Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Tea Dance Dress

It's well and truly into the warmth of spring now here in Melbourne, and with that seems to come an abundance of picnics, weddings, hen's parties and other parties, many of which are held outdoors to make the most of the beautiful weather.  It's times like these that I want to have a wardrobe full of light floral dresses that sit somewhere in between "casual" and "dressy". This Sewaholic Lonsdale dress perfectly fits the bill! I first wore it to a tea dance, hence the title :)

This fabric was something I had had sitting around for a while (common story with me!). I'm not sure exactly what the content of it is, but it is lovely and soft and floaty. Purple is my favourite color, and I liked the botanical pattern, so I was really crossing my fingers and hoping I would like the dress... and I did!I love the simple shape of this dress, and the interest that the neckline adds. Feminine and flattering!
The details:
Fabric: Purple botanical print cotton blend from Spotlight
Pattern: Sewaholic Lonsdale
Size: Size 6 
Special touches and alterations: I made view A, but skipped the pockets, stitched the straps directly to the bodice instead of making the loops
I decided to simplify the straps and stitched them straight to the bodice, rather than creating the tie-strap system the pattern is designed to have. This involved sewing the straps and front of the bodice, then turning it right-side out, tying the knot at the front of the straps, and pinning the straps to the back between the outside fabric and lining, before turning it inside out again to sew the lining to the back of the bodice (less complicated than I probably made it sound!).
I accidentally sewed the zip in too low when I was inserting it, and I was too lazy to rip it out and redo it, so I simply turned the bodice in at the back above the zip to make a small V and handstitched to the inside of the dress. The hem was just turned up twice and machine stitched in place.I made this before I got my overlocker and the insides were finished with a combination of pinking, and zig-zag stitching. Not the prettiest, but it has held up over several washes now!
I know a lot of people are crazy for pockets, and they may hate me for this but.... I'm not super into pockets and didn't add any in this dress! My phone and wallet are both too big to put into a pocket with out creating a weird bulge or dragging the garment down with the weight, so I always carry a handbag.  And I'll tell you a little secret - I'm pretty lazy. One less pattern piece to trace is always good, even if it's a small one, right?!

So that's my Lonsdale dress! I really love it and always get compliments on it when I wear it. If only the weather was warm enough to wear it all year round :)

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Drape of My Heart Top

This top is another attempt to bulk up my wardrobe of work appropriate tops. It is the "Long blouse" from the June issue of Burda, altered to remove the sleeves and shorten the length.

I used a slippery, silky polyester from Lincraft. I love the colors in this print! The olive and orange/yellow tones aren't colors I wear often, but I would like to add more items in these colours to my wardrobe.
The details:
Fabric: Silky polyester from Lincraft
Pattern: #101 (Long blouse) from the June issue of Burda
Size: 38
Special touches and alterations: Removed sleeves, shortened length
The fabric was a bit of a pain to work with. It likes to shift and slip, so cutting took longer than usual. And despite me using fine silk pins and a new fine microtex needle, I still managed to put some tiny pulls in the fabric! Luckily they aren't very noticeable. I finished the seams on my overlocker in black thread. The neckline and armholes are finished with bias tape made from the fabric. 
I made a size 38, which is my usual for Burda. It came out quite wide and drapey, which is to be expected for the shape they were going for for this top, but wasn't ideal for the sleeveless variation. Even though I used the arm hole from another pattern for a sleeveless top, the armholes are quite gapey due to the width of the top in that area. I could probably have sized down. 
Even with the gaping, it is completely wearable, even for work, and I especially love the pleated back, which has almost a cape-like feel. I'm glad I tried this one out!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Violets Are Blue Set

If you are at all interested in bra-making, I expect you would have heard of the Maya bra by AFI Atelier. This is a FREE pattern (you heard me!) that is available to download, and includes pattern pieces for a foam or foam-less bra. I decided to give it a go, and made it up sans-foam in this kit from Booby Traps.

As the pattern does not include full instructions (yet), I used the instructions on the website in conjunction with the instructions for the Harriet bra, and Cloth Habit's bra making sew along instructions. This worked just fine, but is something to keep in mind if you don't have bra-making experience - you will need to supplement the instructions with information from somewhere else!

The details
Fabric: Lace, power net, and tricot from this kit from Booby Traps
Notions: Elastics, channeling and hooks and eyes from this kit from Booby Traps, rings and sliders from sewingcraftnotions on Etsy, underwires from Lincraft
Pattern: Maya bra by AFI Atelier and Rosy Ladyshorts by Cloth Habit
Size: 32D in the Maya, M in the Rosy Ladyshorts  
Special touches and alterations: I wanted to use a picot elastic for the Ladyshorts instead of a stretch lace trim, so I added 2.5cm to the edges to account for this. The crotch part still came out looking rather narrow, but it is actually comfortable to wear.
I made the Maya in a straight size 32D and I'm... not convinced the fit is right. I have a feeling it might be on the small side in the cups? I used size 38 underwires, as with my previous Harriet's, but in the Maya I don't feel like they are wide enough. I may try a 32DD, and then just take some volume out of the cup, like I did for my second Harriet.
Another problem that has now come to light (after wearing it a few times) is that the underwires have decided they want to poke a hole in the channeling and poke me under the arm!! Boo! I'm not 100% sure what caused this, but it might be that there was not enough "wire play" in the channeling, given the size I made should have taken a size 36 wire, not a size 38? Not sure. In any case, this bra is currently in my mending pile - I need to figure out how to stop the wires from poking me!
For a matching set, I decided to make a pair of the (also FREE) Rosy Ladyshorts by Cloth Habit. These are designed to be used with a stretch lace trim to finish the legs and waistband, but I wanted to use the elastic provided in my kit so I altered the pattern slightly to use a picot elastic instead. I used the tricot provided in the kit as the main fabirc, which didn't have much stretch, but surprisingly it worked quite well and they are very comfortable!
Reading about people who make lingerie, I find it interesting to see who makes matching sets, and who makes one-off items. I am a matching set kinda girl - I wear a matching lingerie set almost every day - unless I'm just bumming around the house on weekends, in which case I join the no bra club ;) I also wear a new bra every day, so my bras get washed as often as my briefs do - which I know some people suggest could shorten the life of the bras. But I figure they are against my skin getting sweaty and grimy, and washing them at the same time means they wear out at the same rate as my briefs!
And the sooner they wear out, the sooner I have an excuse to make a new set?? :P