Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanks and Melbourne

Can't remember where I got this... sorry.

I just wanted to so thanks for all the lovely comments on my dress.  I do really love it and I think it is quite flattering and  so easy to whip up. The little poster above is so there is something other than a few words.

I also want to put out there, that I'll be in Melbourne of the weekend of 20//21 December and wondered if anyone wants to meet up. I know it's a bad time being weekend before Christmas - fabric shopping is probably last thing on people's minds, and I don't need anything either, but maybe a coffee or lunch or dinner would be a possibility.  I'm seeing Nick Cave on 18 December with a friend from Adelaide and I'm staying a couple of extra days.  There is an exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier on at the NGV and I'll definitely go to see it so if anyone wants to see it and hasn't yet and wants to meet up I'd love it. Just put a note in the comment and I'll get back to you.

I'm making some beach skirts and cushions to sell at a friend's Christmas market tomorrow night. Of course, I haven't made as many as I thought I would as my machines were getting a service (more about that in another post) and life with young children and old parents got in the way but I'm going to help her out more than sell stuff... hope I do though, 'cause I don't need little girl's beach skirts.. I have a boy and nephews!

Anyway thanks again.... I'm really chuffed with all the lovely comments.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Batwing Burda 6/2013 105

I had a dinner last night and so the opportunity to wear my new dress again and get a photo (for once) with my hair done and some (very light) make up.

This is the fabric... it has a that lovely double border and I wanted the more open, bold print on the sleeve side. I draped the fabric over me to see what would look the best. The more busy print is better camouflage for my tum. It was perfect for this style dress. 

Due to the batwing taking up  just that part of the bolder print, there is more of that left and I think I can make a skirt out of it. I'm not a great fan of synthetic fibres but this is a lovely polyester and Erin had told me she bought 5 or 6 metres of it and this was about 2 1/2 of that.

When I made this dress I did a few things I hadn't tried before. This dress has an invisible, invisible zip... the only other invisible zip I put in, wasn't very invisible. I used a plastic invisible zip foot that I bought for $4 and the first time I wasn't successful as I didn't use it properly, although I didn't realise this at the time and so I gave up and put it in with the ordinary zip foot but that didn't make it invisible.  I thought it was because it was a cheap plastic foot.  After putting the foot on properly I tried again and it worked.  I know lots of people use invisible zips and I think the outfit looks better with one so now I'll try and use them more often. I also put some interfacing on the seam allowance as the fabric is very nice, fine quality polyester and I feared it would pucker, but it went in perfectly.

So if you don't want to buy an expensive invisible zip foot, try these cheap plastic ones as it really helps get the zip in properly. Although on this dress I slip it over my head so I could have done without the last minute stress of trying a new technique but it went in first go so I'm really pleased.

I made a rolled hem with black thread on the bat wing side 'sleeve' and hemmed it like that too. It was a just a little bit shorter than I'd like but I used all the length of the fabric. The fabric is black and a really light gold although it looks cream here. I lined the dress with power net as this is all I had. The inside where the sleeve is, has a normal armhole that I faced with a bias strip (so the lining is like a one armholed sheath dress). I'm really pleased with this as I have seen unlined dresses like this on people recently and I could see all the rolls of fat when this person moved their arms while walking and so I was very grateful for the lining pattern too. A friend bought a dress like this but short length in silk, by a well known Australian designer for $400 and it was unlined! I was really disappointed  and unimpressed although they were happy to pay that! (and it was gorgeous, but knowing how easy it would be for a professional to make, I think it should at least be lined).

I am thrilled with this dress and it was a big hit at the dinner too. I'll try and make the silk version too as the friend who gifted it to me from Vietnam is going again in January and if I'd like some more I'd better show her it has been used!

I also had a photo of the Burda cowl neck dress I completed, but it looks so frumpy that I 'll try and get better photos of it to post. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Brisbane Frocktails!

Sophie and Rosie

Bianca, Karen and Alice

Collette, Kat and Lizzy
Erin and Julie
Bianca, Karen, Collette, Kat and Lizzie

Unknown sewer, Me, Marjorie and another unknown to me person. (photo stolen from Buzy Lizzie's instagram)

I had such a wonderful time last night. It was a beautiful setting; by the pool of the Rydges Hotel at Southbank. We had lovely morsels of food, lovely chatter and some lovely sparking beverages. Can you see the sparkle in Marjorie's dress above? It is beautiful with the simple design letting the fabric shine, literally. The fabric of Unknown Sewer on the left was divine and had a beautiful, 50's type pouffy (meant in the good way) skirt, can you believe that fantastic sequin fabric of Unknown Sewer on right came from Spotlight???!! No Spotlight I've ever gone into... in real life it looks simply sensational.

As I said yesterday, I was hoping that someone would recognise my fabric as I scored it from the High Tea in March. And someone did... Erin had donated that piece and I'm so glad she did. It's a beautiful fabric. Perfect for this dress. 

