Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Vintage Vogue Re-issue Summer Dress - Work in Progress 2

Bound Buttonholes I fear you no more!!  

This project has been on hold for a while, partly as I needed to sew up 6 aprons and partly because I have been very scared of the bound buttonholes.  Looking at the instructions I just though argh I don't understand, so I ignored them and ran away. 

This weekend however I had a day free and I felt some sewing motivation so I started on this dress.  In my head I had started calling it 'The Impossible Dress' which is never good for conquering your fears.  The dress itself has 43 (!?!) steps in the pattern instructions which is more than any I have done before.  To break it up I have written the numbers down and am slowly crossing them off as I work through it as it is better for me to break them down into small pieces.
Front right bodice piece

I have currently done 1-11 which includes the bound buttonholes on the bodice.  Before starting on them I searched the net for tutorials and found this one on Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing which explains it
very well.  I didn't really know what they looked like finished either so this was very helpful.  I grabbed some scrap bits of fabric and had a go myself.  I was just playing to see how it worked so it isn't pretty and I didn't press it, it was just to get the hang of it.
Buttonhole practice

So then I was feeling very confident and I re-read my instructions and realised the pattern suggested making them in a slightly different way.  Instead of using a different piece of fabric for the lips as Gertie suggests, it uses the same fabric that is pushed through the hole folded back on itself.  I decided to use this technique as it kept the bulkiness of the fabric down.  I am really pleased with how they have turned out so far.  Don't mind the black stitching, that is just to keep them in place and to stop them stretching when sewing the bodice together.
Bound buttonholes on front
I have also done the darts in the front and back and sewn the 2 front bodice pieces together and the same for the lining.  I have realised that sewing darts is one of my favourite things in making up a garment.  I think it is because they make your flat piece of fabric instantly shaped and more on its way to becoming something you can wear.
Back pieces and linings

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Cupcakehead Aprons for Superfex

Ta Da!!  This is the secret project I have been working on, custom aprons for my sister Superfex
Pink Apron
Pink apron back
There are 6 aprons in total, 3 with pink and 3 with brown strings.  The main fabric was designed by Superfex and printed by Spoonflower which is great for making up custom fabric.  These aprons will be going on sale in her online shop very soon and if they sell well then I can imagine that more will be commissioned.  I just did the sewing with all directions from Superfex and I  think they have turned out really well.  They have velcro on the neck loop so that it can be easily detached at the neck while crafting or cooking.  I really like the bright funky pattern and the length looks really cute over dresses. 
Brown apron
Brown apron back
Professional pictures to follow but I just wanted to share!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Vintage Vogue Re-issue Summer Dress - Work in Progress

I started this project quite a while ago but other things have cropped up and it is not going very quickly.  Hopefully posting it on here, combined with my week off will give me a bit of a kick up the bum.  I got this lovely re-issue of a 1954 Vogue pattern in the Daily Mail giveaway last year, for just the price of the postage.  Bargain!
Vogue V2960
This pattern does scare me a bit, it has bound buttonholes which I have never done but I am going to attempt. (If they go wrong they will end up as just machined button holes, I warn you now!)  I am using the lovely floral fabric I bought at Sewing for Pleasure which is fairly see through so it is going to be fully lined.
The dress instructions do not include a lining so I am just winging that bit but I know the theory of how it should work.  I think I will line it and then add the floral facings over the top but I hope this doesn't make the top section too bulky.  I have made some changes to the pattern, but I can't entirely remember what they are!
I know I took a bit of fabric off the arm hole as these always seem to be too tight on me lately.  I *think* I took a bit off the length of the torso piece to make it sit at my waist better.
So far I have cut my fabric and lining but that is where construction ends.  I will have to gee myself up to carry on as in my mind those button holes are a bit of a hurdle.  I did get these really cute buttons in a contrasting colour to go down the front.  I figure if I am going to have buttons all down it then I want them to stand out.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Burda Style August 2011

 This is a slight bug bear I have with fashion magazines in general but why does AUGUST's issue have  AUTUMN fashions on it?  To me August is still summer and I will never understand why magazines have trends and fashions a few months in advance.  I know it has always happened but I don't really want to look at autumn trends when I am still making summer dresses.  It is depressing. 

