Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mad men competition

Hi there, I know I have been away for a bit. I have been sewing lots, just not posting. Anyways... the other day I stumbled across this awesome blog, she has made a mad men challenge, where you make your favourite outfit seen on the show. I got so excited of course, as Mad Men and Joan especially are some of my personal obsessions too. The clothes are so pretty, the girls are so put together. I think I even prefer watching the show to eating chocolate, and that says a lot.

So I am going to take up the challenge.

I actually want to make a lot of their dresses, however I will not have time to make them all before the challenge finishes. I am halfway through a dress based on Joan Siegel. I just love the colour, how it is fitted, and love the little tie at the front. I will reupdate when I have finished it :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blue moses dress

I took an extra day off this week and had a brainwave of a dress to make, This is a pattern I made up, straight on to the fabric. I wanted big sleeves. I was going to make it from a floaty material and cinch it in, but then decided stretchy fabric would be nice as it would stretch to fit my body without needing a belt. Plus this fabric was super cheap so I didn't care if it didn't work out :)

I used the 2 way stretch lycra mix, it is really cheap from Kutwells in Christchurch. I like this fabric because it just stretches over everything so you don't need darts or zips, etc.

 The other neat thing about this fabric is you don't have to finish the edges as it just rolls and doesn't fray. You can literally roll the length you like, I have rolled it to a demure length here.

It has massive sleeves, reminds me of the seventies. But my flatmate told me it looked like I was making Moses' outfit, so that is why it is named this.

I cut a circle out to make the neck hole (but cut it way big), this was an easy fic, just meant I had to pull down the centre front and ruche it by wrapping thread around it and this fixed it falling off my shoulders and made it more flattering cleavage wise, lol. Though I didn't finish the edges, I did finish the neckline by sewing some of the same fabric around the neckline like you do with bias tape. The nice thing about this fabric is you don't need to cut  the tape on the bias a s it stretches in all directions, you just cut a strip in one direction and it fits.

If I want to I can wear it as a one shouldered dress just by popping my head through a sleeve and rolling in the neck line. The other sleeve then glamorously falls off the shoulder.

I like it best with a belt and matching shoes as I always like to accentuate my waist, but this is what it looks like by itself :)

The construction...
The idea was the same as the circle skirt-fold a giant iece of fabric in four, cut out a neck hole (instead of a waist hole). I then laid one of my tops folded in half to work out roughly where the arms should go (but added on heaps as this is clingy fabric) and pinned these basically falling straight to the floor, and moved the pins til it fit my body nicely. I then sewed wherever the pins are. The length was too long and so were the sleeves so I cut them. I have displayed the fabric layout so you can see where I sewed the seams. It is actually symmetrical, I just didn't take a good picture :)

Now I can't wait to make more, maybe I will try floaty fabric next.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Old knit sweater to party dress!!!

I bought this jersey for two dollars. It was giant and frumpy and high necked and long sleeved, but it was in good condition and I love the pattern. Tiny aqua diamonds on a black background. This totally fit with my polka dot type obsession. The fabric was a stretch knit-like a winter jumper.

This is a close up of the fabric :)

What I did to it...
I cut the sleeves off down the seams.
I grabbed a singlet that fits well and pinned it on  and cut around it (except I made it was wider at the sides as this was not nearly as stretchy as a singlet). I did the same at the back, making it a racer back, than sewed the side seams together. I had the sleeves left over-and they have a lots of fabric in them. I cut the sleeves on the bias and sewed them together to make bias tape and used this to edge the neckline and the sleeves. Then I tried it on Anne and it fit beautifully. Great, I was halfway to my party dress!!

Next I cut up a piece of black two way stretch fabric folded in four-to make one of my circle skirts. I overlocked the edges and pinned and sewed it to the skirt where I wanted it to sit. I had to be careful to use a stretch stitch as I didn't put a zip in and couldn't have it break where the waist seam joined.

