Saturday, March 23, 2019

Vintage Vogue 7387 Ball Gown for Zara

Last year, Zara asked me to make her a  gown for the Flinders University Educational and Psychology Ball. (phew)
She loved this OOP Vogue 7387 I had in my pattern stash.
I have no idea where this one came from, I am guessing an Op Shop as I don't know a Lynne with two 'N's.
It was a good pattern to make up for a absent client (Zara was in Adelaide).
The bodice is bias cut (so has ease) but has a ribbon waist stay (to create stability)
I altered the bodice to fit her tiny waist.
The skirt is also bias cut and was a nightmare to cut, I ended up cutting it on the floor as it was so full.
As the skirt is bias cut, it can 'drop' so after sewing, you are instructed to let it 'hang' for 24-48 hours.
Lidia had an orthodontist appointment in Adelaide so I took the opportunity to go up and do a fitting.
The extra wide seam allowance was perfect!
It gave us the ease we needed over her derriere and the waist was pretty much spot on!
I fitted the length of the straps and it was ready for me to finish it.
Hugo collected it from me when he was back playing footy and delivered it to town.
Zara had a blast, so much fun in fact I only got one photo.
One photo cannot make a blog post.
We went up to Adelaide yesterday, after an SOS to touch up Zara's roots and she offered to pop the dress on for some photos.
Yes please.
It's a little creasy, just smooth it in your mind.
Wow, just... wow!
The fabric was from Eliza's of Sunshine
It is a heavy satin or a light sateen, has some stretch and took a hot iron.
The extra weight of the fabric actually made the sew a lot easier. This dress is all bias, bias can be tricky, bias in a light silk would have had me rocking in a corner.
We also avoided having to line it for extra body.
The cowl is a bit stiff BUT gave her a little more modesty than a softer fabric would have.
I put the hem up by hand.
TV time for Mummy!
I love the back.
The waist has a grosgrain ribbon stitched into the seam that does up with a hook and eye, to give it some structure.
I used a standard zipper.
I have gone away from invisible zippers. They are easier to put in but they break and also gape if your fit is not perfect (or a little weight is gained).
I noticed at, the Marilyn Monroe exhibition I was very fortunate to attend, her  dresses all had standard zippers and heavy, metal teethed ones, at that!
They are a lot stronger.
~My Verdict~
I had such fun sewing this.
I must admit I was a little intimated when I first looked at the pattern but the fabric was inexpensive (under $5/m) so I jumped in.
It used a lot of cloth, 4 metres but there are some nice pieces left I could make a cami/sleep short set from.
It was a good design to make for an absent client as I could sew a lot of it by measurements and then fit and finish.
It is a gorgeous pattern and the instructions were very good. All the tips on fitting included and the directions for making the waist stay boosted my confidence and made me feel like I was doing 'proper' sewing.
It will also be a easy dress to alter, it has great seams to take in and would look equally lovely shortened to cocktail length.
Zara loves handbags, I was looking for her on eBay when I spotted a similar one to the one on the pattern packet.
I couldn't resist.
(I think it was under $10 with postage)
She didn't use it on the night (she has a gorgeous Nakedvice handbag that was much more modern) but Trixie is enjoying it with her dress-ups.
~Zara's Verdict~ 
Ok, so by now we all know that my mum is an absolute miracle worker. (blush NMK) Towards the end of last year I had my first University ball and I desperately wanted a new dress made for it. Mum made the majority of this absolutely stunning dress WITHOUT me to fit it on. Then she made a trip up to Adelaide (roughly a little over two hours) to fit it on me. She is insanely awesome and an absolute genius. 
Overall I ended up with a stunning dress, the colour, the fit and the style.
Once again, that is not a surprise. I mean it is Nicole $%&ing Keller.
Love you Mum x.
I am pretty lucky with my children, aren't I?
Thank you for reading... xx N

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Lekala #4635 Denim Skirt for Me!

It is the best feeling.
When you sew something so successful and practical that you wear it
Style Arc Boyfriend shirt, RM Williams jacket, boots and belt, 
I made a denim skirt with the leftover fabric from my Vado jeans
The custom fit Lekala #4635
I needed a new denim skirt, my 20 year old version is being retired to the beach cottage (it was a pull on, elastic waist one which has done good service but seen better days)
The panelled styling caught my eye, I like the topstitching opportunity and the fact that it would use odd pieces of fabric.

I did do a two inch hem but mine was definitely shorter than their line drawing.
Which I wanted.
I did take in the side seams just a bit and I think I could have taken a bit more. That said, this fabric has some stretch and the pattern called for rigid.
The skirt sits on my hips and they are not wide in comparison to my waist and with a fairly flat bottom, if I don't wear a belt, it slips down.
However, it gives me great tummy ease and is super comfortable, especially travelling.
The kick pleat is perfect, I can run in this sucker.
It is actually very cool to wear, even on hot days. I had planned to make denim shorts, and I still do but I think the wearability of this has delayed that project.
I am still thoroughly embracing my capsule wardrobe and have reached the stage of fine tuning it.
I removed a few pieces that don't fit nicely and I am replacing them with ones that do.
My sister is happily taking these clothes.
 As a side project, I am creating a 'Beach Capsule'. 
I find I prefer black basics instead of my past navy pieces. So the navy is being transitioned to my beach cottage wardrobe.
I like the thoughtfulness that capsule wardrobe-ing inspires in me.
I sew only what I need and it stops me purchasing that pretty fabric, just because.
~My Verdict~
Super pleased with this one.
I wear it so often, for home and for 'out'.
It is a little on the big side but I am hoping a hot wash may sort it.
It was a good, quick sew and very easy to fit.
I did 'peg' the hem a wee bit more but the pattern is inclined towards that style, anyway.
I feel very sporty and trim in this, which is jolly nice as I am a little overweight (post weaning boom). If I shed the 8 kg I hope to lose I think I will make another, exactly the same BUT I think I will hang on to this as it will be handy if I gain weight again.
As this skirt doesn't have side pockets (my only grumble) I don't think I will even need a new pattern, I will just take it in at the side seams.

