part 2

Animal Aprons.

The apron story continues. This is a tunic style apron from the Enid Gilchrist book. I really like the shape of this one, a much shorter style but the ties are attached to the body inside tucks which give it a really cute shape. I also love the really big pockets on the front of this one.

Made from cotton drill with Dalmatian puppies and bones.
And a side view. The book suggest this could be worn as a top over a t-shirt, on a young person I think it could be a good look. I am tempted to try making one out of a fleece to give to my Grandma as a pop over to wear in the nursing home.

Another animal print cotton drill. This is a self drafted pattern based on an apron from a single yard of fabric from the 1920's. It is cut on the bias and the ties and pockets are made from the leftover fabric. I have tied this in front as it is a little large for my dummy.

Back view:
More to come!

Apron Madness!

Aprons for my family.

I have been looking at some really beautiful vintage apron patterns on line and have decided try making some as a stash busting exercise.
I have put together quite a few and have decided that as a way of giving my family members hand made goods I would give all the girls in my family an apron.

I will do this post in parts as there are quite a few to get through.

On ebay I got a little publication "Enid Gilchrist's : Pinnies 'n' Things" no publication date but probably from the early to mid 1970's.

This is a cross fronted apron made from printed cotton.
Pockets are a needed.

This was called a cover up apron. I liked the idea of the princess seam side panels and the pleating at the waist rather than gathers. I used a green binding for the edges. This is a heavy weave cotton.
I tried to match up the pocket as much as was possible.

I think what I will do is put all the aprons in one package and address it to everyone and they can chose the one they like the best.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Stash Busting Vintage

I recently made my first purchase of vintage patterns from the US and this was one of the things that was in my package. A simple button front dress from the mid sixties in a size 18 1/2 .
I had to do a full bust adjustment and added a bit more fullness to the skirt. The buttons are vintage shell buttons I found in an antique shop in Mt Tamborine.

I will probably wear it with a belt and a white petticoat . At the moment the only belt I have to wear with it is a black one but I think I will have to find a shiny white belt.
The fabric is a light weight cotton with raised dots and an embroidered white boarder bought on sale about a year ago. I have been waiting for a good pattern to use it.
This is a close up of the fabric.

I think it is a cute dress and will possibly make it again in a bright fabric for summer.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

A Little Ancient History.

Well maybe not quite that long.

About 12 years ago I wanted a cape with a hood, not for any great reason other than I thought they looked really great and I wanted one.
I don't go to Ren Fairs or Cosplay or any such thing, maybe I would have if there were such things in inland Australia.

So I found a pattern I liked, Style 2377. Then spent a fortune on probably 6 or more metres of silk double velvet. That is beautiful heavy thick velvet made from pure silk. Then had to have a red lining.

Laid it all out on the floor of my little flat and got cutting and sewing. After I got the whole thing together I had to go see a local seamstress to have her measure and hem it for me. I chickened out at that point.

Than I had my cape. I have loved it ever since and I am really pleased that I spent and insane amount of money on the fabric because I think it looks as good today as the day I made it.


I close it with a Clan broach (which almost gets as many comments as the cape)


Pinned open so you can get an idea of how full it really is.

It is a piece of pure indulgence and I have had very few opportunities to wear such a beautiful garment. I has done service as a bed spread, a lounge throw and as a prop for my friends wedding. At the moment it is doing long service in my closet as I live on the Gold Coast and it never gets cold enough for something this heavy. (Maybe I'll have to have a costume party just so it can make a brief appearance.)

I just wanted to share this garment and say if you really love a piece spend the money on it from the beginning and you will get many many years to enjoy it.

My New Favourite Skirt Pattern!

Spotlight had a sale on Vogue Patterns recently and V7910 was one of the patterns I grabbed.

I have decided that I really need to incorporate pockets into as many of the clothes I make as possible so this was a good pattern with deep practical pockets.

I used a linen rayon blend fabric with a black poly cotton lining (I did a lining instead if waist facings),and top stitched in black. It was a simple pattern, fits really well and is very comfortable. It is a size 16.

Front view:

Close up of waist and pocket detail:

I will definitely make this again and have been trying to decide how to incorporate it into a dress pattern.

Baby's Clothes

My recent holiday was to the UK to catch up with friends. My very good friend had a baby girl earlier this year and I decided I would make some little things for her.

Spotlight was having some pattern sales so I picked up a few patterns half price, including Burda 9717.

I also found in the $1 bin a piece of very soft flannel.

They came together to make this:

I had to try doing some decorative stitching around the hem and sleeves and after several trials on scrap fabric asked my DH for his opinion, he chose the hearts and I think it was the right choice. The pattern came together quickly and easily and I will probably use it again. A really good pattern.

It fit her perfectly.

Now the question I have for you is,everyone says "Cute!" as soon as they see it, are they honest or is this a subliminal message from the fabric?

