Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Daisy Pickin' Skirt

A few weeks ago I went to visit my parents for my Dad's birthday. It was the first week of spring, and the world seemed to be coming alive with colour.
Mom and I drove down to the beach for breakfast and stumbled upon a darling patch of yellow daisies. It just so happened that I was wearing my new maxi skirt that I had made a few days prior.
I don't know about you, but the city I live in doesn't often offer up many flower field photo ops - So I jumped in the middle of it and Mom snapped away. At first I wanted to lie in it, and bask in its glory, but it was full of bee's, so I reconsidered.

I used Simplicity pattern 5006 by Andrea Schewe for the skirt, which is actually a petticoat pattern. I simply omitted the ruffles and it couldn't have been easier. There were only 4 pattern pieces, one zip and two snaps. No joke, this skirt really only took about an hour to make! not to mention it is very comfortable to wear and it swishes and flicks in the wind, which is always a selling point for me.

I used a super light cotton silk blend in a rich indigo. It was another freebie I scored from work, which I'm certain I wouldn't have been able to afford should I have had to buy it. I continuously count my lucky stars that everyone at work is so sweet and generous!

I've practically lived in this skirt, since its creation. Its so easy to just throw on with a blouse or tee shirt. Not only is it an easy wear, but it is also surprisingly good for climbing tree's in, Swiss Family Robinson style:

"Climbing tree's?" you might ask. "How very un-ladylike!".

I would like to say that my tree climbing shenanigans were all for a good reason (other than a bit of fun) but unfortunately they weren't.

I had a brainwave that I was going to take pictures of my 50's Fair dress, hung on a line, blowing gently in the breeze. It was going to look fantastic! My gentle breeze ended up being more of a strong wind and they looked far from Fantastic.

We gave up on our "photo shoot", had breakfast and returned home for some birthday cake baking.

If its not already clear, and I'm sure it is, I'm a Harry Potter Fan, in fact my whole family are fans. So Mom and I decided to make dad a Harry Potter cake. Not just any cake, but the cake that Hagrid gives Harry for his 11th birthday.

And yes, the spelling mistakes are intentional.

We used the most delicious chocolate cake recipe from Diamonds for Dessert and smothered it in a garish salmony pink cream cheese frosting. It was the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted! It was light and fluffy and oh so chocolaty.

Your probably all assuming that my dad's name is Harry, or hoping at least. Well, its not. BUT, he does refer to himself as Harry (derived from Harries, our surname) when he does something silly, so it all made sense in a long shot kind of way.

Anyway, Dad loved it, and that's what was important.

Next week I have another 50's dress to show you, that was made in honour of spring. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear Frankie...

I LOVE you...

I've always been a fan of Frankie. They are an Australian based magazine that never fails to amaze. They are girly, quirky, curious and an all round treat for the eyes.

I didn't think I could love Frankie anymore than I did, that was until today when they put a wee post about my collars on their blog , and I found out it was possible to love them a little more.

Thanks Frankie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

1957: My Fifties Fair Outfit

As promised, I have returned with some more detailed pictures and information about the outfit I made to wear to the Fifties Fair that is held at Rose Seidler House each year.

Its such a wonderful day, and it most certainly warrants a new outfit. Although mine strayed initially from what I had originally planned, I was more than happy with the outcome.

I used a polished stretch cotton that I found at the Remnants Warehouse for $4 dollars a metre. It was delightful soft and so so easy to work with. However, I wanted the bodice to be very fitted and structured, so to achieve that 50's "nipped" waist look I lined it in a thick red cotton drill, which more than does the job. I'm not going to lie, the waist is tight, but all in the name of fashion right?

I have made this dress a few times already (Here, Here, oh and Here too) before I begun blogging, So I know the pattern like the back of my hand. Its Retro Butterick B4792, with a basic boat neck bodice front. It's such a simple shape, so it's really easy to wear and manages to get me through all the seasons.

Instead of gathering the skirt onto the bodice as I have in the past, I used small pleats; the centre front pleat being inverted to "conveniently" hide my mismatched check.

I am very happy with the finish of this dress. I used all french seams and for the first time I used a sink stitch along the seam where the bodice and skirt meet. Its barely noticeable! and leaves the lining looking to clean and neat.

I also finished of my 1940's Du Barry jacket, that's been haunting my sewing corner for a few months now. I know it wasn't technically Fifties, but it suited the outfit well enough and was all I could manage at 11pm the night before the fair.

I had planned on lining the jacket, but instead I just bound the edges in red poly cotton binding. The whole time I was stitching on the binding I was telling myself that I WILL return to this jacket after the fair and line it properly, like a good girl. Sadly, I don't see that happening.

I love this Du Barry pattern. The shape of it is so simple, yet structured. I particularly love the three darts on each elbow - why don't we see this on modern garments? It also features a flaired peplum and three quarter sleeves with two pleats on each shoulder for a little extra oomph.

The one thing I am unhappy about (other than the fact that its unlined) is that I feel the bust darts are a fraction to high and I would make note to lower them should I decide to make this jacket again.

I also bought the little red gloves to go with outfit and am in LOVE with them. I feel so dainty and lady like when I am wearing them! its dreadfully fun. I have learned though, that they do not mesh well with modern life - my iPhone won't recognize my "touch" when wearing them and I'm for ever taking them off and putting them on again!

Stayed tuned my friends, as I have more creations to share with you very soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome Spring!

Its the first day of spring down here in the Southern Hemisphere, and I'm all the happier for it!

Although I'm sitting indoors, at a computer, and its threatening to rain outside; in my mind I'm frolicking around and welcoming spring with open arms - much like Maria here.

Spring is my favourite season to sew for; its all colour and flounce and sunshine, yet not restricted by the intense heat that follows in summer.

Throughout the winter I've been collecting inspiring "spring" images, biding my time and planning away. I thought I might share a few with you to help set your creative cogs in motion -

The divine Mint & Pink vintage dresses pictured above are currently for sale on etsy, Snap them up before they're gone!
Aren't they all so pretty? I could just eat them like candy... Though I suspect they may not taste as good...

As stated in my previous post I have been working diligently in my sewing room, but I still don't have anything to show you. I'm waiting to take pictures. The good news is that I will be borrowing my friends camera this weekend, not only to photograph my new creations, but to take it for a test drive.

My tax return is currently being processed and I'm SO EXCITED to get it because I will be buying my very own camera. Yes, that's right! I have been looking at beginners digital SRL's. There are so many out there, I have no idea what to look for - what camera do you use? Can you offer me any advice on my purchase?

If all goes well this weekend with my friends camera, I will be able to show you my new creations and may have a better idea of what I'm looking for in a camera,

Wish me luck!
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