How to hide from the Lilliputians or 32/52 the Playtime Dress

This is another curtains to dress creation. I finished it earlier this year, and got photos at Halloween when I used it as part of my costume. After I made the lego play mat I still had 1 ½ curtains left which I couldn’t let it go to waste… so I made a dress! Surprise, surprise. I used the bodice of Butterick B5748 and the same skirt without the pockets as the Deer doe ish dress.

I was feeling pretty confident making it and so managed to attach the skirt to the bodice before I had turned the bodice in the right way with the lining. I had over locked it and only realised as I went to top stitch it down. So I unpicked and unpicked some more. Then I re-sewed but again got slightly distracted and managed to do a Mobius loop of a shoulder strap… also after I had overlocked the seam. This time I unpicked just the shoulder seam and paying close attention I re-sewed them correctly and hand stitched the lining back to the dress. To finish it off I hand sewed the zip in during my lunch break.

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I wore this as my haloween dress with a road cone headband and a car necklace.

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IMG_5449I love the shape of this dress and might make it again in a more subdued fabric and it is not just for dress ups…this old elevator photo shows I even wear it to work.

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and check out these little guys… Robin and the Arrow

IMG_5438and this guy!

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34/52 Go with the flow with Simone

I had never seen the Simone, from Victory Patterns. before Kat made her version and I was inspired.  I bought this retro printed polyester birds from spotlight last year with no real plan in mind but it suited this dress perfectly – although it does get a lot of static cling.

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Close up of the fabric

swallowsI tried to follow the instructions for the yoke with the tab and it did not work for me at all.  I suddenly had the tab on the inside, I needed to unpick, so I threw the instructions to the side and made it work.  I used a button from the stash to tack it down and I love how it looks.

Simone 2Since I wasn’t following the instructions I didn’t put a zip in on the side and it isn’t a problem.  However since Kat had issues with the chest size I had cut the largest size (slightly bigger than my measurements) and then took a small wedge out of the underarm to make it fit correctly when I was sewing up the side seams.

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I love how this dress makes me feel when I wear it – like a strange combination of ballerina warrior woman as it flows out behind me as I stride around.

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33/52 Fine feathers make fine birds

This dress was inspired by the WSBN Facebook group, when someone posted this fabric in a different colourway.

I liked it but it was not WOW!  I was in Auckland at the time and had a small amount of time to fabric shop so I went to Centrepoint fabrics and after being overwhelmed by all the prints

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and doing several laps of the store I ending up leaving with a dress length of two birds fabrics – this one and this (which I hope to sew soon).

Again I had to wait until I found a pattern that really shouted out to be matched with the fabric and I went with the princess seams of McCalls 6741 which I got from Arthur Toyes closing down pattern sale.  The great thing about this print is that birds are evenly distributed with heads up and down so I could easily lay out my pattern pieces.  I also managed to avoid bird boob – bonus points for that.
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This dress has in-seam pockets in the princess seams which are almost invisible till I flap my hands about in them.
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I was planning on making the sleeveless version, however since it is definitely Autumn…almost winter I thought to add the cap sleeves.  I work in warm office so a cardigan, slip and tights will see me through with this.  Before I did this I had to do my favourite adjustment a LBBA (Low Big Boob Adjustment) by taking out excess fabric in the princess seam above the bust so I don’t have flappy fabric on my upper chest.

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Pinning out my LBBA

The only other change I made was to do a facing instead of fully lining it – mostly because I’m lazy and could be bothered cutting out a whole other dress in lining.  I just traced the neckline off the pattern pieces to make neat little facings.
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This is a twirly swirly fun dress and thanks to Mel for taking sneaky photos at the Fabric Store the other day.

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Just a little something to take home

35/52 It’s a Wrap

When I first saw the video for the Teach Me Fashion wrap dress I was fascinated. I don’t usually enjoy watching sewing videos – I am more a pictures and words girl for my tutorials and I get distracted by perfect manicures – yet this one lured me in. I had funds burning in my paypal account that were equal to the pattern price $10 USD so it was meant to be! I downloaded this puppy, printed, taped and was off and sewing in less than 24 hours from coming home from the fabric store (on a work night too!).

