Saturday, 30 August 2014

Dress Twins - Sew Over It Betty Dress


Hey Guys,

Yes, it's true, I finally finished my Betty Dress! Fitted by Lisa Comfort herself :)


Once I popped the zip in, after the John Lewis Sewing Bee (I didn't get that far on the day!) it ended up being far too big, which is odd, as we had reduced the seam allowance during the fitting because it looked like it would be too small. I'm currently at at the peak of a weight yo-yo so it's not weight loss, so maybe I take in less fabric in a lapped zip than an invisible one?


Never mind, I just had some side seams to redo, and of course a MASSIVE hem. Simples.
So of course it sat on the side for 2 months. 


But I got to it in the end, and that's the most important thing. And I love it! Although I'm still without a hook and eye, but that's not the end of the world.

And it can even be a coccoon :)


(I took a lot of photos. I was starting to get a bit delirious)

I tried the method of running a line of stitching 5/8" from the hem edge before turning up and stitching. I think it worked pretty well. At the very least, it gives a perfect guide for turning up the hem which I'm always grateful for. I only turned the hem up once to begin with and it hasn't bubbled as much after pressing so I'm going to give this method a thumbs up. Only having turned it up once means the overlocking is visible, but I feel like if I go for the the second one it'll end up bubbling much more. Erp, what to do. Thankfully the overlocker thread was white so its not obvious.


I did also add three inches to the intended hem length. What can I say, I love a midi.

The insides are not some of my best work in places, what with being slightly half cut after a wine fueled lunch and sewing maniacally towards the end, but I put in some major effort at the beginning of the day to have the pattern running perfectly down the bodice, and to have the back pieces mirrored. I did also put effort in to make sure there were no unfortunate shapes over the bust apexes. And to be honest, with the bit I wanted running down the centre front, I did actually have to be careful about that! 

I actually achieved a sort of  sweetheart neckline shaping above my bust with the pattern - can you see it too??


I wore this to the JPG exhibit last weekend with a few of the Spoolettes, and this is how I styled it on the day. Mr.G didn't seem to be too enthused about the colour combos but I decided to go ahead with it! I also had a pastel pink jacket (which I forgot to put on for a photo) which I adore, and want to make a million copies of someday.

My clogs are ASOS own brand, and the belt comes from another vintage dress. I would kill to make more self fabric belts, but the kits seem impossible to find (I really want to have a covered buckle). I know of a bunch of companies that will make them for me, but jeepers they are pricey. I can't afford to pay another £15-20 per dress for a belt.

So if anyone knows of any places I can get them, or if anyone in the US spots any (you guys always have the good stuff), I will happily buy them from you!!


I think for the future, I may use a different method of construction for the neckline and facings, as I couldn't get a super clean finish on the straps (not that anyone will ever notice). There's also a bit of gaping in the front neck, but I've been getting that a lot recently (or noticing it at least). Hollow chest perhaps? Or at least in comparison to my bust. 


I'll definitely make this dress again in the future. Its super comfy. This fabric is so lovely to wear as well, unfortunately I sure as hell am not going to be able to afford any more. I even dropped a glob of raspberry jam on it when I was scoffing doughnuts and it just wiped straight off!

God knows where those extra few pounds came from - right?


I know I was complaining about full skirts recently, and I am definitely looking at heading down a slimmer shape soon, but the length of this one really helps with maneuvering about the place. 


And of course the completion of this dress makes us  Lisa and I dress twins!


Till next time!

Emmie x

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Vintage (Pre)Guts...


Hey Guys,

I've been getting ready for the next in the Vintage guts series, but this was so special to me that I couldn't wait to talk about it.


And it's just over 51 years old :)


I found this little gem online, and debated about whether to get it or not - I wasn't sure if there was discolouration in places or if it would be as good as it looked in the pictures, but I was extremely lucky and it is pristine!


So, I guess you are wondering whats in the package?

 I'm sure most of you have seen the odd vintage pattern from Woman's Weekly magazine. And I know that you guys have seen dress kits for sale from different modern pattern companies to facilitate you getting started with your garment, with the right amount of fabric and notions included in the kit

Well what I found was a dress kit, not in the way we know them - but a mail order 'Cut-Out Dress'.



