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

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Buying Books in Australia

Why are books so expensive in Australia?

As you can see by my blog I enjoy sewing. Clothes, toys, handbags, soft furnishings I'll give it all a go at some point. I would also like to learn a little about hat making. How do I do this? Because I don't live in a capital city I have limited access to classes so most of the time I learn by reading books and accessing information online.

I have a major bone to pick with the book retailers (on line and traditional) in Australia. Why are non-fiction reference books so expensive in Australia? As they must be aware we can access web sites from around the world so can get a good idea of when books are published and how much they cost.

A recent example is "Sew U" by Wendy Mullin on Fishpond in Australia retail $58 (apparently the have 168 copies available). On Amazon (US site) US$17.15. Shipping to Australia for this one book is US$17 add currency conversion and the total price is $41.05. I save $16.95 if I order only one book from the US.

Another example is "Saturday Night Hat: Quick and easy hatmaking for the downtown Girl" by Eugenia Kim on Fishpond AU$44.99 (quantity available 215). On Amazon US$15.57 plus US$17 shipping and conversion AU$39.12, still a $5 saving.

If you order more than one book you save even more on shipping.
Why do these Australian companies think I would buy books from them?

My next rant goes against pattern companies. Why do they insist on releasing patterns at least 6 months after the northern hemisphere release date? I understand that there is an element of seasonal clothing in each range but I really don't mind getting the dress pattern for the dress I want to wear in summer in winter because it gives me time to find the fabric and make it. By the time I have done this it will be summer again anyway. There is also a selection of clothes which really are cross seasonal or special ranges which are released intermittently regardless of season which I am denied for at least 6 months.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

A Crinoline

Because I love big skirts from the 50's

As I really love circle skirts and the fashions from the 50's I decided that I really needed to have a crinoline. I had bought some white poly cotton and some nylon netting a while ago in anticipation of the project. I took a while to get started as I really didn't know how to make one.

So I hit the Internet and read quite a few methods. The one that I liked best came from a doll making site. But I still modified the method.

I did not like the idea of a elastic waist as I figured all the layers would become quite heavy and would have a tendency to pull itself down. I also didn't like that I would have so much fabric bunched around the waist. I used the top part of a skirt pattern with a straight waistband as my upper part. the second tier is about 8 inches deep and is a layer of nylon net sandwiched between two layers of poly cotton. The lower level is about 10 inches deep. I used two layers of net gathered and joined to the middle layer of net. The poly cotton layers are each just a single layer one on the inside and one on the outside.

I am thinking of binding the edges of the net with some satin ribbon so it is not so scratchy (it's just overlocked at the moment) and possibly adding some eyelet lace to the poly cotton layers.

But does it work?

Here is a before shot of my vintage vogue dress:

And here is the after, with crinoline:

I think the dress looks a lot more balanced. So think I will go ahead and make it in a fabulous fabric. And I'll have to make more circle skirts and dresses.

A Skirt for Work

Yet Another 80's Creation!

This is another skirt I have made for work. It has nice deep side pockets so I don't lose my keys or the phone. The yoke is shaped in at the waist and is nice and snug. It is a higher waist line but I will probably always wear my shirts untucked anyway.

The fabric is from my stash, I think it was cotton.

A simple centred back zip.

I added bar tacks at the bottom of the pockets and at the top of the side splits.

This was the pattern I used. It was another pattern I had found in a second hand shop for about 50c. when I got it home I found out it had never been opened. I bought it because it included pockets, very important for work. I made view A in size 44 (European sizing) but still added about 3cm to the centre back. I may make view E one day too.