Thursday, 26 April 2012

Ikat and Lace (p.s. I’m back!)

So…yep, that’s been about a month since I last posted on my blog. Please excuse the silence, life was happening.

It seems that there is a direct correlation between blogging and sewing for me. The less I blog, the more I sew! I have 3 totally finished projects to share with you, and 2 almost finished projects in the pipeline too. For some reason, I was finding that the ‘need’ to blog about what I was doing and photograph finished projects was starting to stress me out, and it took the enjoyment out of sewing. Ironic really – why do that to myself?!! As soon as I stopped blogging (and I only did so because work became really hectic, I had a holiday…and I got a bit distracted researching wedding things! lol), I found sewing so much more enjoyable rather than a chore –(“Oh god, I’ve got to get this dress done by tomorrow because I need to blog about it”, “the suns out, better go get that new dress on so that I can take photos for the blog”). So I might not blog quite as frequently as I was, but I’ll probably have more finished projects to share instead!

So on to dress number 1:

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New Look 6643This is view A from New Look 6643, made from a very lightweight cotton that I bought in Thailand last year. It’s an ikat print, rather than woven, so not really the real McCoy*. I actually bought the pattern specifically for the fabric (I’m afraid I’m one of those people who mainly buys both fabrics and patterns randomly without any plans and then try to marry whatever I have in the house!). I had a few shift dress patterns, but they all consisted of panels, and I didn't’ want to break-up the pattern, so went off and found New Look 6643. I’m so glad I did, because I feel this may now be my go-to dress pattern.

Even though my hip measurements meant I should have cut a size 16, my bust measurements dictated a size 12 (p-e-a-r!) and because I know New Look patterns run REALLY big, I decided to ‘stuff it’ and just cut it all out in size 12. I panicked half-way through making it and ended up sewing very narrow seam allowances – unnecessarily because I then pinned it all out when on and sewed it up again! End result – a fit that I love! And the almost-cap-sleeves work well for my shape and balance out the hips.

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For a bit of fun, I randomly thought I’d sew lace down each side. I attached these, with a basic zig-zag stitch, before finishing the armholes, so it’s nice and neat inside. I have to say I really love this detail. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do to my makes (add trims, details, etc), so I’m glad I’m finally starting to think that way. Plus it was ‘free’ because I had it in my stash. And I didn’t stop there:

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Exposed metal zip anyone? Yes, perhaps I’m a little late to get on this trend, but I really like it on this dress. The main reason I used this zip is because it was the only one long enough in my stash and I didn’t want to wait until I could buy a normal one!! I may end up making all my zips exposed – it was so easy to sew in (don’t worry, I really won’t)!

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I made this dress a bit longer than my normal hem length because I plan on wearing the dress to work during the Summer and I wanted to make it a ‘decent’ length when i sit down! It definitively makes the dress a lot more sophisticated (read – boring perhaps?), but I’m happy enough.

Up next – dress number 2!



* Fun fact – I grew up in Indonesia (lived there until I was 15), which is the home of ikat, and as a child I had little interest for this woven cloth. My mother, on the other hand, being an excellent seamstress (personal sewing, it wasn’t a job), had many items of clothing made-up in ikat – which I now envy! I honestly never thought that 15 years on I would find myself pining after the gorgeous woven fabric and wishing I could get my hands on it! This printed cotton that I found in Thailand was the closest I could get.

P.S. Turns out, when I’m quiet on the blog, I get more followers. I’m going to ignore what that sounds like and take it as a good thing – hello and welcome to the newbies, looking forward to comments and chat :)

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