The official model

The official model

If you are making this dress please heed the recommended fabrics – not all knits are suitable… especially not undrapey Ponte like I chose for my first version. Thankfully this became a perfect muslin as I had a few issues with the sizing of the pattern. It is one-size – which normally I wouldn’t do as many indie patterns cater for a smaller size than me but I was within the measurements on their charts so I went with it. Full Disclosure: I am 170cm tall with Bust 104cm, Waist 94cm, hips 114cm. I found this dress TOO big!!!

FlossieFT-TeachMeFashion-Wrap1 The arm holes were too big and there was too much fabric across the back even for my wide load. It also finished mid-calf with was not flattering.

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I made a second version with some lovely drapey knit from my stash of dubious origin…I think maybe an op-shop…maybe for $8 for over 2 metres. I took up the hem by 8 cms and took a wedge out of the back starting at 1 cm on the fold at the neck down to about 3 cms at the bottom. I also did a slightly smaller wedge out of the front fold.

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This is a clever pattern, with only two pattern pieces, with the front and back cut on the fold with just a slightly lower neckline on the front and the wrap ties.

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This is the clever part – they join into the side seams to create the ties that can be wrapped in front or back….

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OR you can pop the ties inside the dress to make soft hip pockets.

FlossieFT-TeachMeFashion-Wrap5The instructions are pretty thin as the you tube video is a key reference and this explains how the main pieces go together – I just fast forwarded to the part I wanted – and then noted the key points on my pattern piece.

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Final verdict: I love it! As I was sewing I was imagining who this dress would suit and how many others I could make up. It is a definite hit for me with the minor fitting alterations.

36/52 Ava Raccoons

Or how to avoid the dreaded raccoon boobs in 3 easy steps

I loved this fabric the first time I saw it on Dolly Clackett and Rhinestones and Telephones, then the Curious Kiwi shared a parcel of fabric she had with it in it and my little brain realised that I could have raccoons too!!! After much googling, checking on shipping options and for the first time in my life checking with my husband if I could buy fabric… not sure why but I did I was buying it anyway. I got my own Raccoons which is actually Tula Pink – Acacia winter (I am not sure if I have ever had a fabric with a name before).

AvaRaccoons2 I got the Ava Pattern by Victory Patterns in the first Pattern Parcel. I thought it would be the perfect pattern to showcase this fabric as there are not too many seams to cut off raccoon heads. I found a plain cotton poplin at the Fabric Warehouse that matched one of the accent colours nicely and I was off. I spent a decent amount of time holding the pattern piece to my chest trying to see where it sat. Then I traced Racoon heads and tails from my fabric onto the pattern piece and checked again as I did not want little noses pointing out from my bust.

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This is the key to how to avoid the dreaded raccoon boobs in 3 easy steps and I think I managed it! I put all my cut out pieces in a bag to be sewn for the Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern month Dresses competition and carried on cutting out other projects.

For the top of the bodice I used a solid poplin so I cut two of the front and back so I could self-line the top of the bodice instead of a binding on the neckline. This means I have a nice clean neckline which I prefer.  I went with the cap sleeves of version 3 but the tea length of version 1 with no ruffles or binding.  The instructions on how to create a crisp point on the sweetheart neckline are great.

bodiceI went to attach the skirt to the bodice and realised I had only cut out one of the front/back pieces and one of the side panels.  I then remembered that I had intended to cut out a second front/back panel on the fold, but I obviously got distracted.  I got out the remains of my fabric and realised the next problem… I only had about 1 metre left by 60cm and a few scraps… and I had to cut two large semi circular panels.  The fabric is a quilting cotton so is 112cm wide and I had only bought 2.75 Yards (which is 2.5metres for us metric folks), and the Ava version 1 needs 4 3/8 Metres… so I was a little short!

So I went to a calm space and remembered ‘I’m a pattern matching ninja and good at maths’. I managed to eek out half of a back panel out of my large section of fabric and carefull matched and pieced the other half.

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Can you see the joins?

Joining Seams

There they are

 

 

 

 

 

Now I had THREE panels.  Since I was one short my skirt waist seam was 63cm and the bodice was 99 that it had to match… so I did MATHS!

