Monday, 9 December 2013

Spots on Simplicity 2444 & a spot of fabric shopping

I didn't get a chance to do any sewing this weekend as I went to Melbourne to catch up with an old friend and then on to Geelong for a double family celebration.  I did take the opportunity to visit 2 fabric shops though - more on that at the bottom of this post.

This dress is Simplicity 2444, I wore it to work today.  There are loads and loads and loads of them on sewing blogs.  I made this version just over a year ago when I got back into sewing after a long break.  This pattern is one of the first patterns I stumbled across on the internet one day and got me back into sewing.

More specifically, it was this amazing version by Dapper Duds.  Fantastic fabric, a great fit and exceptional finishing on the inside - perfect!  Mine is not so perfect, but I happily wear it anyway.

The fabric is from The Fabric Store.  I bought it because I liked it, but it was actually on sale (tick) as the fabric had some flaws which I was able to cut around.  On the subject of cutting I had a lot of luck with this dress.  As it was one of the first I made in a long time I totally forgot that I might need to match the circles and did not give this any thought when cutting the fabric.

The circles must be printed pretty much on grain though as I was fortunate that they matched pretty well in the key places - the back zip area and front skirt seam phew. 

I put in an invisible zip - my first zip in several years and I was pretty relieved at how it went in. 

Here's a closer pic of the bottom of the zip and into the skirt back with some not so great circle matching, but its the back skirt and I don't see it so I don't care.

These photos were taken at the end of the day and I didn't iron the dress before I took them.  You can see some wrinkles in the above pic, but in general the fabric gets through the day without much crinkling.  If I hang the dress carefully after washing I can get way without ironing it - depending on how lazy I feel...

My fit is OK, there is extra fabric at the neckline that could have been removed, but again as it was early days in my return to sewing I didn't give this any thought. 

Despite my measurements more closely matching a 12 for the top and a 16 for the waist and hips I cut a 10 for the top and graded to a 12 at the waist.  I did this firstly because in my naive return to sewing state I thought how dare this pattern think I am 3 sizes above my RTW size and secondly because the pattern only went up to size 12!  In the end the only place I made any fit adjustments was the side seams where I reduced the seam allowance at the waist seam - there were a few moments when I thought the seam allowance would not have enough fabric to create a seam that fitted at the waist, but I just scrapped through - phew again.

The inside of my dress is not too bad for the facings, but in general no where near as fabulous as Dapper Duds - with its french and bias bound seams and facings. Now I am back into the swing of sewing again I am keen to work more on this aspect in future dress makes.

PART B: As is usual these days on trips I grabbed the opportunity on the weekend to visit some fabric shops.

First up was Darn Cheap Fabrics in Heidelberg.  Handily, I get to drive right past this shop when travelling to my parents from the airport.  I got the 2 bottom fabrics here.

The fabric on the left is a sateen and the smaller yellow diamonds are a neon yellow colour.  This is going to be a sleeveless shift dress.  The orange spotted fabric on the right is a silk, the spots are a very bright neon orange (memo to me: learn to use camera better).  This fabric is going to be some kind of top.

Lastly the top fabric is from the Dr Seuss range for some more pj bottoms for the kids.  I got this fabric from Joys Fabric Warehouse in Geelong, which by another handy turn of fate is just over a block from my sister's house in Geelong.  I was recently introduced to this shop by Blogless Anna and Boo Dogg and Me.  My life was made for fabric shopping!


Monday, 2 December 2013

Kelly the First

This is the first Kelly skirt I made, my other is detailed in this post.

I get quite a few comments about this skirt, which is mainly due to the fabric.  Its a cotton drill that I got from Spotlight in Wollongong when we went there for the weekend earlier in the year.  A lot of people comment on the colours, which was what drew me to the fabric.

I used the same construction methods as my other Kelly, including french side seams and bias bound pockets.  For this version I also added a hook and eye at the bottom of the waistband as the fabric is not as stiff as my other version and gaps here a bit.

You can see in this photo that the fabric quality is not quite the same as my other version and its already fading/wearing, which is such a shame as I really like the fabric.  You can also see I wasn't able to achieve the same quality of button holes that I did on my other version, particularly the first one on the placket which I unpicked several times as the automatic function did not like the bulk in this area.  I ended up doing it manually.

The other addition I forgot to mention in my previous post on this skirt is that I added 4 belt carriers to the waistband so I can use a belt.  Apart from liking the look of the belt, it also helps pull in the waist band at the back where it gaps a bit owing to the fact that the waistband is a rectangle.  The rectangle waistband keeps this skirt really simple for beginners and I don't mind wearing a belt.  I made the 4 carriers in pink and attached them at the pleats.  I used this great tutorial from Coletterie to make the carriers. 

Did you happen to notice my bangles in the top pic? I saw Sandra wearing them in the final of the Great British Sewing Bee and googled 'Sandra Great British Sewing Bee Bangle'.  I actually couldn't believe it when the facebook site for Bee Jewellery came up.  Bee Jewellery gave some great customer service and sent them to me in Australia.  I ordered 2 for me and 2 for my mum.  I get a lot of comments on the bangles too.