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Peasant dresses from Butterick 5130

5 May

I have a few makes from last year I haven’t blogged about. All the oomph went out of me when my beloved sewing companion HattieCattie died last year. It didn’t help that she’s all through my sewing pictures, making it painful to look through them.

Anyway, having recovered some of that oomph … years ago I made up the Butterick 5130 pattern (for knits).

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I loved the dress and wore it to death, even though I was never greatly taken with the elastic halfway across the bust and back. It left me wondering kind of like er, why put them there???
So for last year’s version I simply eliminated that seam/elastic casing and created a simple empire-line peasant dress.

This would have worked well if the light knit rayon I used hadn’t been so thin you could see my bra underneath it (more obviously so in reality than in this picture), made worse by the weight of the dress dragging things down.

But the general idea of eliminating that seam worked well, so I redid the dress in a woven craft cotton. I measured the pattern before I cut it to make sure it would fit round me without needing stretch. It worked well apart from the sleeves being a tad too tight, but not unwearably so. (Look at the different lengths of my hair! One photo taken at the beginning of last year and the other taken at the end of last year 😀 That’s a lot of added length for curly hair!)

I adjusted the sleeves and tried the new pattern out on a top. It is very comfortable now. I’ve since made another dress based on the pattern, too, but I lowered the under bust elastic to the true waist. I’ll have to blog about them both soon 🙂

This pattern is a lot nicer than the pattern picture indicates, for the record!

Butterick 5130

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Yeah I’m repetitive, I know, or: Another Burda 7109 make

19 Feb

Another nightie-pattern make.

Well you see, I saw this apron on pinterest (you know how it goes ;-P)

Shabby Chic

And I wanted one of my own! But I never wear aprons, and if I ever do I already have two very pretty (and practical) ones. Dresses on the other hand? Especially cool and flaringy dresses, I wear a lot. The higher the humidity, the more likely I’m in a dress.

Try as I might I couldn’t find a floral fabric similar, so I went for a totally different rose print, a bright cotton-lycra sateen rose print in many colours that my dear friend Kathy gifted men. Mmm! I had planned to make the fabric into a fit-and-flare dresss but never got round to it, not least coz there wasn’t enough fabric. Where was my brain when Kath asked me how much I needed? There was, happily, enough to make an apron-dress.

This photo doesn’t show the shape too well so you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s shaped like the apron I found on Pinterest.

I even curved the hemline like the apron.

My interpretation of what an apron-dress’s back should be. I would have added more fabric to the back pleat by choice but didn’t have enough fabric. Oh well…

All this from my great fave nightie pattern, Retro repro burda 7109, which is a great trapeze shift dress when it’s not being a nightie 🙂

Style 4890, butterflies, poincianas and a beautiful house

6 Jan

Just look at that poinciana. How beautiful? I love love love flowering trees, and from mid year till christmas, Darwin gets one flowering tree after another after another. The poincianas flower during the worst weather of the year (Oct/Nov), so you get a very typically Darwin-like dichotomy of horrible weather and glorious colour.

Oh yeah, sorry, forgot to mention: I made a tunic-dress from Style 4890. See the little butterflies on the fabric? So sweet. (That’s my mum on the right, wearing a dress from Burda 8379)

If you’re not into the orange-reds of the poinciana, perhaps the cooler reds of this frangipani are more to your delight?

Oh yeah, sewing. I wanted something to test the pattern before I used it on this gloriously vibrant blue and white butterfly fabric:

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This sweet green butterfly fabric jumped (flew?) out of my stash and volunteered for the job. I had enough for a tunic. Nice and cool to wear round the house, but works well with my bloomers for streetwear.

I love all the reds in this picture.

I love how easy it is to fit my back with the help of some shoulder darts so common in vintage patterns. Modern patterns should routinely have them too I reckon.

