Since when is Yellow, Mellow?

Monday, 26 May 2014

Hey Guys!

I swear we are going to finish up on the holiday wardrobe sometime in the next month! Nah, I think it's only one more after this, but I want to make a change to it before I'm happy to take pictures in it!

This is another simple circle skirt, but it taught me a few things!

Firsty, it really shows the length difference that comes from different width fabric (if you are going to cut the skirt as a full circle!). In truth, this skirt is my minimum length for skirts - and really in some ways I feel like its very short on me. Strange how you get used to a certain length! 

Secondly, it taught me about fabric choice! This one feels even stiffer than the black one. I didn't actually end up wearing it while we were away (probably because I bought more clothes that I was more excited by!). 

You may remember this fabric from the skirt I made my sister a year ago (only because it's a pretty memorable yellow!), and it's going to come up again here shortly, in what has become more than a muslin! 
The future one is almost what I had imagined making out of this fabric for the trip, but ran out of time so I'm glad it's coming to fruition.

Thirdly, I learnt that some fabrics definitely should be prewashed. I was strapped for time, but I it could definitely use being softened up, and perhaps a few runs through the machine would help. Never looks as bad in my pictures I've found!

Not many people do, but I really love yellow!

Going from picture to picture, I'm not sure if the hem is completely sqwonky or if it's just the folds being stiff as hell. Levelling a hem is a nightmarish task though. 

That is why the last holiday item may take more than a week to get up here. It needs revising majorly, and not even in the way you'd expect.

Fourthly, I learned that you should probably interface a stretch cotton waistband. Look at me cutting corners all over the bloody shop. The waistband was cut curved (in a good way!). 
I can't remember if it was intentional or an accident but I used it to my advantage. However, because the fabric was stiff I decided not to interface it. Plus I find it such a mind numbing job. However, I ended up having to move the button on the waistband because of the stretch, and the buttonhole is gaping open because of the stretch.

To be honest, all of the issues are button related, and the main part of the waistband is A-OK.

The last thing I think I've learnt, is that I'm not 100% sure if I like circle skirts as much as I thought I did when I didn't have any. It's just a lot of fabric - not to buy, just to manage getting around the place. I keep getting tangled in my bags and things when I'm moving around, it's a nightmare trying to straighten myself out sitting down on the train, or even at the dinner table.

And they always come up way shorter at the back sitting down than you think they are, and I bloody hate the backs of my legs sticking to chairs.

So I think, I'm going to be looking for a flared alternative. Maybe a half circle. Maybe go back to my old Simplicity pattern. Maybe a Sewaholic Hollyburn type gored effect (just not sure how I feel about a deam up the centre front). I guess we shall find out.

So there's your lot.

When I finish up on the next dress, I swear there's enough left for another skirt. 

It's the fabric that keeps on giving.

Little secret? This hair was left over from the NYLON meetup the previous day.
I was so tired when I got home, I just got into bed with my fringe still up!

Hairspray for the win!

Emmie x

Anyone interested in a Tropical Sunset?

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hey guyyyyyys.....

Continuing on our voyage through the Vegas wardrobe; today we have my Tropical Playsuit.

I had wanted a two piece ever since I saw Katy & Laney's beach playsuits, and after I had sewed it up they started popping up all over the place!

I got the fabric on Goldhawk Road, on a Spoolette outing. I can't remember how long ago, but it's probably a cotton sateen. You know me, I like things with a bit of weight to them.

That being said, it's possibly a tiny bit stiff for the skirt. It does stand in it's folds a bit!
It feels a bit odd when you're dressing for a chilly day with tights on, but bare-legged round the pool in Vegas it felt dandy! I wore this to the Tiki Pool Party on the last day of Viva. I wanted to feel in the vibe, but as I wasn't staying in the hotel, I didn't really feel like being in a swimsuit.

The skirt is a another simple old circle skirt (fast and easy for building a holiday wardrobe!).
This was the first and I left it to hang as instructed by so many of you out there. Thankfully, it didn't seem to drop at all - which made me a happy lady. Invisible zip, button on the waistband.

