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.