I must say, the one thing I did not expect when I started this blog was that I’d have more to write about than I could get to in a once-weekly schedule. I thought I’d struggle to do any more than that, and gave myself permission to skip a week if I really didn’t have anything to write about.
Instead, I have five projects to write about, in varying stages of completion (three of them want little tweaks to be actual-facts done, but are wearable). In addition, I have some end-of-year posts that I want to write (ideally before the end of January…!), and I want to write a post about my stashed patterns.
For this post, I want to write about the latest of the five projects, since that’s the one I have photos of. This is the green-and-brown rayon that was in pieces in my fabric post:
On Sunday I went to a vintage picnic with various other vintage fashion obsessed lasses from Melbourne, including Jacinta from Razzle Dazzle Rose, Gabrielle from Drama of Exile, Marianne from Esme in the Laneway, Clara Cupcakes, Eszter from Kitty’s Drawings, Edie from An Scenic World, Margeaux from no fixed digital abode, and my dear friend Jess from Deadish Darlings (which is not a fashion blog). I’d been vacillating about what to wear: my actually vintage collection is small, and it felt strange to wear one of my repro brand dresses like Heartbreaker. I have a 1920s dress I sewed for a birthday years ago, but I’ve worn that a few times to various events and that seemed far too humdrum. What I really wanted was for my rayon 1940s dress to be magically done so that I could wear that.
I went to Social Sewing on Saturday. I spent most of my time on the purple Ceylon (post to come as soon as I have some photos), and a little bit on beginning the rayon dress. Since I’d finished the green circle skirt that morning on the tram on the way, I was flushed with success and hopeful that a marathon sewing session on Saturday night would bring this about.
And, lucky me, it sort-of did. If “Saturday night” includes up to 1pm on Sunday as well. I’d like to finish my hems more prettily, but it’s more than wearable. Apologies for the darkness of the photos; I didn’t realise how late it was getting.
This dress features lapped seams on gathering, which would probably have been a little intimidating if I hadn’t just sewn the Ceylon dress, which also features these.
Side view! Look at those pretty front seams.
This is the first time I’ve made thread loops. I’m glad I’d already seen a post on it in Gertie’s blog, since the extent of the instructions in the pattern was basically, “Make thread loops for buttons”. I guess they weren’t mucking around when they called it an advanced pattern. My button’s all pretty. It’s a vintage one that I got from one of the ladies at Social Sewing, but I’m afraid I don’t remember who.
I’ve realised that I haven’t really got a photo showing off my *BEAUTIFUL* lapped zip. It’s so pretty, it’s as though it isn’t there at all.
Otherwise, aside from misreading some pattern markings and needing to go back to the original pattern pieces to decode it, this dress was fairly straightforward and simple to put together. I guess my skills have been improving since I’ve been sewing more than one or two garments in the past few months. That’s reassuring.
So, the outcome? I love this dress. It’s funny, because I was mostly making it, I realised in hindsight, because I thought it was neat. I didn’t expect it to look so flattering on. The rayon has the most lovely drape, and it’s so soft against my skin.
The downside: I realised when I was three quarters of the way through that when I first cut this pattern out, three years ago, I cut one size too big. That’s why it’s a little baggier than it should be, and that’s why I’m wearing it with a belt.
So, would I make it again? Definitely. Especially if I can find another soft, drapey woven. But next time I’m cutting the next size down.
Finally: a couple of photos from the vintage picnic. Pro tip: if you’re going to use your phone to play music while you sew something at the last minute, make sure it’s fully charged before you leave for said event, or else you won’t have enough battery to capture the moment.
The amazing spread, mostly prepared by Jacinta, who also arranged the whole shebang. Those professional-looking cupcakes are by Ellie/Clara Cupcakes (appropriately enough).
So I had made this resolution to myself that I wasn’t going to buy any more fabric for awhile. At least until I’d finished some projects. I rather failed at that this week.
Speaking of projects, let’s have a look at them!
First is my purple and white dot Ceylon.
I traced this at my first Social Sewing day, and cut it out that night. It got put on the back burner when I couldn’t get any of the sewing machines in my house to sew buttonholes, as it needs 16 of them. I did actually begin this before the blouse I drafted from the same pattern. Last night I finished the blind hem and got nearly halfway through sewing on the buttons. Sadly, even though I sized up the sleeves, they’re still too small, so I’m going to set in tulip sleeves like my Lovely Assam blouse.
Second there is the green circle skirt.
I swear that I’m not that into spots as it may appear. But this was the nicest fabric that seemed to go with the fox embroidered appliqué I bought. I got part of the hem handsewn last night (as I didn’t have access to a machine). Still need to finish that – I’m less than a quarter done – then trim, fold up again, and blind hem. And although the button’s sewn on, it needs a buttonhole.
Last, and the one that’s going to take precedent over the others for the next while, is the dress I’m going to sew for New Year’s.
As you may be able to tell, I haven’t got far with this yet. The top is going to be based on the Colette Macaron, although with different sleeves, and the bottom will be a gathered skirt like this one from Gertie’s blog. I wanted fullness, but am currently a little over full-circle skirts!
The lilac silk–cotton blend will be the main body of the dress, while the oyster silk organza will be the top section as an illusion neckline, like those used in 1950s eveningwear. I was going to sew in a floaty sleeve like a short bell sleeve, but considering the stiffness of the organza, I think I’ll go back to my current favourite, the tulip sleeve. At least I have a pattern for that that I know works!
So. How I have failed in my “don’t buy any more fabric” quest. First I was in Spotlight #1 on Tuesday, buying something for Secret Present Business, when I came across this adorable fox fabric that would go perfectly with my green circle skirt.
Then on Wednesday I was in Spotlight on Sydney Rd, buying some more buttons since I’d lost a couple from the purple Ceylon dress. Spotlight on Sydney Rd is sadly shutting down, so I got some fabric for blouses cheaply, as well as a couple of cards of buttons for $1 each. Look at those pretty green iridescent ones!
Today Belle and I went on a long-ranging expedition after our work Christmas party.
We started at Clegs:
Then we went to Lincraft:
We have here some calico (=muslin to USians) to make the trial bodice for the NYE dress, a couple of fascinator hat bases (I’m hoping to make a hat for NYE as well – this may be ambitious), some veiling for same, and some more purple dot fabric so that I can make the new sleeves. (I squeaked it out of less than half the recommended fabric, from memory, so there was no leftover to redo the sleeves.)
Then we went to the Alannah Hill outlet on Brunswick St.
I got some
grosgrain petersham for the hats (acceptable), and fell in love with that dark red trim. Bought the floral fabric to go with it. Plan to make it up into a pretty 1940s–style dress. Probably shouldn’t have bought it, as I have two other sets of fabric for making up into 40s dresses, but it was so pretty. And I do have several 1940s dress patterns that I have not yet made up.
Then we went to The Fabric Store. It was my first time.
The white fabric on the right was exactly what I’ve been looking for – white textured fabric to make a blouse with that will go with all my things. The cream fabric on the left with the fawn-coloured dots (I know, I know) was an extravagance. But will, I think, make a pretty Sencha blouse.
Next year there will be quite a lot of shopping my stash, I think. Although I do need some plain single-colour fabric to make skirts from so that my summer wardrobe is complete…
But perhaps not until some more projects are complete.