The Midnight Blues

I’ve made another blouse!  *Doing the Happy Dance*  A good tune for this particular Happy Dance is Goodluck’s “Le Good Life“.  Not heard of Goodluck? – not surprised really!  They’re a new South African band & they produce some smashing tunes!  Anyhoo, who wants to see the new stuff???

DSC07248-1What, you can’t see it??  Silly me, I’m still all wrapped up!  Best I remove the jacket – yes..?

DSC07252-1Heeehee, just teasing!  It was pretty chilly though, but you can get some glimpses around the scarf.  Not enough?  Humphf, I guess I’ll just get cold then.  Here you go!

DSC07271-1Well???  Whaddya think?!  Me?  I love it!  It’s turned out better than I had hoped!  🙂  The concealed buttonstand is fab & I think my favourite bit is the collar!

DSC07273-1DSC07257-1I guess you’d like a bit of info now, would you?  Right.  Starting with the sleeve, I traced the sleeve block with straight seams to the 3/4 length to be gathered into a narrow sleeve band.  They were pretty straight forward.  The back bodice has gathers into a yoke.  I used the same yoke depth for this as on the Polka Dot blouse from last week, but instead of having the gathers only above the shoulderblades, I added 3cm on the fold in the centre & gathered the entire length.  Again I shaped the hem as I have done in all the blouses so far.

Tucks on front yoke
Tucks on front yoke

The front yoke is 7cm deep, & has three 5mm tucks.  The original shoulder dart was altered so I have a small underarm dart & the rest was put into gathers into the front yoke.  I doubled both the front & back yokes for a bit of extra strength.  For the neckline I first copied the depth of the Jungle January blouse, knowing that I was comfortable with it.  The button stand is 4cm wide, so this was removed from the front & then fiddled with to make the tucks & the concealed bit.  It gave me a bit of a headache, but I worked it out in paper with all the folds etc before making the toile.

Working out the spacing for the tucks on the front band
Working out the spacing for the tucks on the front band

The collar is based on a flat collar, like a Peter Pan, but with a low rise.  Originally I made it 6cm wide, but after making the toile, I knew it had to be narrower.  Only 1cm came off, so I wasn’t too far off!  I didn’t use a facing on the inside.  The neckline & collar seams are all trimmed to just under 1cm & a bias strip covers all the messy details.

Collar detail
Collar detail

I used my favourite French seams throughout the blouse – even on the sleeve head.  This georgette isn’t as transparent as others I’ve used, but why go to all the effort of making something gorgeous if the inside isn’t as good as the out??

The inners...
The inners…  French seam on the sleeve on the right, binding strip covering the collar seams on the right & hand stitched inner yoke in the centre

The buttons are some blue tinted mother of pearl that came out of my stash.  I wanted something without bulk & the shell buttons are less than 1mm thick!  I stitched the front tucked band to the band with the buttonholes on every third tuck, ensuring it would stay down & not go flapping about in the breeze.

Concealed button stand
Concealed button stand

That’s another piece of fabric that can consider itself well & truly stashbusted!  This means I have the opportunity of buying 1 more piece.  I need to start saving my allowances for the Stitching show at the NEC at the end of March.  This project also counts as my Sewcialist contribution to #SewBlueFebruary.  I may do another, but it’s good to get one in as the month is already halfway through!

I still need to trace & toile the HotPatterns jeans, & I found another of their jeans patterns in my pattern box!  I think I will have to do both!  🙂  I have also finally dug out some jersey & traced the Plantain pattern.  Let’s see if it fits!

DSC07261-1
Me & my silly grin! 🙂

As this blouse has turned out so well, I think I can go ahead now & make another using the navy spot silk chiffon Husband bought me from John Lewis.  Can’t wait to see that made up!

Welcome to the Jungle

The dress with draped design is finished, and….  I had some issues with it.

  1. This is not the right sort of fabric for this design.  The georgette is way too slippery and hasn’t enough body to hold the drape at the front.
  2. It’s too long.  I know, the last dress I made I thought was too short, this is just a bit too long.
  3. In the book, Tomoko Nakamichi says that if you don’t want the skirt flopping open in the front, just sew it up.  This doesn’t work, as it twists the “twist” in the front to the wrong side.
  4. Trying to stick to my “don’t buy anyting unless absolutely necessary until Sewing for Pleasure” rule was sorely tested.  I had a turquoise silk satin blouse that I didn’t like and was happy to chop to make a camisole, but I had absolutely nothing for lining the bottom part of the dress.  I bought some crepe de chine from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham to make a slip in the end.  Of course, the colours are not the same, so it’s an un-matching set, which is not ideal.  Luckily all the lace and picot elastic was in my stash.
  5. I am not entirely sure this shape works for me, and that is a real shame because I really wanted to make something I’d get lots of wear out of with this fabric.  Maybe it will grow on me.

So this is it with the cami and slip.