I sized the pattern up from the vintage size 12 to fit my modern size 12(ish), including an FBA, and am pleased with the result.  I didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern’s sleeves so I used my ubiquitous cap sleeve from the Amy Butler Lotus tunic pattern.

(I’ve never actually gotten round to making this pattern up, but I’ve used the cap sleeve on it more times than I can remember, so hey, it was a great buy, right?)

Amy Butler Lotus Tunic & Cami AB031LTC

I’ve subsequently sewn the blue and white butterfly dress, just need photos of it. Another post for another time.

The photos were taken at Burnett House, a National Trust property built in1938, during their sunday afternoon tea. Burnett house sits on the cliffs of Myilly Point overlooking Darwin Harbour. The architect, Burnett, designed houses especially suited to the tropics. Rows of louvres rather than windows and walls, roof cavities that let the hot air escape, and building at treetop level to catch the breezes that are cooled as they go through the trees are just some of his innovations. Apparently he was involved in designing the Raffles Bar in Singapore too.

My experience is that the more of his features a dwelling has, the cooler and more liveable it is, and (these days) the less aircon you er, ‘need’. (When I was a kid only really rich people had aircon and even then not usually throughout the entire house, nowadays everyone ‘needs’ it ;-P).

Imagine sleeping in this room. What this picture doesn’t show are the views of the cliffs overlooking the harbour, and the cool breeze stirring through the room even though it was a still hot day outside, in the hottest, yukkiest time of year. Definitely no aircon needed here!

I’ve never done a mirror-selfie in such a pretty setting before.

Well-loved sewing gear. (Remember those patterns, they’ll appear in another post.)

How special is this? The reverse is almost the same as the front. Certainly wasn’t done by an embroidery ham-fist like yours truly…

Another try at capturing the floral beauty of October/November in Darwin

Vintage pattern pledge makes

7 Dec

I’ve been diligently sewing vintage patterns all year, but have barely blogged about them. I want to include pattern reviews in my posts about them, but at the moment I’m so confused as to what I’ve sewn, I’ll just line them all up here. That way too, it’s easy for me to pin the pretty piccies to the pinterest vintage pattern pledge board.

Taking it from the top: Folkwear Russian Settler’s sarafan, blogged here.

Folkwear Russian Settlers' dressFolkwear Russian Settlers' Dress | Jumper, Blouse & Apron Sewing Pattern # 128 #Folkwear #RussianSettlersDress:

This blouse is a vintagey style pattern from a Burdastyle mag. Not sure if it counts for the vintage pattern pledge or not.

Folkwear’s Edwardian Underthings camisole (in silk/cotton Mmmmm!!!! With hand-crochet edgings too Mmmm!!!!)

Folkwear's Edwardian Underthings camisole Folkwear's Edwardian Underthings camisole

A nightie in a pattern I just HAD to get, because my mum had it when we were kids and she made my sister and I nighties and a robe to go with it. Simplicity 8198 The grey smudge is my new kitten, Ma’at 🙂

Simplicity 8198Simplicity 8198 Misses' Nightgown and Robe in two lengths Size 12 UNCUT

And a top from the same pattern…

Simplicity 8198

Burda 7977 Not sure this counts either, as it’s more historical than vintage, and again, from a modern pattern. However I’m so glad I finally made it up, having long wanted a surcoat. Here’s my tropical version. I throw it over my dance or pilates gear going to and from the studio.

Burda 7977 surcoatBurda Misses Medieval Dress Costume 7977

 

Why yes thankyou! I do indeed have an ongoing love affair with vintage nightie patterns. This one is Simplicity 6047 made into a top.

Simplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress, Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi GownSimplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress, Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi Gown

And this one is Style 3010

style 3010 sewing patternstyle 3010 sewing pattern

Yet another version of Style 2172 which I’ve decided after goldilocking so many vintage nightie patterns, is my most fave of all…

Style 2172Style 2172

A lounge-dress out of Style 2363

Easy Nightdress 80s Sewing Pattern Style 2363 Vintage NightgownEasy Nightdress 80s Sewing Pattern Style 2363 Vintage Nightgown

A top made out of Simplicity 5030

Simplicity 5030 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Lace Yoke, Lacy Hem Shortie Babydoll Pajamas Set, Bloomers Panties, Nightgown, Long GownSimplicity 5030 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Lace Yoke, Lacy Hem Shortie Babydoll Pajamas Set, Bloomers Panties, Nightgown, Long Gown

Another version of the retro repro Burda 7109

Burda Misses and Women's Sleepwear 7109 Burda Misses and Women's Sleepwear 7109

(Not a nightie this time :-P) I’m so pleased I made this, too, even though I don’t like it and have plans to redo it into shorts. My version of the 1920’s 1 hr dress, with some pockets inspired by Tina Givens Marcella sewing pattern.

Tina Givens Marcella Dress sewing patternTina Givens Marcella Dress sewing pattern

Style 4890 for me in a wearable muslin, and my mum in Burda 8379 (not vintage!)

Burda 8379 and Style 4890

I’m still working on a few, such as this top from McCalls 4574. Goodness me, that isn’t a nightie pattern!70s Smock Top or Dress, McCalls 4574 Sewing Pattern70s Smock Top or Dress, McCalls 4574 Sewing Pattern

Finish off this version of Style 4890 (not the purple bit at the bottom – that’s the skirt I was wearing the day I was checking the fit.)

Style 4890

Finish off these knit wearable muslins of Wearing History’s sunkissed sweetheart shorts, and the actual shorts themselves.

Wearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart tropical separates - shorts wearable muslinWearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart tropical separates

Hopefully get a picture of the couple of pairs of undies I made using this Vogue 9230

Vogue 9230

Finish these gorgeous trousers from Decades of Style in an olive green linen.

illustration for 1930s sewing pattern for trousers from Decades of Style with wide, gently shaped pant leg

And last but not least a pair of shorts and maybe even a matching bra using Anna Depew’s Pauline tap pants and bra pattern.

Vintage Sewing Pattern Tap Panties Pdf Printable Copy 28 Waist Depew 2005B -INSTANT DOWNLOAD-

Oh, oops that isn’t the last one. That reminded me I started the Anna Depew bra sew-along (hoping I’ll have enough remnants of the silk/cotton of the Edwardian camisole to make into the final bra. Mmmm!)

THIS is the last vintage sewing plan, honest! Honestly honest!

2013 new art

 

*phew* That’s quite a lot there! (Maybe some of those things I want to finish might end up in the 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge 🙂

Folkwear’s Russian Settler’s dress: Sarafan

22 Mar

A bit late for last year’s Vintage Pattern Pledge, but hey, it’s done! And please to also admire my lovely overgrown garden 🙂 It’s about 3 times bigger out there now, the middle of the wet, than it was when these piccies were taken towards the beginning of the wet season. This picture was taken on a dark cloudy day in murky light, but the camera picked up all that glare. Inneresting…

Oh wait, this is a sewing blog? Not gardening? oh ok then…

I used this lovely pattern from Folkwear:

Construction:

The construction is supposed to be very straightforward. Two rectangles of fabric, the front one with a bit of shaping at the top for the waist. I added in a dart at bust-level to accommodate my D-cup bust, however I could have gotten away without it.

I accidentally adding some shaping round the waist and hips, where the pattern is literally straight down. I cut it a bit wrong then to fix it I needed to add to the hips. I wish I’d been able to make it without that hip shaping. I figure why bother making something different to your usual fare then accidentally make it half-similar after all. Ah well…

The pleats were also straightforward, till I misread the tape measure (dyslexia, honest!) and thus miscounted. Lots of faffing round and eyeballing it eventually got it Good Enough. In the notes on the history of the Russian Settler’s sarafan it says the women making them would do the pleats completely by eyeballing it, creating a mass of tiny pleats. Wow. I’m impressed!

