Archive for August 2011
How rad is this weeks challenge? the 1970′s!! I know right! there are so many options, we have: Body Stockings in lycra to do the Lady Bump in at Studio 54. Flared trouser suits or jumpsuits in heavy crepes, wool jersey or polyester, to solve a crime in like the spunky Charlie’s Angel girls. Maybe a Diane Von Furstenberg wraparound dress, or perhaps would you prefer the androgynous look of Diane Keaton in Woody Allens, Annie Hall? You know where I’m heading right? straight back to 1977 to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s shop ‘Seditionaries’
In high school my friend handed me a tape with the words ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols’ scribbled over the TDK label, she said stop listening to that New Romantic crap and put this in your walkman. Not long after, the Simon Le Bon poster was pulled down from my wall and was quickly replaced with the glaring eyes and snarl of Johnny Rotten, he was, my new Jesus.
This week I have my very own Johnny Rotten and Nancy Spungen—I wouldn’t wish Nancy’s life on anyone, but for the sake of this post and punk rock, lets just go with it.
My daughter, Nancy, has been eyeing off my 2m for $2 red tartan/plaid in my stash for months, asking for a pair of pants just like these. It’s a pity it took a sewing challenge for me to pull my finger out to get the job done, so I immediately went into fifth gear this week and made two pairs. Yep! Johnny’s snarl turned into a smile. Best mum in the world right here! but, there was a trade off…photo’s.
Both Johnny & Nancy slipped into character without any drama’s, they were both very professional and looked absolutely smashing in their new bondage pants; I think these pants are timeless—well they must be if your ‘cool as’ kids are asking you to make them a pair some 35 years after their initial creation. I watched Johnny’s attitude alter as he slipped into the zippered and bound pants, it was like he took on the whole punk rock persona as we walked the streets of Collingwood and Fitzroy. These clothes changed him, he just morphed into this kid I couldn’t stop admiring. Clothes are powerful like that.
Each pair took around 3 hours to complete, I copied the pattern from a pair of pants they both fit into comfortably. Both pairs are different in their own little ways just like their new owners. I spent a huge $5 on rings and zips for the front closures. I had a stack of open-ended zippers that were given to me years ago that I had no use for till now, the dog-clips I had buried in a bag in my junk draw. Nancy’s Doc Martens were found at the Trash ‘n’ treasure for $2 and Johnny’s at the opp shop for $5. Johnny’s T-shirt is mine from my youthful anarchic days as a rebellious punk *coughs*. We all know how much this outfit would cost brand new? God damn, I love my Janome.
Will you look at the attitude bursting from Johnny’s fingers? He’s getting ready to play the 100 Club later. Nancy’s waiting for the Bromley Contingent to turn up so they can wreak havoc at the gig as per usual.
This weeks challenge was super fun, I’m dead chuffed with how the pants turned out and I’m particularly pleased that both Johnny and Nancy loved wearing them. I’m also happy to be behind the camera for a change. AND to add to all this happiness I just read that next weeks challenge is all about plaid. Plaid, plaid and even more plaid. Oh what to make, w h a t t o m a k e?
I sharpened my scissors, I bought new needles I even used pins, I told my family not to bother me for a couple of hours because if this challenge went wrong mummy would probably be the subject of a new reality TV show ‘Mummies Gone Bad After Sewing with Silky Chiffon whilst listening to Kanye West & Jay-Z ‘
It’s safe to say the kids are okay, I’m okay and so is this weeks challenge. Phew! This fabric, (georgette) I bought a while ago $14.95 a metre and it ended up taking top spot over what I considered to be ‘the number one fabric’ in my stash. I had no idea what I had planned for her, I just loved the print. She has been draped over my dressmakers dummy for weeks I’ve been gazing with loving eyes at her trying to conjure up an idea, I wanted her to be happy with the outcome too.
I chose to pick something simple– pattern wise, and just leave the drape of the fabric to do it’s job and to be honest, play it safe. I think this is the first time I have sewn georgette fabric and I’m telling you she slid everywhere, and frayed, oh did she fray, but you knew that it would didn’t you? it was like I was against the clock sewing it before it all disappeared into little thin hairs all over the floor. I have to say though, this fabric feels pretty amazing against the skin.
I chose to roll hem the sleeves and turn under the hem, I used a buttonhole stitch for the belt to push through which was nifty. With the neckline I put a light weight interfacing in and turned it under but ended up removing it after I top stitched it down around the neck, it was bulky and jutted through the fabric. Blah! I felt like the facing ruined it. She sits better now. I don’t think it’s technically right, I’m wearing it and I think it sits okay. This dress looks a lot better in real life.
