I often ask DD1 if she needs anything on a seasonal basis, and if so, what she would like to have in her closet. Well, this little number from Burda’s February 2014 Tough Love collection caught her eye, and after looking at laces around town, we gave up on it because we just couldn’t find the perfect mix of mesh-lace-knits or what have you (Burda suggested two layers of mesh, but I – being mom – suggested something more modest.)
Then, around Hallowe’en time, I wandered into my local Fabricland, and there was a remnant of this lovely spider web lace draped on a mannequin over fluorescent orange satin, and I grabbed it for $5, brought it home and had her look at it. She loved it, and I made up the mesh overdress with the side ties pronto. (As an aside, there was a bolt of this lace the first time we were looking for fabrics and she didn’t like it; I thought it was perfect because she hates flowery lace and this is so unusual. But she’d forgotten she’d seen and dismissed it by the time the remnant came home….. :D ) I bound the neckline and the sleeve edges with bias silk chiffon. The side ties are bias tubes, inserted through channels created by sewing narrow strips of fabric along either side of the side seams. They can then be pulled to create ruching as the wearer desires.I left the hem edges raw, and the seams were double stitched and serged, pressed to one side and topstitched down in order to give some strength to this very holey lace. The shoulders have channels with ribbons tacked down to create ruching, too.Then the overdress sat waiting for the perfect underdress fabric, which I eventually found on EOS. It’s a rayon-lycra doubleknit in two shades of grey. I wanted this to be reversible, and decided to do a flat-fell seam with raw edges. I don’t own a coverstitch machine, and this would have been the perfect project for it.The sleeve edges and hem were simply turned up and stitched with a stretch stitch, and the neckline was faced with a narrow strip of self-fabric cut on the cross grain, turned to the inside, and topstitched. After pulling it on and off the mannequin and DD1 for fitting, I’m starting to see little fuzzy bits of yellowy-beige fibres (which must be the lycra) along the unfinished edges. Here’s the dark side.It’s a perfectly respectable T-shirt dress on its own, although DD1 says it feels like a nightgown when she wears it without the overdress. *whatever* Here’s a couple of pics to show the light and dark side of the
I personally prefer the dark side. Here’s the back.
I am trying to replicate a drapery fabric that is long out of production. I have lucked out in finding silk duppioni in a lavender-thyme colour way, and am now trying to stencil this damask design from Nobilis, a fabric mill in France. Here’s my inspiration:I found these magnificent stencils on Cutting Edge Stencils, which ship to Canada very reasonably. No one in Canada, BTW, carries these because they are so reasonably priced directly from the US website.Then I sourced fabric paint from Dharma Trading. My local art supply store carries these, too.Here’s my first go. I’m not 100% happy with either the stencil or the purples, so I have ordered another set of stencils to see if I like a different design better, and I will be mixing paint colours to come up with one that I really like.There’s a lot of metallic in the Lumiere paints, and I’m not so sure that I like it. I’ll be trying this again with flat paints, and perhaps adding a bit more red/magenta to the violet. I like the idea of the stencils being imperfect, with gradations of gold-violet-purple everywhere.
BTW, you would not believe how much doing this myself is saving my pocket book. When this project is done, I’ll crunch the numbers.
I made boots for my dog. D’ya think he looks embarrassed by the animal print?
Leather soles. Fleece uppers. Giraffe, of course, although I admit it clashes with the Sherlock coat. Gotta have some giraffe in a pup’s life, right?Grosgrain and velcro closures. No pattern used – just trace the paws, measure and make it up as you go.
What the heck am I going to be asked to sew next?
BTW, he jumps and runs and hops around so much like a canine crazy that they fall off, regardless of how tight the velcro closings are pulled. Stupid boots.
I made a hat from remnants of various Harris Tweed projects that have been languishing in my scrap box for the last few years. Just a little project to ease myself back into sewing after the holiday lull.
The pattern is Vogue 8440. I stole the idea of turning up the vent edges and adding the flower/trim from a review on PR, since it adds a lot of interest to this very basic pattern.
