Saturday, March 30, 2019

Vintage OOP Simplicity 5392 Posh Frock for Matilda

You know the story, Matilda loves her fabric, so you can guess what she chose for her birthday outfit...
Ah, yes, I know. I was a bit surprised too.
Tildy found this pink lace at Eliza Fabrics and begged, begged me to get it for her.
It was a little dearer, $12, maybe $15/m but she was desperate to have it and have a posh frock made.
It is a funny, polyester, fluffy finished type of lace. Very thick with a decorative border.
I am soft, I let her have it.
The other fabric is a pink crepe, I purchased it to use as a lining for a dress but we found another cloth more suitable, so it was 'up for grabs'. It is not the nicest stuff, it seems to be 'pulling' easily. It was very cheap, $3/m maybe?
Tildy is ALL about the cinch, so we fitted the bodice.
I made the main bodice and lace bodice, separately, increasing the waist darts (by almost double) then I put the two together and basted the edges.
I didn't alter the shoulder darts or the side seams.
I made the sleeves next, neatening the side seams and pressing open.
My sleeve board was a huge help with this step.
I used satin binding (as directed) to finish the sleeve hem, sewing this to the lace overlay and then slipping the main sleeve under the lining and then hand sewing the binding in place, catching both layers.
This give a neat finish as well as making sure there is no itchy fabric next to the skin.
The inside is not so pretty but very sturdy.
I decided not to line the bodice as it was heavy enough but did line the skirt (with pink satin) so that it balanced with the bodice (and for extra swish)
I took in the waist of the skirt, to match the bodice but eased it out to the hips.
The two skirts were made and then put wrong sides together, basted together at the waist.
The skirt is sewn to the bodice and then the zipper is attached.
This was heavy going.
The lace was so thick and not easy to sew. I basted up the centre back and then hand basted (after pinning) my zipper in.
I went with a sturdy, vintage zipper from my stash.
The lace at the neck was so bulky!
I graded the seam as best as I could and even used my hammer to flatten some of the seams. Under-stitching to the facing helped a lot.
I then hand sewed the facing down to the bodice.
I am not going to lie, it gives me a 'Mother of the Bride' vibe.
The dress isn't wonky, just photographed on a tiny mannequin as it wouldn't fit on the size 8 one.
I love the style, it is gorgeous.
I put up the hem by hand, made thread chains to keep the lining in place...
The zipper is, well, in.
It's sturdy!
Humour me.
I would have unpicked it (I am quite happy to unpick) but this fabric easily pulled so I felt it was better left alone.
But who gives a hoot!
Tildy loves it!
She is my heart and if she is happy, I am happy.
~Matilda's Verdict~
I love the flower lace.
It is really, really silky on the inside because it is lined with satin.
The length is perfect because I like shorter dresses.
It is nice and warm because there are so many layers.
Lidia had some yellow flower lace (from Eliza Fabrics) and I wanted a dress like her. I found the pink lace in the middle of a big bundle of different laces. It was a bit expensive but I really, really wanted it and Dad said yes.
I feel very grown up in my fancy dress.
~My Verdict~
I love this pattern!
I would love to sew it in a suiting weight wool (I have some grey pinstripe in mind).
I also have a wee bit of rabbit fur so I could make a muff...
Tilly did need a new posh frock for weddings and funerals.
Sadly a lot more funerals than weddings last year.
I hope I get to sew this again. A great pattern, still very wearable now.
And you don't notice the zipper from a distance!
Thank you for reading... xx N

Burda Ribbon Neck Blouse 12/2013 #107 for Elsa

Do you ever just want to sew something pretty or unusual?
It is not needed or requested, you just like it.
Case in point.
I saw this very pretty #107 Blouse while perusing Burda.
I just liked the design and thought it would be fun to sew.
I had the left over fabric from Tildy's dress and thought it would be perfect.
It is a polyester crepe in a pale pink $4/m from Eliza Fabrics
So I made it.
The pattern comes as a PDF. It glues together nicely with big overlap allowances.
There are no seam allowances or hems, you have to add those.
I decided to cut the smallest size (34/36) around a size 6, I added the seam allowance (1 cm) and the hems and centre front facing (3cm) before cutting the paper pattern.
You are giving measurements to cut the cuffs and neck tie bias strip.
I topstitched the back and front seams and sewed a narrow, double hem.
The sleeve placket is made from the seam allowance.
I folded, pressed and stitched a narrow, double hem.
One side of the cuff is interfaced.
I went with two buttons and used some gorgeous, knotted hessian ones.
Now Elsa put up her hand for it but she is in Town so Lidia modelled it for me.
Her skirt is Lekala #5264 which I made for her to wear with her waistcoat.
The blouse is full but elegantly so.
It has a 'Moneypenny' vibe to it.
~Elsa's Verdict~
To be advised...
~My Verdict~
This was a fun sew.
I saw this blouse a month or so back and was waiting for a sale (Burda frequently has one) %30 off for St Patricks day.
The pasting and adding seams was a bit of a pain but I used to sew TopKids so I got into the zone pretty quickly.
The instructions were okay. I like the way the tie is constructed.
The neck binding is sewn, then you sew the ties right side together, trim, turn and then finish binding the neck edge.
Weirdly, I ended up with excess fabric under one of the arms.
As the cuff and hem were finished I couldn't trim the excess away.
So I unpicked the seam and eased the excess in.
It meant my under arm seam didn't quite match up but I don't think that will matter.
I suspect the bias sleeve stretched out.
Image from Pinterest.
There is just enough fabric left to make a top, I am looking for a pattern like this.
But for now, I will take a break and sew with some natural fibre.

Thank you for reading... xx N

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