Monday, 29 April 2013

Me-Made_May '13

After much deliberating...I am in!!


Why the deliberation you say?  Well for the majority of May I will be on holiday travelling throughout the US and was not sure how I would do this.  However, it is supposed to be a challenge, right?  So, here I go...

I, Liz of BusyLizzie, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13
I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item every day for the duration of May 2013 (with the exception of May 25 as I lose a day on my return to Australia)

I will try to post up regularly on my Flickr (BusyLizzieInBrizzy) and weekly on my blog assuming internet access and that I can use my Ipad for blogging (this will be a user issue if anything). 

Do any of you have any tips for blogging whilst travelling??

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Mad Men Challenge - the Trudy Dress

When I saw that Julia Bobbin had announced a second Mad Men Challenge, I was pretty excited.  I missed last years one as it was pre-blogging and before even discovering all the amazing sewing blogs out there!

My only problem was what to make, I love a good Joan dress, but I am not sure the shape would suit me without some serious foundation garments.  Then there is Peggy and Betty who both have some great dresses.  The outfits I considered are on my Pinterest board.  For some reason the character whose outfits I seem to be drawn to most are Trudy's wonderful and patterned shirtdresses.  I do love me a great shirtdress!

Could she look more stunning? 

I had a pattern in my stash already which perfectly matches this, even down to the welts and cuff turnups.


I didn't even try to match the fabric with the inspiration as those colours don't work with my colouring, but instead went with a pretty vintage inspired floral print I bought from last year.  The pattern was in my size but I even did a quick muslin of the bodice to sort out any potential fit issues (I am getting good at doing this muslin business).  I ended up narrowing the shoulders by 2cm and shortening the bodice between the bust and shoulders by about 1.5cm.  The rest of the measurements were perfect, even the waist! Quelle surprise!


I am loving the result and the fit is perfect, plus the fabric has just the tiniest bit of give making it super comfortable as well.  Couldn't be happier!


The bodice has some cool details like welts on either side, not welt pockets, but who would use that area as a pocket anyway, not sure that I need more bulk in that department!! 

I made a matching belt - can you see it?  It matches almost too well!!


I changed the construction a little as it is supposed to fasten with the front buttons and then you are supposed to cut a vent in the skirt of about 10cm/3" to help you get in the dress.  That would have resulted in a crazy gap right over my lady bits and way too dangerous for wardrobe malfunctions! Instead I sewed up the waistband without the strange vent and put in an invisible side zipper, much safer!! I also took some of the fullness out of the skirt as I didn't have enough fabric, it is supposed to have about another metre in width, but I am pretty sure that might swamp me.

Now I just think I need to make a crinoline to go underneath - have you seen Rachel's tutorial?  Also, storage top tip from Dolly Clackett via Twitter is to roll and bag them, not hang them so they keep their fluffiness.


Thanks for holding the challenge Julia, it was super fun and now I can channel my inner Trudy goddess!!


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Vintage Vogue 9463 and a spot of tea

Do you ever go away for the weekend and then find it takes several days to get back on track again?  I went to Melbourne last weekend and still don't feel back on top of things. Why do chores not just do themselves?

Anyway, enough moaning and on to the point!

As you may have heard in the blogosphere, Mel of Poppykettle arranged a high tea (Sewcietea) so that sewers have the ideal opportunity to show off their fancy garments.  What a perfect excuse for a weekend away to Melbourne. I used airpoints and mooched accommodation from my brother, so a cheap weekend away. Plus it was my birthday last week, so it was like a present to myself!

This dress is a combined birthday/Sewcietea dress. The pattern is Vintage Vogue 9463 from 1958. I love the bow detail and the pleating detail on the skirt.


I used a light cotton that was a dream to sew, is light to wear, falls beautifully and isn't see through - what more could a girl want from a dress?!  It also went together really well with no major alterations needed.  I think the only change I made was to the sleeves as I didn't have enough fabric to do the cuffs.


