Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tutti Frutti Ceylon

My first Colette pattern sewing experience. Yes, I'm rather slow to the party but better late than never.  I've been wanting to sew this for ages but I was waiting for the right fabric to come along and it was worth the wait. I picked up this strawberry and cherry 1930's print cotton in Tokyo and I absolutely love it.

This is a lovely pattern and came together more easily than I expected. I think all the pieces scared me off a bit at first and all those buttons! I went for smaller ones than suggested and also added an extra one at the top to balance it out a bit more.

I cut a size 4 bodice, tapered the midriff to a size 6 at the hips and cut a size 6 skirt.  The skirt was still a little wide for me so I took it in further at the sides quite a bit and also shortened the length.

I thought the full sleeves would swamp my small frame so I used the capped sleeves from New Look 6069 and finished the underarm with bias binding. Lauren from Lladybird has a great tutorial for this - thanks Lauren!

My muslin showed that the back bodice was way too big so I had to make a 4cm swayback adjustment.
Thanks to the Colette Handbook for instructions on how to do this.

And now for another "hands on hips" pose
Can't wait to make up my next Colette pattern - I've a few to catch up on!

Soundtrack: Tutti Frutti - Little Richard

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Monster Dress

I'm loving all the Sew Dolly Clackett dresses that are popping up at the moment, have you been checking out the flickr pool? These are some of my favourites so far: Heather's Poppy Dress, Ree's Rock Around the Clock dress and Jade's Happy Melon Dress, but to be honest, they're all fantastic so it's gonna be hard to pick a winner!

In the spirit of the sewalong I decided to post about my Monster Dress. I made it quite some time ago so it doesn't qualify to be entered into the competition and though it probably isn't quite Roisin's style, I'm sure she'd appreciate it. This is one of my favourite makes, I spent hours cutting the fabric out to get the placement just right, but I really enjoyed the process and it's such a fun fabric to play with.

I gave Dracula and the Mummy their own shoulder strap each and tried really hard to get a good balance of monsters throughout the dress, being careful not to chop any of their heads off!

The pattern I used was New Look 6699 which is one of my go to patterns - I've made it 6 times already with different variations and I'm sure I'll use it again.

Don't you just love this fabric! It's "Robert Kaufman Horror Movie" which I purchased on-line from Belle Pepper Fabrics. The drawings of each character are wonderful and the bright colours all work so well together.

My friend Tracey and I made up dresses in the fabric to wear onstage with our band (she used McCall's 2401 which is another really versatile pattern). It probably wouldn't be most people's choice for everyday wear but it's perfect for stage, especially when you're singing songs like "Wolfman" and "Zombie Rumble"!

Here's Tracey and I posing with a fan backstage in Tokyo - couldn't believe she turned up in the same fabric! (I love her blue shoes). I also made a little petticoat edged with green polka dot tulle just to add that extra bit of kitsch and a little volume to the skirt :)

This fabric is perfect for cushions too - the possibilities are endless!

Soundtrack: Wolfman by Rocket to Memphis - (shameless plug!)

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

My Dotty Dolly Dress

Look! I made an Anna Dress for the Sew Dolly Clackett Sewalong! It's clearly one of Roisin's favourite patterns as she's made quite a few and they're all wonderful! I particularly like her red and white polka dot number so decided to go dotty with mine too.

I used a green and white polka dot cotton and lined it with white bemsilk lining. I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to lining but my fabric was a little sheer in the light so I thought it would be better to do so.

Speaking of going dotty, I was a bit careless when it came to cutting out. There I was merrily cutting away when I realised I'd forgotten the bodice back piece and I ran out of fabric - doh! Luckily I had just enough scraps to piece something together and I reckon I got away with it.  Note to self: check all pattern pieces fit onto the fabric before taking scissors to hand!

This is my first By Hand London pattern and it's a winner! They have some great instructions on their website from their sewalong if you need a bit of extra help, though I did find the lining to be really fiddly. This was also my first time inserting an invisible zipper - woohoo! The Anna tutorial came in really handy for this and I used the Colette Handbook for guidance too, I find it's helpful to use a couple of different tutorials sometimes as everyone has a different way of explaining things.

I made a size 8/12 with only a couple of adjustments: I shortened the bodice 2cm which is usual for me though in retrospect I didn't need to and maybe the waist sits a little too high now. There was a bit of gaping in the front neckline so I checked out Sonja's back neckline adjustment and applied it to the front and it worked a treat. That was all the adjusting I needed to do apart from shortening the length.

I love the kimono sleeves and the pleats under the bust, I think it's a really flattering style. Without the lining (and my fabric shortage mishap), this dress would come together really quickly and I'll definitely be making another one soon. I'd like to try the boat neck version next.

So if you haven't made an Anna dress already, I highly recommend heading over to By Hand London and picking yourself up a copy of the pattern.

You probably already know about their Kickstarter funding project which will enable them to custom print fabric. There's only 6 days to go and they've nearly reached their target so don't forget to pledge your support and help the girls get this fantastic project up and running. Imagine being able to design and print your own fabric on demand - how awesome would that be?