I brought the ribbons up from where they were indicated on the pattern and still they held the pleats down to my waist. I was after more of an empire-line skirt. More swishy. Butterflies need to swirl!

Sarafans usually have two straps from the front, joining as one in the centre-back. I made two so I could wear it with a bra, without a top on underneath the dress.

Preparing the pleats – a task impossible without the help of a sewing-cat …

All pleated fairly evenly. Finally!

Getting distracted by a ta-ta lizard on the screen door

The pattern said traditionally the hem is finished with rows of ribbons and matching lace. I envisioned it with a good few inches of lace, but the only matching lace was very narrow, though prettily gathered. So I used the same fabric as the chest bands and shoulder straps as a ruffle to add to the effect. I may or may not be a total sucker for ruffles of any sort 😛

This photo makes me laugh, I look like I’m Receiving The Light! However I wanted to show how flat the front is on this style of dress. I wanted something different to my usual fitted silhouette and I got it 🙂 I love how the fabric released from the pleats curls over the hips and flares nicely.

Lovely, isn’t it?

It just had one major flaw. So major in fact that I’ve cut the top band off and will remake it as a Tina Givens-style lagenlook-y dress (Well that’s the plan, at least.)

In butterfly purple and grey   A sort of modern does 1920s dress. Greta dress by Tina Givens

The flaw? Look at the hemline in the above photo, the front is higher than the back. It wasn’t sewn that way, but there’s twice as much fabric in the back as front, so gravity pulls the whole dress backwards after only a few minutes of wear (or adjustment). The front chest band rides up nearly to the neck. It was SO uncomfortable. I tried some lingerie straps to help anchor it, they didn’t work at all. I considered a waist stay but the loose nature of the dress made that inappropriate. It’s actually a similar issue to the realities of the Walkaway Dress that so many people found. The heavy back pulls the whole thing out of alignment.

GAH!!!

And it was such a pretty pretty dress *mourns*

To be fair to the pattern there’s one version with equal amounts of fabric front and back. I’m sure that would have worked out just fine.

I am sure I can create something equally lovely, maybe even with better swirl for the butterflies on the fabric to swirl beautifully. But I’m still very very sad about this not working 😦

Mind you, there’s a definite satisfaction in just having made the dress, and all those pleats! And I have the photos to prove it 😛

You can find a pattern review here

Vintage sewing pattern pledge update

29 Dec

The original plans of what patterns to sew totally went out the window. No worries, I replaced them with a whole lot more though.

Firstly what I have done so far:

Bolivian Milkmaid’s jacket in a blue velvet. Mmm! Sadly the fit was so boxy I am not sure I can adjust it to be more flattering. I didn’t like the peplum either, with the boxy waist it just looked huge, not flattering.

Mind you, I learnt an enormous amount! And I also had a lovely jacket for the trip I went on. Here’s the best photo, where I’m pulling the jacket in at the waist in the back. It doesn’t look too bad at all in that photo!

I think this macro I found on Sew Pretty In Pink’s blog. I think it’s appropriate for this jacket too (I so ❤ Anne!)

3dfd4-tumblr_lnqobbivnf1qb5fseo1_500

Next, I sewed up Mrs Conover’s blouse.

Miss Conover's blouse, 1921

 

Here’s my mock-up version in an old sheet that’s a horrible colour on me. I decided it was a terrible pattern, until my mum and best friend both convinced me the icky bit was the fabric, not the style:

 

I found when done up in nice fabric that it was just too big. I took it in, then took it in, then took it in. Each time I did it looked better and better. I finally stopped taking it in when it was this big.

But do you think I could get a decent shot of the front? NOPE!!! and then it was all spoiled anyway when the green fabric colour ran the first time I washed it, and made the yellow icky *cries* I love the top so much I’m planning on trying to fabric-paint the neckband yellow again. *hopes*

Next was the swirl dress! Soooo much fun, the sewalong group was fantastic, and Beccie was also fantastic.

