Friday, February 26, 2010

Style... fashion.. or is it just comfortable?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about style?... fashion? ... what suits?.. lately.

This thinking has been prompted by some real bloopers of outfits that I know lovely bloggers have left lovely comments about but basically something is wrong.. the style ,fabric, colour doesn't suit me. It doesn't suit my lifestyle.. The proof is in the pudding - they don't get worn and end up in the Vinnies bag. That, I think is the hardest part of sewing for yourself, choosing fabric AND pattern all to match YOU and your LIFESTYLE!

Plus you don't want to be boring - you must have read Peter's post about this!

So, I have been throwing out clothes, reading style books - this is the one I have enjoyed most recently. (note - this started before reading Peter's post - it is a longer term issue - nothing to do with Peter's post - it was just very timely!)

As part of this exercise I thought I would (as some other bloggers have done) log my clothes for a week (a 5-day week in this case, as I got 2 days off work, so I figured it gave a representation of my week)..


Work day...Yeah! all sewn by me - but interestingly this is the first time I have actually worn the top - I posted a picture of me wearing it back in May 2008! (boy! - have I changed since then - the gym work is paying off!)

I don't really know why I didn't wear it - I think mainly I didn't know what to wear it with!
I am actually a size smaller since I made this, but it doesn't really matter with this kind of loose top. I have paired it with a Burda skirt that, when I made, I worried I might not wear as it looked like a school uniform skirt, but it is comfortable (esp. with the tab inside the zip), easy to wear and goes with a surprising amount of things. The belt is purchased (Rivers - bargain $10) and the shoes are 'granny' - no offence to grannies but they are designed to be worn with orthotics as I have been told I am getting 'old' and wearing heels is why my feet have been burning at night so I need to be 'sensible' now! - so sensible I am (well, some of the time!)


.. a day at home - pick the Queenslander who grew up in Mt Isa - no shoes at home (no matter what the podiatrist tells me I should do). A day at home to sew - not a great look, but a step up from tracky daks!

Purchased top, denim skirt is my adaptation of a Burda pattern. (It was a really hot day too - 31C - 87.8F)


A day at work - I look very snooty here but don't mean to - I think I am just vain about showing my jowly neck so this is the photo I end up with! A Hot Patterns skirt - love the style, love the fabric - hate the sticking into my back clip (before I learnt to do a nice tab).
Wearing my black crochet cuff (love it), also my bargain Italian leather shoes down from $340 to $100( at a closing down sale) - sensible too!!


A day off - gym for an hour and a half - no photo of that (thank goodness!) - you don't need to see me sweaty and red-faced!

Then off to a lovely day with sewing guild buddies. What a lovely lot - they complimented me on wearing the teal top - said it brought the color of my eyes out - they are lovely and are trying hard to point me in the direction of the right colours for me as they know I am struggling with this a bit! I had a gorgeous day - btw outfit was worn with my orange cuff! Teal top purchased on sale from my favorite boutique - City to Outback & Jeans from Colorado and my newest secret buy! (plus another pair of *cringe* granny shoes).


Another day at work (after gym, of course!). Hot Patterns pant and two tops one Cue (the under-singlet top) and the other bought at DFO. Bag - Guess (another DFO buy) and shoes are my favorite (wide fit) Van Eli brand.

These pants are really hard to match to shoes. The colour of the fabric was called 'tobacco' but it seems to be a cross between grey and brown and brown shoes don't seem to go and black shoes don't work and I will never own a pair of grey shoes so...


...any comments? I think I could accessorise more??? The weather is too hot to layer any more layers on .. ... any clues?? ...boring???

I seem to favor Burda clothes and Hot patterns from all the things I have made - they just seem to fit me better - I am Burda woman - in my dreams!! but I am definitely European in my origin so maybe that is why the fit works for me??

On a side note ...Lulu caught looking totally relaxed..

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Race day dress

This little dress is a bit of frippery that was fun to put together but you certainly wouldn't want to be too particular about it. However with the stretchy fabric you can get away with a lot!

The dress is based on McCall's 5512:

and I modified it following the instructions from Sewing with Stitches Australia Vol17 No 9. This is a scan of their finished dress:

I thought this was really cute but did not want it in black. I emailed Knitwit in Perth as the article notes that they supply the fabric, but received no reply... they obviously don't need the business.

