Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Formal Sewing~And then came Elsa

Elsa's dress was next.

The vision was white, silver, floaty, princess and elegant.
Tight, the bodice HAD to be tight.
We purchased her fabric from DK Fabrics, in Adelaide.
Chiffon, silk satin, sequinned lace and bemsilk lining $150.
The pattern, her own design, from Bootstrap, the custom fit pattern company.
As Elsa wanted a very fitted bodice I made a calico toile. Even with all her measurements put in I had to take several inches from the shoulders and re-cut the front and back neck.

I also added some darts above her bust as it was popping open a wee bit.
I fitted and fitted and fitted this dress.
All the fabric was so delicate and flimsy so I interfaced all of the bodice pieces, lining and main.
It frayed like the billy-oh too so I finished all the edges with a narrow zigzag.
There was bugger all in the way of instructions so I constructed the bodice like the Fairy Tale.
The pattern had a very scant seam allowance so things were a bit fiddly.
 I then attached the skirt lining to the bodice lining, tried on the dress and hemmed the lining.

Then I french seamed the chiffon over skirt, sewed the satin underskirt, put the two together and sewed them to the bodice.
The bemsilk was perfect. The satin and chiffon dropped like nothing on Earth.
I was horrified.
Luckily it was way too long and I could shorten the droopy bits off.

 I basted the zip and then it went in, first time!
Woo hoo!
Next, I hand sewed the heavy lace to the waist line.
It took f o r e v e r but matched like a boss!
It fit like a boss!
She looked so beautiful.
At one stage Elsa thought of leaving  off the chiffon but I am glad we didn't.
We hemmed the chiffon slightly longer at the sides for a mermaid effect.
This dress was a challenging sew. I did enjoy it but it was stressful.

~Elsa's Verdict~
My dress was exquisite and totally unique, I loved knowing I was definitely going to be the only one wearing that dress! 
It fitted me like a glove and I felt like a princess, a few said I looked like a bride. Thanks for the special gift mum!

Awww, thanks Elsie.
Both girls looked so beautiful and had a wonderful time.
All the hard work was completely worth it.

xx N

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Formal Sewing~Zara First

T'was years in the planning...
Formal sewing Peoples!
The year 11&12 joint formal is held biennially and it is a combined schools event hosted by a different school, each time.

Zara and Elsa have been chatting about ideas since Hugo's.

Young adults in the country have limited chances to attend functions so this is very special occasion. For some girls it is a massive deal with spray tans, professional make up hair and several dresses purchased and discarded.

For the young men, hiring fancy cars (group share) to take them to the venue can be their treat.

Jed and I were very happy to purchase the tickets and pay for the dresses but as the Twins are very talented with their own hair and makeup we advised them to save their money.
They agreed, somewhat begrudgingly, however I think they did a gorgeous job and saved them selves several hundred dollars.

As a reward, Jed and I shouted them the tickets to the Open Access formal in Adelaide, the night before.

Two very late nights but I think it was well worth it.

Zara had very definite ideas on her dress. Backless, long and sparkly.
Originally she had a vintage Vogue pattern chosen but then she found this one that had a wrap over look that she liked.
Lekala #5896
Slight problem, this pattern is made for a stretch fabric and it meant to be a fitted swim suit cover up sort of thing.
Time to muslin!
The first one fit Tildy.... (yes Matilda).
I ended up adding two foot to the centre back fold line and three to the length.
Much better.
The dress is basically a large rectangle with shaped arm holes, each end and thin straps you pop your arms through and wrap around your body.
The fabric was a very lucky find in Spotlight at Horsham.
It was marked at $25/m (very reasonable for all the detail) but was on special with a bonus one day sale thrown in at $4.50/m!
I purchased a tricot lining at the same time (again on sale) for around $3/m.
The worst part of sewing was removing the sequins from the seam allowances. The tiny sequins cut my fingers to pieces.
We had a couple of attempts at pleating out the excess fabric over her derriere.
Zara decided she liked one large pleat at either side of her waist.
We were both a little concerned she may bop the shoulder straps off whilst dancing so I added a back strap (attached with a large sew in popper).
I think it was a very sophisticated and elegant choice.  Zara looked gorgeous and she was comfortable and confident in her outfit.
As we dropped the Twins at the Adelaide Continental for formal-#1 I quickly scanned the other beautiful young women in their beautiful gowns.
I may be biased but I don't think my girls looks home made at all!.
~Zara's Verdict~
I absolutely loved my dress. It was absolutely beautiful. I felt like a real stunner. Mum did an amazing job. I was really happy with the shoes and jewellery that I bought. As well as being really grateful to a friend for lending me her MIMCO purse. 