I had some aqua fabric in my stash, I cut long strips of this and sewed them end on end to each other then sewed them to make a giant long skinny loop and turned it inside out. I gather stitched it and pinned this gathered fabric on to the neckline where I liked, then hand stitched it down. I think its looks really pretty. This fabric has the same colour as the dots on the singlet piece.

The dress now looked a little unbalanced, with the ruffle at the top and nothing of colour further down,. Plus the edge of the skirt kept rolling, so I made another long gathered tube of aqua and sewed it on to the bottom.

I loved how such a simple idea looked so effective, and even better, apart from buying the sweater, all the other fabric was already in my fabric stash.


I wore this dress to my friend's birthday. Now all I need is to go dancing so I can wear it because it's really swishy and the skirt flares right out when I spin.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Runway!! Confection cutie collection at Hokonui Fashion Design Awards

Yay. Final pictures. I love how the collection looks (and at the show people screamed when my designs came out, that was exciting-and no, it wasn't my mum screaming in the audience :) ) Ha ha.

I have always been inspired by bright colours and I like relatively simple clothes (plus I'm not skilled enough yet to do more complicated stuff). I thought my collection had a real sixties feel to it too. I love it. And now I have 5 new dresses in my closet :)

The choreography was awesome, I love the cute wee poses the girls did. Thanks beautiful models! Great work :)

Dress number 5: hot pink and bright stripe dress

This dress was really simple to make, and I think it is one of the most effective. To make it, I made my block, cut out  where I wanted my stripe, and then added on a new seam allowances to each piece I cut,. Then I simply made that offcentre piece in a different fabric. Tada, super easy!!

Oh, and this is my nod to bright orange that is so featured this season (one of my stripes on the left is orange, haha).

I also chucked in a couple of pleats at the neckline off one side for fun and interest(you can see them on the right side on the above picture).

 Next up: the runway collection images!!!! yay!!!

Dress number 4 :red/blue contour dress

So this dress was also a part of the three included in the collections entry in the fashion show.

It was interesting making this dress, until now, I never really realised sewing needed much in the way of maths, but do make this dress, I pulled out the my ruler and made a graph! I taped up Anne with where I wanted the contours, and then had to make  a table with coordinates of the lines of the curve, e.g. every two cms I measured where the curve was on the x and y axis and  wrote down the coordinates (using the side seam and hem as the 0,0 axis). Geeky huh? I have no idea what real designers do when making clothes but it worked for me. Then I plotted these points on a graph and drew between the lines and this is how I made the curve for the pattern. Made that sound complicated? I was so proud of myself for working out a way though. This dress I designed with making the most of a woman's figure: The centre strip comes out at the bust and hips and curves in at the waist (to try and make the wearer lookk like she has a sexy hourglass figure, of course!)

 I forgot when I was making this on Anne, that although I had set all her measurements to be the same as mine, she has a much longer torso( which I can't adjust as there is no dial there), so I probably should have curved the dress out for the hips a little higher up whan I made it (as it makes my chest area look huge).

 Isn't it neat that as a woman we can play with the lines on our clothes to make our bodies look a different shape? It sure is a lot less effort than diet and exercise, haha. :)

Next up: lucky last dress number 5: pink and bright stripe dress.

Pink/purple swirl dress:dress number 3!!

This dress was part of my collection. I called the collection confection cutie as the dress I first made reminded me of lollies:,bright fun colours and swirly. I made all my dresses from the same fabrics, just in different colours. I used these fabrics mainly as I had 10-12 metres each of the bright blue, purple and red left from when I bought them in a sale at new year for a dollar a metre. And I managed to find some hot pink in the same style. I really like colour blocking too. And since I have made these-colour blocking seems to be really in fashion, so that's handy.

My inspiration :)

I had so much fun making this dress: mainly because I drew my picture, managed to make a pattern and sew it and it all came together perfectly first time. maybe I should do a tutorial some time on how to make a swirl dress as I just sort of made it up, and it worked.

 Modelled on Anne.

I will put the runway shots of this dress up once I  have shown you the other two dresses in the collection as the shots are of all three together.

Next up: dress number 4, contouring red/blue dress