Stripy backless dress

Am finally cutting into some fabric again. Ex (who has yet to move out) is playing a racing game on the xbox/tv. So i’m cutting my fabric to the headache-inducing roaring of engines topped with poppy-technoy music. I think it’ll be bedtime soon thereafter.

Some photos of tonight’s endeavours, and one of the pattern i’m using. Not sure about how this will turn out, as pattern is for cocktail glamour and my fabric is decidedly casual. Am hoping for a quirky urban clash that’ll look cool as opposed to unwearable. Not that i’ll don this on new year’s eve, but it would be nice to know i can wear it and go out for drinks.

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“carpet” dress….

For some reason, despite a very forgetful rocky start to the day, i cheered up and even found some energy to do a bit of crafting (and more tidying up) in the evening. What did i do, you ask? Ah. I worked on “the carpet dress”, as it is not-so-affectionately called by a certain someone.

  1. remove the fabric wrapping experiment from the doll.

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  2. do a good chunk of hand sewing around the neckline to ensure the fabric lies flat.

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  3. do more hand sewing, but very loose stuff in contrasting thread, to mark the fold of the back seam of the dress. Once it’s hung for a couple of days, i can take out the sewing machine, remove the stitching, pin the fabric, and run it through.

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And this is the dress back on the doll.

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The idea is to wear it with a shirt underneath. It is definitely meant for colder weather, and given what is coming up in the distant future, necessary.
Happily, this week is promising me (ok, you too) lots of delightful sunshine. Which is brilliant, as it means i can wear one of my more summery dresses… Say thursday, with the great weather report 😉 hurrah for sunshine!

Emerald dress is done!

It’s done!!

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The emerald green dress is done. It has a very large and deep collar, a small waist, and a very very large skirt. Oh. And pockets. Dresses with room in them should always have pockets. Modern dressmakers always forget that.

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I wore it on Saturday when my boyfriend took me out on a date night. And I felt like a princess! It was lovely.

Also, I discovered that a belt I had bought at london fashion weekend matched it flawlessly. And that a pair of huge chandelier earrings I grabbed on impulse before Xmas from H&M also match it beautifully. I’m one very happy seamstress right now.

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And yes, I am already plotting the next dress. Of course.

Strange post holiday energy

Somehow I managed to come back from my holidays with a good amount of energy. Must be the sun and probably the vitamin B supplements i’m taking :)in any case, I finally managed to do some sewing again!!

I’ve basted in the zipper in the back. Now just need to stitch it in by hand with invisible stitches.

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Yo can see double sided invisible stitches on the collar…

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Or, you know…. Not see them 🙂

2010 Xmas fun…

While I was on holiday in Greece, I had a play with my mom’s new electric sewing machine. I’d never really used it before, as she bought it in Canada a little while ago. That machine was bought in canada, and runs on 110V (not 220V) and 50Hz (not 60Hz). So i had to use a voltage (and cycle) converter. Then the plug of that converter was much too shallow to fit into the deep greek sockets, so I had to find a way to extend it. The result is as below:

Then I played around a little with one of the stitches on it (it has 15, my 1919 Singer has 1) and made this large-scale monogram for a friend’s Kindle. It’s “K” for “Kindle” and for his initial. (convenient that they match!)

A bit cheesy, but it was fun to do.

Since then I’ve only cut the pieces of another dress which I was certain I’d photographed, but the phone seems to have eaten the photos!! 🙁 So I have nothing to post. I have done first-pass assembly (sewn the 8 princess-seam-dress pieces together) and do not intend to line it, as it’s already very heavy. The next step, therefore, is to cut out the pieces for the neckline and armholes in the same fabric as the dress, and iron out the seams flat. No time for that yet (I commute for 12 hours a week, on top of a regular working week’s worth of hours) but hopefully soon. I’ll make sure to take photos when I get around to it!

Pucci-esque dress is iiiin the closet!

*applause*

Yes, I sat down yesterday, on a cold but sunny sunday, and hand-stitched that last seam and hem on the back of the dress. Finally!

Then I also cut a ribbon to my waist size, and proceeded to sew it into the dress at waist-height. So it acts like an invisible belt, pulling the dress in nicely where it should hug my curves. Otherwise what’s the point of a big skirt, if the dress doesn’t come in properly at the waist? Nobody wants to look like a tube!

I suggested to my boyfriend that I could wear it when we go out for dinner for his birthday this week, or perhaps next weekend if he gets around to planning something with friends, and the look of frozen horror on his face was priceless. I gather he’s not much into crazy colours… Or perhaps it’s the sleeves that put him off. He does insist that dresses shouldn’t have sleeves! I’m not sure I understand, but I admit that for parties and evenings sleeves are a hindrance. So my next creation (already being sketched) will be sleeveless to please him. But until I find the time to get to the fabric shop and pick out fabric for it, I do have a victorian jacket to finish…

And you can look at the pics of the pretty, and finally finished, dress!!

Crazy geo-print dress

Geometic print dressHurrah! After a bit of hand-sewing last night, I have firmly attached the collars facing, and it now looks properly finished.