I chose to underline it with washed muslin, so it has a softer silhouette and feel than a felt hat. I lined it with a heavy-ish rayon bemberg, and didn’t bother to put petersham ribbon around the interior band. I’ve worn it several times, and it’s so toasty warm! It’s also super happy to repel snow and sleet and all other kinds of wintry precipitation.
DD3 needed a new Christmas dress this past season because she is growing like a weed. She’s 11 years old and is 5’6″. Apparently, according to an interactive exhibit at Science North, she’s going to be 5’11” by the time she’s finished growing. Lucky girl!
She chose a beautiful turquoise/black shot silk shantung, and the Sewaholic Cambie dress.
I muslined the bodice (much more satisfying experience than sewing for myself, I confess), and should have made more adjustments than I did. Am I the only person who hates vertical bust darts? I can NEVER get the bodice to fit well when a bodice is drafted like this. *roar of frustration* I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. However, in order to keep this simple and not drive myself crazy, I rotated a necessary side dart into the original dart. I probably should have done an FBA properly, but all her measurements point to fitting the bodice perfectly without adjustments for the bust. UGH.
I underlined the bodice front, back and the sleeves with the muslin.
I lined the bodice and waistband with cotton voile, and hand picked the understiching along the bodice edge.
I also added a waist stay and hanging ribbons. I know the muslin is strong, but the ribbons will just keep the stress of gravity on the waistband instead of the sleeves.
I decided to bind the hem with bemberg because I had nothing suitable in stash and didn’t feel like running to the store.
She loved her dress, and looked so grown up in it. This is the only picture I managed to snag of her in it, awaiting the arrival of family for the big Christmas Eve celebration.
What a beautifully done narrow waist binding, eh? This was my solution to the Burda Disaster of last year.
I cut off the bodice and made it into a skirt.
Why? A couple of reasons.
First, I could not recut the armscyes the three inches higher they needed to be.
Second, I didn’t have enough fabric to fix all the drag lines on those sleeves. But I did put in a little more work than simply chopping off the bodice.
I took the entire thing apart, and re-distributed the fullness through the bodice pleats. I pin basted the changes, but this looked pretty good.
Actually, I thought it was a big improvement from the excessive bustline fabric folds in the original version.
I’m still really drawn to the idea of this dress, so I do have plans to make it up again in the (near) future. I carefully noted the bodice changes: about a 3/4 reduction in the CF pleats. In other words, I altered out my FBA. And I raised the armscye by about 3 inches. All the changes are well-documented, so here’s to my new blue skirt, and another successful version of this dress in the future.
Edited to add: The skirt is a great addition in my wardrobe – I’ve already worn it a few times, and I’m happy with the blue addition. But I’ve moved on from this dress, and won’t be making it up again. Here’s to a new year of sewing, with lessons learned and applied and more muslins, less wadders.
Happy New Year, everyone!
DD1 has fallen in love with the brocade trouser trend. Actually, she fell in love with crazy printed trousers when they first appeared a few years ago. And because she’s so much fun to sew for (and easier to fit than my own self), when she said she liked these trousers from Burda’s September 2014 issue, I told her I had had the perfect brocade for them in stash.
I love picking up roll ends from EmmaOneSock.com, and helped myself earlier this year when I saw this beautiful French gold/silver/black brocade. I had vague notions of what it would become, but when DD1 saw the trousers in the magazine, I knew the fabric belonged to her. She agreed. I used bemberg to line them, and silk shantung from stash for the belt.
I made no alterations to this pattern, except to take in the waist significantly. I chose to leave the fullness of the trouser front, and take in the pleats. The pleats are sewn through all thicknesses once the trousers are finished.
I love the shape of the zipper flap. Details like this make a project special.
I attached the lining to the hem, bagging it slightly, in order to keep everything neat and tidy, and free from the possibility of getting snagged.
I added hanging loops at the waistline.And a belt loop to keep the curved “belt” in place.The belt extends from the CB, around the right side of the trousers and attaches at the left front pleat. There are inseam side pockets – which I personally loathe, but they’re necessary!
They’re a flashy pair of trousers. I must say, I quite like them, and I’m so glad this beautiful fabric has been put to good use.