The buttonholes were a bit poo that day. 
I had stiffened the waistband with some vintage grosgrain ribbon, but I probably should have interfaced the cotton too. Plus, vintage grosgrain is pretty dense, so that didn't help making a buttonhole. 
Either way, blah.

The bodice is another story. I put it together in a bit of a mish-mash and out popped something really great!
I used the bodice from B5731 to start off. This is actually the pattern to replicate the Princess Kate wedding dress. But be forewarned, if you're feeling like a royal wedding - there is a CRAP-tonne of pattern pieces. I would not be excited to be making this dress. And there is no way I would be tracing it off! This is one pattern I would prefer to re-purchase if I messed up!

It's a princess-seamed sweetheart strapless bodice. It has different cup sizes for the bodice, so I cut the D (even though I am definitely bigger than a D!). I expected that as a Big 4 there would be some extra space in there! It looked pretty crap to begin with, all baggy and way too big. I think I cut the 14, which should have been 2" too small in the waist and I think I still took room out. I added an inch to the bottom for hemming.

I took the excess out in the back seam for simplicity. The only other issue with the muslin was the shape of the princess seams. I had to reshape the curve - I can't imagine that anyone has a bust shaped like that. 

I know I like vintage, and vintage means pointy, but still, come on.

I flattened out the curve quite a bit. to be honest, I could do with flattening it out more to be honest, but the print hides it. And my strapless bra is pretty dome shaped so that ain't helpin' none.

I'm not entirely comfortable with strapless these days so I drafted up some straps. And by drafted, I mean I drew some shapes and checked if they looked right. They're slightly pointed at the shoulder, I just felt it might be more flattering if they got wider at the top.

When I was making my muslin for the bodice, I came up against the issue of, you know, getting into it.
 I didn't have a separating zip (to be honest, separating zips didn't even occur to me). I thought, well I can't put the zip in normally - the waist is too narrow to get over my shoulders. 

So I just thought - put it in upside down.

Then the waist opens enough to get on, and the bust is already big enough to get on.


I lined the bodice with some plain cotton poplin, and I stitched in the ditch down the side seams on the outside to keep it all straight and in place. I topstitched the bottom hem to stop it rolling. I put hooks and eyes on the straps so I could detatch them (and I didn't know what length/position I wanted them during construction and thought it would be a bit difficult to sandwich them), but in the end they got tacked on for spreed and security.

Finally, seen in my SewDollyClackett post, a picture of me at the pool party with my friend Candie. Her and her husband José were completely awesome, and we had such a great time with them!

So, in conclusion; two-pieces rock. Vegas rocks.


Emmie x

Boppin' in Blue...

Monday, 12 May 2014

Hey Guys,

I wasn't sure that I was even going to blog this skirt, as it's just a simple circle skirt, but I really like this set of photos so - meh - you're getting it!

I made this to go in the Vegas line up, but once I put it on for these photo's I couldn't take it off!
I wore it to a Barbeque that day, but I was so cold I stood to close to the fire and it got super smokey!

Turns out it doesn't dry too quick, and therefore it didn't get in the case! On top of that, it is actually quite heavy, so for weight limit reasoning it was a pretty good call.

The fabric was bought from Rolls and Rems in Lewisham, on a meetup with the Spoolettes. I went with the intention of buying heavy fabrics for weighty circle skirts and I found a whole bunch. All different fabrics, and different colours. I think they were all cottons or cotton blends. Apparently they don't see sense in stocking a range of colours in the same fabric. 
Because, you know, that wouldn't be sensible.

This particular one was a lovely shade of blue, and has a really interesting textured pattern in the weave.
Oddly enough that I love this so much, I own hardly any blue clothes!

I did a lapped zipper (see, told you I was obsessed - once you go Lapped, you never go back).
I added a button closure with a lovely pink button to both contrast and compliment *ooOOoo*

I bought a bag of mixed buttons (you got to mix them yourself) and by golly I'm going back for more. They were awesome buttons, and I have used so many in my recent projects. Total score, as the bag was a fixed,  and quite cheap, price. I assume it goes without saying that I absolutely stuffed it.

