The beginnings of a set – Kwik Sew 3378

This was a quick top to make at our sewing weekend, with one hitch. I cut out the small size and not the medium size. The view above shows the extra piece I added to the side seams.

When I wore it as a small, my tummy rolls where there for all to stare at. OMG. What was I thinking.

The additional side pieces can’t easily be seen and the original suggestion to add the extra as ruching made me feel more self conscious about my rolls, so the top sits flat on my body. Phew. This is another piece that I bought when we were in Melbourne fabric shopping. The rest of the fabric will be made into a cardie.

Toile – m5464

It’s taken me this long to start using this pattern. I say that because the pattern is now an out of print pattern on the McCalls website. I bought this pattern because it’s a handy style for any occassion. With the right fabric, this is a good shape to then take it in a new direction. I like the princess style darts in this style. They’re in both the front and back of the dress.
As a sewer, not only are you attracted to fabric, fabric also comes to you in many forms. This is a toile and the fabric was given to me last year when I had to wear an asian inspired outfit at my husband Christmas party. I ended up making a skirt and top in a green fabric instead. I wasn’t too sure how to wear this fabric as it is kind of asian looking. I have 6 metres of this fabric to play with.
This is a toile, so this fabric isn’t what I would normally buy or pick for my colouring. While the pattern has been sitting on my desk for 8 months, I’ve lost the back neck facing for the sleeveless version. If you look closely, I’ve put a fushia bias tape around the neck and armhole edges. I bought the bias tape from the fabric shop in Burwood Plaza. I didn’t take a sample of the fabric with me, I was just drawn to the colour and width of the bias tape.

This view shows you how the selvedge has a plain 10 cm border and the rest of the fabric is embroidered. The weather has been hot 35 – 40C so sewing in the air con has been delightful. It’s the only thing I can do without melting.

On the technical side of this dress, I’ve used an invisible zip, bias fushia tape on the neck and arm edges, pink trim to balance the colour. I’ll use the remaining fushia tape to finish the dress hem on the inside and put a vent in the lower side seams.

I was frightened by the 2kg I’ve put while I was on holidays, so I didn’t put in the back darts. Once I had basted the dress together, I sewed the back darts into the dress. I’ll put the changes onto the pattern and try this again with the denim that’s maturing in my stash from our Melbourne fabric shopping trip.

Tomatoes – Kwik Sew 3617

I was trying to plan my sewing projects for our sewing weekend, so to start, I pulled out a stack of fabric, then placed them together in a few different variations. I looked at the greens from the Melbourne fabric shopping trip and took out the latest prints that I’ve bought this year. I am determined to use these prints before they become dated.

Then I checked out what outfits were available online and took inspiration of plain border fabrics with prints as the main fabric. I’ve got plenty of basic patterns that I know fit me. Most of my patterns can be tweaked to update my look (LOL). I need bit of courage to tweak but then I take comfort in the fact that most of my fabrics are cheap and won’t break the bank if the outfit doesn’t work.
This print was bought from The Fabric Store when they had a sale in August. The trim is from our shopping trip to Melbourne. I deliberately bought green fabrics a) to add green into my wardrobe and b) to act as a reminder of where I bought my green fabrics from. I know, it’s a bit complex but that’s how I remember things…

To accommodate for my backside fullness, I did a quick measure of this area, shook my head in dismay and then accommodated for it in the skirt section. This is another top that’s been extended into a dress. I stick with 3/4 length sleeves, so I can were this in between seasons.

It’s green – Butterick 5277

At our sewing weekend last week I spent much of my time on Saturday, trying to figure out why the neckline wasn’t sitting right. After whizzing the sleeves in, I had lunch and then as my blood sugar levels were refreshed, I saw that the sleeves were in the wrong way. I didn’t check where the neckline edge and sleeve hem edge were.

After what seemed like a good hour, I unpicked the sleeves and resewed them into the dress again. Did I mention that I’d done the same mistake to the lining? Yes it was painful, but I keep relearning that perseverance keeps me sewing.

At some point, I’ll transfer the marks from the pattern to the fabric so I don’t keep making the same mistake again.

The roll collar got lots of good comments from my sewing buddies and my work collegues but I realise that I need to make some quirky work so that my wardrobe doesn’t become boring.

I do have enough fabric in my stash to do a few challenging pieces and they are now on my sewing radar.

I will make this dress up again but without the collar in a patterned fabric. The neckline is a bit too wide to wear comfortably without feeling ‘showy’ so I’ll bring the neckline in by 1.5cm, add a contracting trim and see how it feels. Our weather is hot enough that wearing a sleeveless dress in the office with a light ‘cardy’ is acceptable.

Better photos

I had a good day wearing my wearable toile to work today.

front view
The photos I initially published were too dark – my apologies.
The photos on the dummy don’t show how well the dress fits me and it was really comfortable to wear. The dress still didn’t stick to me, even after a walk in the heat.
side view
You might be able to see the hot pink chiffon lining I used inside the dress. The lining was $2 for 2 metres, bought at Pitt Trading earlier this year.

back view
Did I say that the fabric was bought from a curtain shop in Homebush?
Everyone loved the roll collar and the fit of the dress. I’m hoping that in time, someone at work decides to take up sewing. Then I’ll never stop talking about sewing projects. I love it when projects work.

I’m back – Butterick 5277

I put Sunday aside to start working on the dress and would you believe, I finished it. Unbelieveable.

How did I stay focused after 2 months off?
I turned my computer off, turned off the telly and just took it one step at a time.

When I started to think negative thoughts I would say to myself – I’m talented, my sewing buddies are talented, I’m talented. That’s when I started to refocus again.

How did I put more quality into my work?
After reading about couture sewing, seeing a few couture fashion exhibitions in Dublin, Paris and London and I watched the Valentino film (The last emperor?) on the flight home, I used my dress maker dummy to do some final touches that I normally hate to do and (shock) steps that I by-pass.
I’m using Roberta’s technique of placing lace edging on the hems on lining and sometimes on the inside of the fabric hem itself.

What ignited my sewing bug?
We’ve got our annual sewing weekend on 14 and 15 November and the thought of taking that unmade boring fabric was killing me. The dress is a toile but it’s now part of my wardrobe.

Sharon’s done an amazing job of organising this year’s sewing weekend. She’s covered every aspect with such thought and professionalism. We’ve both followed Alison’s eye for detail. Alison organised the first two sewing weekends. I’ve organised two and Toni organised last year’s at Ferndale. Toni is now the conference organiser for the Sewing Guild. Toni has such drive and energy.

I also had a look at the dresses on sale at JC Penny’s, saw my fabric stash and thought, “I can do this next weekend.”