14 March 2011

Second Colette Spring Challenge Skirt

Here's my second skirt for the Colette Spring Palette Challenge. This has been sitting in my UFO pile for a few years. In fact - this skirt was the reason I started sewing a few years ago.  I had two damaged but salvageable vintage dresses from the 1950's. One was too big and one was too small and I wanted something JUST RIGHT.  It's a beautiful shiny floral rayon with hand-painted looking green, gold and brown flowers. I emailed a seamstress I saw on an ABC show in Sydney who remakes vintage clothes and then I realised that was ridiculous. I needed to learn to sew.  After I took some lessons, I took the dress apart that this came from (it felt a bit like grave-robbing but it needed to be done - it wasn't wearable) and then made a mess of a covered elastic hem (like - I forgot to stretch it as I went and I couldn't get it over my knees). It then sat hidden in my fabric pile forgotten until this challenge. I'm very happy with the results! It's a gathered elastic-waist skirt because that's what I like to wear. If I have enough fabric left, I'm going to cover my favorite old scuffed shoes (below) for part of the challenge (aargh - only 2 weeks left...I think).
Here's a close up of them hem with braided trim I hand-sewed on last night.  I like that you can see the crease mark from the original hem (it was a tiny dress) and a few little moth holes. It gives it some history. I think it may need a petticoat to give it a bit more oomph - what do you think?

I made the hat last winter. It's Vogue V8405, view B made from wool fake-suede. I think it looks like an Akubra mated with a fedora!

08 March 2011

dame folle dans le jardin

A few weeks ago I did a 'Sketching the Face' workshop at the National Gallery. Very confronting for me since I'm used to drafting or sketching plants. It was wonderful though - like eating chocolate for 3 hours! Sunday was a lovely sunny day and I dusted off my sketch book and SAT in the garden (I did find myself having to get up and do some dead-heading periodically).  I then had a play in Photoshop with some goodies I purchased last year from House of Three and voilĂ !

I discovered a very cool new shop in Camberwell today - Again Recycle. They have hand-picked vintage and op-shop clothes and accessories and some new-from-old stuff.  It's modelled on similar shops in Los Angeles like Wasteland and features retro clothing and a sustainable ethos. Finally...a cool shop on this side of town! Entry is two doors down from the car-park side of the Camberwell Salvos (also always worth a visit).

03 March 2011

Colette Patterns Spring Challenge

I finally got around to making my first skirt for the Spring Challenge:
The fabrics are a 1950's vintage cotton from Donna Flower with an Italian black textured cotton jersey for the band on the top.  There's an elastic waist-band sewn in under the black cotton. My favorite skirts are elastic-waist, so I decided to keep it simple and follow a couple of tutorials on BurdaStyle and Grosgrain.

Look at the pretty wrapping the fabric came in!

The fabric piece was too short for the skirt length I wanted, so I added a band on top to get it about knee-length. I like to use my mannequin to see how things look as I sew rather than relying on my measurements (by my measurements, I thought I might have made the skirt too long - but it's just right). I wanted it to be the same length as my favorite skirt, so here's what I did:

First, I put the skirt with the length I like on the dummy.
Next, I marked where the hem hit with removable artist's tape all the way around.

I'll leave this on my mannequin now so I have a hemline mark for future skirt-making! If I want to take it off in the future, the artist's tape is easily removable and won't damage the paint on the metal frame.