Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sewaholic Renfrew dresses

I made these babies a while ago but hadn't had any opportunities to take photos of me wearing them yet. They are quite far removed from my usual dress style, being quite slinky and clingy, but I finally got the chance to wear one last night to my mother-in-law's 70th birthday party.

For my test run, I chose some super slinky knit that I purchased about 5 years ago when I first started sewing, thinking that sewing with stretchy fabric would be easy. Derrrrp. I traced the Renfrew pattern on a size 2, tapering up to size 4 at the waist, and made it dress length by continuing the angle of the side seam for an extra 13 inches.

I knew I wanted to have a lining so that the whole world wouldn't have to look at my undies outline, and also to give it more warmth (our climate is far too hot to wear poly knits with long sleeves except from June- August). I used some unknown knit that a friend gave me a while ago. I lined it by basting the lining to the shell and treating them as one layer. This mostly worked well, except when it came time to add the bottom cuff. The two layers were behaving differently and there is a bit of kinkiness going on down there.

Another dumbass thing I did with my first version was to cut TWO BACKS instead of a front and back like normal people would usually do. The dumbest bit was I didn't even realise until I finished it, put it on, and noticed the neck was far lower than it shoud be. Oh well- lesson learned!

The second one was much easier. I left out the cuff, which in hindsight I should have kept, as I discovered last night that I am flashing way more leg than I am comfortable with (my husband loves it, of course). I only sewed the lining and shell together at the neck and armholes, and this worked much better than the last version.

I constructed the entire garment on my over locker, and I seriously can't believe how fast it was. Guys, I believe I have conquered my fear of knits! I know the fit is not perfect, but look at that cowl. Gorgeous! 

I bought some slinky black jersey to make a normal t-shirt length one to go with the black Thurlows that I intend to make soon. This will be my new orchestra uniform. Hopefully I will get it made before our next concert.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mish Mash Dress

I decided to make a really quick dress on the weekend and thought I should use a bodice that I'd had some success with, the New Look 6910. I wanted sleeves so I can wear it now in the cooler months, and the Emery sleeves are simple so I used them. For the skirt I chose New Look 6886, which is some kind of circle skirt- a quarter or half circle, I guess. Probably quarter.


This did not prove to be the fast and easy project I'd hoped it would. The fit of the bodice was really off, and the lining was too short in the centre of the waist. I noticed this the last time I used this particular poplin as a lining. It has no 'give' in it at all, and it shrinks when pressed. I almost threw the whole thing into the 'fix at some stage in the future' pile because the lining was pulling up the front of the bodice, but I had a lightbulb moment and decided to chop off most of the lining, overlock the edges, and turn it into an all-in-one facing. It worked a treat! Except of course I hadn't finished my seam allowances becaus the bodice was going to be lined, so I need to do something about that. However, I was too impatient after 4 nights work on this damn dress and just wanted to wear it to work today, so the seams will have to wait!

I chopped an inch off the Emery sleeves and I think they look cute a bit shorter. I also had to take the side seams and princess seams in a bit to get rid of some excess fabric. The fit is pretty good now.

I think this is a really pretty dress but it's given me a bit of a smack in the face and made me realise something...I really need to learn to slow down and do things properly. This means making a muslin, no taking shortcuts, no setting myself deadlines, and taking the time to enjoy my sewing. 

On that note, here are some patterns I picked up from Spotlight yesterday. They had a great deal- 3 Simplicity patterns for $10! I'd been waiting for them to get 1419 in stock so I'm stoked that I got it, and these other two cuties, for such a great price!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Boy oh boy! May seemed to fly by in some ways, but finding a different me made every day was a hard task. This May has been hot so all of the warmer me mades I'd saved until the end were too hot to wear. I can't believe today is the first day of winter and the temps are still in the mid to high 20s!

Day 26: Unblogged Kwiksew top and Lee jeans.
Day 27: my Perfect Dress, crappy cardi, Corelli heels
Day 28: Butterfly Dress, op shopped belt

Day 29: Kwiksew dress, crappy accessories
Day 30: Emery dress, Mel Apple shoes.
Day 31: wore my other Emery dress which I wore earlier in the month and couldn't be bothered photographing again.

All in all I've enjoyed Me Made May. I've noticed there are lots of items that I either don't like or don't fit me well. It's been a good opportunity to evaluate all my me mades.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Me Made May- Week 4

Day 19: My 36th birthday! We had a nice day, heading down to Point Danger in the morning and then dinner at the top of Q1. 
I wore a blouse that I made in 2012, my hot Sourpuss pedal pushers, and cheap cardi.

Side note: my hubby gave me an iPad for my birthday and I'm really clueless about it. How does one post links? And how does one open up another browser page whilst in the middle of doing a blog post? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Day 20: Sewaholic Cambie and Miss Shop cardi. My son has been responsible for most of the photography this week!

Day 21: Ottobre ponte tunic, Big W leggings, Correlli leather boots.

Day 22: polka dot top, Basque ponte skirt, Target cardi, TUK peacock heels.

Day 23: New Look 6000, crappy cardi, Corelli heels.