The dress comes already cutout in a specific size, with everything ready to go. All pattern pieces cut out, notched. It comes with the matching buttons in a little pack. It even came with a self fabric belt already made!


I have only found one other person who has found them, and hers had interfacing and ribbon included. It looks like they gave you everything but thread.



It even has the buttonholes made, cut and ready to go! Who wouldn't kill for that?!


I'm really excited to make this up, and the instructions look pretty good for a vintage pattern.

I was seriously tempted to get stuck in today but I think maybe I should trace the pieces and give them a trial first. It'll be tricky enough with the fact I can't change the side bust dart much if needed - as it was cut straight out. 


And the waist darts are supposed to be indicated by drilled holes, but I haven't looked closely enough to see if they are still visible. There may be some guestimating. The way that they indicate them to be sewn, the front one will probably be easy enough to guess, but there are double back ones to decide on positioning.


The dress has pleated side vents instead of a back vent which is an awesome detail I haven't seen before.




Facings were included, but no interfacing. I don't think it was mentioned in the pattern either.



Just some close ups of the illustration :)

Anyways, I'm pretty excited by the whole concept. I know that it wouldn't work out a perfect fit for a lot of people, as we are all different shapes within a measured size. And of course it leave no room for grading between sizes on a paper pattern, but it's still an awesome concept to be able to order a dress ready to be sewn if you so wish (I know Kathryn would!)

Oh, and is it a bit weird that I have got more or less the same fabric in a different shade of blue??


Emmie xx

Monday, 11 August 2014

Apron's for all!



Hey Guys, 

So, in all of my faffing about, I did actually finish something. Who would've thought it.
It was my Dad's birthday when I was at home there a couple of weeks ago, and I decided that maybe my Dad should have something made by me - seen as I've made things for my Mam and sister (although, those bags I made for Christmas are basically worn to death at this stage - nice to know they got good use, but not a great advertisement of my skills!)

So while wracking my brains, I thought - why don't we be sensible and make him something that he will get good use of? And seen as my Dad is a chef, I thought there would be nothing better than a good old Chef's Apron - or Butcher's Apron as the case may be.

And I'm sorry, but it turned out f**king awesome.


I used the Butcher's Apron pattern from the first Great British Sewing Bee book. The pattern doesn't look too inspiring but it turns out a damn fine apron.


I made the apron from some pinstriped denim I had stashed from our sewing club. The place that we used to hold our club in was shutting down, and they had been donated a bolt of it from the local fashion college so I got myself about 1.5m of it. I think Rachel got some too, and a lady that does upholstering took the rest.


I'm super glad I did, although I don't know why I took it as I don't think I would've worn it! I have a habit of stashing free stuff for the sake of it. I'm a out and out hoarder.


It was the extra details I put into the apron that made me really happy. I made the bias binding from the denim and I made sure to match all the stripes, which looked great :) 

The only thing I wish I had done was to make opposing bias binding for either side of the neckline. As it is, the stripes run in a continuous line, when they may have looked better mirrored. Oh well, no harm, no foul!


I bought some lovely D-Rings on eBay to really give it that extra pizazz, and they are really good quality and have a great weight to them. To be honest, I chose the eBay seller that gave free 1st class delivery (how does anyone make money doing this??) as I was kind of down to the wire with this - of course.

In my defense, I thought I had the rings but they turned out to be far too big.


I also took really good care to ensure the stripes were running straight up and down, and that the hemming was even. It's the little things that really show up in a simple make like this!


I also added a lovely big pocket, and on Mr.G's instruction, I ensured that it was low enough to suit sticking your hands in at their full extension. And believe you me, that is actually important.

I also ran a line of stitching up and down either side of the centre pinstripe. It works so much better as a double pocket. And of course, stripe matching to the point that the pocket is damn-near invisible.


I edgestitched all around the bias-binding to secure it onto the apron. It runs all along the sides of the apron to form both the ties and the neck of the apron. I think this is what makes it a Butcher's apron possibly?

I didn't clip any curves, I just eased the bias-binding around the curve and stitched both sides together.


Just popped a scissors in to show the pocket! Nice and deep!


The strangest thing about the apron, is how it feel's when you put it on. It looks nice and all, but when you put it on, you don't want to take it off! It's happened to everyone that has put it on!


