Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sew Weekly: China Town

I made another dress!

Whaddaya reckon? (That's Australian for what do you think of it?) Husbie and I went on a Date Night, and then stopped off in China Town to take the photos. I'm in LOVE with them and he's done a brilliant job making the dress look lifelike and normal, but also wonderful at the same time.

The dress itself was really tricky. And stumped me as a seamstress, however it's still wearable and gorgeous. I look so slim in some of the phots I'm amazed! There's some discussion about the fabric over on the Sew Weekly post, as I thought it was silk, but others think it's 'brocade' which I've never heard of before, and then others think it's silk brocade.

It was what stumped me, but didn't stop me from finishing it up. It moved around when I sewed, but thinking back, I don't think I pinned enough so perhaps I could have avoided the slippery-ness that way. I also didn't make a muslin/toile so the fit is a bit off around the neckline, but I think I'll gather it up and make a sweetheart dip around the bust instead of a straight-across gapey neckline.

This week's theme for Sew Weekly was VIP fabrics from the stash, and Husbie had given me this (he'd gone especially to the fabric store to choose it) about 8 years ago. I really did want to be an experience seamstress before I sewed with it, and whilst I stuffed up a little, I feel I'm a lot more experienced now than when he gave it to me! Honestly back then, I shivered with even the thought of cutting it (of course I only used bedsheets for all my clothes back then) so I actually felt a little cocky making up this one.

For you pattern lovers this one is Very Easy Very Vogue (as opposed to 'sorta Vogue' or a 'little bit' Vogue, this one is VERY Vogue) 7796 and is from 1990. Which feels like 2 years ago, and is actually almost 22 years ago. WTF! It's very easy, like it claims, and next time I should use a size down in the top torso. I had to adjust the waist as well, because of my bombshell hourglass figure (the more trim/healthy I get, the larger the bust and hips, and the thinner the waist.) but next time I think using the smaller size, perhaps going for an 8 would be better. Oh the woes of petites. Remember I am only 4 eleven peeps! This is a normal sized woman you're looking at. Possibly five foot in these Melissa heels. Oh did you know I love Melissa's? WHO'D HAVE GUESSED.

Hope you've had a great weekend darling! xoxo

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Q & A: Cut on the Bias

Some how I've managed to spook myself! 

I started preparing this darling Q & A post for you last Friday, and after a bunch of googling, I became really scared about how much I don't know about sewing. That AND my challenging Sew Weekly theme, but we'll get to that later.

First up, I posted my Minty Fresh Oolong, a Colette Pattern, and a very good and easy one to follow. Proposing a new fun post idea, you ask questions and I answer them a la Agony Aunt of the Sewing World. Then as I'd imagined a few of you had some questions about bias, so I thought 'NIFTY', I'll get a little Introduction to Sewing 101 on myself and for you. And then I googled, and then I was scared:
"Only a few designers ever master the bias cut, and very few home sewers dare to take the plunge." says Marcy over at 101 - Threads
"Because of the diagonal fall of the fabric, bias cut garments are more difficult to sew than normal garments. If the garment is not made a certain way, the seams and hems can bunch and twist, instead of lying smoothly against the wearer’s body," says someone at Wisegeek
and my fave new sewing crush:
"Sewing delicate fabrics on the bias is HARD," says Daughter Fish in her post Silly Regrets and Sewing on the Bias.

So just to put that to one side *deep breaths*, I'll just look over some of your gorgeous questions:

The lovely Esz asks, "So it doesn't need a stretch fabric to just slide over your head?"

A gorgeous Carolyn says, "Just pulls over with no zip?"

"What's the deal with cutting on the bias? I missed that bit in sewing 101," says Mona, the babe from Oxford.

Ok, so BEFORE I googled, I would have answered you all suchly: YEP, you can cut your pattern (for this Oolong) diagonally (just follow the instructions and pictures) and you can put it all together without needing a zipper and using straight normal cotton. It kinda moves a little when you slide it on, stretching to your curves when you wear it. And it kinda feels different than a normal dress. A normal not-cut-on-the-bias dress, I mean. 

And the deal Mona? Before I googled, I'd say it's a pretty easy deal, you just follow the little old instructions in Colette Patterns booklet and it'll be a breeze. You have to make sure you put those pattern pieces the way they say though. 

And the scary deal with cutting on the bias? You could stuff it up, make it not so much on the bias, and therefore tricky to get on, and bubbly around the seams. But, I followed the instructions about cutting it, hanging it overnight, and then hanging it for a bit before hemming it. And in my googling spree, I've found a great step by step sew through on Sew Country Chick's blog, who only made hers recently, and is a bit more eloquent than old thrifty here.

But try anything, that's my advice! Try anything, on cheap or thrifted material, and then you'll never be sad if you stuff it up. More Bias Besties are Bag-n-telle and Wikipedia of course, and google. If you dare. More soon on my silk dilemma and how I try and get to know fabrics, but you can jump over to the Sew Weekly if you need to see this week's silk/brocade dress!

