Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hot Summer Rose

I love the name of this fabric "Hot summer Roses". I picked it up from Tessuti last year. I think they have sold out now. It is a cotton/spandex mix which is machine washable... bonus! I have a tendency to buy fabrics that need dry cleaning and tend not to wear them as I can't be bothered with the cleaning process.
I had pinned a photo to my pinterest board last year thinking I would make the strapless top and skinny pants to match. I decided on a mini skirt instead as I didn't have quite enough fabric.  I used Burda pattern 01/2012 leather bustier #124 for the bodice and drafted my own peplum. For the skirt I used Burda Magazine 7/2012 120 skirt which I also made up in the RTW designer knock off competition. I really love this skirt pattern. It has a really high waist and curved darts which start at the side seam right at waist level. It's a really good fit.
I boned and lined the bodice which I've never done before. I use a herringbone stitch to sew the boning tape in place and hand stitched the lining to the bodice. I also attached a grosgrain ribbon to the upper bodice to help with the fit. I picked up this technique from Gertie's sew retro bombshell dress lesson which was a really handy tip. I haven't sewn the bombshell dress yet but I have used a few techniques from this lesson and have found it really easy to follow.  Gertie's not your stereotypical sewing teacher which I love.
I have a very small bust so I had to take it in quite a bit. I adjusted it at the seam lines by shaving off about 1 cm. I also shortened the bodice.
I had a question on my last dress on how I get the bodice to fit so well on my small frame. Basically, I fit and fit and fit. I will fit to the dress form and pin where I see any bagginess at all. I then sew and re fit. If it needs adjusting still, I will undo and redo. I am not happy until the fit is good.
I could not live without my dress form. If you don't have one, get one. I picked mine up form EBay for fifty bucks and its been worth every cent. Also boning does wonders for your bust! The bodice stays up really well. 
I lined the skirt as I didn't think the fabric was firm enough. The spandex in it is probably not the best choice for a bustier but it turned out OK. The fit feels great although I think the boning is pushing into the waistline a bit too much. I may have to unpick and shave off a few mm's . I'll wear it tonight to my friends house for dinner and see how comfy it is.
I have loved sewing this outfit. It came together really well and I love the mix of machine and couture techniques.
I highly recommend both of the patterns.
Construction of Bodice
Burda Magazine 7/2012 120 skirt 

01/2012 leather bustier #124

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bat Boy Cape

My challenge today was to create a Batman outfit in roughly two hours. Why? Because I promised my son that I would buy him a new Batman outfit for not crying when I dropped him off at School. Poor little fella, he just started Prep this year and has not been coping very well at all. I've been using lots of bribes and this one seemed to work. One small problem though, it was one o'clock already and I hadn't got out to the shops to buy him his promised cape. Suddenly my little brain started ticking...I have loads of fabric and I can sew,  I'll sew him a cape before 3pm. This what I came up with.

Luckily, we had a cute little Batman tee in the drawer.

The black satin was left over lining from my RTW knock off dress 

I had some blue felt stuffed in a drawer to whip up a mask

The star fabric had been in my stash for a few years waiting for the right project

The gold satin was left over lining from my skin art dress

No more tears for this happy little Vegemite.

A few pics of the cape in the making.
All done, packed in my bag for School pick up.
He was thrilled!

This was easy to make. Just find two pieces of fabric (about half a meter) and fold in half.
Cut a neck line on the fold. I traced off an old cape that was falling apart. Cut diagonally down from the edge of the neck line until it meets the selvages. Then cut a nice curve along the bottom. 
Attach your Superhero applique on the back of the cape. I traced mine using a pic from the web.
Cut and sew a couple of straps and attach by sandwiching between the cape and lining (right sides together) and then sew all the way around the cape leaving an opening to pull it back through.
Edge stitch the opening closed. Voila!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Skin Art

 I purchased this fabric from Tessuti about a year ago. It's a gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana 100% silk satin from Italy. It was a very expensive fabric but there was a bit of a special on at the time so I bought a couple of meters to stash away.

I hung on to it for a while because I was never completely sure what I was going to do with it.

I was perusing the Pattern Review website and a pattern came to my attention, NEWLOOK 6123.
In particular this version by Mimi G. I've never sewn a NEWLOOK pattern before so I thought this would be an interesting experiment.

I barely had enough fabric and Tessuti have sold out of this fabric so I had to settle on Version D which I liked the look of anyway. I had just enough fabric.
It was the worst fabric I have ever had to cut. It was so slippery but I persevered.
I decided I'd better put to use the techniques I had learned in Couture to get accurate positioning of darts, seams etc which I think paid off in the end as the fit is almost perfect.
I decided to fully line it after reading a few of the reviews on Pattern Review. This fabric was far too expensive and gorgeous to not line.

I was going to put an exposed zipper at the back but decided against it after I realised there was way too much fabric at the back and it was making it stick out too much. I had to alter the back neck line by bringing it down a few inches to allow for this extra fabric. An invisible zipper was a much better choice.

I also learned how to sew a vent with lining. That was a bit of a challenge but I found a great tutorial here.
The one thing I hate about this pattern is the zipper at the back. I can barely reach it to do it up or undo it. I had to get my 5 year old to unzip me one day and he decided it was way too hard. Aggh! I felt trapped.
Next time, I will do a side zipper. Much more lady like!

Overall, I'm really really happy with this dress. It feels beautiful to wear and fits like a glove without being too uncomfortable.

Friday, March 1, 2013

RTW Designer Knockoff Contest

This is my entry for the RTW Designer Knockoff Contest.

Let me tell you, it is no fun having your photo next to a gorgeous model! How can one compare?
Maybe a wig would help.

I did a bit of research on the net and magazines to see what trends are current now and starting pinning a few ideas to a board on Pinterest.
What kept jumping out at me was Lace and Neon.

I know these contests are designed to help you use fabric from your stash but I had seen a neon lace at Darn Cheap Fabrics a few weeks ago and new it would be ideal (and cheap) for this project. It is acrylic and cheap and probably not quite the right choice but I didn't want to spend too much. 
A little brighter than the gorgeous outfit I'm trying to knock off but neon is in right now so why not?

I couldn't decide on pink or yellow but I fell in love with this yellow crochet peplum number from Printing, a Brazilian brand which has obviously been made with a much nicer quality lace than mine.

I decided to use Vogue V8815 for the Peplum Top. I reshaped the neck and armhole area to make it look more like the models although looking at it now I think I could have shaved off a few more centimeters. I also added pleats to the peplum just like the models. I had to cut the bodice on the cross grain to get the scalloped edge on the peplum which I didn't really give a great result. The bodice is too stretchy lengthwise and doesn't fit as snug as I had intended.

I used a skirt pattern from Burdastyle Mag 7/2012. 120 skirt. 
I have to say, I love this pattern. The skirt is high waisted which was perfect to attach to the high waist line of the peplum top. The skirt has two curved darts on the waistline starting from the side seam which gives a really nice shape. I will definitely make this skirt again.

For the back, I decided to funk it up a bit with an exposed zip. I hadn't seen a back picture of the dress until after I had sewn in the zip. I was really happy to see that the models dress has an exposed zipper too. Great minds think alike!! Ha Ha.

There is a great tutorial for exposed zippers on the Simplicity Website.

I also, lined it with a nice medium weight satin.

I had to have the photos taken quickly because I was getting ready to go out on a girls night so didn't notice the creases in my dress at the time. I had tried to iron out all of the creases but this fabric doesn't seem to like the iron.

I'm pretty happy with it. I think it will look great styled up with some grungy boots and a leather jacket thrown over.