By chance I came across the fabric when we stopped at Kerryn's Fabric World. This was a total chance encounter as I only had 5 minutes to browse before the shop shut and I spied it while I was standing at the counter to pay for my purchase. It was obviously meant to be!

The dress modifications are outlined in the article, but basically you use the collar without a fold-over (halve the collar height), take out the gathering at the neckline and shape the pieces more, including putting darts in the back.

I also had to narrow the pattern pieces more than indicated at the hemline to fit it on my fabric (I only bought 1.2m). This caused no problems though as the fabric is so stretchy it is very forgiving.

The main difference in mine to the one in the magazine is that the collar does not sit so close at the neckline. Mine sits looser like the McCall's pattern so I think they adjusted their version but did not note it in the article. It is not worth trying to alter as it would be impossible to unpick this fabric.


I really like this dress but I do feel a little like Wilma out of the Flintstones!

My husband did not take a full shot showing my pretty leopard print shoes as the grass hadn't been mown and was up around my ankles!

The back slit is also so long my bra peeks out at the bottom of the key-hole - you can see it in the back shot if you look closely. I think I will do a simple fix and just stitch it by hand to close a little higher.

This is a detail shot of the buttons on the back of the collar. I used the buttons you cover and found a piece of lining fabric in a similar shade. It works, I think.

This dress is going to get it's debut at a race day that we are sponsoring a table at (and a race too, I think) These fundraiser days are held in a Marque at the twilight races. Good fun and a chance to frock up! Hopefully I won't see anyone else in my dress!

Review is here for those interested.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Burdastyle Melissa Dress

I had purchased a nice jersey with a border print - well not actually a border print as the print actually repeats across the width of the fabric, like a really wide repeating pattern. I have been looking for a pattern to use for this for ages and when I saw the Melissa dress on Burdastyle I thought it might work. This is the technical drawing for the dress and skirt pattern.
It does not cost much to download and I did not find it a hassle to sticky tape the pattern together but I do think you can get it downloaded to print at a copy shop if you wish. I cut a size 40 (my usual burda size) and this is what ensured...

As you can see I really love this little frock.I was concerned the pattern may be too busy but with the break up of the border print it seems to work. I could have done a better job of matching the centre back seam of the bodice. I did match the pattern to line up but didn't consider matching the pattern any better and I wish I had now - at least it is on the back where I can't see it!

I am considering making another one as it was such a simple sew and perhaps the skirt version in a doubleknit. We shall see...

Review for those interested.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Look 6429

My latest finished creation - New Look 6429. This is made from a viscose jersey in a colour called Aubergine bought from Tessuti in Melbourne. I made no alterations but did make a size smaller than my listed size (as suggested by reviews on Pattern Review) .

I love this dress and it was easy to put together. The only dOH moment was that I have wrapped it the wrong way as I cut the fabric wrong side up instead of the right side up (there is a reason to read the pattern directions!)

My only quibble would be that the neckline is low. However it is exactly as it looks on the pattern cover so I should have realised it would be! I wanted to wear this to work so will have to use cami's with it. It is wearable without a cami and would be lovely for a night out but not for work!

I want to make anther one and try and raise the neckline as I like it so much. My biggest problem is that I would like to make it in another plain colour but they seem to be hard to come by... why are their so many patterned jerseys but hardly any plain ones?.. *sulk*... I will just have to keep looking..


This dress is a winner just like everyone raved about on Pattern Review!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hot Patterns Wong-Singh-Jones Marrakesh Pants - Take 2

I have finally got photographs of my second pair of HP WSJ Marrakesh pants. These are made from a cheap inexpensive fabric from a chain store. That is why it has taken so long to photograph as it has been too warm to wear them up until this week!

I found the fabric has a lovely drape but was a real b**ch to sew. It also didn't press well, but then again it doesn't wrinkle, so I suppose you can't have everything!

The other interesting factor is that these pants are a much firmer fit than my previous pair made in a cotton/linen blend. Most notably around my derriere. However they are still wearable (I hope - please don't tell me if you don't think they work) and I have noted for future reference, that different fabrics do behave very differently in the same pattern.

Anyway, 'nuff said, photo time...

Close-ups of the fly front...

I have another piece of fabric bought recently from Gorgeous Fabrics that I would like to make pair #3 from.

I am still not caught up - I should review this pattern and I have yet to take photos of my latest dress...

Pattern reviewed here.