Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Perfect Summer Dress

Hi all! In this last weeks 25-27 degrees weather, I have been struggling and getting way too hot than is comfortable. My answer to the heat is this dress. 
The pattern that I used for the bodice is Style 3595 version 3. To make this a size 8 and not size 14 I used the totally legitimate method of removing the excess from the center front fold. The back piece was fine as is. I then didn't put the waist gathers in so the bodice hung free. A gathered rectangle was attached to the skirt to make a smock dress.
Without a belt the dress is really loose and cool and breezy, perfect for this weather! But it also can be smartened up with a belt or ribbon when I'm not so hot. These pics were taken at Leicester Square in London where my friends and I went on a trip to see the Lion King which by the way, was epic. The costumes were just amazing. There was this little baby elephant which was my favourite, because when the man inside wriggled his front legs the back legs also jiggled like a mini mexican wave. It was fantastic.  
The straps are just rectangles and the skirt ended up a fair bit shorter than I wanted it to be, due to lack of enough fabric. I did get 2 dresses out of it though. You can see the first here. The fabric is a really light cotton, perfect for the hot weather. 
The fabric was free, from my friends Mum Irenee and the invisible zip I used for the back was ripped out from my Stardust dress, which was only fit for the scrap pile, making this dress absolutely free! I did originally have the straps criss-crossing across the back but it was just iffy to get in and out of so I changed them.
 This was me getting on the train home. Incidentally this train went to Cambridge instead of Peterborough which we only realised just in time to sprint out of the train, across Kings Cross from platform 11 to platform 1 for the train we were supposed to be getting on which left in 2 minutes. I'm glad to report that we made it, but had to sit on the floor for most of the journey.
That's it for now!
Thanks so much to Emma for taking the photos and sun cream duty for the bits I couldn't reach!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tanzania Skirt

Hi all! Today's make is all about the fabric, which was given to me by my friend Connor as a souvenir from when he went to Tanzania. I decided that a simple gathered rectangle skirt would work best to showcase the print. A shift dress would also have been good but I like my waist defined, which shift dresses don't tend to do enough of for my liking. This skirt is also my entry for Oonapalooza because of the awesome print!
The fabric consisted of 2 of these panels. I only used one for the skirt so I could keep the other intact for a wall hanging of something. I cut it in half horizontally to get the most fullness and used some white fabric from a bedsheet for the waistband, which you can't see in the pictures because I decided a black ribbon over it looked best for this ensemble.

I kept the selvedge as is and didn't hem it because I like the writing at the bottom. I tried to google translate "ubaya sikuwa nao nawalipa visa vyao" and google translate disappointingly came up with "I was wrong with their visa nawalipa". I like to think that it does translate to something meaningful though.
Frustratingly, even though this is an incredibly simple project, all that could go wrong, went wrong. The invisible zipper broke just after I finished the skirt and the gathering was uneven so the center back had become the side back. So after having a mild strop I unpicked the zip and the waistband, re-gathered the skirt, re-attached to the waistband and re-attached the zip. Now it's done though, I am rather pleased with it and am proud of myself for working through the issues rather than tossing it in the corner and leaving it for a year.
That's all for now!
Thanks very much to Connor for the fabric, and to Ed for taking the pics for the price of 2 marshmallow pancakes.
Thanks for reading!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Robin Hood Costume!

Every year my school holds a summer fete, which my year is in charge of this year. The theme is Disney and I chose to go as the foxy Robin Hood.

As Robin Hood wears a tunic I decided to go for a princess seamed shift dress. My stardust dress fit the bill, made from Style 2370 and was in rags and tatters anyway after this night so I cut it up and traced it and it fit pretty much perfectly. It also means that this dress is part of my vintage pattern pledge! 3 down, 2 to go!
 The hem ended up being way too short as I only guestimated when I cut it up (bad, bad sewer) so I made a hem band which was basically a really long rectangle folded in half and stitched right sides together to the hem. This worked pretty well and eliminated the need for a hand-stitched hem. My invisible zips are getting better and better now I know to press the teeth over with my fingers whilst sewing it down which helps me get a lot closer. The neckline and the armholes are finished with bias binding.The fabric is a really nice textured silk dupion (which really needs an iron) and is the perfect forest green for Robin Hood.

The mask I improvised using google and foam. The tail is made of paper and safety pinned onto the dress! Thanks very much to Lucy for letting me borrow her hat and arrow-holder. (I’m sure there’s a technical term but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is.

That’s it from me for this week! It’s my last full week of school so the summer holidays are so so close!
Until next time,
Thanks so much for reading and to Ed for taking the photos under duress (again)

Lauren xx

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Floral Playsuit

 Howdy to you all! I picked up this amazing fabric at The-Charity-Shop-That-Sells-Fabric for a steal at 5.99 for 2 1/4 metres! It's really soft and smooth and silky and generally lovely. And the print. I love the print. As per my capsule wardrobe plans it was destined to become a playsuit and a playsuit it has become. I decided that matching top and bottoms would be better and more versatile than an all in one. I can't wait to make a navy half circle skirt to go with the bodice and a navy lace tee to go with the shorts.

The bodice I traced off my strapless maxi dress because I lost the pattern pieces I made! Stupid, stupid Lauren for not tidying and consequently adding 2 hours to a project. As I couldn't get hold of a separated zip or a hoody zip the measurement of my armpits to waist I decided that it had to button up at the back instead. To do that I added 1 1/2 inches to the center back pattern piece and all was good.  The bodice is boned to give it some shape and to hold it up and it's lined with calico.
The flappy over bit at the top I drafted by pinning my pattern pieces together and drawing a curve at the top. I self lined it and then sandwiched it between the lining and the bodice to attach it all. In hindsight some navy piping at the hem of the flappy over bit would have been fabulous.

For the shorts I used my TNT simplicity 9944, same as I did for last years floral shorts. I think I'm going to add some straps to the top, probably halterneck ties. 

I can't wait to pair this bodice with a circle skirt because I think it'll be epic.
Thanks so much for reading and to Ed for taking 3 sets of photos 'til they were how I wanted them. (Note to self: Some poses, not for me.)
Lauren xx