Day 24: Top made from an old bed sheet, Lee super skinnies.

On Day 25 I wore a really boring me made blouse that I've already shown so didn't bother taking a pic. I'm struggling even though I have heaps more me-mades than I did last year. I think I'm getting fussier about what suits me, what fits me well, and what I feel comfortable in.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Me Made May- Week 3...and another Emery

I struggled a bit this week with Me Made May but managed to stick with it with no repeats ( I think!).

 Day 12: Ottobre Knit Tunic; Big W leggings, Target flats.


Day 13: New Look 6000; Mel heels.


Day 14: Ottobre knit tunic (unblogged); Big W leggings; Chic A Booti cardi; Diana Ferrari boots (purchased second hand). This is possibly the worst photo in history.


Day 15: Strawberry Emery; booties from op shop.
I made this dress last week. The sleeves are from New Look 6000. I don't have any more pics of this dress as I wasn't really feeling the love. I'm not happy with the fit of any of my Emeries so I need to do some pattern alterations before I attempt it again.

I lined the skirt with black shiny stuff because I'll mostly be wearing it with my navy tights. I also did an invisible zipper this time, as per the instructions, and I love the way that the lining is joined to the zipper! Absolute genius! I'll be using the method in future projects.


Day 16: Self drafted circle skirt; KMart tee; KwikSew scarf (one of the first things I ever sewed); Target flats. Look, I got two me-mades in one outfit! That's a rarity for me.


 Day 17: Teaching at home. Kwiksew 3668; Miss Shop cardi (Levi skinnies on my bum).

Day 18: A Kwiksew tunic that I made years ago and unfortunately sold the pattern. I love this!

Today I started making a t-shirt dress using the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern. It's coming together so quickly and nicely!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Me Made May- Week 2


Day 5: Day off with my daughter. New Look 6078, my favourite jeans and a crappy old cardi for a morning at the botanic gardens.


Day 6: Green floral Emery; Miss Shop cardi; Top End wedges that I got from an op shop.

Day 7: I had a sick day. Got dressed in my New Look 6000, took all the kids to school then came home and got changed into my comfies and didn't take a pic. 

New Look 6107 skirt; crappy cardi and effing fabulous pink Mel heels. 


How cute are they?!



Day 10: Teaching at home. Kwiksew 3668 blouse; favourite jeans; Target flats and crappy cardi.


Day 11: Mother's Day. We went out for breakfast. Spring Dress; awesome wedges and crappy old pink cardi. I actually bought it in my first year of university in 2003.

It's been tricky getting pictures taken every morning and I've had to resort to using my 6-year-old as a photographer!

I have a dress that is about 85% complete so will hopefully have something new to wear this week. Because I totally need a new dress.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Simplicity 2154 & Me Made May

Yet again I haven't really been sticking to my New Year's Re-sew-lution list. I don't know why I bother making those lists at the start of the year...I never stick to them! In any case, I have two thirds of a new outfit to show you.


I bought this pattern last year because I love the blouse. I have a skirt pattern that's identical and I hate knits so I thought I'd never make the cardi. But make it I did, because I had a hankerin' for a red cardi and I'm on a clothing buying ban this year and I can't knit so I had to sew one. 

It was super easy. The instructions tell you to sew every seam on the overlocker. The only tricky part was the button plackets, which are actually two strips of grosgrain ribbon. My knit fabric kept rolling into a really tight little sausage shape that no amount of ironing or shouting at it would remedy. I got there in the end, but somehow the left side is almost 3/4 of an inch longer than the right side! You can't tell unless the buttons are done up and you look closely.


This cardi would be great with slightly longer sleeves, maybe with a cuff, which would actually be much easier than hemming the sleeve ends as it's difficult to fit the sleeve tube onto the sewing machine's arm.

I started on the blouse pretty much straight away. I had some very polyestery-feeling stuff in my stash which I found in an op shop last year. I thought I had plenty to make the blouse. I purposely left out the front and back waist darts as I wanted a more 'blousey' look, and also because I didn't want to put in a side zipper so needed lots of room to get it over my head. It has a back neck opening too so getting it on and off is no problem.


I didn't have enough fabric to make the ginormous bow. I thought about making one out of some black and white stuff (as opposed to white and black), but when I completed it I realised it looked cute as hell without the bow anyway. And if I feel like it, I can just tie a scarf through the hole, like so-


This blouse is a winner! The collar is adorable and I love the little cutouts on the front and back. It looks great tucked in or left to dangle. Will definitely make this one again!


Me Made May

I haven't officially signed up for this, but I'll do it anyway!

 Day 1: Backwards Birdie Blouse; Basque ponte skirt; Target cardi, and the cutest Mel wedges ever.

Day 2: Emery Dress; Target flats.

Day 3: Gingham Cambie; Target cardi and flats.

Day 4: Simplicity 2154 cardi and blouse; Lee Riders Super Skinnies; Target flats.

I've cut out another Emery, this time with long sleeves. It took me two nights to cut it out! I hate cutting and transferring markings and always want to get straight to the sewing! 

Have a great week :)