Red birdie voile Hawthorn dress – FINISHED

I am SEW *hahem* productive when I neglect housework, gardening and cooking. It’s scary how much free time I can wrangle when I exit the world as a functioning, full-time working human with social commitments and a farm to look after.
It’s almost like that four-seater couch covered in a MOUNTAIN of washing actually will fold itself, and if I don’t think about it too much, Vegemite toast is a wholesome and nutritious dinner.

That was last week, and it was a good week, because I made a dress!

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A pattern repeat, but a good one! It’s another Colette Hawthorn after I loved (and received many a compliment on) my polka dot chambray Hawthorn. Continue reading

Plain but practical LBD – FINISHED

Much to my dismay, I can’t always sew with bright-coloured floral prints or out-there pattern and colour combinations. As pretty as they are to look at, they can overpower what is a well-designed pattern, not to mention all the effort that goes into a good fit.

They also make it REALLY FREAKING HARD to decide what to wear to work every day. There’s only so many times I can co-ordinate stripes with florals and reds with blues before I realise I’m sewing myself into a corner where everything’s beautiful but nothing goes.

And so I have resolved. Sometimes you should put down the bolt of bright yellow bird print voile and draw a line at having only one jam-packed storage box of polka dot-printed fabrics. Sometimes it’s wise to let the pattern do the talking and put faith in fit, form and function.

Allow me to introduce the much-loved Simplicity 2648.

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Polka dot chambray Hawthorn – FINISHED

Polka dots + shirt dress = just try and stop me wearing this dress every day of summer!

The ever-popular Colette Hawthorn is the pattern, if you hadn’t already recognised it, and it’s a good’un!

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The fabric is so soft, lightweight and drapey and was a great eBay buy. It was hard to match thread, though, but I went with an almost purpley blue colour that looks pretty close. Continue reading

Floral tana lawn blouse – FINISHED

Despite being uncharacteristically restrained up until this point, I had a blow-out.

TWO Craftsy classes may have been purchased while I was procrastinating from the letters page (I mean, subbing hard) at work today. Usually the promotional emails that hit my inbox every day rebound into my deleted items before I can read the words “flash sale”.

But today I was weak. I succumbed to the temptations of Adjust the Bust and the Flirty Day Dress. I love the other Craftsy classes I’ve enrolled in, and while I *technically* haven’t finished any of them, I find them a wonderful resource and the price of a paper pattern accompanying the class almost justifies the class itself for the project-based classes.

After all, isn’t all education a good investment?

Even the kind that enables my expensive sewing obsession that leads to what is essentially “look at me, look at me” blogging?

I certainly think so!

Speaking of which, I finished a blouse!

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Continue reading

50s housewife day dress – FINISHED

Hooray for finished projects! This is Vogue 8789, view A.

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This one I toiled a month or so ago but was interrupted by the vintage races dress so it got put on the back burner. Once I started working on it again (less than a week ago) I realised how quick it would be to sew up and I couldn’t stop! A couple of 2am nights, one solid morning of sewing, a fight with my machine over the blind hem last night, and, voila! Continue reading

Spring races, vintage style – FINISHED

Check it out! A finished dress. This one was lovingly made to wear to the spring races. Any excuse to sew, eh?

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This little baby is Butterick 5880 sewed in a lovely purpley-blue textured vintage rayon. I bought it from a one-off market-type sale in my country town where a few little old ladies cleaned out their stashes. Initially I had no idea what I would make, but B5880 seemed a perfect fit. I wanted a classy vintage pattern that would do the fabric justice. I’m happy with my choice. And I still have about a metre of fabric left, so double win!

blue brushed rayon 2

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Pattern alterations and design changes

The pattern is a size 12 with very minor alterations (for a change!)

I used the petite adjustments included in the pattern, and took about an inch off the bodice back at the centre back on the fold. I also added a half inch to the fullest part of the hips on the skirt back to give my booty a bit more breathing room.

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I made a muslin and was very pleasantly surprised with the overall fit. I was ESPECIALLY pleased I didn’t have to do an FBA, but after looking at the finished garment measurements printed on the tissue, I was satisfied the 12 would do the trick.

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I also had to work with a VERY flexible cutting layout as the pattern is drafted for cutting on a 115cm fabric bolt – and my beautiful rayon was only 90cm wide. I had to alter the overlay quite a bit to make it fit, and I was worried my side drapey bit of the overlay would look odd because of all my messing with the overlay pattern piece, but I think I pulled it off.

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Construction notes

This dress came together very quickly, and even more so thanks to the Professor Pincushion video tutorial explaining the overlay construction. I think I would have been a bit stuck on working out the tucks from the pattern instructions without being able to see how it’s done, so the video was a godsend. Everything else is very, very basic. And it’s also easy to cut out all the pieces of this dress because almost everything is on the fold!

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Leah joined me for a photo or two!

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Nawww!

ANYWAY, back to the dress. So I also really wanted to make a self-covered belt, but seeing as I didn’t get around to making the belt until the night before the races, it was only then that I worked out the belt buckle I had intended to use wasn’t going to work. This is the offending notion:

Firstly, you will observe there is no bar, and I don’t have an eyelet punch gadget thingy, so that wasn’t going to work. But besides that, there is NOWHERE on the packet that explains how you cover the damn thing! And google offers no insights, either. I couldn’t be farked stuffing around with it so I instead wore a belt from my vast number of belts. Making my own belts is going to happen, though. I can just tell it’s something I’m going to love the shit out of. So stay tuned for that one when I get my mits on proper beltmaking tools!

I didn’t take any photos of the inside, but the dress is lined in off-white rayon I bought while it was on sale for $6/metre.

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And that’s it! I’m SO very keen to get started on my next project, but I have a shit ton (as you can see) of gardening to do and my house is kind of a mess due to renovating/sewing/Lauren’s laziness. But hopefully I’ll have something to report soon.