Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Peony Dress Toile

It would appear - from my time spent enjoying the blogosphere - that you cannot call yourself a home dressmaker until you have tackled a Colette pattern!

So I invested in the Peony Dress pattern.  It's the first time I've used an American pattern and I was fascinated to find out that my suggested size was a size 6 bust, a size 8 waist and a size 16 hip!  Awkward!

During my research on talented bloggers who have tackled the dress the bust size appears to come out as about a C cup.  I'm a little larger than that (and that is all I am prepared to reveal on that matter!) and so I decided to draft the bodice completely in a size 8.  (I know I'm supposed to draft for my bust measurements and alter all other pieces but I decided to become just a little bit maverick.)

Luckily I was happy with the way the bodice turned out.  The bodice darts do look a bit concave on my model Merle here but I thought they looked ok on.  The darts were in the right place so I'm not going to mess about with it!

The big question then was how on earth do I fit a size 16 skirt onto a size 8 waist.  The skirt has gathers at the front section but nothing at the back.  In the end I decided to cut a size 14 skirt and lose a bit of the ease on the hips.  I increased the gathered sections in the front and I put in darts in the back.

How I managed to match up the darts that well on the toile is a triumph of good luck over bad maths!

I'm reasonably happy with the cut of the dress now and think it's best to quit while I'm winning and not make any more adjustments.  Time to cut out the real thing in the pretty yellow cotton I have purchased for the occasion.

Monday, 9 January 2012

I realise that it's a little odd blogging about Christmas decorations in January.  By now everybody is even beyond 'New Year' mode but as I made these decs as Christmas presents for my friends I couldn't show them before the big day and if I don't do it now I'll forget!  New Years Resolution - buy a notebook!

The first one is an embroidery design taken from a book my mother has lent me.  I'm sure I'll blog more about this book during the year as it has been in the family for as long as I can remember and every time I open it I'm taken back to wearing intarsia jumpers with clowns on (complete with pom pom for the hat) anyway.... I digress....

By the way I really wasn't trying to make my friends think that I had splashed out on a Cath Kidston ornament - they all knew the decorations were homemade but I happened to have some Cath Kidston ribbon that went with the fabric and it looked more complete with a bow.

The second item was a bird taken from a BurdaStyle magazine and I just added a hanging loop.  I've got a bit of a thing about making stuffed birds - I need to get some wire and then I'm going to make a peacock out of the Liberty Book I recently acquired.  I can't get enough of fabric birds!

Thirdly this is the smallest decoration which actually took the longest time to make (don't you hate it when that happens!).  It has a handmade bobbin lace flower and leaf on it with a vintage button centre.  I really liked making it but it doesn't have a wow factor unless I suppose you stand by the tree and keep shouting "that took me three hours!"  I think I will have to stick with making the birds!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Red Top Revamp

Thought that I should start the New Year as I mean to go on and try and tackle some projects that have been hanging around.

This top has been hanging - literally - on my model Merle for at least six months.

I bought it for 20 pence at a jumble sale with the purpose of practising my alteration skills on it.  It's a UK size 18 and I am a (debatable) size 14.  I picked it up because it is a good quality Per Una brand top and is 100 percent linen.  Bargain!

First things first.  I cut off the sleeves!  I realise this may well be the cowards way out but I just couldn't face trying to set in new sleeves so it became sleeveless.  One step at a time I say!

Then I pinned the sides a little closer to Merle and just sewed a new seam.  Not very scientific I know.

I decided to change the buttons as I wanted to bind the armholes with some contrasting bias binding - so a nautical theme emerged with royal blue.  I used six buttons I purchased from an indoor market for about 5 pence each and the binding was kindly given to me by a lady in Penarth who was clearing out her mother's things.  A lovely surprise when I opened out the bias binding was an old business card from the supplier - now no longer there I believe.

I'm not sure when telephone numbers in the UK stopped being four digits but I am thinking this is a rather old card.

Anyway - the finished result is finally a wearable top.

As you can see I am a very happy customer!