Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Unknown fabric stash!

I thought it was time to go through an old ottoman which my father made years ago, to see what sort of left over fabric was in there and what a surprise!! I reckon there's a few here with enough to squeeze a Sorbetto out of!

I couldn't believe what was there... There seems to be a lot of red, although I don't wear that much red!

These are from dresses made some time ago, before I ever had a blog, so in a spare moment, I'll write about those!

These you may recognise from previous posts. The dark blue is from a dress I made for a friends wedding years ago. I loved the shape, but it shrank (or possibly I put on weight!) and it never fitted properly again. At the time I wasn't into refashioning, I think it went to a charity shop!!

The blue in this one is from my old faithful. Another dress I made years ago, which still fits and has hardly lost any colour and I wear loads. I love it. Definitely a blog post to come! The geometric one at the top is quite wild for me, I think there's enough for a top, whether I'm brave enough though...

More red, plus a green silk and a purple taffeta. There's more clothes here than I thought, although I'm not into wearing purple taffeta every day, so that may not see the light of day during September, unless Mr N takes me out!!

So here's to future posts of long ago made items and future posts of sorbettos and other tops made from left overs!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Simplicity 2588

Well this is my first creation having got back from holiday and I'm really pleased with my handy work this time.

I bought the fabric in a sale at the end of June and decided it was just right for Simplicity 2588.

I love the Simplicity Project Runway patterns. They're easy to make and give you so many options. The intention was initially to make a version of the green dress at the bottom, with a smaller yoke, a flared skirt and what they describe as flat sleeves. I decided to make pleated sleeves and I'm glad I did.

When I last made a Project Runway dress the bodice and skirt were a bit shorter than I'd normally like, so I added an extra inch to the bodice length and also added an additional two inches to the skirt. Although it took a while to cut out (I hate this most of all about making up a pattern!), the sewing was very quick. If I could find someone else to cut out all my patterns and transfer the markings for me, I'd love it!

Although I made this over about four days, I could have probably finished this in just over a day, if I'd have just sewn for the day. Unfortunately cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc gets in the way!

The sleeves were so easy. The pleats went in like a dream.

My mother always told me to hand baste things like this, but for this dress I used a contrasting thread and actually machine basted. I'm so glad I did, it made it so much easier. The bodice was really simple to put together, even though the curves are going at different angles. I honestly thought I'd end up with pleats where I shouldn't have them, but it all sewed like a dream. Even attaching the yoke to the top worked really well.

The sleeve pleated and in place

I put in a centred zip, which isn't what the pattern asks. The pattern has a lapped zip, which I always find difficult to insert and am never happy how I've put them in. I think if I make this again, I'd leave sewing the edge of the yoke until the zip is inserted. Although the zip was fine, the material was quite bulky at the top of the zip and not the easiest to sew.

All in all though the pattern was brilliant and I can't wait to wear the dress. I'm really pleased with the finish. The pockets are quite big, so things may fall out of them, but they lay flat and don't show on the sides at all.

Can you see the pocket there??

The only change I might do next time is to leave the length of the bodice as is and lengthen the skirt by three inches, because the bodice is a little long. The problem is, I couldn't find a bodice length measurement on the pattern, so I had to sort of guess by measuring the pattern pieces and measuring me. OK, if I'd made a toile... I know... I'm sure it would also help if I had a dress form or dressmakers dummy, but that's being saved for! Currently I'm the dummy!!

Anyway, here's the finished dress, front and back, what do you think?

So that's the latest, but I've got lots more to make. It's probably the right time now to say:

'I, Nikki of Nikki's Stitches sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-Sept '11. I endeavour to wear at least I've self-stitched or refashioned each day for the duration of September 2011'

This is going to be hard. I'm not sure I have enough items in the wardrobe to do this. I'm also hoping the weather will be lovely and warm, else I'll be a bit chilly, most of my self-stitched items are summery for some reason. In the meantime, I'm determined to get a couple of Sorbettos made, then at least I'll have some tops to wear. I can't guarantee I'll managed a self-stitched top and skirt together. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Back to the grind...

Well I'm back from two weeks in Thailand and feeling really nice and refreshed. I took lots of me made clothes with me and tried to where them as much as possible, but when I'm spending most of the day collapsed by the pool in a bikini, it's not very easy!

Mr N isn't one for taking lots of photos, so there aren't hundreds in my clothes, but here are couple you might recognise from previous posts...

New Look 6557, with one of the famous Thai ladyboys

We had a brilliant holiday, just relaxing, reading, swimming and getting a tan! Now I'm having fun catching up on all the blog posts I've missed while being away, such as the continuing preparations for Suzannah's wedding on Adventures in Dressmaking, tips from Colette Patterns and a couple of my favourites Did You Make That? and My happy sewing place

While on holiday I managed to get a bargain from one of the many tailors which are throughout the city. I thought I'd have a look at the fabrics and wasn't sure if I could just buy the material, but if you do't ask, you don't get. As tempted as I was with some Thai silk, I in the end went for this bargain. I got 6 metres of this crepe for under £30! Not bad I didn't think. I could have bought loads more, but there was a limit to the amount Mr N would let me up the luggage weight by!

So to occupy some of my time since we got back, I've been deciding what to make. I'm hoping I can get a blouse and a dress out of the fabric.

On my doormat when I got back was a wonderful parcel from Colette Patterns. I ordered two before going away using the generous discout offer they had. I can't wait to get started on these. I've got the Crepe dress and the Violet blouse. 

In fact, I think I shall use the Violet blouse pattern with the material bought while away. With the rest of the fabric, I'm planning to make Vogue 1178.

So I have plenty to keep me out of mischief. I'm not sure I've enough self-stitched clothes to take part in SSS. At the moment trying to keep up with this, make all my new projects and updating a blog I'm trying to write for work, as well as trying to sell our flat to escape to New Zealand, I reckon I have enough on my plate!

Projects to make:
  • Colette Violet blouse
  • Vogue 1178
  • Simplicity 2588
  • A skirt with some left over fabric!!