Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tulip skirt part 1

When I was getting fabric for an unrelated project, I was called to the most beautiful fabric that I have ever seen - a cotton voile with blue and purple tulips.  So, because I have no self control, I bought some, along with some plain white cotton for underlining/lining (what do you call it when the lining fabric is included in the pleats at the top with the main fabric, but is hanging free for the rest of the skirt?)
It was a very wide piece (not quite 150cm, but nearly!), and I got 1.5 m of the fabric

I ended up making a skirt that was a cross between the Ooobop! floral mini (tutorial here) and Nette's Go Parisienne skirt.

(Left: floral mini.  Right: Go Parisienne skirt)

Sashes on skirts annoy me because they dig into my back and I can never make them sit right (so I suspect user error rather than a fault with the sash itself!), so I used the floral mini tutorial for the main skirt and then the bow that Nette used at the back of hers to add something special to the back.

I made this skirt a bit longer than was suggested in the original (40cm from the bottom of the waistband to the hem, instead of 32cm) so I can wear it to work, and also made the waistband a bit wider - mine was 13cm when I cut it, so the actual band on the finished skirt is 5cm wide instead of 3cm finished width as suggested.  The waistband circumference was 72cm, and I have decided that next time I make this I'll make it sit on my waist instead of somewhere between my waist and hips!  I also didn't use interfacing in the waistband because of the stiffer fabric I used as an under layer.

To make the pleats, I marked every 2 inches along the top and made a box pleat in the centre front (or two knife pleats butted up against each other facing different ways, if you like!) and then knife pleats all the way around.  It sounds very bizarre when I'm explaining it, but it worked!

I had a lot of dramas installing an invisible zipper in this skirt- here is my first attempt at it. 

Even though I was positive I was doing it properly, and used the foot correctly and everything, it's not very invisible at all!

Two more tries and three broken needles later, I gave up and just installed it like a regular zipper.  I'm not sure what the technique is called, but you end up with two little flaps covering the zipper teeth - it's the method that they use in all of the Butterick patterns.

The side seams on the tulip fabric and the cotton are French seamed, and the centre back seam is done with a technique that I made up myself (because I was stuck, haha) - basically a baby hem at the seam allowances, and then treated the new edge as the raw edge when I was sewing it together.  So I now have another item of clothing to add to my 'no raw edges' collection - a slight obsession of mine at the moment!

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of it on me, I'm waiting for my sister's good camera be able to talk to the computer again so I can coerce her into taking some for me!

So here are a couple of photos of it on my oddly-shaped dressmaker's dummy, a little crumpled from being squished in my wardrobe, but still beautiful!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Bodice draft 2

Disclaimer: this post contains a goofy half-smile, black bra underneath cream fabric, and black strapping tape - if you are shocked by any of the above silly looks, please stay away!  Haha.

Here we go - I'm much much happier with the fit of this one.  I raised the neckline 1.5 inches, lowered the point of the bust darts by about 1.25 inches, adjusted the bust darts so that instead of straight legs they have bent legs (like in this tutorial by Gertie at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing), let out 0.5 cm from either side of the bust darts... and I think that's about it!  The darts weren't done in the highly mathematical way as described in the tutorial - I tried doing it like that and still couldn't get it quite right, so I just pinched off the fabric into a good shape for my body and it turned into that shape so I went with it!

The end of the darts looks not quite right in this picture but I've since pressed and re-pressed and re-re-pressed them, and it's finally sitting properly.

In regard to my gapey back problem, I took about 1.5cm (I think?) off either side of the centre back seam, tapering down to the original seam allowance just above where the waist darts end, and I think that's just about fixed the problem without completely restricting my movement.

In other exciting news, I have acquired the fabric - it's a satin charmeuse, from Spotlight, and it's lovely!  Plus, it was on sale for about $6.50 a metre instead of $12.99, which is brilliant considering how much I need - 4m of black and 4m of teal/peacock.  Hopefully I've done all my calculations correctly and I don't need to go back and get more! 

As before, any input on the fit of the bodice would be much appreciated, before I cut into my main fabric, hopefully sometime this week.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Choir necklaces

These darling little necklaces are one of my recent crafting activities.  I made at least 20 of these for the directors of my choir and the group of choirs that I'm in, our accompanist, and the members of my choir.  Of course, they are in my choir colours of teal(ish), white, and black.
I made them following this magnificent tutorial that I found on Pinterest.  I used 22 gauge silver-coated wire instead of the recommended 24 gauge (because I couldn't find any) and it worked perfectly fine - the only small problem was that my fingers were sort of sore afterwards!  Of course, I also used round-nosed pliers and the ones with the bent head - I don't know what the name of that one is!  I just call it the bendy one, but I know that's not what it's supposed to be called.

They have a small jump ring attached to the top, so that they can be put onto a necklace as a pendant, or a bracelet as a charm, depending on what the wearer feels like.

Here they are, all wrapped up in their teal(ish) bags, ready to be given out!

We also have 3 guys in the choir, and they wanted some too, so I found some tiny safety pins in mum's sewing box, and wrapped the wire on the back around the pins so now they can be worn on the shirt or tie, or wherever!  I didn't get any photos of the back of them, but here they are attached to my dress, when I was taking them for a test run - or just playing around, either way!

BONUS PICTURE: my pendant on a silver chain - hopefully this will give a little idea of the scale :) (and my button that's coming undone, which I didn't realise until just now!)

PS: Sorry for having the pictures all in a row - I wanted to have them two to a row, but I can't make them sit next to each other!!  Any ideas for how to fix this?

Update on the What I Wore series

So, my first brilliant idea for the blog, documenting what I wear each day, has fallen through.  It's week 4 of my challenge, and I'm finding it really really hard to take photos of my outfits each day.  I find myself getting to 10pm, going to have a shower, and realising that I still haven't taken the daily photo and the lighting is going to be bad, and this week I just haven't been bothered.
Is this something that you enjoy seeing?  I'm tossing up whether I should suck it up, write off week 4, and just keep on going, or if I should just abandon it.
Of course, I'll still be trying to keep to my Made by Me Mondays, and all of the other goals, I just wouldn't be showing you everything every day.
Any input is very very welcome!