Friday, March 22, 2013

A Fave Made-from-scratch Dress

This time my project is not a refashion, but one I made from scratch!

This is a dress that I made a few months ago, and it has quickly become one of my favourites. It's a soft, comfy knit, and I loved the fabric when I first saw it. I spent some time trying to find a pattern that would highlight the design, and not interfere with the drapey-ness of the fabric. I think I succeeded, with a dress that reminds me of a Group of Seven forest scene, yet feels like I'm wearing my pj's to work (is it just me or is that a really common dream...?)

I decided on New Look 6936 because it claimed to be a 2 hour pattern, and had very unfussy lines.

This was a really simple pattern, unlined, with an elastic waist casing and simple rolled hems, no facings. It probably took me under 2 hours, cutting included. I adore it. And it can be styled in many ways:

Just hanging out in my sandals

Colonel Mustard in the library...
Ready for business

This is definitely one that I'm going to make again. I've already picked out a different print to try, a black shinier knit with a groovy pink, grey and red swirl that has to be carefully centred down the front when I cut it out. There are a few varieties in the neckline and sleeve design in this pattern so I'll likely try another sleeve on the next one. I'm eager to also make a lightweight, bright one for summertime.

Do you like to sew "from scratch"? If so, when and how did you catch the bug? I made a now-famous "Two Hour Dress" in home economics class in grade 9 which took me four months... but I finally caught the sewing bug when my mom taught me to properly sew at age 19 (I still have the first dress I made with her then!) How about you?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Skirting the issue

This is a long, pleated, polyester skirt I have had for years. I bought it at the Goodwill with the intention of doing something with it as I loved the rose, turquoise & cream pattern. It originally came with a matching short-sleeved blouse but that has disappeared long since, sadly.

SO long, and my foot looks
 freakishly large here...

I was going to cut the waistband off and use the big rectangle of fabric that would result...but then I thought, no, I wouldn't. Just haven't been able to decide what to do with this one. In any case, I finally took some inspiration from refashioners online, and took out the side pockets of this skirt, stitching the resulting openings down with a narrow hem to make armholes. The waistband becomes collar (though I will have to add a little dart into each shoulder area to make it lay flat correctly, I think), and the skirt becomes dress.

Here I am modelling it with a skinny belt and cardi, and my favourite turquoise owl pendant, also from the Goodwill.
Notice the fabric shimmers slightly too
This was a fun one but I doubt I will wear it without a sweater of some type, as I don't really like sleeveless all that much, especially with the cut in style of this design. Best for younger, trimmer ladies, I think!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Skirt to Dress to Skirt

I started this blog in the fall and then promptly forgot about it. Time to rejuvenate it and get back to posting with some the makery I've been doing. Start with easy...

Here's a simple No Sew Refashion I put together a little while ago (inspiration once again from the Refashionista).

I was busily hemming a swathe of dresses and skirts from my mending pile, and came to this one -- it's a lovely skirt that my mother-in-law bought for me some years ago. To shorten it, I'd have to take it up from the waistline, as the hem is ruffled. I looked at the elasticized waistband and was struck by an idea.....I quickly pulled it up to chest level and (yes, I am short) it fell to my knees. Of course, I'm not much for the idea of a completely strapless dress for day wear, so tossed on a matching blouse as a jacket, and slid on a belt. Wow, I impressed looks like a casual, fun dress.

And the best thing is, when I'm in the mood for a maxi dress I can wear it at my waist again with a sleeveless top and it looks fairly funky... if you like this Sears catalogue pose, that is ;)

Creating something anew, just by looking at it differently. It's a good skill to have, not just in the clothing department either!