Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vintage Vogue pattern V2903 finished dress

This Vintage vogue pattern is an "Orginal 1957 design" reissued pattern - here's the final result made up in the Japanese cotton (pending some hand finishing and hemming). Not too hard, just a little patience required a round the pleating, yoke and sleeves. 
A few notes on the pattern:-
- the sleeves are well fitted, so if you have fuller arms, check the sizing before cutting
- the dress is very long. I shortened it by 5cm and am still debating the length of the hem - right now it's cocktail length
- pay attention to yoke, facing and sleeves as the final effect is only obvious during the last few steps of assembly

The dress is reasonably fitted dress, not obvious on the dress form as it's not adjusted to size in this photo. Also the neckline sits slightly wider on the shoulders that it appears on the dress form.

Front - close up
Not quite as glamourous as the pattern pic but a great dress none the less. I love the fabric and really enjoyed sewing it it. Overall, I'm happy with the result. Let me know your thoughts on what length you think it should be?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Progress report - Vintage Vogue dress

Spent a good part of the day on this dress and so far so good. A few things I learned through the day....

- the Japanese fabric is an absolute dream. It's easy to work with and has a great weight and feel. I'm already happy with it's selection for the pattern

- I used pattern weights for the first time for cutting from Judis Studio. Made placing, replacing and cutting the pattern so much easier. I don't know why I persisted with pins for so long. These weights aren't cheap. I bought one set (two may be better) but it saved a heap of time

- I also used basing tape to insert the zip. I'd been dreading the zip, not having done one for so long and I always find them a pain. I'm not one for doing a lot of basting so any short cut  is welcome. I found the tape really useful to use with a great result. I'd does make the needle sticky and you have to make sure you don't get any adhesive on the zip. Will see how it goes in the longer term...
Double sided basting tape in place

Zip stuck in place on tape an fabric

Final result - not too bad!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In between projects

A project update today...nothing complete to show you yet. However lots of projects in the works:-
  • finally cut out the Japanese cotton fabric for my Vintage Vogue dress (I'll be working on that today)
  • bought 3 new pieces of fabric from...yes, you guessed it Tessuti. I was lucky enough to be there during a sale - bargain!
  • I also received a shipment of marine canvas for cushions and other bits for our boat - this will be a labour of love I think
So, I'll be busy for a while and am looking forward to posting the final results.

In the meantime, for those of you who may be interested in vintage buttons for your sewing projects, I have  a number you may like to browse at Etsy

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wedding dress reworked

In 2009 I had a wonderful wedding in Bali. I wore a great ivory silk gown from Karen Willis Holmes in Sydney. The shoulder was georgette and the flowers were all silk. Even in the heat, this was a fabulously comfortable dress to wear. It was Karen's "Rebecca" model with some customisation for me.

Ultimately I had planned to have it modified after the wedding to wear again (as you do!). Well, I did it! Karen's lovely team helped me modify this to a gorgeous wearable cocktail dress.

  • The length was shortened to a cocktail length and still accommodated the fullness that was part of the train.
  • Black velvet ribbon was added to the folds of the bodice and onto the "belt"
  • The shoulder and flowers were removed and thin shoulder straps with bows were added
  • The ivory corset satin ribbon was replaced with black satin ribbon
  • A black silk flower was then added to the dropped waist band.
I haven't worn it yet but I'm pleased I did it. I'm sure the right event will be just around the corner and I'll have exactly the right dress to wear!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flea Market bag

Prior to Christmas with a rush of blood to the head, I thought I would make all my Christmas presents. Needless to say that was a little ambitious. However here's one I did make. It's a soft fabric bag made with remnants from (yes) Tessuti's in Surry Hills, Sydney.

It's an Grand Revival pattern. The bag is reversible so not as straight forward to make as I expected and I simplified it by excluding the pockets.

The Grand Revival range has a casual feel overall but I decided to make it with fabric that could be used for a casual evening out. It's black silk with a metallic and red brocade. The alternate side is black linen. Here's the result - in hindsight a more structured pattern may have worked better but the gift was gratefully received none the less.
For those of you interested in bags, Amy Butler has a terrific range of bag patterns as well. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Drape Drape 2 dress - Missoni fabric update

You may remember my earlier post on the Drape Drape 2 dress....well here's the final result of the dress on my sister. I think it looks fantastic and she's happy with it too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Japanese pattern effort

When I became interested in the Japanese pattern books, my first attempt was to make a "simple" top from the book Drape Drape. I chose a relative inexpensive knit in plain black to keep cost down and hide any potential mistakes. Once I got my head around not having a pattern with every step explained to me in English and having to trace a pattern, I finished the top with one minor mistake. This size was a Large from the pattern and it is very loose fitting, easily fitting a Aus size 14-16.

Things I've learned from this and my Missoni dress of Japanese pattern book patterns:-
1. Always check the sizing against you're own measurements. A "L" does not necessarily correspond to AUS size 14.
2. If you're able make a quick version in a cheap stretch fabric, it will help with the final outcome.
3. Don't be afraid to adjust some aspects of the pattern to suit you better.
4. The patterns are very pictorial and have are pretty logical, so don't be afraid to try.
5. The dresses are fantastic and can be sewn in an afternoon. The longest part of the process is tracing the pattern. This does require patience.
So have a go!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Vintage pattern purchase

Having discovered a wide world of vintage patterns and people who sew from them, I made my first purchase. A pattern I fell in love with...a 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Obsessed with vintage

Since rediscovering sewing, I've also discovered a wonderful world of sewing from vintage patterns. I've think I've been on every blog with vintage sewing interested and have also started buying vintage patterns.
My first project is a classic Vintage Vogue dress V2903.

Rather than make it from a vintage style fabric, I've opted to incorporate a more contemporary Japanese cotton fabric in navy.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How much fabric

If you're like me, when you're in a fabric shop and discover a fabric you "have to have" but have no idea what length of fabric you need to make what you want, I found a really helpful solution. These are "How much fabric" reference cards from GwynHug. Great purse sized cards make it a very handy reference.
When ordering note that there are imperial and metric versions. After ordering, they arrived in a flash and are now sitting in my handbag for the next purchase.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Missoni offcuts

Feeling very pleased with myself...after finishing the Missoni striped dress (see previous blog), I had a few small remnants left over. As the fabric is too pretty to waste, I made a buff/headband and a summer scarf. well done me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drape drape 2 dress

Having recently become a little obsessed with Japanese pattern books, I've made a dress from the Drape Drape 2 book. It's made in a fabulous Missoni stripe sourced from my favourite fabric store Tessuti.

As I've found with many of these patterns, it's best to check fit etc before cutting fabric. Often the sizing can be quite small for us non-Japanese girls. This dress was made for my sister who is on average a size 8-10 (AUS) and I cut the large size. The shoulder straps were extended 5cm as the pattern neckline was quite small and we also wanted added length. Two cm were added to the length also.

As this dress relies on the stretch it's important that the hem is allowed to stretch as much as much as the fabric allows otherwise you have difficulty getting it over your head!.
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