Friday, July 26, 2013

Deer & Doe Chardon Skirt in Black Cotton Sateen

Oh dear, once again I have made something black and it's really difficult to photograph.  I promise I don't have any other black fabric soon to be sewn up and blogged!

Here is an overexposed photo so you can actually see the skirt:
This is the Chardon Skirt by Deer & Doe.  I was surprised to find that Deer & Doe send their patterns from France to anywhere, postage free.  How fab is that?!*******Edited to add: I was wrong!  Deer & Doe offer extremely reasonable international postal charges, but it's PAPERCUT patterns who ship anywhere in the world FOC.  So sorry about that mistake.  I suddenly realised my error when a Papercut pattern arrived in the post this morning and jogged my memory!*******
The patterns themselves have lovely packaging, which always helps (!), and the pattern is printed on paper rather than tissue paper.

I seem to be choosing only quick makes recently as, along with the Anna Dress, this was crazy quick to make.  I mean, seriously fast.  It's two rectangles with pleats, and a facing.  Oh, and ties or belt loops.  And a zip.  I made option B (the longer version) but with the ties from option A instead of the belt loops.
My hem is level even though it looks terribly wonky.

I made the size 40, which is for a 28.5" waist (my exact measurement), thinking if it was too big I would be able to pull it in a bit with the tie.  It's definitely too big, even with 2cm taken out. Next time I would make the next size down.  I'm not sure if the fact that my cotton sateen (from Truro Fabrics) has a little give has anything to do with this; it's not stretch sateen though.

I like the way the pattern says to topstitch along the sides of the pleats to keep them in place.  But I was surprised to find there was no mention of understitching the facing at the waistline.  Without topstitching, the facing wants to pop out of the top of the skirt.  A beginner wouldn't know to do this, so it would be helpful to have it in the instructions.  Unless I've been a total donkey and missed it!
I like this skirt a lot and may make another.  But good grief, I have so much stuff I want to make.

Right now I'm working on a Victory Patterns Lola Dress in bright blue knit.  I sometimes find knits tricky...let's see what happens!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

By Hand London - Anna Dress

Thanks for your comments on my red shorts.  I have worn them a lot already and I have a yellow pair in the pipeline.
As you can see, I finished my Anna Dress.  I hadn't seen this pattern until I visited the Sewbox online shop for something-or-other.  As soon as I saw it I bought the pattern.  Not because I want to make every single By Hand pattern there will ever be, just for the sake of it, but because I really like the style.

I made it in an embroidered eyelet fabric I had in my stash, but I didn't have enough for the long version, which is the one I wanted to make.  I still think I would prefer the longer version and will make it as soon as I have the fabric.  Having said that, I do really like this dress a lot, even though it's not the long version.  I chopped about 9 cm off the length of this, as it was a frumpy in between length on me otherwise.

This is such a quick make, it really is.  It didn't take me much more than a couple of hours.  As usual for By Hand, this pattern is well drafted, and comes together perfectly.  I would like to make a couple more of these.  This is a simple but stylish dress that skims the body in just the right places!  The armholes are roomy enough to be cool but not enough to show my undies, and I really like the shape of the sleeves a lot.  The best bit, though, are those pleats under the bust.  Just look!  Perfect.  Actually, I might make a top out of the bodice.  Hmm...

I took so many photos, trying to get some detail to show in the black fabric.  In the end, I had to put the dress on my dress form and photograph it in my undies, after some jiggling with the camera light metering.
Here are some more photos:

Sucking everything in for a (sort of ) side view!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Colette Iris Shorts in Red Cotton Drill

Hi everyone!

I am just in the middle of making a By Hand London Anna Dress (a very quick make!), having discovered it by chance, and thought I'd make a very quick post about these red shorts in between, which I made on Friday.


I have made the Iris shorts before so, having (eventually, with much gnashing of teeth) got the fit how I wanted it, I just made a paper copy of my original muslin, and off I went.  Gosh, these are quick to make, by which I mean just a couple of hours from start to finish.  This time I didn't put the pockets in because I didn't like the way they pulled open.

I like these shorts so much; I think they're pretty smart, so I would wear them anywhere I wouldn't usually consider wearing shorts.  They are a great length: they stop just before my thighs get a lot more meaty!  Also, they aren't tight, which means they are comfortable.  I have eaten toast, watermelon, a home-made strawberry and banana and ground flax milkshake, home-made golden syrup cake, a packet of get the picture...and they are still comfy, though a little more expanded in the tummy area!  Sorry they look a bit creased, but I'd been sitting down in them for some time before taking the photos.

I am going to make a yellow drill pair next.
I know some people say life is too short to mess around with patterns that need a lot of fitting to get right, but I'm really glad I persevered with these.  They are my fave shorts ever!

Just please don't be upset my my terribly knobbly knees!

Will post my Anna Dress v soon.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Vogue 8184...again


I have been gone a while as I have had much decorating to do, including huge curtains to sew.  I really intensely dislike making curtains but the feeling of achievement when they're finished (not to mention the relief) makes it worth it!

Thank you for your comments on my tartan Elisalex.  I really enjoyed making that dress (and wearing it).

I made this latest version of Vogue 8184 back in March and then forgot about it, and Saturday was the first time I'd worn it, the British weather being what it is.  It's made from quilting cotton, as indeed are all my other versions of this pattern.  I feel that the fabric, along with the boning (or in my case, plastic rigilene), gives much needed structure to the bodice.  All my versions also have self-lined bodices.

What can I say about this that I haven't said before!  I do love this pattern; it fits me perfectly with no alterations, it's fitted without being uncomfortable.  In fact it's very comfortable.  And it's such a quick make as well.  It might be strapless (something I didn't think I would wear much), but it's a definite wardrobe staple for me, for summer.  I could happily live in these dresses and probably will.

One thing, and it's my own mistake: having spent ages choosing which planets to put where, I didn't notice that I had doubled up on the ringed planet at the waistline until the dress was made, and now it drives me mad.  Oh well, hopefully I have learnt to be more careful in future.