Sunday, 23 February 2014

Project Wedding Gown (Part 2)

Today I started on my calico dress (or toile if you're feeling fancy). I'm loving my pattern because it seems to be a pretty simple panelled dress without too much fiddly sewing things which is excellent. Here are some pictures of the process:

I went to the fabric shop and bought a whole roll of calico! Here are SOME of the pattern pieces laid out to be pinned and cut.

The bottom half of the dress (before gathering). I just wanted to wander around the house with a train so this was the first part of the dress I made.

Without the gathering the waist was massive... I invited Mum in!

I'm hoping to make the calico bodice tomorrow morning but probably won't be able to do an update on here for a little while because I have to fly home to Sydney at midday... Never fear though, it will make it online eventually!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Project Wedding Gown! (Part 1)

I know in my last post I wrote that my next project is a dress for my friend's baby but as you can probably guess from the title of this post, I am engaged! This is very new and exciting but has nothing to do with sewing... or does it?!

Call me crazy but I have decided that I would like to sew my own wedding dress. My mum sewed her own dress, her mother sewed her own dress... it's just something I'd like to do (I'll need some help from mum though).

Before M and I got engaged, I already had an idea about what kind of dress I wanted. Something with a big skirt (not My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding big), a bit of a train, a sweetheart neckline and a lace jacket with sleeves. The best way to describe what I like is the dresses worn by Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton.

Grace Kelly

Kate Middleton

So with a vague idea in mind, the first step was to go and try on dresses to see if this style would suit me, and if there was another style I would like more.

An excited mum at a gorgeous bridal shop

I wasn't allowed to take any pictures of myself in the dresses I tried on, but this is a picture of a dress I liked from the shop's website.

I also tried on some accessories to keep myself warm because our wedding will be in the middle of winter next year. I fell in love with these, and will definitely be making them to go with the dress!

I went to the fabric shop in the city that does luxury fabrics and was horrified by the price of the satin and the lace - more than $200 per metre for some! I went to the "normal" fabric shop and I've found 3 patterns that I'm going to put together and some nice fabric to go with it (only $19.90 per metre for the dress fabric and & $8.90 per metre for the lace). I'm getting very excited about this!!! The patterns I've chosen are Burda 7086 for the lace jacket, Simplicity 4070 for the top, and Vogue 2979 for the big skirt which will make me look like a princess! 

My patterns!

So my next job is to cut out the pieces and start on my calico version. Words can not describe how giddy I am with excitement right now. You'll be hearing from me soon!!!

Simple one-shoulder dress

My first project of the year was a dress for my girls night out. I wanted something that was flattering and fun but not a lacey floral dress like I would usually opt for. I wanted something a little sexier so I found an online tutorial for a one-shoulder figure hugging dress. Here is the link.

The tutorial was great but next time I will be doing 2 things differently:

1. The video says to take measurements at the bust, waist and hips and basically just join the dots. Maybe I am more curvy than the person who created this "pattern" but just having those three measurements was not enough. Next time I will be taking measurements (1) at the armpits, (2) at the bust, (3) under the bust, (4) at the waist, (5) at the hips, and of course measuring the distance vertically between these points.

2. The girl in the video kept saying "I'm using stretch fabric so I'll take a couple of inches off my [bust/waist/hips] measurement". I thought that was because she was a little too... well... keen to show off her body. I didn't want to look like a slapper so I just used my exact measurements thinking it would fit nicely without being too snug. WRONG. I ended up looking like I was wearing a dress 2 sizes too big! So those couple of inches came off eventually anyway. Silver lining: I got some good practice at tailoring my clothes!

And now for the pictures (sorry for the poor quality, I'll do better next time!):

All my supplies ready to go!!! 
(The paper is a sketch of the dress with my measurements scribbled on it)

Here I have measured, pinned and cut the outline.

The pieces all cut out and pinned together.

Action shot of the sewing machine.

This is what the dress looked like when I first sewed all the pieces together.

The top section with lining.

The top section after the first round of tailoring...

Finally finished tailoring!!

And finally, it makes its debut at a night out on the town!

Next project: a dress for Cocopuffette (J&L's baby due later this month)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New year, new blog!

Most people make their new years resolutions on 1st January, but not me! I made mine yesterday - no clothes shopping during 2014. This year is the year of the sewing machine for me. Last year and the year before I did a little sewing but not much. I really want to get better at dressmaking so I'm hoping this will help. It could get quite interesting as I usually go to a costume party every 10 weeks or so, I'm not sure how I'll cope with that amount of sewing!

I have spent quite a bit of time looking at sewing patterns and tutorials online and so far the most helpful sewing info on the web has been from blogs. I thought starting my own might be a good way to keep track of my efforts over the year. I'm sorry if the actual words I put up here are no good, hopefully at least the pictures and content will be ok!

I thought I'd start by uploading some pics of the projects I have already made.

The dress I made for my graduation (before I lost 20kg):
Here is the link for the pattern I used.

A skirt I made for my internship:
It can also be worn as a dress, here is the link for the pattern I based it on.

An apron I made:
Maybe it'll help me get enthusiastic about cooking? Here is the link for the pattern.

My next task is to sew a dress for a girls' night out. I'm heading to the fabric shop tomorrow!