February 27, 2015

Sew: Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress in Mood Knit

I wore my beloved first Colette Myrtle dress today and realised that I've never blogged it. I engaged my trusty blog photographer and snapped a few photos this afternoon. He has even taken to snapping two shots for front, back and both sides!

This Myrtles dress is made in a cotton knit that I purchased from Mood Fabrics in LA when we were on holidays in 2013. I bought enough fabric for a maxi dress but it was printed terribly off grain so I could only use a limited amount of it. I managed to squeeze this dress out thankfully. It is quite a thin and non-stretchy knit so probably better suited to a Myrtle than a maxi dress anyway.

The pattern came together well but I stuffed up the elastic casing. I was trying to cut corners and ended up catching the fabric to the elastic which is not ideal. You can see in the photo above that the fabric is catching. I have more fabric in the front than the back. Oh well.

Project Details
Pattern: Colette Patterns Myrtle dress, size XL
Fabric: Printed cotton knit from Mood Fabrics LA
Alterations: 4cm sway back adjustment, removed 3cm total from back neckline, omitted pockets
See Also: Sew Brunswick #1 | Stitchin In My Kitchen | Bluebell and Brook | Evolution of a Sewing Goddess

A good friend of mine refers to this dress as my hepatic vasculature dress. It makes me laugh every time I wear it!

L x
February 26, 2015

Sew: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Dress in Printed Cotton Sateen


First up, two blog posts in one week after months of low activity!! I might disappear again soon as we're almost finished with the reno. Can I get a yippee?! It will then be a few months of internal painting, carpet installation, floor sanding and polishing and moving furniture around. Once that's all done, I'll be able to set up the rooms and most importantly establish my new sewing room!

Now, focus on my not-so-new dress! I made this dress way back at Sewjourn in December. It was a case of pattern to stash fabric accidental pairing that worked out perfectly. I bought this fabric years ago at Spotlight to make a pair of Colette Clover pants. Soon after that I gave up on the Clover pattern completely and the fabric sat unused. I wasn't really keen on it. Then one day in preparation for Sewjourn I was on a cutting out frenzy and I spied this fabric. I had nothing to lose if it didn't work, so I happily cut in to it using my Camber pattern. Happy accident!

After the first two wears, I decided it was too wide in the shoulders and too big throughout the body. I was tempted to give it to Savers but I decided to unpick the sleeves to allow me to remove the extra width from the shoulders and take the side seams in another 2cm through the bust and waist. I kept the hem as is so this dress is a little more A-line than my previous versions. Project saved!

Project Details
Pattern: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Dress, size 16
Fabric: Printed cotton sateen from Spotlight
Alterations: 3 cm side seams, lowered bust dart apex by 2.5 cm, removed 1 cm from shoulder
See Also: Sew Brunswick #1 | Sew Brunswick #2 | Little Betty Sews | Make Something | Boo Dogg and Me

Mr N is improving in his blog photography and as he gets taller, the photos straighten out. The last photo shows our new house colour! If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I debated on the house colour for some time. I'd decided on a dark green/grey but at the last minute, the architects changed their mind and suggested we change to the lighter colour that the majority of Instagram voted on. I took their advice and was shocked when it was actually painted. It was so bright! It is growing on me now and I really love the tone of it. It will look amazing when my garden is back and growing against it and when the fencing and scaffolding comes down. 

So what do you think of my crazy print sateen dress? And, are you a fan of grey houses? I absolutely love them. 

L x

February 23, 2015

Sew: Oliver + S Pinwheel Dress

Summer is birthday season in our house. My boys are December and January meaning that most of their friends are summer babies too. Every weekend there's a birthday party to attend!

My standard present is usually Lego or a puzzle but I had two close friend's daughters birthdays coming up and I knew they'd love a handmade dress. Without promising much, I asked them for their daughter's measurements and then set to work finding a simple but playful dress pattern. The Oliver + S Pinwheel dress fit the bill and I found the printed cotton in my stash.

I had enough of the cotton to easily make two dresses so I made them exactly the same. They'll just have to coordinate their outfits!