The fourth vintage sew – two dresses from this mid-1970’s pattern

For me…

And for my mum…

Fifth pattern: made the underwear part of this pattern too but no piccies yet.

 

So that’s six garments from 5 patterns.

Well that was my original pledge amount. Why aren’t I finished yet?

Well… I got all inspired by Amanda of Bimble and Pimble’s nightie-tops. (Ok, properly the Alice top 😛 But I just so have a vintage nightie pattern that is very similar to this!) I hope it’s not rude to just borrow the picture of the blog post. But it looks so good! And so cool! And so inspiring! And that dotted swiss voile is made with neon dots!!! (Go read the whole post, that’s one groovy top 🙂

Tessuti-Fabrics-Alice-Top

I just so happened to have bought 3 vintage nightie patterns not long before christmas! (Yeah yeah I love nighties :-P) Now what on earth could I do with those patterns??? I’m aiming for photos and a post about it on New Year’s Eve my mum’s birthday to nicely round out the vintage pattern pledge!

Not quite what I expected, but I can handle it…

18 Dec

I just got my christmas-present-to-myself box of fabric from Fabric.com! Ooooh pretty pretty fabric….

Just not quite what I expected though, so I’m changing plans.

Firstly, I bought some delicious rayon knit fabrics hoping some nice knits might work well with the whole weight-change crazyiness. I bought navy, plum and lavender. Can I say YUM?!!!

Stretch Slub Rayon Jersey Navy

But much lighter than I expected. And wider! But it will be too hot if I double the fabric up. *sigh* I’ve abandoned the plans and will figure out what I can get out of the fabric as I go.

I just want clothes that fit! So I’ decided to go for TNTs:

And this – without the weird elastic across the boobs effect:

A top-version of this dress of the lilac, with plum trim, I’d only need to line the bodice.

And a t-shirt out of this fabric (butterflies! I love butterflies 🙂 in the beige view of the pattern below, and if there’s enough fabric, a cute pair of undies too.

Cotton Jersey Knit Butterflies White/Blue

I also bought this stunning peacock craft cotton fabric … and yes it IS as stunning irl as the picture is.

Plume Peacocks Multi/Black

 

… as the panel in this pattern.

I bought half a yard but didn’t think it through that the peacock is upright, not on its side, *facepalm* so unless I want a sideways peacock I don’t have enough length to make the skirt panel. However it’s SO beautiful I am going back to buy a full yard. I’m very sure I can use the excess in something else because it really is stunning.

Lastly, I bought this Downton Abbey fabric (delicious colours Mmmm!)

Downton Abbey Dowager Countess Large Medallions Purple

Planning to make it up in this pattern I bought recently:

However the pattern is very large – especially when it will be draped over a rather short me! Lesson: look at the tape measure in the photo to get an idea of proportion before making plans! No way could I be bothered making myself crazy pattern-matching all those panels, and it would look like a dog’s breakfast without it. My sanity – and really, the fabric – both demand a simply-structured dress.

So…

I’ve always wanted a dress in the style of Picnic at Hanging Rock, but I’ve always been scared if I had one in white, and wore it to a picnic I’d disappear and never come back! Don’t laugh! It’s a serious possibility! Just watch the movie.

Picnic at Hanging Rock tribute by Mirko Macari, via Flickr

However I’m sure if it was in a different colour I wouldn’t be running that risk.

Or should I just go straight for the Downton Abbey styles? The simple cream, or the white with scattered motifs. Or perhaps the dusky rose though that demands two layers over the skirt. Hot 😦

 

There’s a decade or two-ish between when each is set, and really, once pared down to a tropical-wearable dress, there’d be even less difference in a dress. The question is, can one dress fulfil my desire for both a Picnic at Hanging Rock dress and a teens era dress? Must think more on this…

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