I also made the Jacket in View B in a soft brown corduroy with delicate pink flowers , used pink fabric under the collar and on the backs of the ties and on the insides if the cuffs. I then top stitched the seams in fuscia pink. I didn't finish hemming and hand stitching until I got to the UK and completely forgot to take a photo of it before I gave it away. I will have to try and get my friends to send me a photo of their daughter wearing it. It is one of the things I am most proud of making.

Beginners Hat

Recently I purchased a book called "Saturday Night Hat" by Eugenia Kim and one Saturday afternoon while my DH and Brother were working on some computer problem I decided to make some muffins (Apple and Cinnamon). While they were in the oven I pulled out the hat book and decided to make the Cloche Hat. I rummaged though my scrap box for some suitable fabric and went to it.

Before the muffins were out of the oven I had a hat!



Not bad I thought for about 15 minutes work and my first attempt. I then gave I to a friend at work for her birthday, she loved it!

Now my DH expects me to make a "baggy" hat for cricket.

I'm Back

I am going to try to catch up on some of the things I have done lately. The big gap is because I was on holidays for 4 weeks and was busy leading up to and after my holidays. Sewing happened but blogging didn't.

I'm in a bit of a fuzzy mood today so things might end up being a tad random.

Could mean a more interesting blog though.

Any way I'll post a few different things today and maybe a few of the things I have in the pipeline.

I feel I need a bit of a kick up the backside to get going on them though.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Italian Cotton

I am rather lucky to have at a location quite handy to where I live a rather wonderful fabric shop. My problem is that she stocks some truly beautiful fabrics but I just wish I could justify the price more often.

On the remnants rack (she hangs her remnants on pants hangers) I found this beautiful soft 100% Italian cotton hounds tooth, I thought about it for a while and left it there, reluctantly. I had to go a buy a zipper and some other odds and ends a while later and it was still there. I looked at the length and decided that there would be just enough for a straight skirt so $18 for the piece and I came home with some beautiful fabric.

I have an odd problem for a sewer, I am terrified of cutting my fabric. I really have to work up the courage to put the scissors to the fabric in abject terror that I will botch things up before I even start and I will have wasted all that wonderful fabric. Stupid, I know, but that's just how I am. After procrastinating for a few weeks I decided that my McCall's skirt was the right pattern for the fabric. I lined it with black cotton and this is how it looks.
The length is the length the remnant was, ideally I would have liked it to be a little longer, but that's all I had. I hits me just on the knee, so it'll be a winter skirt to wear with opaque tights and boots.

I am slightly disappointed with the back because for some reason I have managed to stretch the fabric beside the zipper on one side so the print in out of alignment. The fabric is very soft and very prone to unravel so didn't want to unpick and redo the zip. I ended up thinking that I can't see my own backside so I wouldn't worry too much.

Over all I am quite happy because for about $25 I have a skirt which would have cost over $100 for something fully lined and of a similar quality fabric.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Straight Skirt

From McCall's 2129.

I have discovered that an interesting source of very cheap patterns is second hand shops. It can be a little variable as to what you actually find, mostly they cost about 50 cents but contents are not always complete.

I grabbed this pattern on one of my hunts and with luck it was precut in my size (16). I searched through my fabric stash and found what was left of my printed cotton drill. So here it is another skirt for work.

Front:But I needed pockets. I could not put them in the side seams as it quite a close fit so decided to add patch pockets on the back. I simply copied the size of the patch pockets on the back of my jeans and stitched them on before I put the skirt together.

It was a very simple pattern to follow and I will probably try making something else from it.

Pinafore Dress Completed


Well I finished the pinafore test dress. It actually looks much better on me. I will wear it normally with a black or chocolate long sleeve top , opaque tights and boots. As it is pure polyester it won't breath so it is a winter only garment.

Side Front:I put the zip in the side seam (not a very good job, but my arm will hide it most of the time) and left a small slit on one side seam.

I thought it was time I used some of the decorative stitches on my machine so added a row of decoration around the neckline.
I'll use this idea to make one in black cotton drill, I'll have to work out how I will add pockets to this design. I'm looking at all the other patterns I have to see if I can put together a design that I really like.

I might try to get DH to take a photo of me wearing it when I'm dressed properly.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Pinafore dress idea.

Pinafore Dress Idea.

I was browsing on ebay the other day and saw a 1940’s pinafore dress and felt that it held possibilities. I am always trying to think of ways to update my work wardrobe. I like to look neat, even though almost no one sees me except on my walk home in the morning. I need to have pockets to carry my work car keys and my work phone on me at all times. I need to be reasonably physically active, walking, lifting, carrying, getting in and out of cars and occasionally crawling around on the floor.

You would think that because of this I would avoid skirts like the plague, but no I don’t. I feel quite comfortable in them now and have realised that I can cope quite well. They just shouldn’t be too short or tight, given my body shape this is not a style I would normally choose.