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Using a circumference calculator online I found how much to increase the radius of the circle. I was hesitant and only cut off a 1.5cms at a time as I didn’t want to go the other way and go too big.  AvaRaccoons1I love that I made this work.  This skirt does not have as much volume as the pattern intends and I do want to make another to show it off to its twirly swirly best.

IMG_5105p.s. why am I taking photos in the dark?  I was at my boys rugby and wanted somewhere different to take the pics…and I had a deadline to meet 🙂

37/52 A little lace and a little rock and roll

The whole time sewing this I was singing to myself Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi .  I know that this dress is called Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo but I changed the words a little to be girl-centric

She was a skater girl, she said, “See ya later, boy.”

He wasn’t good enough for her.

Now she’s a superstar

Slammin’ on her guitar

Does your pretty face see what she’s worth?

Lady Skater1I felt very rock and roll making and wearing this. I cut out a 14 bust and a 18 waist and hip and it fits perfectly. I did not construct it as per the instructions due to my two layers of fabric.  I used a grey stretch lace from a Fabric Warehouse sale (about $3/m) and a blue knit underneath that I hoped would show through more.

Lady skater insidesI sewed the bodice treating the colour and lace layers as one piece, the sleeves are lace only and the skirt side seams are sewn separately and joined as one to the bodice. This is similar style of construction as used in my Lots of Frosting dress. This means the I get a twirly swirly two layered skirt and a simple bodice with no added bulk.

IMG_5089and I had to actually try skating in it…kind of…

IMG_5083…I can ollie.. and the camera just missed the frontside kickflip…

IMG_5088and I nailed the landing!

I think this dress is one that everyone needs in their wardrobe.

30/52 Green 80s Sack Dress and 31/52 Floral 80s Sack Dress

This was my Monthly stitch April Double up entry… which I finished sewing in early April, took the photos at Easter and then… life, sickness, more sewing, work and general stuff happened so TA-DAH! Here they are… my double double cheese cheese burger burger please… I mean my double up dresses.
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At Christmas in Palmerston North Arthur Toye I found these on the remnants table (all half price) and I could picture it straight away a patterned front/plain back simple shift dress. But I couldn’t find the pattern I wanted, I had limited fabric to work with so I didn’t want lots of seams or sleeves. Then I got this 80’s kimono sleeve shift dress – a.k.a a 1980s sack dress.

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It was perfect – I cut out my first dress – the green and black version, and sewed up the side and shoulder seams, tried it on and voila – A SACK! So I attacked myself with pins and created under bust darts that curved down to the side (similar to what I have used in vintage patterns) and back waist darts to give shaping.

I unpicked, re-sewed, transferred the dart markings to my pattern pieces, hemmed and did a bias bound turned in neck instead of a facing as I had scooped out the neck line from the original pattern. Then in just over two hours I had a new dress and an altered pattern for the next one.
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So the next night I cut out the pink floral version. This had a new challenge as I was working with a remnant strip with a directional pattern. On the previous one I had just ignored the grain and turned it sideways to fit on the fabric, but I couldn’t have flowers flowing around my body, so I created a ‘design feature’ with a seam at the mid-thigh. I didn’t pattern match due to no fabric, just topstitched the seam down so it didn’t irritate me by flapping about. I also curved off the top of shoulders so they didn’t stick out as much as my first version (this was good feedback from a workmate when I had strutted my stuff in the office that day).
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So again in just over 2 hours I had another stunning dress. Total of five hours work maximum and less than $50 = two unique dresses.

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This is why I love sewing.
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29/52 Sprinkles and Spots

I have been very busy sewing and wesearing my me makes but not busy taking photos. So here is a dress with a sprinkle of spots. I love this fabric so much so I bought it twice by mistake. It is a sale cotton sateen from spotlight. I didn’t know what I was going to make with it until I found New Look 6183 at the Arthur Toye close down sale.
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I made up view C but added in the cap sleeves.  I had a few fun moments when my notches didn’t match… and then I realised there were gathers required under the bust – maybe I should follow the instructions more closely. Especially as I then repeated this mistake on the gathers in the centre panel.
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I like the finished dress, I’m not sure if I love it though…
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But it does look good with my new ice cream and sprinkles necklace from Fortune and Blame. I love her necklaces and you will be seeing a few more around here soon.
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