Monday, May 14, 2012

Simplicity 2588

Towards the end of last year, I was very lucky to have won a beautiful dress pattern from a competition run by Professor Pincushion, (a fantastic place for researching sewing techniques and viewing tutorials online),over on Facebook. I've just got around to taking it out and making it, I've had quite a lot of projects on the go in the mean time. Simplicity 2588, by Project Runway. A beautiful dress with lots of different design options.

And here it is! I should probably explain something here. Usually when I take pictures of clothes I make, I crop them to just show the dress. For several reasons. To just show the dress, and I guess I'm a bit shy too. But I've had comments about it looking weird with the head cut off, so I thought I'd leave my head in these, perhaps it looks just as weird! Anyways! I'm really delighted with the results of the dress.

Front View
I chose a really lovely fabric I saw in Hickey's Fabric shop, in Dublin. It was quite thick cotton, I'm not entirely sure of the exact name for it, but it is white cotton mixed with some kind of denim, I think. It's reversible, so the back of it is blue with white patterning. Which is great because it means that it is not see-trough like a lot of summer dress fabrics. It holds it's shape nicely and drapes well too.

Back View

I really enjoyed making this, it all went together smoothly and the pattern was simple to follow. I love the neck detailing, it's sweet and a little bit different, and it fits just right, which I'm pleased about. There are lots of details that come together and make it a really interesting dress. I chose to make it with the side tabs and I left out the pockets. With the tabs, I used the reverse side of the fabric, which is simply a negative of the front side.

Close Up View of fabric and tabs
 I think I'd definitely make this again, although I'd be slightely more adventurous next time. I'd add pockets and I'd change some of the design features, just to make a different dress. I like how the skirt is pleated. There is an option for sleeves, a full belt and a slim skirt so with a few different pattern pieces, I could have a completely new dress.

Side View
 I want to make a little shawl to go with it next. To wear it in the summer, even when the weather turns a little chilly. I'm so pleased with the results and will definitely wear it out. To see more pictures of the dress, and some other things I make, please take a look at my Facebook page and "like" it to keep an eye on what I'm making! And if you have any comments, I'd love to hear from you! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Look 6704

I'm finished!! New Look blouse/shirt pattern 6704. I am so pleased with the results!!

I wanted to try something different. I've made a few dress patterns at this stage, and I wanted to test my skill by making something other than a dress. This pattern involved buttons and a collar and fitting sleeves, so I decided to try it out. I am so glad I did!

Although I chose a pattern that would allow me to try new things like adding buttons and buttonholes, I chickened out at the last minute and used snap fasteners instead. I tried out some buttonholes on some scrap fabric, and they just were terrible, so instead of ruining the finished thing, I went for the safe option! But they went in so well, and evenly! There's no gaping and I am so pleased that they went in!

The material I used was a lovely printed cotton. It's heavy enough, not too heavy, but not flimsy. It's a rich green colour, with little lime green circles with lighten it up nicely. The collar went so smoothly, and everything just went together like it should have! The pattern instructions were clear and I think this is the first thing I've made that didn;t give me any hassle while sewing it up.

I like a lot about this blouse, but my very favourite thing has to be all of the top-stitching!! I want to use it on everything from now on! It gives it a really fine, professional finish to the whole thing, I was so impressed at the difference it makes to the finish. I definitely want to try this again. I was expecting so much to go wrong with this project, but I honestly have to say that nothing did!

With the dresses and other things I've sewn before, which admittedly isn't much as I'm still very much a novice, I've been a little nervous to wear anything out in public. But I would easily wear this out as an everyday top, and be quite proud to do so! There are no darts, I didn't have to adjust anything, it just fit. With a little room, but not too much. With the nice weather coming in, I'm going to get plenty of use out of this top! :)
Please check out and "like" my Facebook Page to see some other projects I've been working on. I'd appreciate your support and feedback!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Simplicity Pattern 2401

I've finally gotten around to finishing it! Simplicity pattern 2401 is made, and I now have a nice summer dress!!

I've had quite a bit on lately, and haven;t been able to focus much on sewing, but my cousin's wedding is coming up soon, and I needed something to wear. I've never actually worn a dress I've made out in public before, I guess I'm still quite shy about it, but I have to start somewhere!

I really like the style of this dress, I'm not mad about the jumpsuit, I don't wear maxi style dresses anyway, they don't really suit me. So I chose the shorter version of the dress, and I bought a light summer blue cotton to make it in.This is the finished result.

