Friday, 29 July 2016

an organising project - folding fabric to fit

A few months ago my friend Abi re-organised her fabric stash by following this tutorial or how-to by I Always Pick The Thimble

I probably won't take or at least share any 'before' photos, but I'll see how it goes. I'd already measured the shelves in my 4 identical cupboards  but forgot to write down the details, so last night I did it again and made a note - they're 39cm deep and 41.5cm wide.

I also went to tackle the last step of fixing my pattern drawers - attaching the replacement running tracks to the frame, and then the drawers to the tracks.  I found out why I gave up back then (where back then is longer than I care to admit).  The screws they sent out with the tracks are the wrong size. The head of the screw is larger than the originals  - which I carefully put somewhere safe. So safe I can't find them.  I realised when I detached the only original broken runner still in the drawers. Comparing the 2 explained why I couldnt recess the screws enough for the runners to move. It was sticking and not working. 

UGH. So I have the right & wrong ones in an old film canister, ready to take to Ikea on the weekend.

Updating to add that I do have a couple of photos of when I first moved fabric from the plastic tubs to the single door cupboards. Some shelves are much messier now as this was taken in January 2012 (4.5 years ago)


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Hard to focus on a project (also known as sewing ADD)

Today I'm excited about using a different fabric in my stash - also not quite work appropriate. This time I've had it a few more years, and it's a J Crew fabric I got in an 8metre length via eBay Australia.

The background isn't black, but a very very midnight inky navy.

I had another look at my stash spreadsheet and I have 5 work appropriate print dress lengths, and 2 non really work appropriate, but somehow my brain has fixated on the not-work.

Part of me wonders if it's the perfectionist streak that wants work clothing to be perfect but has more tolerance for casual or not-work wear.

Finishing my 1920s dress has fired up my missing sewing mojo, along with seeing an impeccably groomed and presented woman at Starbucks in Brissie. I part-jokingly said to my bestie "why don't I look like that" followed by "cos I threw things in my suitcase without thinking or having stylish clothes".

hmmm, things to focus on.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

wanting to prioritise a casual wear dress over work clothes

Several months ago - possibly even late last year - I saw a mermaid print fabric online, that I thought would be wonderful in a casual wear dress.  I googled it and found it came in 3 different colour ways, and loved the darkest version.

Finding yardage (not a half yard piece) was trickier than I expected, but I found it at Never Enough Fabric in California.  I got great customer service & communication from them too.

The only glitch in my plan - is entirely my error. Despite knowing that the States use imperial not metric measures I didn't realise the scale of the print because I saw the ruler on the website image (which isn't the one above) and thought it was centimetres not inches hence the print is 2.5 times the size I anticipated. I thought it was hawaiian shirt size, not this scale:

Not quite as subtle as I'd thought, but I'm still going to use it, and carefully place the bodice pieces on the yardage.

I found this blogger who's made a dress using a similarly scaled Alexander Henry pin up print

Monday, 25 July 2016

a quick pic of my1920s outfit

I had a fabulous time at the 1920s lawn party & will post more photos when I have time on my computer at home (not tonight cos I'm going to see the Cure in concert).

I used a bone brooch to gather up the centre front of the collar, and am really pleased with much better the dress looked. Wearing the right underwear, accessories and make-up also helped me feel much happier with me+the dress. It's looser than I would like, but as it has no side fastening it needs to be able to go over my acreage of boobage.

Here's a quick post with a photo taken by Desir Brulant. I haven't even seen my own photos from the weekend.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Sewing project completed at last - waiting from back in January

Way back in January I was dithering over a 1920s dress for the Roaring 20s festival.  A dress that I didn't finish then cos I got some virus and the start of my missing sewing mojo (which would normally have me power through regardless).

What I didn't blog about was the dress I started making back then.

I borrowed this OOP Vintage Vogue pattern #2535 from a bestie.

I found some black rayon in the stash, and got enough of this embroidered border silk/cotton to use on the lower band with a straight hemline.  I used the plain top half of the silk/cotton to line the sleeveless bodice.  I'm planning to do a shaped hand rolled hem, following the lower edge of the embroidery. 
Inspired by reading this blog post by witness2fashion on 1920s Accessories: what's missing? I'm also going to gather the centre front line of the cape collar because with my boobs it just doesn't look quite right, and I'm thinking of placing a 20s-ish brooch over that. I also have a giant peony fabric flower that I'll put towards my left shoulder to draw the eye up towards my face. 

I'm not going to look my prettiest because I'm a short stout woman and not the ideal figure for 20s, but I'll look fashionably dressed and that's what counts.

Oh, and I finished the dress earlier this week, and am wearing it to a 1920s lawn party on Sunday.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

In lieu of actual sewing - here's a new-to-me 1920s drawers pattern

I bought this Pictorial Review Pattern on The eBay earlier this year because I was fascinated by how it's a fusion or mash up of bloomers and 20s loose leg drawers.  So fascinated that I had to buy it - it wasn't spendy - and I do plan to grade it to my size and make some myself.  I've seen open legged patterns, and fully banded  but not this half'n'half version.

PPS I still haven't finished my strawberry print dress. That sewing mojo is still in hiding.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Prioritising work clothing over costumes for a while

Due to a massive restructure (dividing the division that I work in a government department into 3 separate entities with a new reporting line for each) I have employment uncertainty as my unit doesn't exist in the new order that starts on 1 July.  I'll find out around the end of this month if I'm being made redundant or redeployed and if redundant if it's 1 months notice or not much more than that with an end date of 30 June.  So I'm proatively job hunting as well as aiming for redeployment.

However I'm facing the reality that my work clothing has deteriorated ... I barely have things I'd wear to a new job. Some but not a weeks worth.  I'm working with files which are grubby etc so not having quality hasn't been a major problem until now.

At least 2 of my planned dresses were in prints that aren't work appropriate - martini glasses or mermaids.  So I've bought 2 vintage fabrics that I can use without facing an awkward conversation.  A dark maroon/brown print and a blue/green sateen with zero stretch. Like pockets I don't do stretch wovens.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Cutting out the March dress in March

Inching my way to productivity, I also got my March dress selected and cut out in March.

I selected the Anne Adams 4843 and the red/black vintage print and will use the contrast black for the lapel collar.  I compared the bodice of AA4571 with the AA4843 and although the pattern size is 22.5 & 26.5 respectively there was a change in size numbering so that there's 1 size difference.  Other than being one size larger and having neck not shoulder darts on teh back there wasn't any difference between the two bodices in regards to size so I simply used the 4571 bodice with the 4843 skirt pieces. I cut the hips wider as I'm concerned about sitting ease, better to need to take in than be faced with too small. Especially after my Lilly Rose disaster.

Oh and I'm going to stitch darts under the bust not leave them as tucks. I need skimming under the giant boobs of doom, not extra fabric fluffing out to resemble a potato. I'm going to make three-quarter sleeves and stitch a shaped cuff in black on it (no extra volume) to work with the black revere. And zero pockets.  Me and pockets aren't a thing.