So after going though my pattern stash and browsing many patterns online I decided to give it a go. I pulled out my Simplicity shirt dress pattern, which is my favourite redesign pattern. I then went through my stash and found a dark caramel polyester crepe. I folded it in a couple of different ways to see how to make it work, it was quite a small piece. I decided that I would put the zip in the side seam, keep the centre back seam but cut the front on the fold. I ended up cutting the neck facings from a pair of shorts I had started making from the same fabric but had destroyed before completion. I did not have a zip the right colour or length in my collection so the whole project got delayed for a week. I will do a lapped zipper in the side seam, finish the armholes with bias binding and am thinking of trying out the decorative stitches on my machine around the neckline.

Hopefully it will be done soon.

But I’ve forgotten the pockets! I didn’t have much of this remnant fabric left so decided that this would simply be a practice piece, a wearable muslin.

I have bought some black cotton drill to make the real dress, though if this works I’m thinking it would look fabulous in fine charcoal wool.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Chocolate Mock Wrap Top

As it is winter here now, I have decided that I need some more long sleeve tops. I also thought I would have another go at making something out of jersey.

So after a bit of thought I hit on using New Look 6515 again. This time I wanted to try the cross over style. So I did a quick alteration to the upper bodice and this is what I came up with.

Front:Close up of bodice top and sleeve:
(that is just a piece of white fabric stuffed in the top for modesty, all always have to wear a cami under this one)


I still have to decide how I want the sleeves and the hem finished. I was thinking of putting a band on the sleeves and simply hemming the bottom.

I cut it as a size 16 and made it out of two jerseys from my stash. It has taken about 2 hours to put together. The banding around the neck is far from perfect, I was figuring out the construction techniques as I went along. I would also consider making the upper part in a smaller size, overlapping the front sections further and increasing the size around my hips.

Overall I think it is wearable and the concept has merit. I am considering making a version of this for my pregnant sister in law. I will make the front panel wider and longer and gather it under the bust as well for a more bump friendly shape. Just need to find the right fabric now.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Football Dress

Last night was "State of Origin" and my DH was taking me to the cricket club to watch the game. As I'm a Queenslander I needed to wear something maroon and I didn't want to wear a footy jersey over jeans. I had previously thought it would be cute to have a special dress to wear to sporting events but had never actually gone though with it, so this was the perfect opportunity.

I used my vintage vogue pattern v2903 with some modifications.
I just wanted a simple top so I pined the yoke pattern pieces to the bodice pattern and cut it as one to eliminate the complex shoulder design. I also did not pleat the skirt.

I wanted something I could easily make in a day. So I raced out and bought 5 metres of maroon and white 1 inch gingham and this is what I came up with.




Close up:

I also bought maroon embroidery thread and have ideas of machine embroidering little Q's over the dress in random places. I figure it's a dress I can wear to any of my home states sporting events.

And by the way, Queensland Won!!!!!

The cane toads ate the cockroaches!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Buying Boots inOz!

Time for another gripe.

I LOVE boots, but I have a slightly larger calf and apparently a slightly narrow ankle which makes finding boots that fit , look good and are comfortable some what of a challenging mission. Add to all of this my current place of residence is the Gold Coast and this limits my range even further (Who wears boots in a beach resort town?).

As I work overnight it gets just cool enough(during winter) to pull my boots out of the closet and wear them, it's too warm in the day.

I also like feminine shoes and I refuse to believe that comfortable shoes HAVE to be ugly. I recently saw a boot by Dr Martens which had a cute tapered heel and an elegant rounded toe which I feel in love with. The line is called Jenna, here it is in red.

They also do the same boot in an ankle boot and a Mary Jane style shoe. This is a good looking comfortable looking boot. But do you think I can find them in Oz!?! I finally found the Dr Martens shop in The Valley in Bris but they had sold the last pair in my size that morning and said they would not be able to order any more in. Damn! I really wanted black but I love this boot so much I would have bought the red. I also would have bought the ankle boot or the Mary Janes but they didn't have them and said they wouldn't be available until September or October.

So I have two options, take the risk that they fit and order online from the UK and pay a fortune in shipping or try very hard to be patient and wait until I get to the UK myself in August to try them and get them then.

I just have to keep telling myself "I can wait!".

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

V2903 Finally Completed!

My 1957 Dress all Finished

Well I finally got it done in time for the wedding on the weekend. There are a couple of things I think I would have liked to have done better, but overall I think it is quite alright. I had to take it in a bit more at the back around the waist and I had to reset the yoke and the sleeves.

Front view with the shoes I'll probably wear with it. I was going to wear black shoes but I got my hubby to take photos of me in the different options and I liked how the red shoes looked best.

Side view:

Back view:

I used a polished cotton with elastine. I think this is why I have pull marks around the waist as the weight of the fabric pulls the elastic in the fabric. It used about 7 metres of fabric, so overall not a cheap dress to make but I know no one else will be wearing one. It is shown with the crinoline underneath. I was contemplating putting a layer of black tulle on the bottom of the crinoline and having it show at the bottom of the skirt. I think it looks OK without it and I ran out of time.

I'll try to post some pictures of me and my hubby all dressed up.

Thanks for looking