Friday, December 30, 2016

summer dresses

I've been meaning to make dresses for summer for ages, but have never gotten my butt into gear until this year.

I bought a new pattern during the Sydney Quilt Show 2015, from a shop that sold old patterns (and fabric). The sizing was a little bit of a worry, but I thought that I might get away with it. Size 8, back in the day, was actually about my size, and the measurements made it seem possible. plus, I liked the look of the fit around the breasts, and the line of the skirt. I have good shoulders, but a non-existent waist and a flat butt, so I need something that kind of skims over the fact that my waist-to-hip ratio is pretty much 1:1.

Dresses December

This dress gave me reasonable hope that I could find something that would allow for space for my breasts and also for my belly, instead of requiring a perfectly flat stomach!

Just to check the style - because that tuck under the breasts was a bit of a worry - I made a muslin first. It was out of a slightly thicker and heavier material than I planned for the final product, but it worked okay and let me discover the pattern needed an inch of length down the shoulders (my body is very long), and a half-inch on the seams.

Christmas 2016

The seams are a bit of a concern: I've put on a lot of weight in the last six months - about 5kg. Not sure if I'm going to lose it come New Year, because I try not to do diets, but my food habits have been very bad of late. Everything with extra added sugar!

At any rate, my body needed a squidge more space than I was otherwise giving it.

Cut the pattern out in an afternoon, sewed it in a morning, and lo and behold, it worked really well!

Dresses December

Having gained momentum (and with Christmas Day on the horizon) I cut out a second one, using the fragments of another dress I made and didn't like. I didn't want to throw the dress away because it was Liberty of London lawn - and a wonderful print to boot!

Christmas 2016

The print is 'queue for the zoo' and is full of jungle animals with 'human accessories' such as briefcases and joggers and cameras...

I cut this dress to have a longer hem, and the style works better as a result. Also, I tried to let out the seams a little to make it more casual.

Christmas 2016

I'm going to be making several more of this pattern, probably adjusting the fit further to be looser, more casual. And at least one top, I think, because the fit really works for me!

Dresses December

Always nice to find a pattern that suits me!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

WIP Wednesday: the mermaids WIPed me out

What a month. I mean, seriously. WHAT. A. MONTH.

The world went to crap. My productivity dropped through the floor. I missed not one but two quilt show entries (one of them was Quiltcon 2017). And I may not have a job past Christmas.

So, 2016 has not been a good year, and November has been a particularly bad month for me.


I did finish one thing: my Mermaids Shiloh Satchel.

I used up the last of my golden mermaids from Heather Ross' original Mendocino line to make this. And you know when you have this panic about cutting into a rare fabric? And you're trying to take deep breaths, checking the pattern, hoping that you don't screw it up? Well, that was just about 90% of getting all this put together.

Another #shilohsatchel on the cutting table using old #mendocinofabric. Let's use this for #bpsewvember Day 4: fun! (Can be meant ironically in the EEK RARE FABRIC CUTTING PANIC way...) The Shiloh Satchel pattern is sold by @pileofabric and comes in Trave

Also. It didn't help that I was using leather. Or that I changed my mind on exactly which pieces I'd be using in leather along the way...

Bag in progress! Another #shilohsatchel on the way!

All the pieces pinned up...

#bpsewvember with @bimbleandpimble Day 14: Yellows/Oranges - a sewing room and #shilohsatchel parts.

And then the finished product doesn't look quite professional enough - the gusset was too long for the front and back, which required making tucks, which made the top of the bag puffy and...

Style Stalk: Day 20 of #bpsewvember - I don't know that I have a particular style, but right now I'm a bit grumpy that I have a puffy zipper top for the #shilohsatchel, because it looks too homestyle, not elegant enough... Might have to pull it apart and

Ugh. I just didn't like the look - I wanted something clean and sleek, so I had to pull the gusset apart and cut it down again.

And no, the finished result still isn't quite as perfect as I'd like, but by the time I'd got this far, I was done with fixing bits and pieces.

Definitely a one off! Day 27 of #bpsewvember with @bimbleandpimble

It's good enough! I'll take it!

Finished Mermaids #shilohsatchel this afternoon before family dinner! #Saturdaynightcraftalong with @barefootcrafter