And lastly, the amazing Don from Sydders says "Question- Is this a secret new dye technique? Has summer hit Melbourne already?"

Yes, secret dye technique fo sho, happy accidents happen in the wash (I've just put another load of material on, so fingers crossed no happy accidents this time)... and taking these photos took no more than 5 minutes. It was freaking freezing and I jumped up and down a lot while Husbie set the lighting (or whatever he does) to keep warm, and a few random poses later, I was back in the car! Also Don, the minty fresh dress photos were taken right around the corner from my current abode in Melbs, and these photos were all from Newtown and Enmore! We had to visit our old haunts recently! Gotta love N'town!

P.s I think I have to call this kind of blogpost Soapbox instead of Q & A? Hope you can handle a little blah blah blah!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sew Weekly: Minty Fresh

Yay, I'm back again, with another of my Sew Weekly creations! This week we've been inspired by other Sew Weekly contributors, and since I bought this Oolong Colette Pattern after seeing Adey's version, I wanted to give it a try this week. And I adore it!

All the facts (including why this fabric is now green instead of white! Washing disaster!) are in my Sew Weekly post, but pretty much I love this dress!

It's cut on the bias, which does take up a lot of fabric, so I didn't really have that much stash fabric to choose from. There's no zippers or buttons on this Oolong either, it seriously slides over your head. Everyone who's made an Oolong really does gush about it, or so I've read online, and I'd agree. Gush galore for this pattern!

Ok, so Q & A Friday (which I've stolen from a darling blog friend - but hey, her blog is on hiatus - she will have a book out soon, which I'll gush about another time!) is officially ON. To start, you're more than welcome to leave a Question here, and I'll Answer it for Friday's post! Also, if you wanna be discreet so as to give us all a surprise, you're welcome to mail me as well. I was (after seeing Franca's Friend Friday post) thinking of getting back into longer posts (with less photos of me) and sharing more of HOW my crafty-ness is done instead of just the voila finished product. There's a lot of swearz in the sewing room during the week, and I don't want you to think it's all magical and wonderfulness!

My question to myself: How can you be so smiley in these photos, wearing no jacket, when it's so freaking freezing in Melbourne? LOLZ

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Why, hello again darlin'

Just wanted to scream a big 'G'Day' (I'm Australian Dolly after all) and show you how I ended up as Dolly Parton at my friend's dress up party! YES they are massive falsies - eyelashes of course!

The dress was perfect, I'm thinking of taking off the collar and wearing it normally (you can't really see the yeehaa collar here anyways) as heaps of peeps said I looked really skinny around the middle. It *might* have been because my boobs were so big thanks to a little extra subtle padding.

I'm thinking of getting a ye olde Blog style Q & A Friday, or Saturday, or something, because I have blog annoyance at present! For now however, @Gail, the curtain from my Prairie dress had no info on it at all (you know how sometimes the colour ends are tucked under the seam and have something written there?) so it could be Sanderson. And yep, for the Sydney Tourism Ad dress, I used this Simplicity pattern, roughly based on my experience with that accidentally pink dress from a few years back.

Talk soon!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Sew Weekly: Way out West

This week's Sew Weekly theme is Western, and after a few hiccups, I put together this little house on the prairie type dress. The pattern is from the 40s, but has a real old time country feel about it with this calico type fabric!

As Husbie was away for work, I've taken these photos myself, using my small Lumix camera, on the frail tripod (I think it's frail because it's legs are so skinny, and it probably was really cheap. Does the job though!) and I used the pole on my verandah to get the focus right. The Lumix doesn't come with any remote, and not sure if I can hook one up. The good thing though, is that it allows 3 photos when it's on self timer, so you can run and move around three times. Then go back and see how weird and cross eyed you are. I think I'm cross eyed in at least two of these photos. Oh well!

And now, some photos for Amanda in Adelaide who loves my dog, AND loaned me this 1940s  pattern!

Have a gorgeous weekend guys! xoxo

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sew Weekly: Ahoy there!

Oh hai, I made a dress the other week.

Oh yes, a nautical theme dress!

I tried a pin up pose

It had bows and ties and stripes from stretch knit fabric

I strolled along the north pier, near Luna Park in Sydney

Waved at ferries to be friendly

Pulled out a 'fun' pose just for Husbie

And tried to be sophisticated in front of a giant face with no lower jaw bone.
More details over at my Sew Weekly post, if you love knowing those details. AND, my 'western' theme dress will go up tomorrow (Australian time, I believe!). I'm getting BACK into the swing as August is the BEST month for me workwise! I totes survived Splendour in the Grass, and can also share with you some dress up photos from the party where I became Dolly Parton for realsa. Oh you wait til you see those falsies! (EYELASHES OF COURSE!)


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