Zara was a pleasure to sew for. She was very patient with my constant fittings and draping exercises as well as giving me lots of support and praise through out a rather stressful sewing experience.

Next... Elsa's dress.

xx N

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Winter Play Clothes

Apologies for the photo heavy post.
It wasn't her turn...
But somebody has grown!
Instagram can be hazardous to one's bank balance.
The lovely Jane and Fiona popped up this gorgeous fabric on insta and I snapped up 2m.
We have been tempted by The Drapery before.
I sewed this cute little Playtime in 2014.
Another Playtime by O+S  was long needed.
I made Tildy the size 6 with the length of an 8.
Tildy measures 4 but she is average height for a 7 year old.
Matilda's signature heart shaped buttons, coconut shell sewn with pink silk.
And for some sparkle... bugle beads hand stitched to one of the clouds.
''I will have to get undressed sensibly Mummy or they will scratch me'' #tildyspeak 
I used a scrap of stretch poplin for the pocket bags as I was eking out the fabric.
It has plenty of room for growth.
It is layering perfectly on our Winter holiday.
~Matilda's Verdict~
I like the sequins on the cloud. The dress is very warm, even when I go outside to play.
I like wearing it with stockings and my fluffy boots.
I really like the bit where Mum has sewn two different clouds together.
I think this is even better then my sheep-y dress.
I like the 'crinkles' (gathers) around here (gestures waist).

With the leftovers...
I made some After School trousers.
Tildy's pair from Summer still fit just fine so I went with the size 4 with the length of a size 7.
I had to use velvet for the pocket bag and some lawn for the pocket lining as I had nothing but tidbits for mice leftover.
I topstitched the pocket bags in place.
I love all the details on these trousers.
And they are an awesome fit on a skinny child.
~Matilda's Verdict~
They are nice and warm (worn over stockings in chilly Bendigo).
I like the colours, I like the patterns on the clouds, they are good colours.
I like the frills, they are tricky. They make me think the back pocket is at the side.
I like them being tricky.
I think these would be good school trousers in blue. It has to be blue to wear to school.

And the top?
More leftovers, more gorgeous fabric from The Drapery
Hugo purchased me 1.5m of the luscious Merino knit for my birthday.
I made myself a Plantain tee  (which I have not blogged yet) and had enough to get this School Bus tee and I *think* I may get a tee for Trixie too.
The cloth is very fine but very warm and not scratchy at all!
After sewing in the sleeve I noticed I had snipped a hole in the shoulder.
I darned it but it still looked like a hole, just a darned hole.
As I had the vinyl out for the groovy elbow patches a la Plantain, I cut a wee heart, held it in place with some double folded sticky tape and stitched it in place.
I originally cut ovals for the sleeve patches but they looked too big.
It is a child's top so I went with the simple circle shape.
I used the placement of the Plantain sleeve to get the position right and placed the sleeve on Matilda to make sure I had it at her elbow.
It was then I realised the sleeve would be a bit short so I added a cuff.
Tildy has flogged this on our holiday. She has worn it four times and it still doesn't needs washing.
Wool is a wonderful fibre for repelling dirt. An air before the next wear and a sponge down of any stains and it is good to go!
I love hand-me-downs.
The tee and trousers look awesome with a jumper I made for Hugo, from some wool mix knit, 15 years ago!
It had a huge hem that I let down so it is like a tunic on her.
~Tildy's Verdict~
I love my matching t-shirt to Mum. It is not itchy at all. I like the heart, I like the elbow patches.
I am glad Mum made a mistake.
It is very warm and sand brushed right off.

They are getting a good work out on hols.

Thanks for reading xx N


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