Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Something Old, Something New Dress

Over the weekend a beautiful friend of mine married her wonderful man, and of course I had decided I needed a new dress to wear to the wedding! I had earmarked this pattern when I received the June issue of Burda, and this seemed like the perfect time to pull it out, for an elegant and fun wedding ensemble. 

The details:
Fabric: Purple silk crepe de chine from 123Silk on Etsy
Pattern: The One Shoulder Dress  (#110) from the June 2017 issue of Burda 
Size: 38
Special touches and alterations: Ended up taking side seams out 0.5cm at hips. Omitted zipper. Added elastic to back neckline, not only front.
I ordered this beautiful silk crepe online from 123Silk on Etsy. Unfortunately at first I was sent the wrong colour! But the seller was very kind and sent me the correct colour free of charge. I had checked the reviews on the sellers page and noted at least one was alleging that the fabric they received was polyester, but I did a burn test on mine and it's definitely a natural fibre, and most likely is silk. Being a crepe, it wasn't too slippery or difficult to cut out or work with. My only complaint is that it really shows when the fabric is wet, so might be one to avoid if you intend to get sweaty ;)
My measurements put me in a 38 at the bust, 40 at the waist and 42 at the hips, but given it didn't look very fitted I thought I'd get away with just cutting a straight size 38. I was wrong and should have checked the finished garment measurements!! The dress just barely fit over my hips and looked ridiculous when first sewn up. I managed to take it out by 0.5cm on each side seam (which I had already overlocked by then!) which made the dress wearable, but I really wish I had cut a bigger size in the skirt. Live and learn!
I did manage to eliminate the zipper, as the wide elasticated neckline was big enough for me to get in the dress without one. It was so big at first that I panicked and may have sewn the required elastic in a little too tight. I didn't even realise there was elastic in the neckline until reading the instructions, but there you go. I ended up adding it to both the front and back of the neckline, as I was worried it would be too gapey, but the instructions have you add it to the front only.
After all my work I was... a bit meh about it. It felt a bit 70's? Like a 70's witchy character from a TV show? Also the fit wasn't flattering....I played around with a few things and decided a belt really helped the situation, even though it raised the short end of the skirt to an almost scandalous height :O
It did end up being really nice to wear and I got a few nice compliments :) We danced the night away and I even caught the bouquet!! Woohoo! I wish I had taken some full body shots on the night, but all I have are a few selfies :P And the memories of a magical night! Congratulations Steph and Sinth!!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Flower Power Blazer

I was visiting my mum a couple months ago when I first spotted this amazing floral fabric in Spotlight. As soon as I saw it I had the idea of making a jacket out of it, but I decided not to impulse buy, and left without it! However, as you may have guessed, I couldn't stop thinking about it, so when I got back home I went to my local Spotlight to pick up a few meters. 

Despite seeing some less than favourable reviews, I decided to try out the Delavan blazer from Seamwork, since I had plenty of Seamwork credits to spend, and it looked fairly straightforward for a blazer!
The details:
Fabric: Floral cotton sateen from Spotlight
Pattern: Delavan by Seamwork
Size: 6, graded to an 8 at the hips
Special touches and alterations: Added 3cm to sleeve length, 2cm to length at hem, and 2cm to width of collar
I bound all the seams in a self bias binding, which might not have been the best idea as the fabric is a bit bulky, so the bias binding is quite stiff! It does make a lovely neat finish though. When cutting out the fabric, I tried to avoid any repeats in the fabric being too close to one another. Of course I failed at first and had to re-cut a sleeve and collar piece, but I'm so glad I did, as I'm really happy with the print placement now!
Meg at Cookin' & Craftin' had written a post about her experience in making the Delavan blazer, which was helpful to refer to. However, I think I figured out the trick for how to deal with the seam allowance on the back vent when hemming. As noted on the Cookin' & Craftin' blog post, once you sew the back bodice pieces together, the seam allowance sticks out, making it difficult to bind the hem. The instructions simply tell you to press the seam allowance to the left. But I think what they mean is to press it to the left along the fabric, so that it gets tucked under the vent! I probably haven't explained it very well, but see my picture below, which should help. This leaves the hem free to turn up or bind in any usual manner, as the seam allowance sits against the fabric, rather than sticking out like a little fin :)
My measurements put me in a size 4/6 at the bust, and a 8/10 at the hips. I ended up going with a size 6, and grading to a 10 at the hips, but I wonder if it might be too large. I also had the same issue at the shoulders as Meg did, with some weird "collapsing" of the blazer happening and resulting in some wrinkles around the shoulders and upper chest. I tried adding some makeshift shoulder pads but it didn't seem to help. Maybe making the size smaller would have helped with this?
Given that this is my first blazer or structured jacket, I'm pretty happy overall. It is certainly wearable and I love the style - it is "neutral" enough to go with almost anything, but gives a pop of colour and interest to any outfit. Hooray!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Lady in Red Set

Another lingerie set this week, this time round the Scarlett bra and Ivy briefs by Ohhh Lulu. Perhaps unoriginal, making the Scarlett bra in scarlet? But as soon as this set was released I knew I wanted to make it in bright red.

The details
Fabric: White lycra from Spotlight dyed red, and this lace from MintFrog on Etsy
Notions: Elastics from Booby Traps, rings from sewingcraftnotions on Etsy
Pattern: Ohhh Lulu Scarlett and Ivy
Size: S in the bra, M in the briefs
Special touches and alterations: Added rings to front of straps of the bra, took in sides of briefs by several cm (didn't measure!)
The lace is another beauty from Mint Frog on Etsy, and I dyed the other fabrics and elastics with Fire Engine Red (No. 402) acid reactive dye from Dharma. I was lucky that the color matched the lace so well, I hadn't used this dye before and wasn't sure what it would come out like!
 I love the pretty back detail on this bra. It's so nice for wearing under summery tops with low backs.
I'm not sure why I added rings to the front straps of the bra. They aren't included on the pattern, don't match anything, and don't serve any purpose :P But they are there now and don't bother me that much.
The briefs came out quite large at first, so I took them in by shortening the elastic on the sides. They still have a bit of a droopy bottom, but other than that the fit is good now. If I were to make them again I would probably size down.
The only other issue I had was that after a couple washes, the elastic on the sides started to fray!! I ran over it a couple times with a zig-zag stitch and it seems to be ok for now. I have some of the elastic left over, so I could replace it later down the track if I wanted to.
For now I will enjoy wearing another comfortable and pretty set of lingerie!