Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Stripes and Floral

Friends, I've gone and done a Dolly Clackett.

Like our stylish friend Roisin, I have become slightly obsessed with one pattern, and have made my third Hawthorn (I'm not quite in her league though as she's made about 70 Anna dresses-  a poor man's Dolly if you will!).

You'll be relieved to hear I have made significant changes this time so it doesn't look too much like my previous two Hawthorns (here and here). I was inspired by Sew Over It's Doris Dress which I thought had similar darts and skirt style to the Hawthorn. I'd already got the fit I liked on the Colette pattern so thought I'd just hack it to turn it into a Doris replica.

I lowered the neckline by about and inch and did away with that sweet little collar. I cut both the front and back panel on the fold so was left with no button plackett on the front skirt piece. To construct this I sewed the bodice first, made the buttonholes, then tacked the bodice together at the waist and attached it to the skirt. Only 5 buttonholes, yay! And no zip as it's loose enough to fit over my head- a winner in my book.

 I used the sleeves from the Hawthorn pattern too but made them much much shorter.  I'd taken out some fabric from the armhole last time round as they were too restrictive so the sleeve didn't fit perfectly. Fine by me, I wanted little tiny pleats in the sleeve head anyway!

The sleeves are still tight though. If  lift my arms up or stretch them outward it's pretty tight and cuts into my arm. I'm not sure if this is because my guns are sooo muscular or just something that happens with me and Colette patterns. I've had the same problem with other Colette patterns. I'm not really sure how to fix this problem, my next solution is to add some ease in the middle of the sleeve. Will this work? OOh the suspense! Any ideas or suggestions are most welcome.

Here you can see how lifting my arms raises the whole bodice

Sleeve cutting into the guns!
 While this dress fits some of my criteria for dresses- loose enough to be only mildly sweaty in 30+degree weather, circle skirt, vintage-y feel- I really don't love it. I'm not sure why though. When I bought this fabric in Goldhawk road I  thought it was really unusual and pretty and it feels amazing, so soft and cottony. But I think maybe something about it doesn't work with this dress, perhaps it was asking to be a shirt instead? You'd think florals and stripes would work nicely, I mean just take a look at Tilly's latest Coco, but here I'm not so sure it does.  The pretty little daffodils just kind of get lost. Ah well.

Some vintage buttons I found in my stash- I thought they matched those daffs nicely.
I finished the insides with the old overlocker, and attached bias binding to the hem before turning and hemming. I like this little trick for hemming circle skirts, although, yes, you have to sew twice, you get a really neat finish and you don't have to faff around with measuring or worrying about wonky hems.

How about you, any florals and stripes in your sewing plans?

An attempt at "fierceness"!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Swimming in Hawthorn

Morning lovelies. Yep, I made another Hawthorn dress.

oh hello little kitten, you like my dress too?
And I'm not sorry to say this is not the last you will see of this pattern. I think It's fast becoming a favourite. It's fairly quick to make, it's got a flattering skirt and that wee collar is just a lovely touch in my opinion. I do like a shirt dress but so often they can have unflattering (on me) straight skirts or too much gathering. This one fits the bill nicely, thank you very much Colette Patterns. 

I used the famous swimmers fabric which has been in my stash for waaaaay too long, ever since I first saw it here and here  (and later here )and rushed straight down to old Goldhawk for some copycat buying. 

Hmmm, yeah not such great back pattern placement.
This incarnation of the dress does not fit in with my new attempt to wear less print and be less cutesy! I went back and forth about making the collar in this solid navy, thinking it might look a bit clowny but then I thought, I'm making a dress with swimming ladies all over it its already pretty bloody novelty does a collar make much difference?! And went with it. But now looking at these pictures I'm wondering if it looks a bit like a uniform from British Rail circa 1970- and not in a good way. Thoughts?

On the plus side the fit on this one is much better. I did a cheeky small bust adjustment, took up the waist a little bit and the sides by about 1/2cm. It's still loose enough to be cool in these hot temperatures which is my main concern but I think looks a little better. I also sliced a bit of the front armscythe. Colette patterns are always a bit tight on the front of my arms, and this seems to have fixed it. Actually I have that problem with a few patterns- tightness in the front of my shoulders especially when I lift my arms. Just massive bingo wings or is there some quick fix for loosening tightness there, anyone know?

The insides are just finished with the old overlocker- bloody hell I love that thing. What did I do to finish my clothes before? Oh, that's right, nothing! The buttonholes were once again a thing of beauty but sewing buttons on is a real bore eh?

So all in all while I do like the fit and style of this dress, I'm not totally sure I like the way the finished item. I will wear it, its bloody boiling here and this is cool and loose. Do I love it though? Not sure yet.

Those kittens though, they're pretty cute aren't they?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Hawthorn and Pine

Hello long lost readers. I have a plethora of pretty dress in the pine forest photos for you today.

This is Colette's Hawthorn which I bought pretty much as soon as they released and have been mulling and plotting my own version ever since. From the beginning I jumped on the chambray bandwagon, inspired by Colette's own styling and the likes of Lauren  and Lauren. I'm telling myself it took so long because I was waiting for summer to make this....
I had the perfect chambray in my stash which I had been rubbing my hands together in glee over and delighting in my daydreams of the perfect dress. I traced the pattern and pulled out my fabric. There wasn't enough. No matter which way I wrangled the pattern pieces there wasn't enough. So instead I took advantage of living in a new place and tried out my local fabric shop- which is amazing by the way if you're ever in Limassol, Cyprus. They didn't have the perfect chambray but they had this oxford shirting/chambrayish stuff which I thought was pretty nice and would do for my first version.

 I made a quick muslin in a size 12 as I often find Colette patterns don't fit me well around the bust. I lowered the darts a little and added a bit at the waist as I wanted this to be a very easy, loose and airy dress to wear in my new 35 degree climate. Once I had made up the real version however I still think there is too much room under the bust. I'll do a SBA on the next one. I'm not that bothered by it though, it doesnt look great here but in real life it's fine and with a belt you wouldn't notice it.
Too much room under the boobs in this picture. 

 I really like this dress. It's comfy, and I think pretty stylish. I'm trying to break away from too much cutesy vintage styling these days, wear more solid colours, less print, go a bit more casual. I think this dress fits the bill nicely. I especially like it with this belt.

Back view complete with weird ankle twist.
 The dress was also really simple to put together, you know when you really enjoy the process of top stitching and making button holes that the sewing gods were on your side that day. It does help that on my new to me machine I have one of those cool button hole feet that pretty much does it all for you. Big news for a gal who has pretty much always sewn with old fashioned machinery.

 The buttons are also from new to me locla haberdashers who seems like he might have every sort of trim and zip colour in existence. Yes! They were 10 cents each and don't even look cheap so I count that as a bargain.

The weird snowflake effect at the bottom of the dress here is my attempt at some retouching!
 We took these photos on a walk on the Troodos mountains not far from our new house. I'm coming up here again at Christmas in my next long sleeved Hawthorn and a pair of boots. There will definitely be more of these babies on my horizon.

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