My only concern about the apron when it was finished, was that the neckline seemed really low, even when pulled to it's tightest. But the first thing my Dad said was that the neckline was good! Apparently it shouldn't be too high, you get awful hot in a kitchen if the neckline is too high. And I guess for the most part you're trying to protect your waist and lower parts from hot spills as well as general foodie grime.


He wore it to work that very evening! And apparently he got lots of compliments, and the other chef even said it was very professional looking. 

And I think I now have orders for my bro and Mr.G too. 

And I think they would also make a pretty awesome sewing apron, a la our aprons at the Sewing Bee :)

Well there you have it. One Chef's apron.

Maybe someday soon you may see the things that have been waiting to get up here since like June.
Since when did I fall so behind??

LYLT,

Emmie xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Daughters of Triton Dress...


Hello All,

So I never actually finished the Vegas Holiday line up!

This was because I really wanted to make some adjustments to the dress before I took pictures, and I only just got around to doing it! 

I'm calling this the Daughters of Triton dress, because when I was trying to come up with a post title, I realised my hair and dress had a bit of a Little Mermaid theme going on :) All I need is a shell to sit in...

This is the teal duchess satin BHL Anna bodice with a circle skirt.


Basically, the issue was that I had added horsehair braid to the hem (or at least some sort of plasticy nylon equivalent) and I ballsed it up a bit.  I was trying to go all out, and even got the braid in a jade green to blend in with the dress.


I spent hours and hours ensuring the hem was level. All I can remember about the days before the trip are: that hem, and watching Three Men and a Baby while working on that hem.


But of course, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to attach the braid while overlocking the hem. Could've worked out ok, but I didn't realise how much the braid can stretch out, and of course the implications that would have on how the hem would sit. And it must have stretched all sorts of crazy.
Cray-Cray


However, I only noticed this when I put the dress on in Vegas - because I had not tried the dress on until then. The front centre hem loop looked mental, looked like I sewed it drunk. Mega drunk. Tequila Drunk.

So unbelievably skew-iff, I was mortified.


So bad in fact, that I spent the evening folding the front loop over to one side with my arm as I was meandering.

So, I upicked the whole overlocked hem the other night, threw the horsehair in the bin (it was ruined anyways as the overlocker had nicked some of the braid and it was all unravelling), and hand stitched up the (now well-pressed) hem.


Putting it on now, it is a million times better, but looking at the photos, the front loop is still marginally longer than the rest. I may go back and re-do it, but I may not.

At least its not looking like its tipsy. Its at least sitting even across the loop. 

In these photos its actually the bottom of the zip that's annoying me, as it doesn't look puckered like that in real life!


I do really like the dress, but I don't love it as much as I thought I would. 
In my brain it was going to be THE DRESS.


I think contributing factors are the fact that the skirt is a bit shorter than I wanted, and the other factor is that the bodice is a smidgen short - which combined with the volume of the skirt at the waist, is not entirely my most flattering look from the side. I need to wear it with a belt to keep some of the volume down!

 I'm also starting to think that maybe I should try out the V-neck Anna neckline for a change. 


Finally, I've sort of fallen out of love with full circle skirts recently. It's just too much fabric to handle when you're trying to sit down, etc. And of course it's way worse at a shorter length than a longer one. 
It can be surprising how much a skirt rides up at the back when you sit down!


Bit of dance action there for ya

So yes, details of the dress.
Nothing else mega special. Hand picked lapped zipper with a matching metal zip. I loves me a metal zip.


The duchess satin presses really well. and I washed a test square on a 30/30 wash and it came out no different so I didn't pre-wash the fabric.

Ain't nobody got time for that coming up to a holiday!

(But you really should make time, do as I say, not as I do, lol)

Here's a couple of mannequin shots for a change! and a peek at some of the stash lol



And that's it folks! Whoops, I almost forgot - one on the night!


I think the holiday is finally finished, and only 2 months after :)

Maybe I can start cracking into the US fabric now. Although I held up one piece today and went to myself - you bought one yard. ONE That wasn't your cleverest move. 

In case you don't know me. I never buy less than two METRES; never mind one yard.
I guess there's some pencil skirts on my horizon, eh?

Emmie x