Thursday, 15 November 2018

Dress No. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing

Here's something you probalby weren't expecting from me! A WOVEN dress! And, I had to trace the pattern! I don't even know who I am anymore.

I got it into my head that I wanted to make the Dress No. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing but I kept putting it off as the pattern was only availble as a paper copy that I had to order from the USA. Eventually I caved and forked out A LOT of money to have it shipped here. And then I had to trace it TWICE as my muslin was too small across the bust.

For the price I paid I have to say I was expecting...more. The pattern is just a single sheet with the same piece for the front and back (good if you have no boobs, or boobs on your back to even things up). In order to lower the neckline the instructions have you cut into the front of your dress to get your desired neck depth. Hmm....I'd rather do this via the pattern than cutting into the actual, partially-made, dress.

The second muslin turned out OK...but I hate the fabric (it's stiff and crunchy and feels yuck) and the addtion of the fox patch is so twee that it feels like I made a dress for a very large two year old (ie me). The Liberty bias binding is pretty, but the extra folds it has made it hard to handle. And...after I attached the binding under the arms I decided the underarms were too gaping so some surgery happened. I'm going to cut this up to use for bag lining so all is not lost.

Third times the charm as they say. Well, sort of. 

This dress looks pretty (made in fabric from Tomato in Japan) but I didn't find it very comfortable wearing. I'm used to s-t-r-e-t-c-h in my clothes and wearing this dress made me feel like I was in a straight jacket even though it's basically a roomy sack. I think some of the issues may be attributed to the fact that the fabric is very would probably be nicer to wear in a soft fabric with lots of drape.

After sewing the chambray version I decided that I really dislike patch pockets. I feel like there's no way for me to attach them without them looking like a craft project. I added pockets into the side seam and I really like them. I stitched the down to the front of the dress to stop them flapping about and getting bunched up.

I wore this dress out last Sunday to the Sydney Spoolettes inagrual Croqs and Frocks event. I won my first game so thought that was a good time to retire from my Croquete career and sit in the club house keeping cool and eating snacks.


Friday, 2 November 2018

The new old Mandy Boat Tee

I've been sewing Tessuti's Mandy Boat Tee for over four years  (and 20kgs ago). I made my first one in a class at Tessuti and the pattern was WAY too small for me then - one size does not fit all! Back then the teacher modified the pattern to fit me by making the sleeves and arm holes bigger. It was my go-to top pattern for years but recently, with the...ah...fullness of my biceps just didn't really fit anymore *sad face*.

Just recently Tessuti re-released the pattern and it now includes four sizes. I decided to give the size 4 a go. I wasn't feeling optimistic as the new sleeve pattern was the same size as the modified one I had from my class all those years ago. HOWEVER....I'm very please to say that the new pattern fits me very well! Whilst the sleeve pieces are the same size as my old pattern the shoulders on the size 4 are dropped more so the sleeve/armhole join no longer hit me at the fullest part of my arm.

I've worn this top a few times since finishing it a few weeks ago and I really like it. The length is as drafted and it works well with my current wide-legged pants obsession.

The fabric* (some sort of viscose knit) was a nightmare to work with but the print is great. I bought the fabric on a Spoolettes shopping trip to Cabramatta a few weeks ago - $7/meter. It was cut badly and was off grain but I like the end result so the pain of sewing it is a distant memory.

Of course when you make something you like you back it up straight away by sewing a second one! I added an inch to the length of this one but sewed a 2" hem (I didn't like the mean little hem on my first make). Despite my sad face in these photos I LOVE THIS TOP. The fabric* (some sort of viscose knit) was bought from the markets in Hanoi so has good memories attached to it. It's been in my stash for 18 months and I'm glad to finally have it made into something I like.

Here's a close up of the fabric - cute, right? And it looks extra cute with the twee little birdie necklace.

Of course two of these tops is just not enough so I'm in the process of sewing up a black one. It,s going to be too hot soon to wear them but I'm hoping they'll work from my trip to Taipei at NYE.

* both of these fabrics are very light, drapey and quite stretchy. If I was to make this pattern in something with less stretch I'd probably not be quite so happy.


Monday, 27 August 2018

A crazy-difficult-to-sew Ebony Dress

If anyone has ever skied moguls you'll know what I mean when I say that this fabric is the sewing equivalent of that! I've sewn with "textured" fabric before but this was something else. My overlocker did not like it at all and bumped its way over the speed-bump-like fabric...and the sewing machine I had borrowed from my sister-in-law whilst mine was being serviced didn't like it much either.  Looking at the fabric in My Hung I had no idea how...difficult it would be, but I didn't give up and now I have a new, rather badly sewn dress! I guess you call that a win? 

Would you look at that wonky zigzagging! Oh boy!
Yes, this is another Closet Case Patterns"Ebony Tee". I'm still in serious need of winter clothing (we're having a cold snap to see in the end of winter) and this dress is comfortable and cozy.  I've made two other dresses from this pattern recently (not blogged) that have been fails as the fabric hasn't had enough stretch so they've not fitted but this one is a winner. I'm ignoring the wonky zigzagging on the hem/sleeves as the fabric does a good job of hiding it...and unless you look really closely you can't tell things when a bit crazy with my sewing.

I wore this dress out on Saturday night for dinner with the Sydney Spoolettes and I felt great in it (though I did spill caramel sauce all over it but thankfully it's washed right out)!


Pattern: Closet Case Files "Ebony Tee"
Size: 16
Modifications: 1" full bicep adjustment
Fabric: My Hung Fabrics in Parramatta - 27% Polyester / 68% Viscose  Rayon / 5% Spandex
Changes for next time: none