Jungle dress.
Jungle Dress and slip

And this is it styled slightly differently, an idea from the mum of a friend of mine.  She said it may look good with a pair of fitted silk trousers…  lightbulbs went off in my head.  I had made a pair of stretch satin trousers from a Burda magazine 12/09, no 104 about 2 years ago, and they are pretty fitted.  So what do we think?  Maybe with the trousers the dress does need to be shorter…

Jungle Dress with Trousers

Or maybe I should just leave it in the “remake this” pile.  Maybe if this dress was made in a different fabric, something with more body, it would be better.  Either that or it needs a body in it with smaller boobs and more of a waist!  I have a very good feeling this style will look fantastic on Daughters 1 & 2!

So to cope with the disappointment of this dress, I have made 4 Renfrew t-shirts and a vintage cotton dress in 3 days.  Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system by making something that someone else has spent time and effort perfecting, and all you need do is cut and sew!  I may feel better by Monday.  🙂

Can you tell what it is yet?

Can you tell what it is yet??

What it is is a lot of paper, magic tape and head scratching!  I have been mucking about with paper and Pattern Magic again, this time working on the “dress with draped design” pattern.  I guess I had a little more working through to do because I am not using the block that comes from the book.  As I am a million miles for the average Japanese woman in size and shape, there is pretty much no point in going there!  So I have my trusty Winnifred Aldrich bodice block to fiddle with instead.  It isn’t a hard pattern to make, just fiddly.

In the beginning

So this is how the front started off, bust dart moved to armhole, and lots of lines to cut up.  The waistline is moved 7cm up (on the back too) and neckline drawn in with a slight dip.  Then the fun started!!  I needed an extra hand and an automatic tape dispenser..  😀

The back was not that tricky and took about 5 – 10 minutes to adapt.  Then there is the sleeve to consider.  I like interesting sleeves, in case you hadn’t noticed by now.  I just wasn’t sure how much fabric I had to play with, same old story!!

Print georgette and crepe de chine

The fabric was sent to my by a very good friend who has relocated to Chicago.  I recon if I make her feel guilty enough about leaving me she’ll send me plenty of care packages with fabric in…  ;p  Anyway, the fabric is a polyester georgette with a fabulous print on it.  The colours are great and I really hope this dress turns out the way I see it in my head because I want to wear it to death in the summer.  The plain crepe de chine is for lining the skirt section.  I didn’t want the linings to be attached, so I am basically going to make a slip with the crepe and make a little cami with some turquoise silk satin I had left over from a previous project.

Testing the pattern lay

So before I got too carried away I placed the pattern pieces I had finished onto the fabric to see just how little I’d be left with…  Not an awful lot to be honest.  So out the window went ideas for a cowl drape elbow length sleeve and in came a shorter, plain sleeve.  The twisted draped front will just have to do!

So the front and back are stitched, French seams throughout on this fabric, and all that is left to do are the sleeves and hem.  And the cami.  And the slip.  In the meantime daughter no 2 needs a pattern for a prom dress she has designed, so I had better get my skates on!

By the way, I have to thank Burdastyle for making my Rise Above This jacket their featured member project of the week!!  I was pretty amazed!  😀

 

 

 

Purple Haze

Phew!  A project that worked!  It is fair to say that this project has been way more successful than the poor dress…

Purple Haze Ruffled Top

So this was made from the easy fitting bodice block.  At first I thought I’d adapt the block to make it a dropped shoulder and lowered armscye…  Not successful!  I toiled it up and wasn’t impressed.  The easy fitting block is loose anyway, but with the added 10cm from the adaptation it was swimming on me!  It was rather hideous.  So I went back to the table and just did a dropped shoulder.  I moved the bust dart from the shoulder to the underarm, and shortened it quite a bit.  I only wanted a small amount of shaping as the fabric is supposed to have some room to drape.

Georgette and the inspiration picture

The shoulder was dropped by 5cm, which really seems to be the limit.  I am quite happy with it.  I used French seams on all the seams, and double turned the hem so there are no edges showing anywhere.  The facing was cut a little wide to support the ruffles.  Initially I was going to have 3 rows, but the two work just fine,  I think it would have been too much to have another.  This pattern really worked well.  I have some other fine, fluid fabrics that this would work in, or I could come up with something else…

Ruffles at neckline

Now usually I wouldn’t buy a polyester, I prefer to work with natural fibres, but when I saw this georgette online at Ditto Fabrics, I had to have it.  The colour just screamed: “BUY ME!!!”

Ruffle top

When a plan doesn’t quite work out

You know the feeling when you are about to cut up your favourite fabric – the “Oh boy, I hope this works” feeling.  Then you take a deep breath and go for it.  I finished the Kimono dress in that fabulous silk.  But I don’t like it…  OH NOOOO!!!

Photos will follow, once I can force myself to get daughter no 1 to take some for me.  I don’t quite know what went wrong – the pattern doesn’t go with the shape, I hate the waistband area…  So for now I will pop it back in the cupboard and get on finishing the purple georgette blouse which, fingers crossed, seems to be working out better.

I have learn one thing though – I do NOT look like the figure in the sketch!!  I will have to make some templates that are more my shape than a tall skinny minny!  Perhaps that will help me to be more realistic!  I saw a pin on Pinterest a while ago…  and I think this sums up my predicament perfectly, although it isn’t always the camera and the mirror who disagree, it’s me and the mirror/camera!

Reality