0 Degrees of Separation – the goldfish dress

Another WSBN blog tour, 2015 style! This one was Leimomi‘s great idea, to hop from pattern to fabric to pattern to fabric until we’re all connected in one long colourful conga-line of sewing. As with any good conga line, there have been a few mis-turns and branchings-off and people going AWOL (including me!) but the band’s still playing and we’re all having a great time.

I’m in between FlossieFT and Two Random Words. Coincidentally they have both been moving house lately, so their links aren’t up yet. FlossieFT and I are both making dresses out of some fabulous goldfish-print cotton that I found at Ikea in 2013, and Two Random Words and I are both making Simplicity 1880s (sadly out of print, because this is a terrific pattern).

Simplicity 1880It’s a dress that can either have a shirtwaist or a crossover bodice. It’s a great pattern to feature a big print like this one. I cut the skirt on the fold, to avoid disrupting the print with a seam. And did some nifty pattern matching on the front! This took way more fabric than I expected, but luckily I had plenty.

Simplicity 1880

There are yokes at the front and back, and pleats at the waist. This gives it plenty of room at the back and makes it very comfortable to wear. The yoke is only a single thickness of fabric which is a bit unusual.

Simplicity 1880

Simplicity 1880

I topstitched round the front opening and collar, which wasn’t in the instructions but I prefer it.

Simplicity 1880

It looks super with a Jenna cardi! (and thanks to Kat, Jenna-cardi mastermind, for the photos outside Fabric-a-brac)

Simplicity 1880

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No kidding, I made a dress in a day (New Look 6968)

My sewing speed can be – is often – glacial. I’ve become a religious pattern tracer (think of the children! What else are they going to look for in the op shops of the future, when they’re full of clothes from Glassons/Primark/KMart?). It takes ages. I have – let’s see – seven projects currently under way, the first started in 2008 (and none that I’ve touched for at least a fortnight). Is “under way” even the correct term in these circumstances?

Anyway I do find that a trip or upcoming event is the best way to turbocharge some sewing action. A few weeks ago I had both, in the form of a conference. I had found some gorgeous floral cotton sateen at The Fabric Warehouse the previous week and decided to make a new work dress.

(Can I just interrupt myself to tell a story that illustrates my love for The Fabric Warehouse? My first stop that day was Spotlight. I can’t remember what I bought but I can remember that the girl who served me was wearing a trainee badge, had the bluntest scissors in existence, and insisted on cutting – if that’s even the correct word with those scissors – my purchase TO THE PRECISE CENTIMETRE. Then I went next door to TFW, where the lovely assistant measured a very generous 1.5 metres WITHOUT A TAPE MEASURE and cut it with the biggest sharpest scissors in the world, in one swoop. And that’s how to do business. Spotlight, we are never ever ever getting back together. Sorry for putting Taylor Swift into your head.)

So here’s the dress.

New Look 6968

This is New Look 6968, view C.

This dress has in the past been made using a single metre of fabric, but if you want the fancy collar (and why wouldn’t you, it’s awesome) then you’ll need more.

New Look 6968 front1

The collar is in two pieces, and one side has a little gap that the other side fits through. Better to show you:

New Look 6968 front3

I cut this dress out in the morning before work, whipped it up in about four hours that evening, and was even in bed early enough to have a decent amount of sleep before an ungodly flight the next morning.

New Look 6968 back

Some things had to be sacrificed, like any sort of invisible hem treatment…

kick pleat

… or darts that match …

seam matching

… but the print is very forgiving and it’s fabulous to have another work dress. All I need to make it an outfit is a cardigan, and luckily I’m up to four Jenna cardis and counting!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Colette Hawthorn shirt dress

Confused? This is an extremely belated entry, for a dress I made before the Christmas party season last year. Thought I’d better post it before it wears out completely. Whoops!

Colette Hawthorn 1

I think I made this even before the blouse (using the same pattern).

Colette Hawthorn 2

The gorgeous navy broderie anglaise fabric came from my fairy godmother in Hong Kong. Here’s a close-up after some not-so-subtle adjustments on PicMonkey.

close up

And the back, why not?

Colette Hawthorn back

I’ve been wearing it with a black slip underneath but after looking at these photos on the mannequin am tempted to try a red one. Once again I am truly smitten by this pattern which fits beautifully and is lovely to make. Check out my first ever sleeve placket (WAY easier than they look, in case you’ve never done one)…

sleeve placket

The buttons came from Vancouver and were bought specially, they add a bit of sparkle. Just right for a fairy godmother Christmas dress.

button

A very short entry, and a very short poem

Here are two Plaintain t-shirts (free download from Deer & Doe). I reduced the flare at the bottom a little. Also I might have raised the neckline a bit. I made them at a retreat in February, so can’t remember exactly. (The retreat was FABULOUS by the way. 48 hours of sewing and chatter and tea. And jumping into the icy river). The blue stripe was a remnant from Levana – a bit unusual in that the stripes only covered part of the width. blue stripe plantain t-shirt The dogs are from Spotlight, I just couldn’t pass them up. In fact I even went back to buy more, to make one for my friend Ali who is a crazy dog lady. dog plantain t-shirt My favourite one is this little guy, whose head is on the neckband. Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 7.57.57 pm There’s not much else to say, so as promised:

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love.
I’ve also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.

– Ogden Nash