After wearing this dress all night I have to say there will be others! It fits really well (after some modifications of the top half) and is SO comfortable. I recommend this dress to anyone, especially if you don't have a lot of time as it is probably a maximum 2 hour sew up (the tracing... well that's another story - maybe you'll prefer to download it from the Burda site - I was too cheap to do that :)!).

On my way there, I was thinking how marvellous it was   to be going to see some 25 people, all who made all their own beautiful outfits. As I said to Marjorie last night, I see hundreds of people buying stuff at Spotlight, East Coast Fabrics, The Fabric Store etc but other than the Brisbane Spoolettes and two friends, I'm looked at as some sort of alien (the good sort). I hope there are more meet ups in our future. A great BIG THANK YOU to Rosie for organising the evening - she's been pretty busy these last few months (years Rosie?) so it was great she made the time. Thanks Ladies for a great evening! 

Oh, can we talk favourite dresses? I LOVVE Karen's dress. It is so beautiful, I'm so glad she wore this one as in real life it is even more luxurious than it looks. Really gorgeous (like Karen!). I really loved Alice's dress too... she's a real laugh!

*Sorry the photos are not the best but until the flash goes off in the dark I can't even see what's on the screen. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Frocktails... tonight?

Why the question mark? Because until Tuesday I thought Frocktails was on the 18th of November, then Tuesday I was thinking, "Hang on if the 15th is the G20 meeting then the 18th cannot be a Saturday... doh! We had a funeral on Wednesday (of a dear, favourite Aunt) and appointments on Thursday. I had lots of big house jobs that had to get the last three weeks but then thought, they'll be finished by the 7th so I'll spend time making my dress for Frocktails. Ha!

I changed my plans and decided to make the Burda dress (above 6/2013 #105 but long length) mentioned previously for Frocktails and not a Vogue designer pattern I thought I'd make. I traced a little on Thursday and mostly Friday. Cut my fabric and lining and sewed my invisible zip last night. I'm happy to announce I did my invisible zip perfectly. I have to attach the lining and finish the dress ..... so why am I writing a blog post? Procrastinating of course. I've cleaned up the house too, including the sewing room so at least it's more pleasant to finish up.

This is the fabric I'm using. It was a fabric I picked up at the Brisbane meet up in March this year. If this works out well, I'll probably make another with some silk my friend gifted me from Vietnam a couple of years ago... she keeps asking what I'm ever going to make with it!

I think this will be fine for Frocktails as it is being held by a pool at a rooftop venue... it is 29 degrees today so really perfect for swanning about on a rooftop venue by a pool. Procrastination over... off to finish the dress. I did try some techniques and tools I haven't before so I'll show those tomorrow too. Cheers!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Spot the mistake!

Hee, hee... it's not the blurry photos...

No, it's not the white band is put in incorrectly...

No, the legs are actually the same length....

The mistake? When I cut these out, somehow, the underneath piece of lycra was about 2cm shorter(??) and I didn't notice hence the 'design' feature of the white stripe.

These are cut from a pattern I cut off a pair I bought in Cyprus in 2009 when Alex was 5 years old. I just added a couple of centimetres all the way  round and this worked this time and the last time I used this 'pattern' (the photo is right down the bottom) I don't think this will work as Alex gets older... I want to invest in a Jalie pattern and will do that soon. Togs are anywhere from $15 - $20 for cheap ones and $30 - $50 for better brands so it's worth making them. I don't really worry about 'brands' and although some people say the more expensive ones last longer, I haven't noticed that at all.. I do notice that size wise they only fit for one season so why bother paying double.

I made the waistband white with a 2cm wide elastic, in the same way I'd put a band on. I put bands on the legs, like I did for my niece's swim shorts in September. I like the look and it's a better finish. I bought this navy lycra from a 2nd hand shop about 5 years ago for $2! From the feel it was a very good quality lycra - it is hefty and firm and sews up really well. I'm told they are comfortable and 'perfect' - lets see if they stand to to swimming as they'll be used today at school swimming and then training this afternoon.

You can also see the fit of the swim rashie I made for Alex a couple of months ago. It's pretty good.. I like the length of the sleeves - a little longer for coverage. I'm not happy with the neckline though - it's a little wide so next time I'll try and remember to extend the sleeve and body pieces to make the neckline smaller.

The lycra remnant from Glitter and Dance is really lovely quality but I'm not happy with the flatlocking. It opened up a little under the arms and I repaired it with a quick zig zag.... Alex doesn't notice, but I need to work out how to tie the ends off so it doesn't unravel... any ideas?

I have finished my Burda dress and took some terrible photos so I'll get some better ones and post that soon. I'm happy with it and have been wearing it this weekend. I also have to get on with my Frocktails dress.