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sewing

Whilst at the Clegs remnant sale, I snagged myself two lovely pieces of Ponti (or Ponte) fabric.  The versatile, stretchy, dense fabric that is my latest favourite all purpose fabric.   One piece was black and white striped, the other taupe.  My mission, to make some more high waisted ‘midi’ skirts for my Summer wardrobe – I already had a dark denim and black high waisted skirt, and the black is not so conducive to a hot day.

One of my favourite looks for work is a high waisted skirt with blouse, shirt or knit tucked into it.  It is also great with a short cardigan (of which there are many in the fashion books at the moment).

The striped skirt is based on my own simple pattern, a front skirt piece and a back skirt, with a wide waistband at the top.  The stretchy fabric means no need for a zip (too easy).

Midistriped_web

After purchasing the Vogue Pattern 8866 for the “Pretty Girls Sew” jacket challenge last year, I have been working through the other outfits in the pattern.  The top within the pattern is fabulous, and I made that last year (I should blog that one too); and so with my taupe ponti I tried the skirt pattern.

The pattern is great – really good fit (needed to take it in a little bit for my size), but is super comfortable and looks great for work and day wear.   Given the very stretchy nature of the Ponti, I actually removed the zip from the pattern, and added a wide waistband for a more “high waisted” skirt look.

I’m so impressed with the pattern, that I’m going to make another one.. and possibly the dress version for Autumn/Winter – all out of Ponti!!

Vogue886601_web

Re-acquainting myself with my blog, I realised I posted *one* post last year… :-/  – that is appalling.   So, to you my followers, I apologise.  I will try harder this year!

I had a short break from work over the summer and started to get my summer wardrobe into order (long overdue).   I did also go to the Clegs remnant sale… so picked up lots of lovely fabrics there.

However, first cab off the rank -I should go back to a blouse I finished that I never uploaded.  I finished the blouse June 2014.. I started the blouse June 2013… my excuse was that i was waiting for buttons.  I was waiting for buttons, but not for that long!

Cat shirt

You may notice it is very similar in pattern to my Spring Blouse that I had previously made.  It is the same pattern (one of my own poorly drafted patterns), but I was pleased with the previous success, so I did it all again!  The difference with this one is the sleeves and neck tie are both chiffon – that was mainly due to the limited fabric I had for the body of the blouse.

And yes, the fabric has tiny cat heads on it – what else was I supposed to do with it, but make a Cat Blouse.

Cat Blouse _DSC0135_web

Alright, I’m on Instagram and follow the @prettygirlssew, who have monthly sewing challenges – they choose a pattern and everyone sews along.  This was the January-February challenge, that I thought I’d have plenty of time to complete.. but I only just finished 😦

Anyway, it is done now, and I’m very pleased with the result.  The pattern chosen for the month was Vogue 8866, which included a short trench coat with a very flouncy peplum.   As I cut the pattern, I decided there was a bit too much flounce for me, so I edited that component of the jacket to a more conventional peplum cut.

I chose a navy outer, and a green, white and navy geometric print to line the jacket and to accent it – buttons, belt pockets, collar (if you haven’t guessed, I’m choosing navy and green as two of my stable colours for the upcoming autumn/winter season).

Vogue_TrenchI had the buttons and belt made by the lovely Kate at Buttonmania, here in Melbourne.  The Vogue pattern is great – good fit, and probably the only thing I’d change is the pockets (make them actual pockets) and add little tabs to hold the belt in.   The pattern also comes with a great top/dress, which I’m presently busy making outing a ponte fabric, for the autumn.

 

Simplicity 1777 – So, I saw this pattern in the catalog, and because it was Vintage/Retro I had to buy it!  For a long time I didn’t have any fabric that was appropriate, and then I received a gift voucher for Tessuti for my birthday… and I found the “Noon Yesterday Ponti – Digital Print” fabric – it was perfect!!

I set to work laying the pattern out carefully to fit the repeats evenly into the pattern pieces.

Simplicity40s_1 As usual I had some assistance from my fluffy friends..  The pattern was really good – it was a little bit fiddly around the pleated detail at the waist and hips, but the end effect was well worth the effort.

The fit was amazing – perfectly contoured to fit the body.   I went for the 3/4 sleeves in the end, and the dress is a lovely ‘important work meeting’ day dress.  So all in all, I was very stoked with the end result.

