Chasing my Tail

Well I certainly didn’t expect a whole month to go by before I got back here!  And what a month it has been.  I had a trip to hospital (won’t go into details), we found our dream home, we put our current home on the market in order to get said dream home, only to have it snatched from underneath our feet days after putting our house out there.  So now my days are filled with making sure everything is neat and clean and tidy and there is no sewing lying around.  It’s not exactly conducive to being creative.

I have managed to sew up two dresses from a vintage Vogue (unprinted) pattern for daughter no 2’s 6th form wardrobe.

Vintage Vogue 9971
Vintage Vogue 9971 isn’t it just devine??

I have to say I am really happy with the results, she looks amazing in these dresses!

Vogue 9971 in black cotton
Vogue 9971 in black cotton

The fabric is a black cotton I bought about 5 years ago, intending to make a skirt.  The organza ribbon flowers run parallel to the selvage edge.  It was fun cutting this out, to make sure the repeat of the flowers was correct, being sure there was enough for the bodice, as I’d only bought just over a metre!

I just didn't get it right on this side with the flowers.
I just didn’t get it right on this side with the flowers.

She liked the fit so much we made another….

Vogue 9971 in cotton batik
Vogue 9971 in cotton batik

This is no stash fabric…  I bought it from Fred Winter’s in Stratford at Easter time, funnily enough, with this dress in mind!  After digging through the stash at the beginning of the year I had earmarked the black embroidered fabric for this pattern, and before I’d made that up I found this batik, perfect!  So it was just as well Daughter No2 liked the pattern enough to have two!  Phew.

Vogue 9971 - the back
Vogue 9971 – the back

I have managed to use up another stash piece.  I had bought this particular linen easily 5 years ago, if not more.

Kohn Kaldor print linen
Kohn Kaldor print linen

I loved the colours, and again thought I’d end up with a skirt.  But I never got round to it, and now I know not to bother with skirts, so what to do?  I couldn’t part with it.  In April Kat & the Curious Kiwi came up with a Burda Sew-along idea.


I figured I’d join in, it’s not like I’m short on Burdas, afterall.  I decided to use this linen to make Blouse 107 from Burdastyle  January 2011. It’s a pattern I’ve used 3 times before so I know it works, and it suits me.  I have suffered from lack of ooomphf on this project, not helped at all by the whole house thing.  And the weather.  Spring started, then it went away again, what’s with that?

All cut out & ready to sew
All cut out & ready to sew – apologies for the grainy quality, phone photo.

I was doing well until I put the collar together.  In my blissfully un-concentrating state I did the collar the “normal” way for a shirt, completely forgetting that this one does not go together like that. grrrr.  It took 2 days for me to go back to it and cut another.  Then it came together quite quickly.  I had wanted pretty buttons but the shop only had 2 of the ones I liked, so I raided the button box & found enough Jasper Conran ones that came off one of Husband’s discards.  Win win..

I like the fabric, and I like the pattern, but did I do the right thing by putting th two together??
I like the fabric, and I like the pattern, but did I do the right thing by putting the two together??

I’m in two minds.  It feels right when it’s on, but I am not sure I was in the right place when I married this fabric with this pattern.  Is it too busy?

I love the sleeves on this pattern.
I love the sleeves on this pattern.

Excuse the wrinkly bits, I’d been wearing this all day waiting to take photos!  In addition to the sleeves, I love the darts.  There are 4 across the back, and another 4 on the front.  The pattern calls for them to be sewn on the outside which makes for an interesting textural contrast, and means you get to play with a contrasting or matching thread.  Of the 4 blouses I’ve made, 3 have the darts on the outside.  There is also this cool pleat down the centre back, stitched in at the waistline.  This means there is still shape at the waist, but extra movement for flingin’ your arms around & reachin’ for stuff.

The back with cool central pleat.
The back with cool central pleat.

We have had a little lull in the demand for viewings for the house this week, so I might just take advantage and get the pattern cutting paper out.  I really want to get cracking on some skirts for Daughter No 2, not forgetting the Sewlutions!!  I do hope Karen isn’t going to be doing a round up anytime soon, because I have no idea where the pattern I cut for Husbands shirt is.  Nor do I know where the fabric went…..  On making the house presentable all the exploded stuff had to be stuffed back into the cupboard.  Heaven help the person who yanks the doors open ’cause there’s an avalanche in there, just waiting for an opportunity to strike…

Here are some of the sketches for skirt (& shirt) ideas I’ve had for daughter no 2.

Skirt ideas
Skirt ideas

img023She has a thing for pencil skirts at the moment.  So that’s me then, I just need to get on with it!  😀

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

32 thoughts on “Chasing my Tail”

  1. Great vintage dress pattern, and both versions are so chic! Your daughter looks so pleased, as she should be. Those dresses are wonderful. And I love your shirt. I sometimes wonder about the marriage of fabric/pattern, too, but your shirt is a good marriage! It would look fantastic with dark bottoms, IMHO. And your sketching ability just makes me shake my head in wonder. Can’t wait to see all those pencil skirts!

