Sunday, 28 October 2012

Freaky Tiki

I received Gertie's new book (Gertie's Book for Better Sewing) in the mail a while ago now  but wanted to wait until I'd had the chance to properly read it and make something before I followed up again.

There are tons of great projects in this book, some of my favourite are the the Portrait Blouse, Wiggle Dress (below left), Shirtdress and, the one I made recently, the Tiki dress (below right).

Picture source. 

Here's my finished version of the Tiki Dress. I decided to go with two straps rather than the halter neck because there's no way I'd ever really actually wear a halter neck. I just love bras too much.

Overall I really like this book. It's definitely not a beginner book, the instructions can be a bit vague and you need to know the basic construction of how things fit together. There are lots of useful techniques in here but to be honest the only one I used on this dress was the lapped zipper, and even with that I had to do a bit of googling.

 I think the range of patterns are the main drawcard. If you like vintage style and shapes then these patterns are for you!

With the Tiki dress, I did make a rough muslin but I probably should have spent a bit more time fitting it. The bust was gaping a bit and particularly at the sides is a bit loose.

Gappy bust

I think this may be due to the shirred back bodice moving apart slightly at the top. I had some difficulty with the shirring at first, it just would not come out tight enough but then I did some more google research and discovered this great post on how to fix it. After tightening up this bolt it worked like a dream!

Sides not quite sitting flat. On me they stick out a bit more.

The shirred back. My first time shirring!

Finally, instead of sewing the straps in, I left them off until last so I could place them in the right place to hoik up my boobs. I attached them with two buttons at each join. It worked pretty well, although I wore it out last night for the first time and I did have to put some safety stitches through the straps to my bra to make sure it held up! Especially when dancing was expected!

the inside of shirred back and the button-joined straps.
I discovered you can embed songs from Spotify (btw, do you have spotify? Do you like it?) which I'm going to try do with each post. I listen to so much music when sewing it's a good chance to spread the music love! First up, a song that's good for ze dancing:

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Mod Dress: A patterns and postcards update

There's something uber exciting about receiving mail in the post. The actual hard-copy post. It's a real delight to come home to.

I've received lots of parcels lately after swapping as part of the Perfect Noses' patterns and postcards swap. It's a really great idea and not only do you get to get rid of pattens you never use, you get to receive new exciting patterns and meet some great ladies along the way!

First up, I swapped the Perfect Nose for some of her traced magazine patterns, including a boatneck Knitmode dress. 

I was keen for simple project so this mod dress was the perfect thing. I've had this quilting cotton in my stash for a while, I originally had meant to make it into the Burda Alexander top and a pencil skirt but just never got around to it.

 Benj got all craft with the photos this time too. "Lean in the corner, lift your foot up, look away..." - a photographer in the making I reckon!

The dress is lovely, the boob-bit is a wee bit tight for my liking but I think it would be great to make this again in a fabric with a bit more stretch.

Here are some of the other patterns I swapped for:

A big thank you to Perfect NoseBusy Lizzie, Sew Squirrel, Beata, for swapping with me, I can't wait to get started!

I still have a few more patterns left, if you'd like to take a look here.

If you're ever interested in borrowing a pattern too just give me a shout - I'm always happy to post them around for other people to trace and use.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Birthday Shenanigans

Goodbye sore back, aching arms and twisted neck, hello pattern cutting table of my dreams!

My birthday pressie
This week I celebrated my 25th birthday (hello quarter century!) and the lovely Benj made me a gorgeous new sewing table out of recycled wood they were throwing out at school. It's lovely and high (950mm says B) and is perfect for laying out patterns and cutting. We're lucky we have a spare room it fits in, although I hear it was a bit of a nightmare to get it in the door!

I need to go down to my folks and collect a giant swivel chair now to use with it.

Yes, that is cream. a LOT of cream.

Mr B and I have been talking about getting a dog for a bit now but have a few other things to sort out first. So instead of a dog for my birthday Benj got me a cake shaped like a dog. Mmmm delicious. We ate him bum up.

Above are some new features on my sewing table, presents from friend. So lovely!

Yesterday we had a picnic in the park and bbq'ed our way to deliciousness. Unfortunately I was too busy eating to take any pictures but we did re-discover my old Polaroid to take this pic of Benj, manning the bbq. 

What a lovely week! I have actually finished a few dresses lately too so updates on those to come. Plus a patterns and postcards update!