Monthly Archives: July 2013

the lace curtain dress

I finally decided to have a shot at doing something with lace – I bought a piece from reverse garbage, a place in Brisbane that sells odds and ends from all sorts of places with the hope of people finding a use for others’ junk. Anyway, I assume this fabric was a lace curtain in a past life, and I got a couple of metres for $6. Yay! Bargain!

I previously got going on Cambie dress, and despite making a muslin, had some neckline gaping issues. My attempt to fix them post-hoc made things ten times worse, and as a result it’s on the mending pile. Hopefully I’ll get the energy to do something about it, because I *love* the pattern, and it’s in a really pretty cotton.

Anyway, this dress is a bit improvised, but the bodice started out as the Cambie bodice pattern. I made the neckline straight (as per Tasia’s tutorial here), and totally removed the top of the back, so it’s just straight across:

lace dress back

oops. The back hem isn’t as wonky as this photo suggests. I just think it was unironed… (typical)

The bodice has 3 layers: the lace layer, the underlining, and then a lining. You know when you’ve read about a technique and you get really excited when you get to put that knowledge in to action? That’s how I feel about the underlining for this dress. I started with just the lace pieces:

and then pinned them to the underlining (identical pattern pieces, in cotton):

… and sewed them together, so I can treat them as one pattern piece.

I haven’t used underlining for anything before, but I’m planning to use it for a linen dress to limit wrinkling.

For the skirt, I didn’t use an underlining, so there’s just two layers. I wanted the top (lace) layer to hang free of the cotton lining underneath, so I just sewed them separately. Originally, I had the skirt gathered at the waist…

… but I wasn’t totally sold, so I tore it all to pieces and hacked a bunch of fabric off the outside edge. Now it’s like an a-line with some subtle gathers. Voila!

lace dress and q lace dress

Because I cut this before fixing my previous neckline fitting issue (I know, I know), I had to insert some extra darts that come in just to the side of the straps, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. SUPER cute… agreed?

I’m a little careful to wear it with casual/colourful accessories to downplay a possible wedding-dress look, I think I’m being successful so far.

lace dress

catchups

A year between posts is *totally* reasonable… (let’s try this again).

I’ve been doing more sewing than anything else, but there’s been zero photography and documentation. It’s probably about time for that to change – camera, timer, here I come.

I’ve just put a few projects up over at Kollabora… I signed up when it first started but haven’t really been using it. It seems like there’s a good little community getting going though, and I like that there’s some variety in the kind of things that people post.

I’m still hosting semi-regular make + do afternoons, but at a slightly less frenetic pace than last year. At the last one I had a crack at this cuff tutorial from the Purl Bee, and I’m pleased to say that (on the second try) it turned out brilliantly. Here are some instagram snapees..

cuff

cuff2

The other thing I have been (slowly) working on is my Archer shirt.  I started it at a make + do afternoon months ago and only recently finished it on a trip to fetch the dog from holidays with my mum. I don’t really think of my sewing machine as portable, but it was actually really easy to pack up everything I needed, and I got this pretty much finished while I was away. More sewing holidays might await…

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Anyway, look, this thing is my favourite. I’m sooooo proud of it, it’s a beautiful pattern and the sewalong makes it really straightforward to put together. The fabric is a silk print from The Fabric Store, with a teensy bit of stretch (the walking foot for my sewing machine helped a great deal while putting this together).  I had to narrow the shoulders a little, and I forgot to put the pockets on (I’ve decided I’m happy without them now), but otherwise, no drastic changes :o).

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I’m definitely going to make more of these. Probably in a cream silk or cotton next, which I think will be a serious workhorse in my wardrobe.

Finally, my puppy is home after a rather long ‘holiday’ with my mum, and I’m excited about it, so here’s some puppy in an adorable jacket we got him in Japan last year…

Q in jacket

Loads more projects to cover, but that’s enough for now. ciao!