I should probably admit to the trouble I had with this particular dress. I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. I made this dress before, a while ago and it just went wrong. The sizing was way too big, but since I wanted to have a dress, I decided to remake it, using two sizes smaller. I wouldn't normally remake something once I've done it, but I never got to really see what it was like. And I had the guts of the dress all done and it took me the longest time to fit the zip. I inserted and removed the zip several times. Then I had left it for a few weeks, zipless, in the hopes that the magic zip faeries would do it for me. They never came, so I had to bite the bullet. Then when the zip went in smoothly, I was all excited and got a bit carried away taking up the hem, with the result that it's a little shorter than I thought it would be.
I like the halter-neck style of the dress, and the A-line skirt. I wish the instructions had given an option of lining the skirt, because I chose quite a light material, and it's see-through in sunlight. I do have a little slip I can wear under it, but I'd prefer to just have it lined as nicely as the top.
I like the elastic detail at the back, and it feels nice on, there is no straining at all when I bend over, there's a lot of give, but this could also be because it's slightly (just a tad) too big still around the back and in the bust. Not hugely, and I think I can get away with it. At least that's what I hope. Now my plan is to make a little stretch-knit bolero-type top to go with it for the wedding, but I'll see if I manage to get around to it! I may be wishing for warm weather instead. I'm actually quite nervous about wearing anything I make in public!! One thing I can be sure of is that nobody will turn up in the same dress as me. (Unless of course they get the same pattern, and same material...!) :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Next Project...

Hmm. I'm not sure where this is going to post to, I'm a bit confused about all of this. I think I clicked a button I wasn't meant to.
Anyway, I suppose I'll find out once I've posted it.
So, I'm posting another project online, this time, New Look Pattern 6203.
An Asian style tunic, with the option of a skirt or trousers. I made style C tunic with little cap sleeves. I chose the longer style tunic because the shorter one would have just been way too short for me. And I didn't want long sleeves, or sleeveless, so I went with the cap sleeves. At least, I think that's what they're called?! :)

The material I found, in the Wollen Mills in Dublin, is just beautiful. A bright vibrant pink material with gold, blue and purple embroidery. I'm not sure what material it actually is, but it was difficult enough to sew with! Sometimes the hole from the needle distorted the fabric, I'm not sure if there was anything I could have done to prevent this?! It worked out ok-ish in the end though.

While I love the material, I'm not sure it hangs properly. Maybe this is just because I'm not used to wearing this style of tunic, or this fabric. I am pleased with how it turned out, but the neck is very high, which I'm not comfortable with, it could have done with being a bit looser, and the bust darts are totally in the wrong place!! I don't know how to change them, and I'm afraid to unpick them, as there were little holes left by the needle and would probably be very noticable if I unpicked them. So I left them. I chose the corresponding darts for the size I made, so I'm not sure why they are so completely off.

I enjoyed making it because it was a new material and a new style I'd never made before. But I wouldn't make it again. I would recommend it, somewhat hesitantly though. I'm not sure why, there was just something about it. I think the main thing is that I'm just not skilled enough to know how to change things, and alter it as I go along, so I frustrated myself a bit. Overall, it was nice to see it finished, I was pleased to get that far!

Not sure I'll wear it out though.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Year....New Look...!

I have been contemplating this for a long time; posting something I made online. It's quite daunting, as I just don't know what to expect. I suppose I'll only find out once I do it! I'm supposed to be keeping up on the whole blog-maintenance thing, so maybe some pictures will brighten it up...!
I made this dress using New Look pattern 6699, which I got on sale in Dublin.

When I got it, I thought I'd like to make the "M" skirt (the wider, flowy one), but I ended up hanging onto the pattern for a while and coming back to it. There is an option for a lace overlay dress, and since I'd never made anything with lace before, I decided I'd like to try it. Unfortunately, they warn you that the lace only works in the narrow skirt, so that's why I made the slimmer skirt. I used a very plain white cotton, and a lilac lace for the overlay. Both of these were on sale in the Woollen Mills in Dublin, I spent €5 on material overall, and still have lots left. I chose the G+J+N combination with, obviously, the lace overlay.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out. This is the second dress I've ever made from a pattern, and was good fun to put together. The instructions in the pattern were very simple to follow, once I could keep track of the combinations.

There are alot of things I like about the dress, and the only things I don't like about it are small things. One being that I don't wear dresses in this style normally, I'd usually have a much looser skirt, but that's my own personal preference and I knew what i was making, so I wasn't too disappointed with it. Also, I had trouble with the zip when I was putting it in, but again, this is down to my lack of experience and knowledge rather than a flaw in the pattern. My zip went kind of bumpy and I had to take it out and re-insert it about three times. It was only in the bottom half of the zip though, the top fit perfectly, I just kept taking the dress in a little more each time i re-inserted the zip. eventually, I got to the stage where I was happy enough with it, so I stopped messing around.

I managed to even get the lining in, which was a pleasant surprise! :) I was really pleased with that, since my last attempt at a dress also had a lining, that didn't go so well! Being a novice, everything I make is a learning curve; one I'm thoroughly enjoying. I find myself Googling certain techniques to learn how to apply them. I don't think I would make this pattern again, only because I have learned all I can from it, and I like to move on and do other things, trying to better my skill. That said, I would certainly recommend it. It's a very simple pattern which yields great results, even for complete beginners.

Onto the next pattern....! :)