Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Creative Space - It's all about ME!

When I started this blog it was supposed to be about the more interesting projects I undertook for myself. As life and designing for small children has taken control I thought it was high time I wrestled said control BACK! So for my visit to Kootoyoo's Creative Spaces this week, it's me time.

One evening last week I was idly browsing on Trademe (NZ's local version of ebay) in the pattern section when I came across an auction for Vogue 8417 . Uncut, my size, no reserve, asking for a $3.50 opening bid, free postage within New Zealand, closing in about an hour, no current bids. Um, what? Why am I not fighting off other bidders with a stick?! There should be people all over this pattern! So of course I stayed hunched all over the computer till the auction closed, when I as the only bidder happily scored this pattern for $3.50! And today it arrived - about 10 mins before the twins went down for their nap. Does life get any sweeter? (Well, it does actually. In a couple of days I should receive the Other Thing I bought on Trademe, and believe me, THAT made me dileriously happy!)

Having all sorts of curvy seamlines and tucks which will make alterations seriously problematic once I cut the fabric, I flat measured the underdress to quickly assess fit before a more accurate tissue fit on my dummy, with the plan to mock it up in fabric if required. If the underdress fits ok, the dress itself should too. I hate pattern tissue and trace where possible, but the sheer size of the pieces for this dress made that impractical. Fortunately the underdress pieces are small and manageable so I traced them to tissue fit, then use. (I would like to add here that I've made enough Vogue patterns in my time to know that this is almost always enough investigation for me to go ahead with a pattern. I shouldn't need much more than a slight tweak here and there to get a good fit. Please don't hate me. Someone has to be average.)

Here's the underbodice on my dummy, set to match me. I have very similar proportions to the dummy so it's a fair representation. It has more ease than needed, but I suspect that by the time I have two layers of fabric (although thin) and the weight of the skirt pulling it down a smidge it will fit pretty well. There are seams at the sides, so a bit of altering there will be possible. Phew! This is one pattern that makes me very happy that I generally don't have to alter commercial patterns in any significant way. No way I'd want to undertake an FBA or SBA on this puppy!

The grey fabic is my dress fabric (from stash - perfect!) and the red is a bolt of lining I bought for $2.00 (for the whole bolt!)a couple of years ago because I needed a small amount for something and figured that I'd use another 10-ish metres of red lining eventually.

The weather here is turning decidedly winterish and as usual makes me long for bright colours. Red to me always says winter. A nice cheerful lining on this dress will perk me up every time I put it on. There will be some red on the outside too, but I have yet to decide what form that will take. If you've seen my kids designs you can probably take a wild guess.

So, after tissue fitting the underbodice I had to make a start on cutting this slightly daunting pile of tissue. (Please excuse the green overlocker thread cone in the picture. The twins think it's great fun to play with and it turns up all over the place)

And after a while I ended up with this pile of cut pattern pieces.

And with not enough time to press the wrinkles out of my fabric and cut the dress before the twins get up after their nap, that's it for today. I'll blog the process for this dress because I have a few tricks to share, and quite frankly the project excites me!
There will be some embellishment. Possibly using these.
Oh be still my beating heart - just look at the shapes of those pattern pieces! My excitement level over this dress (not to mention my serious over-use of exclamation points in this post) is a pretty good indication that it is high time I made something for me - something that makes me feel the way my flippy skirt did a couple of weeks ago.


  1. That pattern is a masterpiece of fabric engineering. BTW feel no guilt. We are so much better mothers and lovers when we take care of ourselves too.

  2. Wow look at that pattern. Its one of those projects that will either be triumph, or tear-your-hair-out. Fingers crossed it will be the first, good luck! ps. I also have twins, so my whole life is 50% trial, 50% tear-your-hair-out!

  3. wow - that is going to be a killer dress - in every way I suspect! Lucky for you to be average -I spend hours fitting patterns and the older I get the more alterations I have to make...

    I shall really enjoy seeing this dress come together.

    I was in Dunedin last weekend - it sure was wet! I found myself actually over heating - I was so expecting to freeze that I had too many layers on. A nice surprise..

  4. Wow, that's some dress! I can't WAIT to see this (yay, grown up clothes!).

  5. Just looking around everyone's creative spaces this week and found yours! I'm looking forward to coming back to see your dress take shape! I'm not too hot on sewing clothes, but I want to learn! And now I'm curious to what the other thing you bought from Trademe was...

  6. Your confidence is infectious and those pattern pieces amazing. I can't wait to see the end result! (Even on your 'average' body - if you're 'average' I'll bet you won't look average at all!)

  7. Yay for you!! Looks like it's going to be gorgeous!! Can't wait to see what you do with that ink :)

  8. Wow! That is one stunning pattern, and for 3.50! Score!! I can't wait to see it all come together.

  9. Oh that looks like a fun pattern - good score! I have been having fun on Trademe too lately!