Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Lady in Red

Was it just me, or did Autumn come and go incredibly quickly?

I have barely come to grips with dressing seasonally appropriate and the season has gone and changed again!

At least my newest make is a good transitional piece, so luckily I can wear it as much as I like in the coming weeks (well months, I do love it!)

I fell in love with this 1940s pattern instantly, but have held off making it for a while because the pattern was missing instructions and pattern pieces.

So it was like a Sudoku puzzle- not one of my strengths!
But it came together splendidly in the end, after many a mock up!

Sleeves! Why don't I make more garments with sleeves???
These are particularly fabulous, slim cut sleeves, with a triple dart at the elbow for movement.

I tried to photograph the inner elbow darts, but I am yet to find a pose which doesn't look ridiculous, suggestions welcome!
So you will have to take my word on the fabulous triple sleeve darts!

This pattern calls for soft shoulder pads, which have cured my irrational fear of shoulder pads!
 They don't make my broad shoulders broader at all! Instead they offer a little structure and balance the silhouette beautifully!

The cross over front was what I fell in love with!
 It is also what drove me insane trying to figure out, but I managed to compromise a solution!

For the eagle eyed among you, you may notice that the twisted front is not quite the same as the pattern.
 I did originally make the front as it is intended to be, but it wasn't flattering, so I have fed one of the ties through a dart and stitched it in. Less bulky in the front that way.

I added pockets, which is not part of the original pattern, but I always love pockets in dresses, so i'm glad I spent the extra time adding them!

The big bow in the back is a little dramatic!
But a bright red dress is never going to be subtle anyway. 

It is a soft drapey bow though, so I think it remains pretty elegant. 

Got to get those pictures of Autumn leaves in before they are all gone!

Outfit Details
Dress- Me Made from Vintage Simplicity 2178
Earrings-Vintage-Bang Bang clothing exchange

The fabric I used is a wool suiting, lovely and warm, which drapes well. Bought from Classic Textiles, Goldhawlk road, London.

What a fraying mess that was to sew, summer can't come along soon enough so I can get back to sewing with good old stable cotton!

I think this is only the second pattern from the 40s that I have sewn up.
I'm so proud of the finished result, which makes all of the hard work totally worth it!
I am actually feeling super in to the 40s style this season, so maybe a couple of more pieces might pop up!

X O X O 


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

When life gives you lemons

I have worn some pretty wacky outfits in my time.
 But I don't consider this look to be particularly unusual to the modern world.  
It isn't even that vintagy looking to people that think vintage is a bit odd. 
And yet I have got some super weird looks when wearing this dress!


It is a pretty modest shape. A bit of a front split going on in the skirt, but nothing untoward is on show. I thought perhaps the fabric was sheer, but I am assured, from many a source,that I have had check in various lighting, that it is not sheer. No under crackers visible at all. 

And yet I have had points and stares from total strangers. And not just this day when I was super dressed up, but also when I have worn this dress casually to the park without any glamorous sprucing involved. 

I will never understand some people.
"It's a dress! Ain't you never seen a dress!"

Ok, rant over-insert good hair pic here!!!

I fell in love with this dress, or rather the real, designer, Dolce and Gabanna version last spring, which naturally was excessively expensive for a cotton sun dress.

So I totally knocked it off!

I possibly wouldn't have gone to such an effort to replicate this dress had it been for casual wear.
 But as I wanted to wear it to my friends wedding, I made the commitment to make my dream dress!

In all its yellow lemon glory!

I ordered a reproduction Dolce and Gabanna fabric on Etsy. It looked fab in the pictures. But the fabric that arrived was awful! (Ordered from China so I should have known!)
Very little detail, sloppy in fact and the colours were off. 
Why are there yellow leaves??? Leaves should be Green!!! 

 But as a glass half full kind of girl, I jumped on the challenge to fix it! 

So yes, I painted it!

All 4 meters of it. Took soo long!

But was totally worth every second!

Naturally I needed a large surface to paint the fabric, so the kitchen table was busy for a while. A long while! (Sorry Dad)

Here is part of the bodice before I stitched it together. Painting all done. I managed to get the colours looking vibrant and put some detail back in to the print!
It made all the difference.

As this dress was for a special occasion, I added some beads and crystals, just on the one side as an accent. I'm not sure why I only did one side to be honest, but it was intentional. I didn't just get bored half way through. 

