Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dress for Isabella.

I started with this shirt, bought unworn, with tags, for $2 from the Kindy fair left overs. (New price $69.99).  Nice soft slightly brushed cotton.  Not a style or colour that David would wear, which was fine, because I had designs on it for something else.

A few polka dots in two different sizes stencilled on with freezer paper (thanks J for the circle punches!)

And I ended up with this.  Because little girls who are turning four tomorrow NEED a new dress. I think it's a rule.  (Little boys who are turning four tomorrow don't need a new shirt because they have yet to outgrow or wear out the new one Mum made last year!)

Piped peter pan collar and petal sleeves in a red I chanced upon in a remnant bin which matches my paint really well.  The original front button and buttonhole bands are now at the back.  I did have to add a little yoke to make up length.

And some inseam pockets inspired directly by this dress on Pinterest.

I decided to photograph the dress today because when we get home from kindy tomorrow it will probably be covered in mud, paint or food.  Or all three.  Which is as it should be when you are four.

Monday, May 14, 2012

From very slow top to fast dress.

After rather a lot of slow sewing the speed of this dress from purchase of magazine to finished garment was, um, a bit of a contrast.

I bought the magazine (Burda 03/12) on Thursday and finished sewing the dress on Sunday.  The only reason it took that long was because I had to wait till Saturday to get to Spotlight for thread and a zip. (Btw, I'm wearing a black cardigan over it today which goes better with the black tights than the pale green merino thermal on it's own - only took the cardy off for the photo!)

For the record, it's #108 from that issue, and I have been itching to get my hands on it since I saw it online three months ago (that's how long it takes for the issues to arrive in New Zealand).  It's a size 76, which is the tall size 38.  Normally I would probably have to do the petite alteration to bring the bodice length back to regular, but this dress has a raised waistline anyway so I figured that if I didn't do anything it'd be fine.  There was a risk of the front being too low (always a risk with Burda anyway!) but I intend to layer it most of the time anyway, and if I wear it without anything under it I will just pin it closed.

I made no alterations to the fit, but I raised the armholes 1.5cm after comparing the pattern to a size 38 sleeveless dress pattern.  It would have been fine to leave them, but I hate low armholes.  I also brought in the neck by 2cm as I wanted wider straps.  Wider straps meant that I could sew the back and fronts together at the shoulders and join with their facings and then pull the fronts right side out through the shoulders to have a cleaner finish than the pattern directions would have produced.

The fabric has narrow stripes of elastane woven in which makes it crinkle up.  I pressed most of the crinkle out before I made the dress, and I'm interested to see what happens during wear.  I'm not sure to what extent it will crinkle up and hence shorten.  On a taller woman this is supposed to hit at around knee length.  On me (5'6") it's just below, so I hope it doesn't get much shorter!  I also omitted lining and interfacing to keep it as soft and drapey as possible.  The front neckline is cut almost on the lengthwise grain to make it as stable as possible without tape stays or anything else needed.

So, there you have it - a new dress in double quick time.  There are at lest two more patterns from this issue which I NEED to make, and I want this dress again too....

Monday, May 7, 2012

Raising the rise.

After spending rather a lot of time on this. (For my beloved younger sister)

And this.  (For me)

My poor sewing machine was literally collecting dust!  I do have a great project coming up, but in the meantime I got on with this quick fix.

Pull on stretch jeans with ludicrously low rise. ($5 from Kmart)

Unpick folded over casing.


Sew on new facing to top edge and understitch.

Fold in facing and stitch down.

 Re-insert elastic, slightly shortened to allow for jeans sitting a little higher on torso.

Not shown is the stitching through all layers of the waist at all seams which prevents the elastic twisting and bunching in the casing.  Result - jeans I can wear without showing my knickers to the world if I sit down!