Wednesday 26 October 2011

Vogue 8408 Dress

I really meant to get this posted up before I went back to the UK for 2 family parties, but time ran away from me.  I am now back and had a great time, but still suffering a bit from jetlag, it seems to get harder as I get older (like many things!).

I decided to make a new dress that would work for both parties, one was a casual afternoon affair and one a more formal all day marquee extravaganza.  This seemed like a good time to opt for the reliable LBD option, using the now out of print Vogue 8408.

I've had this pattern in my stash for ages and although the long sleeved version would have been more practical for the UK I also wanted to use a piece of black wool blend from my stash and only just managed to get the sleeveless version out of it.  In the end it worked out well, we had glorious weather while I was there, a bit fresh, but with beautiful clear skies.

This pattern is one of the Very Easy Vogue patterns and although it is easy to sew I think the collar could be drafted better, perhaps with more of a curve and an undercollar / facing sort of thing.  Of course then it wouldn't be "very easy" which is often the problem with these patterns.  As it is the neckline is quite bulky and sits a bit weirdly - I was not feeling the love for this dress until I hunted around a few reviews and found Trena's where she added a brooch at the collar intersection, albeit for different reasons.  Eureka!  I hopped off to H&M and bought two black fabric flower pins that could be worn either as a hairclip or a brooch and the dress was transformed!

For the more casual party I left off the extra hair decoration but wore it for the second party, my hair looked somewhat neater at the beginning of the party but of course I don't have any photos from then!

In addition I collected my giveaway book from Pin Queen and was really surprised to find she had also included 2 patterns (which miraculously I don't already own) and a cute packet of needles.  So lovely - thank you!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Twin set and lava skirt

I am heading home to the UK for a family visit shortly and while I am there will be able to pick up the Singer Tailoring Techniques book that Pin Queen sent to my dad's house after I was lucky enough to win her recent giveaway.  Thank you Pin Queen, can't wait to get my hands on the book!  That would almost be enough reason for the trip, but in fact I am going for my dad's wife's 70th birthday party and also separately to my MIL's 70th birthday party.

Hong Kong has suddenly got cooler and the UK is having a heatwave so right now the temperatures are about the same in both places, but I know it can't possibly last until my visit so I have got started on fall sewing.

First up is a knit cotton twinset and pencil skirt from the strangest material I have ever used - none of these pieces are going to set the world alight but they will get a lot of wear both on my trip and beyond, particularly the versatile twin set.


1) Knit top - Burda Style 04/2011-122

I left off the neck zipper so it is a bit of a squeeze to get it on.  The turtleneck is just cut on so it has a bit of a weird drape to it, but I like this more than I thought I would, especially with the sleeve, it feels very Japanese designer or minimalist Calvin Klein.

2) Cardigan - modified Burda Style 01/2011 - 126

I didn't have enough fabric to make this pattern properly so I used a combination of the knit top pattern above and the front drape and sleeves from this cardigan pattern to make a shorter, narrower version.  This was all a bit experimental but I like the end shape which has minimal ease.

3) Pencil skirt
I bought this fabric a few years ago in Melbourne when Vicki took me shopping.  It is very unusual, a textured stretch fabric with a slight metallic sheen to it.  It looks a bit like lava rock to me although I must admit there is a hint of cowpat to it too!  This is a self drafted pattern - just a tube skirt.  As the fabric is quite bulky and difficult to hem I just serged the edges, resulting in a scalloped finish and zig zagged a wide piece of elastic for a waistband.