Thank you for reading... xx N

Saturday, March 16, 2019

OOP Simplicity 5169 dress for Matilda

Matilda had some fun during my last fabric shopping trip in Melbourne.
As well as liking colourful  fabrics Matilda loves metallics.
She found some lush, bronze linen-ish stuff in the $2 bin. I let her have 3m.
She chose the fabric, I chose the pattern.
I have wanted to sew this dress for ages. Tildy loved the sleeves.
She is ALL about the sleeves.
As I had a lot of fabric I cut the full length dress.
I was also able to #ninjacut a Class Picnic blouse
After consulting with Tildy we took a deep hem and finished it just below the knees.
I hemmed it by hand to play up the bespoke feel.
I left all the fabric in the hem so that it falls nicely and if she wants to go as a medieval princess to a costume party I can easily let it down.
The sleeves are spectacular and Google tells me they are known as lantern sleeves. 
Tildy was very keen to have the dress fitted at the waist.
As the waist pieces are sew to the bodice before sewing the side seam, we fitted as we sewed. It was not hard to gather the skirt a little tighter to match our adjustments. 
The waist piece was only a single layer, interfaced. I dislike bare interfacing on the inside of a garment so I double layered AND interfaced.
This ended up being quite bulky at the zipper installation. Next time I would omit interfacing in the seam allowances.
The zipper finish is not the neatest but I was loathe to unpick it as the fabric was reasonably fragile.
I comfort myself that is is hard to spot a moving target.
For all its glamor it was a very straight forward sew.
The sleeves are finished with an elastic cuff.
I topstitched the seams to encourage the fabric to behave but I rather like the finish, it almost looks like self piping.
The high collar is rectangular and self facing.
The silhouette is to die for!
~Tildy's Verdict~
(To be advised)
~My Verdict~
I absolutely adored this sew.
I would have never chosen metallic linen for a nine year olds dress but it works.
The fabric has just enough body to hold the shape of the sleeves but it is very light. Matilda has worn it on some very warm days and says it is has good air flow (the cloth has quite a loose weave)
So far, it has washed up very well and I think it will transition nicely into Autumn with her gorgeous 'Aunty Sarvi' knitted vest over it.
Trixie and Tildy in there beautiful Sarvi vests.

Thanks for reading.... xx N

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts for Matilda #sneakyschooluniforms

Every now and then a very special pattern comes along.
The Clever Charlotte Finch shorts is one of those.
I have a full step by step tutorial if you would like some help with construction.
I made them many times for Elsa and Zara.
They loved them as they are very full in the bottom with a tailored front finish. This pattern goes up to a size 8, which the Twins are wearing above, aged 13.
I also made them for Lidia.
And Tiny Tilly!
Stretch linen with coconut shell buttons
 They are Matilda's favourite for school.
Stretch cotton sateen with bunny buttons.
She likes the ease the full bottom gives her but the elastic waist can be tightened for her little waist.
To make them a little more school suitable I drafted the pattern Size 5 length of Size 8.
It just gives some nice leg length without extra poof.
I like how little fabric is needed.
These were sewn from a jagged remnant of wool suiting.
I lined them with some silky red satin for warm and comfort.
For a full tutorial see here 
Another nice little school bottom pattern is the...
The Peridot pants
These are a size 5 length of size 7.
The pattern I drafted for Lidia, so cute!
They do up with a side zipper.
And the leg button up with elastic roulette'. 
I have a step by step tutorial for these too.
~Tildy's Verdict~
I love my bunny rabbit buttons.
I love the pleats and the tabs on the side.
They are so comfortable and easy to run in and I especially love the ones with red silk in them to make them extra warm!
~My Verdict~
I love the Finch shorts.
I have lost count of how many pairs I have made.
All the tabs and buttons are so sweet and make them a special sew.
They are a little fiddly with a lot of pieces. Front and back leg cuffs, front and back waistbands BUT this also makes them an excellent #ninjacutting project as you can face with a contrasting fabric.
The Finch shorts are very large sizing, I understand that this is a design choice but you can safely size back.
The Peridot trousers I have only made three times but I am surprised I have not made them more often.
They are another slightly fiddly sew (which I rather like) and the cuff placket can be a bit confusing but for a neat, slim fitting, designer pant, you can't go wrong.

I have packed Tilly's away now as they were getting a wee bit tight.
She was not pleased.
These are another great pattern to #ninjacut as they cut nicely from the leftovers from adult patterns.

I was a little sad to see the Clever Charlotte website appears to be no more. The patterns are now being stocked by McCalls which is bittersweet.
I really liked those designers.

Thanks for reading...  xx N