Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Rise of the Phoenix (A Dress)

Stop the bus,my latest project is finished.  Phew.

Why the relief?  Well, it was a bit of a journey....

Raison d'etre...

I am the lucky (and grateful) recipient of four wedding invitations this year!  Can I get a whoop whoop?  So, I needed a new dress.  I toyed with the idea of making my own wedding dress, but decided not to.  Ever since, I've had a moment or two where I have thought how nice it would have been to make it.  So, I decided to test that theory and use one of the (3!!) wedding dress patterns I bought back in 2009....

The creation....

Armed with a voucher, I headed to Mandors and purchased some gorgeous fabric; then came home and washed it all up.  Good girl Rachel.
I then mocked up a muslin (first ever) from an old bedsheet to test the fit.  It wasn't quite Goldilocks: the top half was just right, but the bottom half was a bit snug (I need to eat/breathe/walk/dance, right?).  Cut fabric out per amendments required and set to it.

Oh!, the pattern I'm using is this one, Vogue 1032:


Somehow in sewing bits together, the bodice must have shrunk, because when I tried it on, it was too tight.  like sausage casing, I'm-not-prepared-to-admit-that-to-anyone-let-alone-the-internet tight.  BUT, that lace had cost £50 a metre (I managed to eek out what I needed from 0.5m and I ummed and ahhed so long about buying it due to the cost) that I HAD to salvage it!

So, I decided to keep the back as was, and draft a new front piece.  A piece like what I had dreamt one night anyway....
Cue pattern number two, Vogue 1203 (ooh, same numbers, different order!  BTW, I can't believe this is OOP.)

So, that's now on the front, wrapping up into the lace back.  Happy days. Skirt went on, dress was tried on and wouldn't you know it?  The skirt was a bit loose.  Odd, and annoying!  So I whacked additional width out of each side.

All that remained was hand-sewing (yay) and hemming.  I have come to the conclusion that I cannot hem things nicely.  I need to focus on improving my skills here.  My usual problems/faults are:
  • length - too short or too long.  Either way, I need to choose better lengths
  • stitching - clumsy/visible on the outside
  • hemline itself - uneven
Anywho, so I marked the length (with the dress on Maisy - my helpful dressform), thought "I really should check this" and then blithely cut it out then and there.  And I'll be honest, I wish it was a wee bit longer.  Like 2cm.  Just enough to give it that 1930's length, and to retain some of the flick of the skirt.  Whatevs.  That now lies on my sewing room floor.

The wedding is tomorrow, so I'll post some photos of me wearing it shortly, but in the meantime, meet Maisy.

 Some of the seams look a bit puckered... I hope that's not for real!

So, why the title "The Rise of the Phoenix"?  

Throughout the making of this, I felt like things kept going off-kilter, or dare I say it, even wrong.  But the dress refused to die, and I am pleased with the end result.  But, even better, I am STOKED that I didn't make my own wedding dress!  Result.

Oh, and in case you're wondering.... here's my actual wedding dress

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Have you seen this?

It may be an offering from Heaven's own sewing department...

More details can be found here

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Charity Swishing Event in Edinburgh – Please Come Along!

Do you fancy purging your wardrobe and getting some new threads, all whilst raising money for charity?  Well if you do, consider coming along to the Swishing with Hula event that is being held on Thursday 19th April (i.e. a week tomorrow) at Hula (on the corner of Victoria Bow and the Grassmarket).

I’m organising it with two friends, in an effort to raise money for Save the Children.  We’re hoping that it will be loads of fun for us all and successful for the charity… Fingers crossed!

This might be a novel idea to you, so have a look at these “Rules of Engagement” for an idea of what is (planned) to happen….

Do please consider coming along, and let me know if you have any queries!


Friday, 6 April 2012

Mojo Rising Collars

In recent times, my sewing seems to have followed a similar pattern:
  • Dreaming about sewing during snippets of snatched time at work...
  • Flying home on my bike to get stuck in to sewing...
  • Rustling up super quick dinners (A LOT of stir fries...) in order to sew... 
  • Getting excited about new projects....
  • Cutting material out....
  • Sewing it up...
  • Trying it on....
  • Throwing it across the room in disgust due to it looking dumb/not fitting/being generally lame.

Then I got a stinking virus and had two days off work.  I can not remember the last time (if ever) I had two days off work over illness (so I'm not complaining).

Anywho, after all that, I needed to fall in love with sewing again.  What better way than the equivalent of a city break - short, interesting, a bit different and yet based on a set of known quantities.
So, I made up some collars.  I thought I had missed the boat on these, and that they were firmly in the *so last year* file, but it turns out I'm less aligned to Alexa and more to the mainstream.  And that's OK - I'm less bothered about being cool than about being understood!

Continuing on the city break theme (and because I'm a dork) I give you:



Krakow (reverse side)


Bordeaux (my favourite)
These are all variations on the collar of the blouse pattern I got from ScruffyBadgerTime, and scraps.  So much fun.  I'm thinking of making some cuffs to go with the last one... the thought of prissy little matching collars and cuffs really tickles the subversive side of my sense of humour...

Do you gels dream of sewing when super busy and then have monumental fails when time is found to sew?  My next thing on the list is a set of items for a wedding... best hope my mojo has come out of hibernation again soon!