Saturday 26 September 2009

The Mad Dress Project - Seven dresses, one lunatic

Here are the 7 dress patterns that I am planning to sew after my recent pattern buying splurge. It's clear to see that some of them have similar details and I probably should not have bought them all, but it will be interesting to compare the finished garments.

Vogue 1108 Bellville Sassoon
Vogue 1117 Michael Kors
Vogue 1118 Tracy Reese
Vogue 1123 Anne Klein
Simplicity 2497 Cynthia Rowley
Butterick 6582 Retro 60's

I think I'm going to start with the dress with the easiest rating, Vogue 8594. I'm planning on making the scoop neck version in an aubergine cotton and will probably leave it unlined so it will be more casual and a good transitional dress just in case summer really never ends here.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Last of the summer sewing

Thank you for the encouraging comments on the loud dress, I've worn it a couple of times and people haven't run away screaming so I feel braver about it now. The photos are taken on my roof - my vertical yard if you like, it's scorching hot at the moment so I dash up there and take the photos as quick as I can, I'm sure my neighbours think I am crazy.

So I am back from a great trip to California and somewhat embarrassed to report here that I did not even step into a fabric store! But I did get 6 rolls of tracing paper so that should keep me going for a bit.

I did manage to knock out a couple of quick items before I went on holiday - both are duplicates of items I have made recently so were fast and easy.

Patrones Shirt Issue 269 #1 from a taupe/cream embroidered voile (click to enlarge)

BWOF Skirt 09/08-120 from a black cotton with an embroidered border (no hemming required!).

I thought HK would have cooled down a bit by the time I returned but it's still really hot and I am ready to move on from summer clothes onto a new project that I can really get my teeth into. I thought about the PR wardrobe contest, but having bought lots of dress patterns recently I have decided to attempt to use every single one of them (6 in total). More on the Mad Dress Project in the next post.

Finally a huge thank you to Trudy for giving me a Kreative Blogger award. If you haven't already, check out her blog and see if any of the other award winners are new blogs to you as I discovered a couple of new ones there.

Oh dear, the postman just came...make that 7 dresses in the Mad Dress Project!

Tuesday 8 September 2009

McCall's 5752 Knit Dress - The Sequel

Thank you all for the tips and good wishes for my vacation. I had totally forgotten that there was a PR weekend to LA so lots of good info on there. Does anyone else like to make new things to take on holiday? I have been trying to knock out a couple of simple things and to make things easy on myself I have remade a couple of patterns, starting with this McCall's that I only posted about last time.

Dim your monitors and grab your sunglasses folks, this is a loud dress!

This is one of the fabrics I bought when I went fabric shopping with Trena when she visited Hong Kong. It's a very large print and at the time we thought it would be perfect for a maxi dress, but the reality is I will not have many occasions to wear one so instead it became a shorter knit dress.

Since some of you are thinking of making this pattern here is a little more information before I get around to doing a full review on PR (I am way behind!);

- Take note of the seam allowances, they are 2.5cm on the side seams, this is to allow you to fit as you go.

- I changed the order of construction so I sewed the side seams last. The instructions have you make the bodice and skirt and attach at the lower bodice seam. Either way works, I just prefer to fit my side seams in one go.

- I eliminated the midriff lining. The pattern for the midriff has the ruched outer part, a stay and a self lining piece (cut from the stay). I decided this was more layers than I needed so my stay also functions as lining.

- I fiddled about with the crossover and gathering on the front bodice to make sure there was no gaping, this is easy to do, just baste them to the front midriff section until you are happy with the positioning. Otherwise this was a straight size 12 from the envelope.

OK got your sunnies? Here goes....

Sunday 6 September 2009

McCall's 5752 Knit Dress

Here is my finished version of the so called "perfect knit dress". I made view B, the short sleeve version without a tie belt. While it's probably not absolutely perfect, I am pretty happy with it and in fact have another one in progress. This is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern and the instructions are more like a sewing lesson than the usual ones with a whole section on fitting and tips scattered throughout. The pattern pieces also come with adjustment lines printed on them for common fitting adjustments. Not that I really used the instructions, this is a very simple dress to sew.  

In other news my husband has a business trip to LA so we are making a trip out of it and will spend a few days in LA, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs, we leave on Friday and I'm really looking forward to it. If anyone has any must do travel tips please share! Also I know it sounds insane but does anyone know where I might be able to buy a roll of tracing paper while I am there? I can only get it in sheets here and it's sometimes more expensive than my fabric!

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Anyone for camping?

Yes my friends I have made a tent!

A Burda 07/09 - 108 tent to be precise.  I know this is a pretty wacky pattern, but I had envisaged a nice tunic with floaty see through sleeves.  I don't know how this ended up so big everywhere, I am swimming in it and I wonder if I managed to cut the wrong size.

Is this what I planned?  No.
Did I have to spend ages working on it to get it to a trying-on state? Yes
Am I happy?  No.
Is it salvageable?  I doubt it.

Here is the sorry mess, I can't face taking a photo of me in it, you wouldn't see much of me under there anyway!

Oh well, moving right along I am now working on McCall's 5752, the Palmer/Pletsch perfect knit dress.  A bold claim if ever there was one but I am pleased to say it is looking pretty good so far and should be finished soon so fingers crossed for a happier post next time!