Ready to insert the zip in the back with basting. I may take the dress with me to Greece (on holiday next week) in order to do all the other hand-sewing finishing touches (including hemming, with mom’s help). Not sure I’ll bring it, but it’s a good idea to attach the zip with basting first, baste the back of the skirt, and try on the dress properly before hand-sewing the zip into place for real. Yes, I hand-sew zippers into my dresses. Despite having a zipper foot, I do not trust it. And hand-sewing gives me much more control and detailing, allowing me to truly put in an invisible zipper!

The step either right after or right before (or at the same time) as the zipper, shall be to sew in a nice ribbon on the inside of the dress where the waist is. It will act as an invisible belt, keeping the dress nicely in place around my waist. This will have to be very precise, and well-coordinated with the zip, as that’s what will effectively keep the ribbon pulled tightly around me. Tricky. But one of my better ideas, as I would rather wear the dress without a belt, but can see that it would benefit from having one. Hence the idea of the hidden ribbon.

I always get very excited when it’s zipper time. Mostly because i’ve messed up my fair share of zippers. And also because once that is in, you get to try on the dress and it’s almost as if it is complete!! Weird that I’m _this_ jumpy, given that this is more of a winter dress, but YEY!!

All I’d have left post-ribbon-and-zipper is the hem (long-winded but straightforward) and the cuffs. Am considering putting in actual buttonholes and a bit of a flat cuff, to make for a tighter sleeve. I shall check my reference books and see if I can, as I’ve already cut a regular sleeve. Although, perhaps an alternative of loops and buttons (to only narrow the sleeve on the forearm) will be sufficient. We shall see!!

Quand le chat n’est pas lĂ …

Les souris DANSENT!! (when the cat is out, the mice dance)

My boyfriend will be out of town for the following 2 evenings, which leave me with the flat to myself!! I wouldn’t normally be so ecstatic, but somehow I feel elated to not have to worry about forgetting a needle on the table for a minute too long, or leaving the sewing machine out overnight. *sigh* bliss.

Sewing Goodies!

So. To celebrate…. I bought FABRIC!! There’s some nice & basic red cotton jersey, to be turned into a strapless body-con dress (very basic). And some crazy patterned very slightly stretchy heavy brushed cotton to be turned into a slightly 50s-style playfully glamorous dress, as per Vogue’s V8615 dress pattern (in photo below).

Vogue V8615 dress

Nobody wears white anymore…

Everyone is SO into black, and I hate it so much, that I decided to make myself a white cotton jersey dress. I got this far in a single afternoon using only pins, scissors and hand-stitching.

The pattern is bias-cut A-line skirt, fitted body with front and back princess-seam-like darts, and angel-wing sleeves.

The plan was to wear it at my birthday party on friday, but that didn’t quite work out as I didn’t have time to finish it on Thursday (was ill. Blah.)

Ironically, I ended up wearing a little black dress. At least everyone said I looked great, so there’s some consolation. 🙂

I built the dress directly on the doll, using quite a large amount of pins, and then sewing the seams and darts by hand. The next step is to run it through the machine to turn them into proper solid stitches, and then I can start working on the finishing touches. Lace applique, hem, sleeves, and the collar (which, being draped, is quite tricky). Plan is to work on it tonight and tomorrow night, so I’ll have it to wear for next weekend. Nothing is planned, but I’ll have an extra dress.

Now if only I could have it in greyish blue… (the colour of my eyes). Wonder if I should, perhaps, dye it?

White jersey and lace

This lunchtime I popped to the trusty Singer shop and nabbed me 3m of white jersey and 1m of white lace. Am I getting married you say? Goodness, no! But I’ve turned 31, have a party to go to on Friday (my own) and really don’t fancy wearing anything in my cupboard right now. It’s just one of those things.

Besides, it’s spring, the weather is slowly warming up (or yo-yo warming up… get it together already!) and I just feel more summery. I would’ve liked to have a red dress, but the colours of the moment really are those funky-named light beige-pinks, that you can’t really wear with anything aside from themselves. And since I have a pair of shoes in that colour python leather (deliciously pretty) and a belt in a similar pale greyish pink, I figured I could just make myself a drapey white dress on which to cinch the belt, and ta-da!! I’d have yet another pretty dress for my wardrobe. Besides, I adore simple white, and with various belts and shoes, it’s ultra-wearable.

So the idea is to make something with a fairly wide skirt (perhaps with godets), a cinched waist (of course! it’s my best asset…) and large loose sleeves (to add volume on top, where is it slightly lacking). I’m thinking Greek Goddess meets Grace Kelly, with Donna Karan S/S-10 draping. I got the white lace to use as applique on some spots. perhaps on the shoulders, or on the hem, or as patches hinting to a corset shape… I haven’t quite decided yet.

The construction will happen haphazardly, by hand, directly onto the mannequin. The dress will be transferred from the mannequin to the sewing machine and then to me on Friday afternoon. Am quite excited!!