Monday, 31 March 2014

My First Suit!

As I'm 17, I'm required by law to go to school and at the moment I'm in a sixth form. In my sixth form, we do not have a uniform, but instead have a smart dress code which basically says that we have to wear a suit. And I've finally gotten round to making one. This suit cost me 5 pounds in total to make as the only things I paid for were the lining (3.50) and the piping cord (1.50) because the fabric was part of the huge pile given to me by my friends mum Irenee. Thanks Irenee!
The skirt pattern I used was New Look 6102 and I chose to line it by putting the outer inside the lining right side to right side and stitching all the way around the waistline. Then turn the lining inside the skirt, press and topstitch if there is no waistband. If there is a waistband raw edge of that could be tucked between the fashion fabric and the lining which will give a really clean finish. The lining was handsewn to the zip and both skirts were hemmed individually, the lining with the overlocker and the actual skirt with bias binding turned over and slip-stitched down. There is a waistband featured in the pattern, which I was fully intending to use, however it somehow ended up far too short, and I didn't have enough fabric to cut another, so waistband-less it was!

 I used the Deer and Doe Pavot coat pattern as a base, the same one pattern used for my red wool blazer also adding a full lining, however this time I ommited the buttonplacket (and the buttons) and the peter pan collar. I'm planning on doing a post later this week on showing how I added the lining as I couldn't find a tutorial in English anywhere. The buttons were removed because I found it such a faff doing all five of them up every time I want to take it on or off. Since I have 5 lessons a day, and I take my blazer off for each of them, the buttons had to go. For my last Pavot I wasn't atall happy with the fit, but I'm pleased to say that it's pretty much perfect now.
My previous school skirts are a real hassle to wear due to restricted movement so for this I extended my pattern piece so a little godet was formed at the back of the skirt. Rest assured, this allows PLENTY of movement.
Here is what the extension looked like:
Add of course, I had to put one of these beauties in there! Please excuse the stray green thread...

And finally I think this project can actually be part of the Sew for Victory because in the free download that Rochelle so generously uploaded for us there was a jacket practically identical to this one on page 15! I'm just going to ignore the fact that it was in the childrens section... Ooh and it also counts towards my vintage pattern pledge, BOOM! Two birds in one stone.
Hmm, I think this pose can only be carried off if the jacket is the same length as the sleeves... Oh well.

That's all I have to say for now so I hope you have a nice week!
Thanks very much to Ed for taking photos through your "snuffly as hell" phase and to Mercedes for taking supplementary photos where needed (No Ed it wasn't you, it was just my face that was the problem)
Lots of love,
Lauren xx

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Stardust Dress

Every year for my birthday party I have a theme, and to my friends dismay we all have to dress up according to that theme. This years theme was heroes and villains and I went as Evaine from StardustIt was a really really big rush to get it finished in time, so much so that I was finishing the sleeves while 2 friends were making the sandwiches downstairs! This is why the hem isn't finished. I'm really not happy with how the dress looks though because it's just too short! Another 3 inches and it would be perfect! (And sorry about the lack of shoes- I didn't have any that matched and I doubted that a star that has just fallen out of the sky had time to put shoes on anyway)

However it is just amazing to twirl in... (all six metres of it) ((and thanks very much to all of my friends who contributed towards the fabric as part of my birthday present!!!))
and again...
Anyway, the pattern I used was style 2370 with altered sleeves.
Here are the inspiration pics I found on pinterest which you can find on my costumes board:
I was lucky enough to find the costume designers sketch which was really useful as I could see that I needed to add neckbands and sleevebands to the pattern as well as completely alter the sleeves.
“Yvaine” costume sketch from Stardust, costume designer Sammy Sheldon    From The Stardust Visual Companion

And here's my version of this pic (bearing in mind that I didn't have a crater to pose in)
hmm maybe not.
The sleeves I messed up, a lot, quite a few times as I failed to realise that if I just drew lines straight out from the sleeve cap it wouldn't work because of the way it drapes. The way to do it properly is to make the sleeves extra long, put on mannequin and then slant them on the mannequin so they drape properly. Luckily I had enough fabric to do it again. The back is also all messed up for reasons that I shall explain in a minute.
Right, now to explain the mystery of the messed up back of the dress. One of my party surprises was a pinata which are really tricky little buggers to pin down. Like really tricky. We must of been outside for a good half hour, my poor friends shivering in the freezing 9pm January English weather. And, well, long story short my dress split from all my exertions in the back side seam rendering it indecent to wear for the rest of the night. That night I learnt a very important thing. This is why lumberjacks don't wear satin! Anyway, here are some pinata pics for your amusement!
And yes, to fit in with the theme they made it a superheroe pinata...

Oh and I forgot to show you the speech that was the prelude to my surprise:
"DD (my nickname) we have got you a little something extra
its only for this very special occasion
his name is Pedro
we handpicked him ourselves
he is already paid for
we have protection for you
but be careful he is very hard
he is yours to do whatever you want with 
and has a sweet ass
he is waiting for you outside
As you can imagine I was quite apprehensive as I was led outside but it was great fun. Here is all of us on the night. Amongst us we had a Merida from Brave, Sherlock, Watson, Moriaty and Irene Adler from Sherlock the TV series and 2 other people that I can't remember who they were (oops)

 I think that's all I've got to say about this dress!
Thanks very much for reading this epic saga, turns out I had quite a lot to say. If anyone has any suggestions for next years party theme I'm all ears.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Camden Lady Skater

I finally jumped on the Lady Skater bandwagon! This dress is has just got to be my favourite yet. I'm thinking this is 50% the fabric and 50% the pattern and the silhouette. It just makes me feel fab when wearing it which is what clothes should do. I scored the fabric in the remnant bin at Rolls and Rems in London where I went on a day trip to Camden with a friend and her Mum and we had an epic day. I also had my first bubble tea which was... an experience... 
It cost me 2.50 for around 1.5m of it with a few rectangles cut out of the edges, but I didn't have any trouble with fitting all the pattern pieces onto the fabric. This was the first time that I've ever pre-washed any of my fabric, but I really didn't want to waste my time and effort on something that I can only wear once because it shrinks in the wash. Washing it was fine. Drying however was an issue, because knit fabric has to be laid flat so it doesn't stretch out of shape. This is how I dealt with the issue:

It didn't really work because England in the winter isn't really warm enough to dry anything so it just ended up on my bed folded in half on top of a towel which seemed to work okay.
I did make a massive mistake and uses 5/8 seam allowances instead of 3/8 (idiot) so I unpicked the arm and side seams and sewed them up again using the right seam allowance, but left the shoulders at 5/8 because they seemed okay and I really didn't want to start all over again. I did cut out and sew in full length sleeves but they were too tight even with the right seam allowance so I cut them short. Next time I'll grade them up to a size 2 or 3.
I do have many more planned in the future! The photos were taken at Burghley House which is just beautiful. We did take some photos in front of the main house but they didn't turn out so well as these ones so I'll take some pics in front of the main house some other day. I'll definitely be going back as it's only 15mins away from our house.

Thanks to Ed for taking the pics, and thanks to Mum and Dad for treating us to brunch!
If you haven't voted yet for the sewalong project sewn entries here, you've got still time! If my dungarees were you're favourite, feel free to give them a heart!
Thanks for reading!
Lauren xx