Monday, June 07, 2010

Vogue 2091 DKNY Finished (weeks and weeks ago!)

This was my first project made with a stretch fabric. In fear of the task ahead, I ordered some cheapish white lycra, with grey flowers on it. Seriously, I would never ever go near a fabric like this with the thought of actally wearing it, so what possessed me to buy it I don't know. Maybe it was the thought of ruining a fabric I actually liked. Anyway, no matter how many times I admire the dress itself, the fabric still makes me feel a bit sick!

I realised that this fabric was going to be very different to work with, compared to the cotton I usually use, but right from the get-go, it was a little devil. First off, my brand new pins didn't seem sharp enough to pierce the fabric first time every time. They kept just nudging the fabric and moving it out of position, which was very frustrating. So, first lesson learned: use the sharpest pins possible, and anchor the fabric firmly whilst pinning the pattern to it. Next, I started cutting, and my scissors seemed weirdly blunt. Honestly, I had thought they were pretty sharp, but cutting this fabric was so difficult: the scissor blades kept meeting without actually cutting, so I had to resort to the tiniest pair of sewing scissors to cut out the whole, huge thing. I obviously need a new pair of scissors (or can scissors be sharpened?)

On to the actual sewing: the directions said to stretch the fabric slightly whilst sewing, so I did. It made the seam a little bumpy. Maybe I stretched it too much. I sewed the front and back together, having dealt with the neckline, which has a strip of sort of hanging self-facing on the inside, but which works remarkably well, in my opinion, just tucking itself under the neckline nicely, when the dress is worn. Everything was going smoothly, including inserting the little cap sleeves, until I had to deal with the underarm part of the sleeve. I've never been stumped by sewing directions before, but in this case I just could not get it, no matter how many times I read it, so I kind of winged it and they came out fine. I won't go into the details, as I'm not sure how to explain it. I sewed a short way across the side-pleats too, to keep them in shape. Apart from that, no mods.

This dress was such a quick project, and would have been pretty straightforward if it hadn't been for the fabric I used, and the funny little sleeves (which actually look great on). Trouble is, the combination of...

I have put on more than half a stone since Christmas (though I am addressing that 5ft 2.5 I have to).

The fabric is white.

The fabric is stretchy but not terribly firm, therefore it highlights my bumps, rather than holding anything in.

...means I look totally lumpy in this dress and if I'm ever able to wear it anywhere, it will mean I suddenly got the bod of Elle McPherson (the impossible). I have some black lycra in my weaponry pile, though, and I will use it for another of these. I really like this dress a lot, and the white fabric grew on me. It's not flattering to me in that combo, though. Not the pattern's fault, but mine.

(I made this dress a month ago, at least. I've done hardly any sewing since then, as I've got back into my yoga, and I don't seem to be able to be passionate about more than one thing at a time. I'm such a flake. But I will try hard to get some sewing done soon).

Edited to add: This dress actually looks much nicer in the flesh. It's grown on me and I really like it now, especially with a little black tight-fitting puff-sleeved top over it. And my sudden urge to get back into doing my yoga vinyasas is helping me "tone-up".

Oh, and I will be getting on with the Built by Wendy sort of smock dress I last posted about. I have got my sewing mojo back.

Also, MacCulloch & Wallis have some sale stuff online (not much...there is also some Missoni-type zigzag knit but not in the colourway I like, which is a shame because I have wanted some for ages and ages) and I ordered a bit of red boucle to make a little jacket (£12 down from £20). Trouble is, around here there is nowhere to buy any notions at all so I'll have to wait until I can get to John Lewis at Milton Keynes (about 40 mins away) but even John Lewis isn't so fab for sewing these days. Or knitting.

Oh, oh, and I made a top yesterday which I'll post about soon.

That's it!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Simplicity 3835 Built by Wendy

Oh dear, I've made my photos much smaller than they were, and they're still HUGE. Never mind. And I look pretty yuk as I'm still recovering from an allergic reaction to an anti-biotic which should never have been prescribed for me due to my history (should have been my usual suspicious self and researched before I took it). I'm Very Cross Indeed about the whole thing but won't bore your pants off with it.

In the pic above I'm "wearing" some Kaffe Fassett cotton, in Clouds Charcoal. It's for the dress shown below, and the version I'm making is the one on the left. It looks very simple, which is good news, as I could do without a challenge at present. The downside is that it doesn't have a lining. I could line it I suppose, but can't be bothered (I must try to be more like this person when it comes to finishing my garments!).

I mentioned before (a few years ago) that I would love to have the cool, understated style of Audrey Hepburn, but no matter how I try, I still end up looking more like Cyndi Lauper. I was reminded of this when looking at the pattern reviews for Vogue 2091. There are some really cool versions out there, all nice and simple and plain, and I had already ordered a white and grey flowered lycra fabric with which to make mine! I just can't resist it. I want to be all urban-cool but somehow a part of me resists. A large part. I suppose it's like wanting to be twig-like and still eating all the buns. Or when I think next time I'll decorate in neutral colours and end up choosing wallpaper adorned with pink and green humming birds (no, really). I just can't do understated, though I admire others who can. One day sooner or later I'm going to try again.