Simplicity40s_2

I love a good vintage pattern, and have started a collection via ebay purchases of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s sewing patterns.  I find it very amusing that some of them were only 60c back then!

This pattern is Simplicity 5953 – dated 1965.  It is a lovely shift style dress, with diagonal darts from the bust down beyond the waistline.  I found some 60s looking fabric in Spotlight, and put the two together.

Simplicity 1965

The dress is really comfortable for summer, and nicely appropriate for work, with higher neckline.  I wear the dress with a slim belt, to draw it in further at the waist.

It is now May 2013, and a good six months since I have blogged my sewings… and there have been a lot of sewings!  I’ll endeavour to get back up to speed over the next few weeks.

I’ve been collecting Vintage patterns, remnant fabrics, and trying to reinvent my professional image.  So, I’ll post my items, with a view to catching up on the last few months of notable projects, and then culminate in the much anticipated (by me) – 2013 LdJ Design Autumn/WInter Collection!!

But first things first.  As for the previous few years, I did in fact enter the 2012 Tessuti Awards.  This time I thought I had it all figured out.. I thought I’d finally worked out what the judges might have been after.  Turned out I was wrong.  Not shortlisted, again, and reviewing the designs that were shortlisted, was puzzled by what the judging criteria was.   Anyhoo… I was really pleased within the result – so here it is!

Tessuti 2012

The theme for 2012 was Spots and Stripes.  Whilst researching the idea, I was very into vintage patterns and looks (and still am!) – and I came across this gorgeous image from the 1950s.

louise_dahl_wolfe It is the image by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, of Mary Jane Russell in Dior Dress, Paris, 1950.  When I saw the image, I fell in love with it.  The way the skirt elegantly billowed out at the back, contrasted with the beautifully fitting bodice at the top.

The image itself is just stunning as well, so possibly no wonder I like it so much.  I set about my designs with this in mind as inspiration.

The second thing that I strangely used as inspiration was the idea of a garlic bulb.  I think that certainly came across in my initial sketches.

I originally wanted to create the dress in Green and White fabric, but the patterns below were only available in black, red and blue.  So, I chose blue spots and red candy stripes.

0501_TessutiThe dress is comprised of a fitted boned, bodice – each boning line is contained within a French seam.  The bodice points down into the skirt of the dress accentuating the boning component. The lower part of the dress has a gathered waistline (around 5m of fabric was used create the skirt), which tuck under into a more conservative skirt lining.  This allows a double gathering at the bottom of the skirt and the top, hence creating a small billow effect.   I did consider putting layers of tulle beneath the skirt to give it more puff, but decided against it…

0502_Tessuti

I was very pleased with the fit in the end – the bodice fabric had a slight stretch to it, so it fitted extremely well.  I was also pleased with the volume of the skirt.

Of course, now I can think of no occasion to wear it for.. so if you’d like to purchase the dress, please make an offer. 🙂

0503_Tessuti

PS. I’m on Instagram now too.. so if you’d like to keep up to date with my sewing happy snaps, you’ll see it first, and in progress there!

So, my latest and greatest idea to get rich and famous, was inspired by a friend of mine who long ago made a comment to me – ‘oh, you should make lobster oven mitts!’

It has been a very long time in the planning, but I thought about it ever since, and decided for her birthday this year to do just that – make lobster oven mitts.  Not just for my friend, but also for her young daughter.   Hence – I introduce my latest concept – “Mum & Me Mitts”.   The premise, to encourage young ones to help in the kitchen, the perfect gift is to make Mum and Daughter matching oven mitts.

Next, I needed to actually design the mitts.  I used my own oven mitts as a base template for size (I made my own mitts a few years ago and have them the perfect length and size).

Then I drew lobster claws within the template in black felt tip pen.  I scanned the linework in, and coloured it up in Photoshop… laid it out onto my Spoonflower yard material template, and got my lobster claws printed!  They arrived in the post a few weeks later and I was so delighted with the colour intensity.
The image below shows my original images that I got printed, so whilst you’ll see there is some colour difference, the final output was very satisfactory.   I put layers of cotton and wool batting inside; lined the mitts with oranges and reds, and made the handling side of the mitts black.

So, if you’d like a set of “Mum & Me Mitts” for yourself or someone special, contact me and let me know!!!