Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Leibster blog award

I have been given a blog award (my first one!) by Splatastic! Thanks so much, I feel quite honoured to have been awarded this award!

"The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it means favourite or dearest to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers."

And it comes with the following ‘rules’:

1 - thank your liebster blog award presenter on your blog.
2 - link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
3 - copy/paste the blog award on your blog.
4 - present the liebster blog award to 5 blogs (with 200 followers or less).
5 - let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment.

I've had a flick through my subscribed list and picked out five lovely ladies to award this to (in no particular order aside from the order my tabs are open in!)

  • Lady Danbury/Thinking In Shapes: I love seeing all her wonderful creations, she has the sort of wardrobe I can only dream of having!
  • Reana at Curves, Patterns, and Pins: A fellow Queenslander who started sewing at about the same time as me (but has advanced much more quickly, and has an impressive collection of self-made, refashioned, and mended clothes).  My favourite bit of her blog is the Check The Technique challenge/list that she's doing at the moment - a list of techniques that she's aiming to learn how to use.  I'd love to sit down and write one of them for myself
  • Meg at Meg The Grand: This fabulous lady's blog is so full of joy, I can't help but smile (and sometimes laugh out loud - especially at the post her boyfriend guest-authored!) whenever I visit her page
  • Lisa at Notes From A Mad Housewife: she makes some super cute clothes for her kids, as well as beautiful creations for herself - my current favourite is her denim and white Colette Macaron, with bright red lining
  • Kat at Petticoats & Peplums: I've only just started following her blog, and I'm loving seeing what she has been up to!  I especially like all the wedding posts that she did a little while ago, but also seeing all the sewing, decorating, and cooking stuff that is happening at her place.  Added bonus: ANOTHER Queenslander - I seem to be collecting Aussies on my blog roll without realising it!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

My Strawberry, Style Print, Sew Grateful dress

So, after a lot of build-up on my blog, here is the finished product!  I am so happy with how it turned out, and with my first go at making a belt and belt loops.  Although some of the eyelets are a bit wonky, it does the job and looks absolutely lovely.

The pattern that I used, as you are all probably sick of hearing by now, is Style Print 1283, which I won in a giveaway from Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place - also the host of the Sew Grateful week!

(Just like the pattern cover... except not!)

As you can see, I made view A, with the full skirt and short sleeves.  I also added four belt loops (just a 1 inch strip of material folded into quarters lengthways and stitched down... probably not the best way to do it but it works!) attached at the bottom of the waist darts on the front and back, to make sure they were evenly spaced.  Next time I decide that I want to attach belt loops onto a dress with a full skirt, remind me how INCREDIBLY NOT FUN it is!

I had a lot of fun making this dress, and learned a lot!  It was the first time I've done anything with a collar, which came together a lot more easily than I was expecting.  I had a play with more flat-felled seams, and used them on the shoulder seams, the seams closing the bottom of the sleeves (not sure what these are called), and then decided that I wanted to put them on the arm-hole seams as well!  So that was incredibly fiddly, but I think it worked out well - and now it looks so beautiful on the inside!

In other news, I found out that the machine I have been using has a blind hemming foot, so I used that to do them hem of the skirt and the sleeve hems, and it looks lovely - except for where the machine decided that it would be a good idea to take a navy blue stitch straight through the centre of a red strawberry.  But I think I am the only one that will be looking that closely at the hemming, so it doesn't particularly matter, not that there's much I can do about it aside from hemming all 3m of the skirt by hand.

In regards to the skirt, I took 3 inches off before cutting the material, and then an extra half inch again (in addition to the 2 inch hem that the pattern called for) to take this skirt to a mid-knee level.  I think if I was to make this  again, I might take a further half inch or inch off, just so it's a tiny bit shorter.

I also rearranged the buttonholes slightly to accommodate 3 buttons, the same as Debi did in her versions (view A with full skirt, view B with straight skirt), rather than the two that the pattern called for - I get a bit paranoid about the gaps between buttons gaping unflatteringly, which has happened to me with a couple of my work blouses!

(I painted my nails navy blue for this week, and when I messed up one of my ring finger nails, I decided to try to use my feeble art skills to paint a strawberry - do you think it was a success?  Also, my sister the photographer says it's very hard to take close up photos with some sort of light in summer - the sun's either overhead or set!)

I didn't make any other adjustments to the fit of this one.  Because of the era that this pattern is from, the bust darts do give a bit of a 'pointy-boob' look, designed to be worn with a bullet bra.  However I didn't feel confident enough to mess around with the darts, so I just left it.  The slight looseness of the bodice combined with the busy print means that the slightly odd fit around the bust isn't particularly noticeable.

Overall, this was a lovely lovely pattern to work with, and I'm so glad I got to make this dress!  My sister is currently working on a version of her own, so hopefully that'll appear on here at some point in the future.  Debi, thank you so much for sending me this!  I'll try to find it a lovely new home when the time comes - maybe next Sew Grateful week! :)

Fun photos to finish - this dress is very good for spinning in!  Also, the dogs like to 'help' with photos, mostly by putting white hair all over my dress and bringing my spitty, muddy tennis balls to throw.

Thanks x 1000 go to my sister, for taking photos of me in the exotic location of the back veranda, on the first sunny day all week!