    1. I just need to collect every scrap of “go” I have to get those skirts started! I agree with the dark bottoms though, I’m also looking forward to wearing it with my jeans. 🙂

  2. Love your shirt, and your daughter looks gorgeous! Linen in turning into a big obsession of mine for the summer. You did a fabulous job 🙂

    1. I love linen and wear it practically every day in the summer. it does leave me crumpled looking, but always cool.. ;p

  3. I love that shirt fabric, I think it looks great – I tend to shy away from patterns, but recently I have succumbed to the temptation of beautiful patterned fabrics for tops and I have liked the results every time! I think sewing makes us more adventurous in what we wear. And your daughter’s dresses are gorgeous, she looks so elegant!

    1. Thanks! After I get these skirts done I need to get moving on some jackets for her! I don’t usually wear such busy patterns, always had the feeling that the fabric was wearing me rather than the other way around. i’ll get used to it though – I hope!

  4. Gosh, sounds like a crazy month!

    I like the shirt in that print, and I think it looks good on you. (Love that centre back pleat!) Is it maybe just a bit outside of your usual style? I find when I sew something slightly outside of my usual style I doubt whether or not it’s “worked” for a while….

    Those dresses are gorgeous! Love love love them!!!

    1. Thanks Kat! I do like this pattern, so many things are right with it. But you are right with the fabric, it isn’t my normal stuff. I was shopping with my mum a few years ago, hauling things out saying, “oo, I like this!”, and some she commented that she couldn’t see me wearing. I replied that I wouldn’t wear them, but I liked them. Strange, hu?

      1. Not strange at all! There are a lot of things I really like, and can easily picture on other people I know, but I would never wear myself because they’re just not “me”. 😉

  5. The dresses are gorgeous! You did a great job on them! Nice fabric for your shirt. Nice to use something from your stash, isn’t it? ;o)

    1. I am determined to cut this stash down, there are fabrics on the web I am desperate to have, but first I need to make room for them! 😀

  6. OH wow, those Vogue dresses are just beautiful!!! Your daughter looks so sophisticated, like she owns the place! I also wanted to let you know I won a Pattern Pyramid and have posted it on my blog. There are some terrific patterns in it, so if you are interested, feel free to drop by and enter. Good luck with your Burda Project!

    1. Thanks, that pattern is just soooo good. I bet I could use a bin liner and it would look fab! It all helps to have a pretty, tall & sim person to put it on after too! 😀

      1. Lol. Your daughter is lucky to have you sewing her such fabulous things. She’ll be the envy of EVERYBODY at school!

  7. Wow you have been busy! Love all of it – and are those your own sketches??? I cannot draw to save my life. Although I’m great at frantic arm waving

    1. haha, I cheat Lizzy! I have a little book with faded bodies in fab poses. All I need to do it pop some tracing paper over and draw the clothes on! 🙂

  8. Lovely dresses on a lovely daughter!
    It sounds like you are getting lots done despite your current circumstances – and don’t worry about that cupboard. If someone gets buried they shouldn’t have been nosing really should they?

  9. I do hope you’re ok and am so sorry you lost the dream house. Our dream house is on the market at the moment and just that little bit too far out of our range. Sigh! Next time! But you have been busy and with stunning results, as always. The dresses are gorgeous, and I absolutely love that blouse. I think the fabric/pattern combo is just wonderful. Love it!

  10. Oh dear, I long for those times when I was able to get a whole dress out of one metre of fabric 😉 . Your daughter looks lovely in them, as do you in the blouse. I overlooked it in the magazine, but it looks great on you. I like the fabric pattern by the way.

    1. The pattern is fabby, they have a dress version in the mag too, but I’ve not made that. Give the blouse a go, it has great shape & is very flattering. I’ve made it for other people too!

  11. Your daughter is so pretty and really looks wonderful in the dresses you made for her. I like the print and colors of your linen fabric. I would say it is modern, but it may be mid century retro for all I know. I think your choice of a fitted blouse pattern with the larger print was a good one. It shows off your nice shape. That fabric in a loose blouse would make the wearer look big and shapeless. IMHO

    1. Thank you! Yes, that fabric does have mid-mod overtones, I guess that’s why I liked it so much! I still wonder what it would have looked like as a skirt, but then it wouldn’t have been mine, & I don’t like that idea! 😀

  12. Oh no it sounds as though life is Busy at your place. I hope things slow down soon (and there are no unexpected avalanches from cupboards).

    I love the two dresses made for your beautiful young lady. I also love the shirt you made yourself and agree with everyone above that the fabric and pattern work really well together. The colours are good on you too, so all in all its a winner.

    No pressure on the sewing plans from me ….. plans schmans.

    1. Oh boy, another month has passed!! Yeah, things are busy, but life would pbe pretty boring if it wasn’t! As an aside, that dream house has just come back on the market again this week. It seems the fates are in our court afterall! 😀

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