I'm really happy with how the embellishments turned out! 
Pretty subtle with a nice sparkle. 

And don't worry, I am completely in love with this dress. 
Let them point, I wave back, they hate that!

X O X O 


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

My week with Marilyn in my Granville shirt

Sometimes I will see an outfit in a film, in a magazine or being worn by a fellow blogger and it calls out to me, I'm always on the look out for outfit inspiration! 
 Ever since I saw the film 'My week with Marilyn', one particular look screamed out to be recreated.

Simple, yet timelessly elegant. 
Easy to wear and style for different occasions, such a useful outfit to have!

As I don't have much storage space, I like to make sure that the garments I have really work hard for their keep.

I enjoyed putting this look together and swanning about, looking sophisticated on a sunny, autumn afternoon. Nothing says sophistication quite like a crisp white shirt and a cashmere pencil skirt.

I used the Granville Shirt pattern for this classic white shirt after ogling HandmadeJane's gorgeous versions.
I didn't do any alterations to the pattern and I absolutely love the fit! Slim fitting, without being restrictive.

The seams in the back of the shirt mean that you can adjust the fit to how you like it, and you can follow the shape of the body better than you can with a dart. 

A classic collar, with collar stand, though I wouldn't necessarily wear it done up, it is satisfying to sew, and looks very professional.

I was tempted to use a cotton shirting, or a cotton lawn to make this as it would sew up so easily, but I ended up using a very fluid viscose, which feels very lovely against the skin, and was worth the additional effort to sew together.

With a proper cuff and placket, which I had never sewn before and went in surprisingly easily as the pattern instructions were very clear and polishes off the look perfectly.

Close up of the placket, because the stitching is particularly straight, wink wink!

Outfit Details
Shirt- Me made- Granville shirt from Sewaholic patterns
Skirt- Me made- from Gertie's new book for better sewing
Shoes- Monsoon (super old)
Gold locket necklace- Vintage- Etsy

Bag- Vintage- Etsy

And just so you know it isn't my bellybutton you can see in all of these otherwise pretty perfect pictures. It is an unfortunately placed button that I must remember to cut off!

You can now scroll up and look back at all of the pictures of the blasted button that you probably didn't even notice before. Tee Hee Hee!!!



Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Spy Girl Trench

I don't know how anyone gets by without a trench coat!
Super stylish and goes with practically any outfit, a trench coat is the perfect jacket for Autumn. 

Although the trench is a classic style, I struggled to find the perfect one on the high street. I basically wanted a Burberry trench but without the obscene price tag.
 As I couldn't find it, I of course made it. 

I used the Isla trench coat pattern by Named, and I'm super happy with the result!
The style is exactly what I was looking for!

I had never used Named patterns before, and I really enjoyed working with their pattern.  
 There is only one bad thing I have to say about the Named pattern I used, and that is that it works very much the same as Burda, where no seam allowance is included and the pieces overlap so have to be traced of. As there are many pieces, this drove me crazy. But other than that small niggle, the pattern was accurate and the instructions very clear. 

The back is super simple!
There is a cute belt under the collar,  which makes it look polished and sharp. 

The top cape effect is pretty cool.

Alongside the Amsterdam canals, this trench coat was giving off a sultry spy girl vibe. 

I didn't use any interfacing, except for the pockets, to stop fraying, so the collar does not stand up on its own. 
That would have been cool, but I would have only got makeup on it anyway so probably for the best after all. 

This pattern has plenty of technical details included. 
The pockets took a while to sew but were definitely worth it. 
The cuff belts frame the sleeves beautifully. 
The waist belt clinches in the waist, creating the perfect silhouette. 

I went with plain brown, tortoise shell effect, plastic buttons I bought off ebay, that marry well with the beige, pollycotton twill fabric I scoured Goldhawk road for. 

This wasn't a quick make, and there is a LOT of topstitching to do. But I took my time and everything went together swimmingly. 
That has a lot to do with the pattern instructions being so clear, which isn't always the case. 

Hopefully the clear backing buttons will stop the buttons from falling off, as I am very heavy handed on all of my buttons.
 Otherwise they do look very professional on the inside. 

I couldn't resist a quick flash of the turquoise lining along with the outfit that I will be posting about next.   ;-)

X O X O