I've been cutting my recent circle skirts as a complete circle, and them trimming closely down one edge to create the side seam. This method is really quick and easy, but you are limited with the length of skirt you can get out of the fabric. If my sums are right, even with a 64" wide fabric, you could only get about 28" (which would change of course depending on the circumference of your waist). So what I am going to have to do is buy a bit of extra fabric length and cut 2 longer half-circles side by side. 
An extra seam, but a longer skirt.
And I loves me a midi.

Now lets turn up the twirls!

And there we go! I felt very 'Grease' like at the Barbeque. And I got a pic of me enjoying the sun in my daytime styling of a RTW striped denim jacket and some white plimsols :)
Oh, and some berry cider, of course.


Emmie xx

No Guts, No Glory...

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Hey guys,

I was just trying on one of the vintage dresses I picked up in America, and I've been twirling and showing the boy the super cute details and finishes. As you might expect, he was less interested than I would have liked.
Men folk, eh?

But then it hit me - maybe you guys might be more receptive? What do you think?

I was thinking of doing a mini series of 'Vintage Guts' posts showing what my dresses have to offer in the way of seam finishes, closures, and you know, all those little things that we all love.

I am by no means an expert, and I'm sure you guys can chip in if you spot something I've missed :)

I'll leave you with a small taster of what I have to peek inside...

Anyone interested?

Lost in a Flower Bed...

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Hey Guys!

The next on the Vegas line up is my Floral Elisalex :)
This is my first Elisalex with sleeves, and I really love them! 
I had already worked on the bodice fit before, with my Gingham version, so I was confident about that part.
For the skirt I drafted a circle skirt, for a bit of that 50's swing :)

The fabric is a floral Piqué - sort of a waffle textured woven. I found it on Goldhawk road, in one of their 5m lengths. It was in the pile with all of the stretch cottons, and I fell for it. There was a wobbly moment when I was about to start this dress - I think it was possibly the cream background - I was nervous about how it would look against my skin but I'm glad I pushed through now!

I'm like a broken record in that respect.

These photo's were taken before we went on holiday, I was trying out different jewellery and hair flowers. I had bought a range of bits and pieces on eBay, including the Lucite bangle and necklace.

I had intended for the dress to be a night outfit, but everything got reshuffled and I wore it in the day on Friday. 

The one thing I noticed after I took these photo's, was that the hem of the skirt had fallen and was wonky as hell. And I mean WONKY. I seriously can't believe how much a hem can fall on the bias. We're talking like well over an inch. I think it was getting close to two in places (although my addled brain may not be right).

I put in a lapped zipper, I think this one was actually my first, and it went in well, but I think I redid it once. It wasn't quite covering the zip enough for my liking. I think I will consider putting a hook and eye at the waist seam in future, as that's where the extra tension is, that pulls the fabric away from the zip.
This zip wasn't handpicked, but I did get some metal zippers for my Vegas dresses to give them a bit of extra special specialness :)

I really like how it looks here with the petticoat here, but after I redid the hem, it was just too short for this petticoat. I used to like the peeking petticoat look, but either I changed my mind, or I only like them under certain dresses. I think perhaps if the fabric was heavier, or held its own shape more it may have been okay.

I decided to see how it would look out on that dancefloor - you know, the one I never made it out on.
But you know, we gave the lessons a go. With a tonne of other people, so it was difficult to see the instructor. Unfortunately, I'm an eager learner, and Mr.G is a careful learner and we learn at different rates. Which leads to frustration on both sides! We have bought some learner DVDs so hopefully we will be experts by the time we get back there.

Which leads me to my favourite picture of all!

I also really like those shoes, but they are just a smidgen too small. It was one of those situations where you are find the first pair in your size, and the next colour in the size up, and then the bigger size end up being a hell of a lot more comfortable! I hate when that happens, as I am sort of between sizes but I don't like sizing up if I can help it. With the ankle strap I probably could have afforded to. Oh well.

I'll leave you with a pic of how I wore it on the day :)

Almost the same, but new sandals and a different flower :)
Unfortunately we left the good camera at home by accident (we did remember to pack the charger!) so I have to apologise for some of the Vegas photo quality!

Emmie xx

I'm going to Darwen!

Saturday, 3 May 2014 not Australia - Lancashire! I wanted to let you know that I'm going to the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up on the 14th of June :) Train tickets booked and everything!

