Jim-Jam Party!

Hi guys! I’m heeeerree!…

… where is everybody?…

… what do you mean Karen’s Pyjama Party was yesterday?!

… BUT, BUT, BUT I BOUGHT THE MOET!!?!

And it’s not my fault, I swear!

You see I got sucked in by this book – When You Were Mine – which is a modern re-telling of Romeo & Juliet but from the perspective of Rosaline, the one that was left behind when Romeo took up with that bitch Juliet. I blame Forever Young Adult for their glowing review.

Still better late than never… right? And any excuse for to wear pyjamas all day!

These took about four hours in total and used black silk/cotton blend and everyone’s favourite freebies – Colette Patterns’ Sorbetto and a variation on the Madeleine Bloomers.

Thanks for hosting Karen!

The Sew Grateful Dress: Vintage Simplicity 4908

 

The gorgeous and gracious Debi, who I’m sure you all know from her blog My Happy Sewing Place and her work on the Sew Weekly, recently hosted a challenge in celebration of Thanksgiving.

The instructions were to use a piece of fabric or pattern you had won or been gifted or to use a tutorial from another blogger in the spirit of saying thanks to the collaborative community that we are all a part of. And lucky me, the day after reading Debi’s Sew Grateful challenge, I won a blogiversary giveaway of two vintage patterns from Amy of Sewing Through the Motions.

I decided to make Simplicity 4908, which according to the Vintage Patterns wiki is from the early to mid 60′s.

 

The dress has a princess seamed bodice and kimono sleeves. The front panel and the belt are all cut as one piece and it finishes at the back with a bow. Which makes me feel a little like I’ve accidentally made a bridesmaid dress…

Image via Aeva Couture

I blame Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Still, I think a 60′s vintage dress in coral sounds just lovely so I didn’t let that put me off. Nor did I get defeated by the amount of pattern alterations that were needed.

To start with, I graded it from a 36in to a 41in bust before tackling the full bust adjustment. Frustratingly because of all the angles involved in the side front panel it just wouldn’t come together so instead I created a new pattern from a hodgepodge of ones I already knew fit.

The first pieces I needed were for the shoulder princess-line bodice, so I grabbed my Sewaholic Pendrell blouse. Next the kimono sleeves, which came from the white lace tee I made a few weeks ago.  I fit the pendrell pieces under the bust (it’s usually a loose blouse) then cut the side panel at the midriff to mimic the curve on the original piece. The bottom of the side panel attached to the front piece. The kimono sleeve addition was pinned to the side panel before tracing it off again and adjusting the seam allowance.

The back piece was the only originally graded piece I used, except for the bow. The only change made was to make the neckline scooped rather than V- or bateau necked. I continued the belt from the front piece around the back tracing the outline of that piece.

The skirt I adapted from Burdastyle’s Jenny Pencil Skirt, and the pockets came from another pattern.

You can see the original pieces above and below you can see how they sort of piece together.

 

In the end, it came together pretty well despite all the improvisations. By the time I’d made all the changes, a muslin might have killed me so I just went ahead and whipped it up but next time I’l remove a little length under the bust and definitely add more ease at the hips.

Still for my first attempt at sewing a vintage pattern, I’m chuffed.

 

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

This autumn Sarai & Caitlin from Colette Patterns are reprising their palette challenge from Spring with the Fall Palette Challenge.

I’m really excited to participate as my feeble attempt at Self-Stitched-September has been hamstringed by my lack not just a lack of self-stitched clothing, but clothing in general. In fact, my entire wardrobe since moving to London consists of:

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 tee shirts
  • 1 shirt
  • 2 tops
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 coat
  • under garments, pjs, tights etc.

People pack more than this when they go on vacation.

I’ve had a really chilled summer and the only people I know over here are family so there hasn’t been a need for pretty new clothes but summer is fading and the time has come to start job-hunting so the challenge has appeared in perfect time.

So here goes. The challenge is low stress and spread over 8 weeks, although I’m going to run it out to the end of the year and try for a few more items.

The first step is to pick a palette for the season. Over on pinterest, I’ve been happily collecting inspiration on a fall pinboard, as have many other participants,  then I mashed some of them together and came up with this:

(Visit pinterest for the sources)

I love the intensity of the almost neon yellows and golds against the warm ashy greys of the tree trunks so that was my start point.

It was so hard to narrow down the choices though so instead of just four or five colours I picked a range of neutrals and fancy colours that will hopefully all work together and incorporates some of the RTW items I already have.

As you can see the iron oxide orange picks up on the colour of my Rooibos dress so I’m counting that one as my first item just so I can say I’m not as behind as I could be.

The next step is to plan the other items in the challenge but I’m still finalising my picks so that will have to wait till next time.

x Alana

Progress… I promise!

Woops, didn’t mean to dissappear like that!

I had a few days up in Edinburgh at the end of the fringe festival, then my BFF and former roomate from Vancouver was visiting and ended crashing here for 2 weeks rather than the few days I thought. Which, don’t get me wrong, was freaking awesome because she’s the coolest chick, just not so conducive to sewing.

And, now my camera charger has gone walk-abouts, so no photos but I promise I made headway on my rooibos yesterday. In fact, it’s one of those patterns that looks like it would take way longer than it really does – even when it involves a first attempt at piping (and leopard print piping at that!)

So instead here is my artists poor (knock off) photoshop impression of the finished dress.

 

Rooibos Sew-along: Muslin Two

 

Today is just a brief one as I’m off to Edinburgh for a couple of days, but I’ve adjusted and re-cut the bodice of my Rooibos muslin so I think I’m ready to roll on the full version, hurray!

Going back to the first muslin here is the photo showing the length issue in the bodice.

The pins indicate where the midriff line should fall.

To make the adjustment I measured the additional length needed (1.75in at the full bust + 1in at the  centre front).

Then I cut a line from beneath the underarm bust dart to the full bust point then vertically down (avoiding the under-bust darts). I left a hinge at the side seam stitching line so the side seam length remained unchanged, then pivoted the bottom piece down 1.75in.

Then I drew a line from the full but point to the centre front (perpendicular to the CF) and slide that piece down 1in before filling the gaps with paper and truing up the line.

This seems to have added the right amount although I had to play with the dart position and length a fair bit in the muslin form because the angle had pivoted down. I think now though, the problem is solved.

Here is the first muslin:

And here is the second:

It certainly feels like a better fit even if the process was somewhat of a guess :)

p5rn7vb

Colette Rooibos Sew-along: First Muslin

More muslining today. This time I’m catching up on Colette Pattern’s Rooibos Sew-along. For the first go around I made a 2in full bust adjustment following the CP tutorial here. Then I graded to an 18 at the midriff and 18 +2in at the skirt.

The pattern itself was surprisingly quick to construct – less than 90 minutes – although being a muslin there’s no facing, zip or hem.

As for the fit, the FBA worked well in terms of width but as usual there’s not quite enough length.

Here I’ve used pins to mark where the bottom of the bust should be.

I’m hoping that bringing the bust down and the midriff properly flat under the bust should fix the slight boxy feeling from the side.

The back’s okay but I’ll add a little more length. Where it finishes now is probably the length I should hem it at so I need to add the allowance to the bottom.

All in all it’s not too bad and I’m loving the little details like the pockets and the neckline at the back. Very excited to get started on the proper one this week.