What is this dress called? it’s not a kaftan is it? I want it to be more of a kimono than a kaftan, kaftan is such a daggy 70′s dress, I think it is a kaftan you know! damn. I’m going to call her the ‘Back for Seconds Dress’ that’s literally what I did, I was so wrapped with the way this turned out I went back for seconds…
Here you go, if you like mine you can make one too. Just whip out that measuring tape and measure twice. Don’t cut the neck line too deep or wide you don’t want her falling off your shoulders, or do you?
I went back to Spotlight and splurged on this awe-inspiring, stunning looking fabric, it is seriously the most amazing feeling fabric, silky chiffon; silky smooth. Isn’t the watercolour print beautiful? I feel a million dollars wrapped in this fabric. The simpliciy of the pattern suits the drape and print of the fabric beautifully.
No rolled hems for this fabric, no overlocking either, it was all about turning the hem over twice and machining slowly whilst holding the fabric taut. I really recommend using a 60/8 needle in your machine with a fine thread. The finish on this top/dress looks great I set my new fancy iron to silk and pressed all the seams down, Ironing is imperative, it just makes all the difference in the world to any sewn garment. After ironing her I was super charged, there was so much static I could of powered the whole of Melbourne town, a couple of squirts of anti-static spray turned out the lights and we were good to go.
I love this top, I feel all fancy in it. I think I’ll make a couple more for summer. Simple, quick, slimming and fancy. I like a bit of fancy thrown into the mix.
Happy Sewing, see you next week.
If you are a regular reader here then you know I like to join in on all the sewing fun over at Sew Weekly. I really look forward to reading what the next challenge is and Mena usually announces this on a Monday. Because I work a full time job I find it hard to get to the fabric shop until late Thursday that’s if I don’t have the appropriate fabric and notions in my stash so that leaves me to: sew on Friday night, take photos on Saturday and sit down with a red wine and put together the post all of which I enjoy immensely as you probably have gathered by now. Have a peek at the SW archive, rather inspiring don’t you think? So the challenge is to find inspiration from a garment one of the clever gals have made and give it a whirl yourself. As soon as I read this I knew just what I was going to sew and I had thrifted fabric in my stash so there were no trips to Spotlight needed which meant I could get to work on my dress earlier in the week and leave the weekend free for birthday celebrations of the teenage kind.
I am channelling Veronica Darlings Bye Bye Summertime Dress from the Colette Pattern range The Roobis. Isn’t Veronica Darlings dress adorable? I think it is. The fabric is divine and the cut and photos are just perfect. Veronica Darling is the queen of thrift and sews the majority of her creations from second hand fabrics, bed sheets, curtains, table cloths you name it she’s sewn it. Nifty hey? So I took to my—slowly growing opp shop stash, $3.99 Piqué, approx 2metres (I think it’s a tablecloth) and broadcloth for the lining. You know what? I don’t have this Colette pattern, I recently bought the Parfait and I’m eagerly awaiting her arrival. So I studied the line drawing up there and took to taking my measurements and then proceeded to cut out pieces to best match the pattern above, yes of course I thought I was going to stuff it.
*EDIT: the wonderful Trish has told me the fabric is seersucker. I seer suck at recognising fabric arrr thanks Trish.
Once I did a quick fitting I was relieved to see I was doing okay. Phew! The difference between this dress and the pattern, visually, are the two seams at the back of the skirt which I omitted, the zip in the back as opposed to the side, the back scoop is higher as is the front neckline scoop— (I’m not fond of low rounded scooped necklines, I have broad shoulders and the lower the scoop the wider they appear, I look blah in singlet tops). The pocket shape is different and the little detail on the neckline isn’t there. I also had to place darts either side of the zipper at the neckline to stop the dress from gaping but unfortunately took to adding them after the lining was put in so you can see them facing the wrong way from the lining when the dress is on the hanger. I’m totally okay with that though.
I think she turned out pretty okay, I’m rather happy with it. I particularly like the pockets.
Because I saved $$ on fabric this week why not jazz up this dress with some handmade accessories, I dug out the paint and started painting these fab $2 wooden bangles and papier-mâché balls to match the colour palette of the dress. Once the varnish was applied it took the colours of the paint to a whole new level. I’m really impressed with how they turned out. My outfit was complete. You can never have too many bangles darlings NEVER!
We spent the day at Luna Park so I took to some of the wonderful coloured back drops like you do. Perfect back drop for this dress, I even had some lovely comments. Yay!
You know what? I decided these teenage girls didn’t need this Autumn-Covered-Women following them around so I laid down some motherly rules and took to burying my head deep within the pages of this book while the girls had fun. Will you look at the shine on those bangles??!!. très chic Love them!