Saturday, 23 August 2014

Muslins and Me

Claire of "I want to be a turtle" invited me to write down my thoughts about and experiences with muslins in her Notionally Speaking series. In case you haven't heard about Notionally Speaking yet: It is a wonderful series where bloggers have written about topics such as vintage, style, alterations, finishing and indie so far. Coincidentally (you choose the topic blind), my topic turned out to be muslins. Do you hate or love them? To find out what I think, hop over to Claire (click here :))!

Monday, 18 August 2014

As long as you don't look at the back...

One thing I was really missing in my wardrobe was a denim skirt. I have so many patterned blouses and tops (and skirts), but nothing to combine them with. Nope, I don't wear trousers. Never. So, when Tilly released her book I was immediately taken with the Delphine skirt, which although simple, looked elegant and playful at the same time.

The skirt I'm showing you today is not the first version I made. I made a wearable muslin before (which turned out great), but didn't had the time to take pictures yet. But no worries, you will see it soon because I love it.

Fabric: Light blue denim that I bought especially for this skirt. It took me three trips to Goldhawk Road before I finally decided to buy it. I had fallen in love with the fabric at first sight, but the price of 8£/meter made me hesitant. But then I just couldn't resist and bought 1 meter :) By the way, is it normal that denim smells like chlorine? Even after washing?

Pattern: Tilly and the buttons Delphine Skirt. I cut a straight size 3 according to my waist measurement.

Adjustment: I took the waistband side seams in by 1/4" at the top tapering to nothing towards the bottom. I made a massive swayback adjustment by taking out 2" at the center back of the skirt panel tapering to nothing towards the side seam. However, that's what I'm not fully happy with. Because I took out so much, the waistband looks pointy at the center back. Probably, I have to take out some of the fabric from the waistband as well. But this would mean the waistband will get smaller. I haven't decided yet what best to do. So if you have any suggestions, please comment :)

Construction:  Thanks to Tilly's amazing instructions, no problem at all. Tilly suggested to use a contrast facing, which I did. I used some liberty cotton lawn that I had left from the Hawthorn blouse that I'm wearing with the skirt.

Embellishments: As also described in Tilly's book, I added some belt loops and made a belt. But instead of adding a bow I added three buttons. I didn't plan to use these buttons. Actually I wanted to make the skirt version with the six buttons down the front of the skirt. When I emptied my button jar on the denim to see which buttons I could use, I noticed how perfect the big buttons goes with the denim. And thus the idea of my button belt was born.

The only issue is that somehow my belt turned out smaller than my waistband and that's why the belt is pulling the skirt up at the belt loops. Because of this the waitsband looks even more crooked. I also noticed on the photos that the hem in the back looks shorter than in the front, buh. I didn't realise it when looking in the mirror before hemming the skirt. I actually made Lescha measure the distance between hem and floor and he confirmed that the back is 1.5 cm shorter than the front. I'm contemplating to shorten the front to make the hem even. Hm, but I'm not in the mood to unpick the hem at the moment. Let's see...

Do I like it? Despite it's little mistakes, I love the skirt. I have worn it twice already and it held up well when I was out all day flat hunting.

In other news, I finally got a flat and will be packing my sewing room in the next couple of days. In the new flat, I will not be having a sewing room, but a little corner in the living room. I'm actually looking forward to sewing in the living room as I always felt a bit isolated from Lescha when sewing in my room.

Friday, 8 August 2014

It's still summer: Time for a second Simplicity 1803!

I made this Simplicity 1803 dress as part of Heather B's Summer Sundress Sew-a-long. Which is a great encouragement to make more summer dresses, especially because we have lovely warm summer weather in the UK. It means I can actually wear my summer dresses, yeah. I also wanted to have a second version of this dress with a patterned fabric, because with my white version I'm constantly worried about stains and dirt.

You might notice that I added cap sleeves this time. I intended to make a muslin with sleeves first, but couldn't wait and decided: when they fit -> sleeves, when they don't fit -> sleeveless. However, when assembling the dress I realised that I liked the sleeved version more. For this particular fabric, the sleeve version looks cuter :) 

But there was a small problem, the sleeves didn't fit. Because of my sloping shoulders, the pleat was sitting towards the back and it looked awful. I then moved the pleat forward towards my shoulder point, which looked much better. It took me two hours (and loads of ripping) to get the fit right, but it was so worth it.

This time I didn't line the bodice and skirt, because I wanted to sew a thin summer dress. As the fabric is not see through, this is fine. But the problem I have now is that the skirt is clinging to my panties! In most of the photos I took for this dress, it was actually clinging to my front and back. Awful. And I wasn't wearing a cotton pantie. So this means a) I go nude (not going to happen, haha), b) buy an anti static pantie (does it even exist?) or c) wear a slip (which will be hoooot in summer).

I have worn the dress with a slip already and it was fine. No clinging. However, the slip was a really cheap one from ebay and thus I'm thinking of making my own from silk. Maybe in black with a little lace trim.

 I didn't insert a lapped zipper this time, but went for the invisible one. I think I did a good job as you can hardly see the zipper and it was the first time that I put one in without using any instructions, yeah. *Me so proud* I'm always stabilising the zipper seam with fusible interfacing, which works like magic - no puckering!

You might notice that I didn't match the pattern. I tried at first and would have loved to place the four roses on each front panel. But because of the directionality of the print it didn't work. And then I got frustrated and couldn't be bothered to match anything. But I don't think you really notice, because the pattern is so busy.

I had some fabric leftovers and cut two stripes from it to make a long belt. I can wrap the belt twice around my waist and depending on my mood either tie it to a bow in the front or in the back.

Now I bet you really want to know what fabric I used? It was a liberty copy print that I got for half the price (because end of roll = 4£/m) from Goldhawk Road. I fell in love with it when I saw it and had to have it. That was 1.5 years ago. I couldn't decide what to make from it, but think it is a lovely pattern for a summer dress. I'm not sure you can see it on the photographs, but the leaves and flowers are outlined in gold. Love it!

I finished the hem with the rolled hem function of my Bernina (did I say that I love this function?!) and used black thread because it matches the fabric. So overall I'm super happy with this dress and think it will be great for autumn as well, as I can wear it with black tights. 

So how about you? Are you still sewing summer clothes? Or are you already preparing for the colder seasons?

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