Monday, August 12, 2013

Lola Dress by Victory Patterns


I made this dress a couple of weeks ago but haven't worn it because it has been too warm for it, it being summer.  Even in the UK this dress won't be worn until the autumn.  Because of this I forgot about it until I saw this one, which is just fabulous in so many ways.

When I made this dress I used stash ponte, which I fully intended to be a wearable try-out sort of version, feeling that I would probably need to make some sort of petite adjustment, but not being sure exactly where or how.  It's drafted for a person of (I think I remember) 5ft 6 to 5ft 9 (I am 5ft 2).  On trying on the dress I felt I probably should have made it a bit closer fitting under the bust and a bit narrower all over.  Definitely a bit shorter than it is.  Seeing Perfect Nose's version confirmed this.  That's okay...I am fully intending to make another, this time with fluffy sweatshirt fabric.  I did get a sample from a company in Germany that has a great selection, but it was a little thinner than I would like.  Back to the drawing board on that one.  Anyway, back to the ponte I used for this version: it's a bit drapey but very stable.  I think I could do without a bit of that drapiness.  I want fluffy!  The pockets havemore fabric in them - width-wise - than the side panels of the actual dress, and I'm not sure I like the way this fabric makes the pockets hang.
The dress was very easy to put together, and to sew on an ordinary sewing machine.  I don't have a serger but I would like one!  I had to stretch the bejesus out of the bands, to get them sewn on to the much longer dress pieces, as I didn't use ribbing.  But it worked out okay.

Princess seams are so much easier when working with a knit fabric.  Yay for knit fabrics (sort of.  We have a love-hate relationship).  But in this case, when it came to the sewing, it was love!  I think that's because the fabric is very stable for a knit.
I just wanted to make a small mention of my hat, which is knitted in a wool/silk blend called Amitola by Louisa Harding.  I was such a quick knit - just a few hours - and will come in very handy in the winter (along with my other twelvty-thousand hats).

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Colette Hawthorn Peplum Blouse

When Colette released the latest pattern, Hawthorn, I wasn't impressed.  For some reason (obviously not paying attention to detail) I had thought it had a gathered waist, which most often make me feel - and look - like a sack of potatoes.  But when I saw the many versions put forward for the Hawthorn competition I changed my mind.  Not a waist gather in sight...that helped.  I think it's a really cool dress, in the right fabric. I personally wouldn't like to make it in anything too twee.
The picture on the wall is of my son having his cord cut at birth!  We psyched the colours up to stop it being alarming/cringeworthy.  

I wanted to make up the bodice to try the fit but couldn't be bothered with wasting time on a muslin I wouldn't be able to wear (I know, lazy!) so decided to use one metre of Liberty lawn that I'd had in my stash for ages and ages and which was supposed to be part of my next Macaron, to make the peplum blouse.  I have never been a fan of the peplum, even in my teen years back in the eighties, but having recently bought one RTW I can see that they can be quite flattering and quite cool to wear with jeans.
I'm glad I made this top.  In this version I cut a size 4, grading out to a size 6 waist.  There is too much room at the waist, even though I chose it based on my measurement, but I didn't alter it as I did want this to be relatively loose to wear with various trousers.  For my dress version I'll definitely cut a 4 all over.  Actually I may go down to a 2, grading out to a 4 at the waist as there is rather more room all round than I would like. Also I'll shorten the front bodice to a 2, and the back to a 0 (there is always too much length in the back for me in every pattern).  In this version I took out just a little bit more under the bust, in the darts, as it was a bit too roomy around the midriff.  Made me look a bit matronly around the middle...I needed more definition under the bust area.  Speaking of which: several people have commented that the points of the bust darts are a bit, um, pointy.  I know what they mean, but I like the effect.  It gives the bust a bit of a retro shape, although I don't think these photos show it.
There was nothing tricky at all about the making of this blouse.  The collar is very easy, both to make up and to insert.  There is no hand sewing involved as it's sewn in between the actual blouse and the neck facing, instead of having to be turned under on the inside of the neck and slip stitched down.  In this case I was happy, but I do quite like a bit of careful hand sewing now and then.
I finished the armholes with grey bias tape, and the hem, too.  The buttons are turquoise ones from my stash, which I was glad to use up.

I am definitely going to make a dress version.  My fabric is lined up - I just need the time to start pinning and cutting.