Project Details
Pattern: Oliver + S Pinwheel Slip Dress, size 5
Fabric: Printed cotton from Clear It - Brunswick Street
See also: Lily Sage & Co #1 | Lily Sage & Co #2 | You and Mie

I'm not one for fancy details or mixing prints (especially for kids clothes), so I just overlocked and hemmed the flounce, omitting the bias binding. I really like the clean, simple finish.

I'm sure there will be many more Pinwheel dresses in the future.

L x
January 26, 2015

Sew: Liesl + Co Girl Friday Culottes

I finally jumped on the culotte bandwagon! And I'm loving them. I bought this fabric for culottes way back in October from Tessuti Melbourne. I was planning on modifying a Vogue pattern but after muslining the pattern I realised there was way too much work involved so I put them aside. The Girl Friday culottes then started appearing all over the world of sewing blogs. The pattern wasn't exactly what I had in my mind but it was close enough so I forged ahead. 

The pattern comes together easily and is well drafted. The sizing is accurately described in the finished waist measurements provided but it is tricky to know what size you need exactly until the waistband is on. I discovered after the first wear that I like them to sit snugly, quite high on my waist. The weight of the fabric pulls the front of the waistband down if it is not firm.  I knew it was going to bug me and I wouldn't wear them if I didn't fix them straight away. So after the first wear I dutifully unpicked the front waistband and took an extra 2.5cm out of each side pleat (not the centre front pleat). I then removed 5cm from the waistband and reattached it. Unfortunately my finish was perfect on the first go and not-so-perfect on the second go, but I was not unpicking for a second time. 

The fabric is (I think) a linen/cotton/rayon blend from Tessuti Melbourne. One side is a real black that is shiny and smooth. The other side has a slight linen texture and looks like washed silk. It is washed out black colour. I chose the "washed silk" side as the outside. 

The pattern calls for a normal zipper to be inserted inside the left pocket. I don't care much for normal dress zips so I chose to use an invisible zip. I just followed the same general instructions but inserted the invisible zip instead. The other interesting part of the instructions was that the waistband is attached to the wrong side and then flipped to the right side and topstitched. No stitching in the ditch or hand stitching required!

Project Details
Fabric: Linen/cotton/rayon blend from Tessuti Melbourne
Alterations: Removed 5cm from front waist band and pleats, used an invisible zipper

I'm really loving these culottes. I didn't think they would suit me or be very flattering but I think they do. They're extremely comfortable to wear and I even feel slightly trendy! Winning! I struggled to know what to wear with culottes so I purchased two tees from Country Road that go nicely and will see me through Summer. 

I'm not sure if I'll make another pair of these. There's only so many pairs of culottes a girl needs. I am pondering a more structured pair in a sturdy black wool suiting I got from Rathdowne for work. Or I'll stick to my original plan of a pair of Thurlows. I would make the waistband wider if I make these culottes again. I have noticed that the new Vogue patterns has a culottes pattern and I do like the look of those.

So, tell me, what do you think of culottes? Have you jumped on the #teamculottes bandwagon??

L x
January 17, 2015

Sew: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Dress in Banana Leaf Print Linen

Following the success of my first Camber dress, I proceeded to make another (two). This version is made from a medium to heavy weight linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I believe it is from the same range as the much talked about pineapple linen. I spotted it on the Darn Cheap Fabrics Instagram feed and asked Lara from Thornberry fame to get me 2.5m if she was going past anytime soon. She very kindly did and then proceeded to prewash the fabric for me and deliver it to me at Sewjourn. How's that for sewing friendship?! Thanks Lara!

There's not much else to say about this dress. I made the same alterations as my Nani Iro version plus removed the 1cm from the shoulder for this dress due to the stiffness of the fabric.

Project Details
Pattern: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Dress, size 16
Fabric: Banana leaf printed linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Alterations: 3 cm side seams, lowered bust dart apex by 2.5 cm, removed 1 cm from shoulder

I have another metre of this fabric. I first thought I'd use it for cushion covers for our soon to be finished renovation but now I'm thinking a boxy tank to go with my new culottes. What do you think? Cushions or top?

L x
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