We had such a lovely afternoon eating little sandwiches, mini savouries and of course dessert!  Check out the pictures of the day here.


I am sure I ate too much, but can you really have too much of a good thing?? I had so much fun meeting a bunch of sewers I had previously only chatted to on Twitter or via blogs.  There were 26 of us all up, all in our own homemade dresses.  It was really funny how we were admiring fabrics, finishes, patterns and construction.  There was a lot of turning up dresses to see the seam allowances!!


One of the best parts is that it is going to be an annual event!!

PS - thanks to Rachel of MyMessings for taking my blog pics :)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Lazy Daisy Dress

I am having somewhat of a wardrobe crisis at the moment.  I need more dresses. Weird I know, because I sew right? So I should have loads, but I have been making a lot of separates lately and recently I have found whenever I go somewhere I really want to wear a dress, and I only have a couple that I am happy wearing. Also, ever since I cut my hair short, I feel like wearing dresses every day.  So...let April be the month of the dress!!


This is Simplicity 2444 that I also made here.

I called this "lazy" as due to all the work I did last time on the fit, all I had to do this time was cut and sew, no fussing around with fitting!  I love that!!


The fabric is a textured cotton sateen bought from Chic Fabrics on last year's trip to NYC. It is reasonably thick and so didn't require lining.  As is pretty normal for me, I used bias binding to face the armholes and neckline. No special techniques on the make, just super straight forward, no fancy seams or hemming and all on the machine - see, told you it was lazy!


Easter has come and gone and so Summer is supposed to be officially over.  We are still getting pretty warm days so hopefully I can wear this a few more times before winter sets in.

Next on the agenda some trans-seasonal pieces and to finalise (read: make) what I am wearing to Sewcietea next weekend!!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sew for Victory Dress Completed

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you have enjoyed a lovely break.  I have spent the time catching up with hubby, enjoying some downtime from work and of course a spot of sewing.

When Rochelle of Lucky Lucille announced this sewalong, I knew I had to participate.  I love patterns from the 40s and 50s, the artwork is always fabulous and the designs have such great details you almost never see on RTW nowadays.

I chose to make a mail order pattern, Marian Martin 9231, it doesn't have a date on it, nor on the postmark, but the design and detailing all points to somewhere in the late 40s, can anyone assist in an accurate date??


I was lucky enough to source this in my size so I didn't need to make any alterations aside from shortening the bodice as I am a shorty.


I was drawn to this pattern due to the button detailing that I thought was cute. I also liked the gathering at the top of the yoke on front and back.


It's a really different silhouette for me, I am not used to the blousing look that was common in the 40s, but I think I like it, and it's comfortable whilst allowing good arm movement.

The pattern pieces are the usual perforated pieces, but they still have all the markings, darts etc but just marked with holes. Once you get used to them they are actually pretty straightforward to use. The only thing to look out for is the extra pieces that may not be supplied that they ask you to draft up yourself, like belts or facings.

Bound buttonholes

The buttonholes down the front are all bound and as the buttons now cover them completely and the dress has a side zipper, they are completely functionless I just had to show you that I did them!

A close up of some of the design details. 

Vintage invisible zips

Look at these great zips I picked up at a thrift shop recently. I thought that invisible zips were a recent invention, but these are really old, the lady in the store thought they were from around the 40s.  These are so much stronger than the plastic zips, but are super difficult to put in as they have no flexibility at all and the teeth are quite large so an invisible zipper foot doesn't work.


The pattern gave the option of hooks and eyes or a slide fastener, so in keeping with the times I used the old invisible zipper. I also pinked all the seams, so I feel I really made it keeping true to the times.  The fabric was from my stash so all I bought were the buttons, not bad for make do and mend! I even made shoulder pads!!

Thanks Rochelle for making this a fun sewalong, I loved all the additional information about the 40s she posted.  If you haven't already, check it out her posts here.