We are all there to celebrate their success in the British sewing awards, and to celebrate the wonderful world of sewing! I'm sure you must have seen mention of it by now, but just to recap, there are going to be be be lots of special guests for workshops and presentations, and of course most of the Minerva Crafts bloggers are going to be present for fun and frolics in a fabric shop :)

Lets hope I don't go home with excessive amounts of fabric!

Hope to see you there!!


Glittery Close Up!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Just realised how you much you really can't see the glitter in my last make so I'm trying to post a close up! :)

Emmie x

Some of that Vegas Sparkle...

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hey Guys!

I am very excited to present to you the final installment of the (Minerva) Vegas line up! you all know it's not the end of the general admission Vegas line up :)

For this kit, I chose to try out another Bengaline - and I went out on a  bit of a limb for this one. It's a sort of purpley-burgundy colour with gold glitter in it! Definitely not my usual choice but I was feeling the Vegas vibe. Now that the outfit is complete I'm actually really happy with it!

I initially was intending to make a dress, but with time running out and other holiday items left to make I decided to sacrifice and make a simple swing skirt.

Having finished the skirt, I felt like it looked slightly disappointing following on from my previous few offerings, so I threw caution to the wind and pattern hacked my BHL Anna bodice. As far as I remember I added 3" to the back seam and add an inch to the bottom all around. I of course forgot to use the stretch running horizontal again - although I'm somewhat glad I didn't as you'll find out.

After putting some of the bodice together and having a momentary fitting, it seemed that the bodice was a bit snug so I let out each pleat about 2/8". I had already shortened the pleats from previous makes. It may have been ok in the end, and I have no idea why it felt any different to usual but no harm no foul.

My major issues came up when I was doing the button placket down the back. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't cut the stretch on the horizontal, which can only mean I cut it on the vertical. I turned a small lip under for the placket and the folded over 1" twice more. And of course, as I was stitching it down it all started stretching out. I even tried to use my walking foot to no avail whatsoever. Both plackets ended up warped and wobbly like a glittery purple sea.. If only I had interfaced. Hindsight's 20:20, eh? 

I tried the only thing I could think of and tried to shrink it with steam. It looked like it worked a bit, but it was still warpy when buttoned up, and the steam was starting to strip the glitter (which is one of the reasons I reneged on washing the fabric first - I think I forgot to mention that, naughty me). I wanted it as glittery as can be for Vegas - come what may with the first wash!!  

So the only thing I could so was hand tack the back opening down and ease it as I went. I did check I could get it on first, and I can with 1 button open, miraculously. It is marginally roomier I guess than a dress bodice would be! Probably due to my letting out the pleats in the first place, and a little extra ease in the extended back piece. The bottom hem was a simple turn under and stitch jobbie.

I have a bunch of the fabric left, so I'm still considering whether to recut the bodice and redo it with interfacing.

Do I have the patience?

During this make I wasn't sure it was going to make it into the Vegas rotation due to little thought and planning going into the production (I did try to plan but nothing promising came to me) and then I was trying to decide what outfit to bump. All hail last minute crazed sewing!

The buttons weren't intended when ordering the kit, and are deep stash. Different buttons unfortunately for skirt and top, but they at least both complement the fabric.

The skirt is the same as used for my leopard print dress, a simple Simplicity swing skirt, actually the first thing I ever sewed :)

I did a lapped zipper on the skirt - which is now my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE!! Thanks to tutorials by both Nicole and Winnie on their blogs. I will literally use this anywhere and everywhere I can now.


And I somehow found a thread that is bloody well invisible in this fabric. Its just so easy to get a good result from this method. I super enjoy doing it, I actually find this method really relaxing, like a form of meditation. Communing with zippers.

So as we can all see, there's a little gap between the separates occasionally.  nothing indecent - and really, about as much as I would feel comfortable with. And it's not clear initially - it's a bit peek-a-boo which is cute.

I'll leave you with a photo of me wearing the dress in Vegas :)

And my favourite Outtake pic of all :)

I look like I'm doing a pin-up face, but there was probably something in my teeth.... haha

Emmie x
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs