Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Learning As I Go

Here I am again. 
I was going to write a post last night, but I got distracted by a bit of post-war drama and my knitting instead.

Tomorrow the girls and I have a special extra day off. 
 School's in this County close for the Norfolk Show each year. Some close tomorrow and the rest on Thursday. We used to have fabulous family days there so I feel sad when we don't go, but it's darned expensive now. Anyways we have to get stuff sorted for Miss Millie's two day Bushcraft camping adventure so we thought a bit of mooching and maybe a ladies wot lunch treat instead.

All in all I have an extra day with my girlies, just us three.Woohoo.

Now I've still been busy sewing along these past few days.
My night time knitting's a slow old thing, one day there might actually be something to show you.

Do you remember these fabulous fabrics I found on the May bank holiday weekend. The purple's been re-born into a bag, the blue is in bits slowly becoming a coat and as for the big brash rose print. 
Well a couple of weeks ago I was buying breakfast pastries before work and I spied a sewing magazine with a great free pattern. I can't remember the name of it right now, but there you go, that's my mind a lot these days.

 Anyways, I was saving the black and greeny rose 60's print for exactly the right dress and there on that magazine was exactly the perfect dress shape.


It was a dream to make up. In fact it took a whole night of football until 1am to stitch it together. 
I changed the pattern about a bit to suit my height and longer rib cage and I was off. 

Now I'm thrilled with the dress apart from two things. One, I kept it to the 1960's hemline, but I think I'll have to lengthen it as my knees shock the hell out of the dress. And for two, I just don't do black at all. I have nothing black to go with it so it's not been worn in public and roadtested yet. 

For me if I can wear handmade in public for a whole day, feel great and the outfit doesn't rip apart then it's an all round success. I love the dress, but it hasn't loved me back yet.


Even so I really enjoyed making this and as I love the shape I'll try making more of these dresses. That was before finding a fabulous book in the library.

I'd not come across Gertie before, she also has a blog you know, so it was all the more exciting to find this gem of a book. I'll be ordering my own copy once payday comes around as I want to make pretty much everything in this book too. All the clothes in it are exactly the styles I love so I'd better get stitching hadn't I.


 A dress I absolutely love in it is a drop waisted cocktail dress in a sassy leopard print. Well I'm sold on it and fancy a saucy hussy dress for myself before I get too old.

I thought I'd kick off first though with a Peter Pan collar blouse where I had to draft the collar myself.


 Now having used up nearly all the longer lengths of fabric I'd got in my piles and being on the skint to very skint side I turned to my trusty pile of 60's and 70's bedsheets for inspiration.


 I chose a white with pink rosebuds in the end, although I think a polka dot is made for this pattern.


 I re-drafted the blouse pattern for my shape and then followed the instructions on how to draft your own collar. That's the thing that interested me about this book. It's about the more advanced dressmaking techniques I want to learn and all in designs that I love. 

To make a lot of the designs you have to re-draft the patterns and there are brilliantly written explainations to help you learn how to do this. As I want to keep on learning all I can then this book hits all the right buttons. It even uses boning and horsehair stiffeners so it's serious stuff!


 Now at this angle it looks like I've done ok with my Peter Pan Blouse. Actually my collar's gone wonky and shrunk on one side and I've yet to sew all the buttonholes down the back.

For sanity, as I've got to unpick facings and bias bindings, the blouse has been stuffed in a bag for now.

I did find a few other things to get on with between then and now mind you. I'll show you those makes next visit.


 Thanks for stopping by and leaving your encouraging words. 
I was really pleased you enjoyed reading my last post so much. 
The fact that you say you find this a happy place to visit means a lot.
I write honestly and from my heart, it's how I am.

Now I believe bed is calling as my eyes are struggling to keep open. 
Night night.

32 comments:

  1. I love gertie she makes me laugh and I love people who make me laugh...I also love her devil may care attitude.
    Your dress is fab wear a blue cardi or one in a bright bright colour...gorgeous.
    That pattern happens to be one of my faves, it is a superb fit and very comfy as well as being easy peasy to whip up in no time...love seeing all your sewing projects....xxxxxxx

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    1. Feelings mutual mrs sewing queen. X

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  2. I absolutely love your green/blue/black flowerdress !!! Those types of patterns are also my favorites, comfy, in my case they "camouflage" certain parts of my body that need slimming ;-).
    And like Daisy said, wear a cardi on it in flashy blue or green ? Easily found, in this summer's collections in shops... Would look fantastic on it !

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    1. What's also really flattering about it is the side darts zip in making my waist look slimmer? Yay.

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  3. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying your dress making posts Lisa xoxo

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  4. Spending time with just my girlies and me is bliss, and much needed, I hope you all enjoyed your special day. We don't go to the Suffolk Show anymore as the cost is just crazy, it's such a shame. Although you aren't a fan of black, your dress is lovely, I hope you can make it work for you :-)

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    1. We had a lovely time Lucy. Shame about the shows isn't it.

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  5. Loving the sewing posts, I too have to, like to make my dresses, as I am non standard in shape. The material is a complete knockout!! I agree a blue or green cardi may be awesome with the dress. I also love the little peek of a different facing material.....a little hidden gem, will take that on board.

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    1. Once your get the hang of it it's great making something that actually fits isn't it.

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  6. I'm so glad I popped by as I have just bought that magazine and pattern and wondered how good it would be. The magazine is just called Sew and they have given away some lovely patterns in the past. I might put those I won't be making up on my blog as a give away, so we might encourage other young people to have a go for themselves. Your dress looks gorgeous and I love the Gertie blouse too. X

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    1. Thanks so much. Great idea to spread the sewing bug about. X

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  7. I have this book too, although I am yet to make a single thing from it? Your fabrics are envy inducing and your blog is fantastic. Always interesting and it is happy. Thank you for sharing all your makes.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Come on dip into your Gertie book.

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  8. i love your dressy missy~ its fabby you are sooo creative and get lots done in your spare bits of time. lovely you got extra bit of time with your girlies too x...i think these shows now are soooo expensive!!!!!...my dad used to have an exhibition tent at the suffolk and essex shows, i loved going as a child and back then things wwere not as pricey. I'd love to take sophia again to the cornwall and devon shows but they are beyond my budget!!!! ;0(...and the fairyfest was on near me but that was 30 quid a head! so i had to say no to it, my twinny and her family went and said how fabby it was. its a shame they make the admission fees so high. lovely post as always x

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    1. Not fair about the fairy fair lovely as you too would have loved it. I've got to the stage where I just have to be creative or I go mad. Bit addictive really. X

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  9. Love that fabric LOVE the dress!! Oh to have your ability to cut out and make your own clothes...

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  10. I ADORE your black and green floral dress, it's gorgeous. I envy your ability to sew, oh if I could just summon up the courage to say hello to my machine again. She scares the crap out of me, but I have been desperate for the past 8 years to make myself a skirt and dress! laughing, what a wimp! You are inspiring!

    Have a super day

    Vanessa x

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  11. I love your dress. I'm good at a lot of crafts but sewing is not my forte but it obviously your's.
    Jacqui x

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  12. I'm with the others and love the dress.
    Gillx

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  13. I love Peter Pan collars and polka dots are my favorite! I just bought a light gray with white polka dots of about 1" to make new curtains for my kitchen. I will use the left overs for quilt bindings. I really like the dress too....very pretty fabric.

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  14. I love your dress!!! The flowers look so great against the dark background, I am sure that you can find something to wear with it! What about picking up one of the colours from the flowers? Hope that the top making goes OK. xx

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    1. Oh, and I meant to say!! Hope that you and your girls have a nice ladies that lunch lunch together! xx

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  15. Love that frock and fabulous material. Your vintage sheet stash looks inviting and you are talented to be able to sew so well and adapt patterns to fit.

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  16. What gorgeous stitching, the dress is amazing!
    And I used to have that rose print fabric bit I used it all up!
    You are very clever indeed x

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  17. I just love the green and black 70s dress:)))) I would just get some green or black shoes to go with it!!!! In fact all what you make is fab! I haven't finished the Megan dress yet, too busy at work and shattered by the evening. It will have to wait until the summer hols I think:(

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  18. That dress looks fantastic on you! I love vivid prints on black. Your longing for a hussy dress did make me chuckle. That's what I love about vintage and (potentially!) dressmaking is that you can still retain some individuality and humour in your style whatever your age.

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  19. Ooooh Lisa, lovely! What a brilliant dress.....think they might be next in that little shop of yours! :) x

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  20. I love your dress, the fabric is gorgeous. Reading your blog has inspired me to try some sewing myself. I have the pattern and material so I'm ready to sew.

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  21. It is very tempting to try dressmaking again. I used to make dresses for myself when I was about sixteen or seventeen. Um - a long time ago!
    www.thequietstitcher.com

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  22. Hello just popped by from Jacqui's blog-what lovely uplifting gorgeous projects! I love your patchwork bag. Your dress is beautiful Happy weekend Alison xx http://farmhousetraditions.blogspot.co.uk/

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  23. Your dressmaking is so inspiring! I saw that pattern in Tesco and wished I could have a go. My friend also is making one in delicious greens. I hope one day my stitchy skills will be as peachy as yours! xxx

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. I read all of them and really appreciate you taking the time to say hello.
I always try to get back and reply, but sometimes this may take a bit longer as pets and children always seem to need attention around here.

Bobo X