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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Shades of Blue

I recently finished up this project just in time to wear to a college ball (and I mean just finished – like I hemmed the skirt about an hour before I had to leave for the event!).  Of course I still had time to take a few photos before I left:

The pattern is McCall’s 5784 from 1961 and it’s just delightful.

McCall's 5784

I made my version from a lovely vintage inspired print from my local Spotlight, and the contrasting band at the neckline was made from a remnant of vintage fabric that I bought a while back from Rathdowne Fabrics (if you’re a Melbournite and haven’t checked out this store yet, you really must!).  I made a couple of changes to the dress.  Because the print was so busy and I know I’d have no chance of matching it, I decided to cut the front bodice on the fold rather than having two front bodice pieces – this caused a couple of problems for me a bit later on, but it all worked out in the end.

I also halved the amount of fabric in the skirt because I didn’t have enough – this baby needs probably 2.5 metres for the skirt alone!  I also changed the required pleats to a simple gather – mainly because I ran out of time to figure out where and how to place the pleats due to my removing half the fabric from the original version and not being able to simply use the pattern markings.

Figuring out how to face the ‘v’ in the front took a lot of time and patience, particularly since I wanted to line the bodice because I’ve decided I really dislike facings, and because of the aforementioned tweaks to the way I cut the front bodice.  I wish I hadn’t gone down this route now, the fabric didn’t really need to be lined, and it just turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.  I ended up ‘facing’ the v-neck with fusible tape.  Cheating, I know, but I literally spent hours trying to do it ‘properly’ (i.e. by actually sewing it) to no avail and this was the neatest solution I could come up with.  And no one will know except me (…and you – shhh, don’t tell!).


Another confession – because I didn’t have thread that matched the neck band well enough, I safety pinned the pieces together while wearing it rather than making a buttonhole – I’m a terrible seamstress…

While I love the finished product making this dress stretched my patience – all of my own making, I know.  Hopefully it will make me think before I deviate from a pattern too much in the future…probably not, but hopefully!

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Self-Stitched September fail & other exciting news

So…I haven’t posted in aaaaaages, and my latest challenge (self-stitched September) ended in a bit (huge?  massive?) of a fail, but I do have a good excuse, which I’ll get to later.  For now, here’s the remainder of my SSS photos.

Day 13

Day 13 was my “hula-cowgirl” look (on account of the Hawaiian print skirt and big brown boots).  I made this circle skirt from a 1960s pattern, but it’s just your classic circle skirt, so really not difficult at all  I love to wear it as it’s so full and swishy, and the fabric is just so cheerful.  I think I receive a compliment just about every time I wear it.  The blue trim at the hem was originally supposed to be hidden actually under the skirt, but I was in a hurry to finish it for a work Christmas thing last year and had to wear it with just the bias trim showing.  I’ve grown to really like it the way it is, so I’ve just left it.  I know it’s sheer laziness but I like it, damn it!  Also, I just realised the necklace I’m wearing is me-made too.  I made the funky beads from Fimo clay years ago and occasionally pull it out to jazz up an outfit.

Day 14

Day 14 was my boring classic librarian outfit (hence the very serious looking book).  Black and white gathered skirt (yes, the one I’ve made so many of).  Not much else to say of this, really…

Day 15

Day 15 is my red and white seersucker dress (also seen here) with my red bow-belt.  I love this dress so much – I really should make another.

Day 16

Day 16 is a lame effort…I’ll admit.  My self-made item was this button brooch.  It’s awesome, but not self-stitched.  At least I made it!

Day 17

Day 17 is an even worse effort than day 16…it’s made of fabric (the red and white seersucker featured a couple of days before, for all you astute readers), but not stitched at all either.  It’s basically just a fabric rectangle with a smaller rectangle tied around it.  And a safety pin attaching it to my shirt.

And, that’s the end of my SSS ’11 adventures.   Now, onto the reason I fell of the wagon, so to speak…Dajarra and I bought a house!  We’ll be moving in a couple of weeks which is super exciting, but the purchase went through right in the middle of September, so pretty much all my time was taken up with all the house-buying things you have to do.  Like sign a million documents.  Read endless legal forms.  Speak with bank managers.  And countless other things that I dare not think of again.  Ugh…but, so worth it.  To celebrate I finally made a cover for an uber ugly ottoman that Dajarra picked up somewhere that I’ve been promising to cover for about a year.

Ugly no more!

I forgot to take a before pic but it was originally orange vinyl and covered in graffiti.  Now it’s pretty awesome!

Matilda the wonder dog