Anyway, after that rant this month actually has some fantastic items in it!  This month had a section called '50's Revival which I was really looking forward to but wasn't quite what I expected.  Don't get me wrong there are some lovely pieces but I was looking forward to a full-skirted swing dresses.  Let me show you the goodies though.
A pretty pastel dress with a high neck and gather in the front neckline and sweet little capped sleeves.  I could imagine this subtle colours as work wear though the high neck at the front doesn't always look great on me.  Next is two fab pencil skirts.  I like them both so they have both ended up here.
This knit grey pencil skirt looks really sophisticated and a pencil skirt is something I have wanted to make for myself for a while.  I would really like to wear one to work but I don't know if my job is a bit too active for this type of skirt.
The second skirt is similar but has a front pleat and and a houndstooth fabric.  I think this is the more dressy version and I can imagine it in a slinky black or plum satin for a evening out.
I am in love with these Quiet Mood high waisted trousers.  I love the line of buttons up the side and the slim bootleg flare, yummy!  I am not so keen on the fabric used, I like the colour but for some reason it is jersey which I don't think matches the smartness of the trousers.  I would love to make some in slate grey or dark navy denim or some other denim weight fabric.
The Mix & Match section has this fantastic jacket which looks warm as well as it being chock full of military styling.  The top underneath is also one of the Burda offerings and looks great with this jacket.  I am very scared of sewing jackets and coats, they look so difficult, have so many different tailoring techniques that I haven't learnt yet.  One day I will try and conquer my fear!
How cute is this little skirt?  It is a wraparound and there is actually a step-by-step sewing tutorial on this.  I really like the herringbone they have used which is quite wintery but I reckon you could use printed cotton for summer too.
I also like these shorts.  There is not a good picture of them but they are made from the same pattern as the high-waisted trousers I liked previously.  The green cord is not something I would have thought of for shorts but I really like the texture and would make them last through the winter.  Maybe making these would be a good lead into trousers which I have yet to try.
 I don't crochet or knit but how lovely are these little flowers?  I may have to send the pattern for these to my friend who has recently taken up knitting and made me a scarf for Christmas this year.

Finally, my 'what were you thinking?' pattern, there was a coat which I liked the front of but just had far too much fabric in the back so that I think it would make you look like a kite if the wind caught it.  But in the end, I went for this little beauty.  We all want leggings that make us look like we have pony hooves for feet right?
Hmm what do you think?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Shh it's a secret!

Can you keep a secret?  The project I am working on at the moment is a secret as it is a commission for my sisters web shop Sour Jelly.  I can't say too much about it as the products I am sewing up are not live yet but I thought I could sneak you a picture. 
Shhh don't tell!  The fabric is one of the lovely Superfex designs made up be Spoonflower which is a great site for printing your own designs on fabric.  I have made up my sample and I am waiting to see if she likes it, then I will be whipping up more.  Don't worry, as soon as I can I will show you all my sneaky project.  This is about as far away from the 1950's dress I am also working on as you can get!  (Will do another post about that, it is on the back burner at the minute.)

If you are interested and want to see more of my talented sisters graphic design work, click here!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Buttons Galore!

For the past week or so I have been slowly sorting out my HUGE button collection!  I inherited the majority from my gran when she passes away, she had two big tins full of buttons and used to make her own clothes and clothes for my mum and aunt as well.  The more '80's style ones are from my nan who also had a small selection and some are from a random ebay purchase from which I used the nautical buttons for a costume.

This tin has my gran's name etched in the top 'Edna's Tin' and very faintly it has my grandad's on the bottom 'Ray.'  I think this is really sweet, especially as I don't really remember my grandad, he died when I was very young.

The majority of the buttons are vintage and pretty old, I especially love the mother of pearl and the glass patterned buttons that are really lovely, if a bit chipped.

Some of the buttons had clearly been cut off clothing and still had pieces of some very retro 1970's fabric and some gingham that reminded me of school uniforms.

I have been sorting them into ones, twos, threes and then anything bigger.  I am planning on selling some and keeping some, the larger amounts I will pop on ebay as they have sold pretty well fr me on there is the past.  The pile in the middle is all I have left to sort.  I say all but that is a fair size coffee tab;e and its nearly covered!  I will do another post with some of my favourite ones, there are some really pretty black anchors that might just be jet but I am not sure.