Monday, 23 January 2012

Project Tattoo Dress..... Angela Kane's Pinafore Dress

Well hello there, nice to be writing again... which only means one thing, I have finished another project!

This time it is the 'Tattoo Dress', thus called because I have been a newbie yet again and didn't insert the invisible zip correctly and it ate 3cm of my dress up- so it looks like it's tattooed on! Hooray for having a small bust and it didn't matter too much (first time I've ever seen that as an advantage!). Applying and removing this dress is a two-man job... Not to be undertaken when the fiancee is away for sure and most certainly not when I am home alone and on the red wine!

Talking of red wine, I would like to apologise for false promises on my last blog.. like 'See you next Sunday'. I will be honest, as I have gone through the making of this dress, primarily at weekend.. I have got annoyed, had a cigarette downstairs, gone back to it, annoyed again... then had a glass of red wine to relax. Sewing suicide! I am going to try and get out of this spiral of anti-sewing behaviour and just sew on regardless.

So... the dress. As you can see, I have done some pretty nifty darting, compensating for my lickle waist and small bust. The inside is a little bit of a nightmare...

....but hey, only I can see that and to be honest, it's something of a milestone for me, I will always be able to look back at this dress and see where I have gone wrong and not make the same boo-boo's again!!

Lessons learnt from the Angela Kane Pinafore Dress

  1. How to spell Pinafore.
  2. MUST be neater as I go along.
  3. Invisible zippers. This is probably the biggy, I have accumulated a few sewing reference books as I am going through this adventure in sewing. However, I found that the best tutorial was on YouTube from Bellajeanboutique She is lovely and clear in her instructions- check her out, she has lots of tutorials and make things really clear. I did it a little wrong here in this dress but yet again in sewing.. making the mistakes for yourself, throwing a wobbler and then working it out is the only way you progress. Next time, my invisible zips will be a thing of beauty. Which is ironic, as they invisible.. but I will know of the beauty beneath the seams...
  4. Darts- aren't they a wonderful thing?! As Angela says, after you have completed the darting you will feel like a pro- and you do! As far as I have progressed (ahem, not very.. but I'm getting there) finding out that darts even existed and their potential has been a real eye-opener. I think that they encapsulate the very essence of making your own clothes. Those darts that you insert are sculpting the clothing, they change a piece of cut fabric into a tailor-made piece of you.
I'm going to wear this dress in Spring/Summer. It could have been informal had I used the denim suggestion of Angela, but I found this navy/cream stripe which I immediately had to work with this dress. The fabric has not stretch, its 100% cotton print. Next time I will use a longer invisible zip which will make it easier to hop in and out of. A warm summers day and a cocktail in a beer garden somewhere. Sunglasses, bright blue bag and a funky beehive ponytail. Almost hard to imagine the warm sun right now in rainy, windy Ireland... but it will come, eventually and I can't wait with my accumulating hand-made Spring/Summer wardrobe!

I am so happy that I have found Angela Kane. She is a true professional and gives suggestions that you can use to diversify the pattern. you can tell by her explanations and her tone that what she is teaching you is through years of experience and just like other greats of her trade, she makes you feel capable of anything. As she explains, the skirt part is a classic A-Line skirt and you truly can use it time and time again. ALSO.... the top element on its own is a handy crop top, which as my Spring/Summer sources have told me is going to be MASSIVE this year...

Start doing your sit ups now ladies!!

OK, next up on the Bundana Sewing Adventure...

Burda's Jocelyn #6022

It's another versatile top which you can really go a bit creative and crazy with it! This is what I get a really, really big buzz out of... Making something that reflects me! I am a bit wacky, a little bit hippy and lot individual... so I can reflect this by my fabric and pattern choices!

Until next time my lovelies.....



Sunday, 8 January 2012

F I R S T C O M P L E T E P R O J E C T ! ! Colette Patterns: Sorbetto

Let's kick off with the picture I'm so proud to show you!!

Giddy little ginger lady!? Yes, by the looks of it!!!

OK, so this is my 'Ex-Pat Old Blighty Sorbetto'

I saw this fabric in Hickeys, which is pretty much Ireland's only fabric chainstore and really liked it. I had plans of aprons and dresses... I have had many plans as you will have gathered by now!

Alas, my 2012 resolution is to consolidate and actually DO sewing, rather than thinking about it and reading about it. So I started from the very start. I've filed away my eBay super-duper hard pattern purchases, I've organised my sewing room. I've enrolled on two courses which start on the 8th of February: Clothes Alterations and Dressmaking for Beginners. Before now, I've fantasied about making homewares from oil cloth seed organisers to hot water bottle covers.. but can I actually sew solidly and reliably?!?! NO! Solution... strip it back to the start and get the basics right.

In comes the Sorbetto.... after my epic post-10-hour shift Diet Coke, BBC Radio 6 and laptop internet research stints... I found Collette Patterns ... A company in the USA making just great, stunning, timeless and adaptable patterns WITH tutorials, support, hints and a community of like-minded people who can discuss and help each other... HELLO! After much more reading and drooling, I stumbled across the Sorbetto, a free tank top blouse pattern with instructions and promised to be simple and take 1-2 hours to complete. YES PLEASE!

Within the hour I had printed and cut and pinned the pattern onto my fabric.... I was on a roll!

OK, so the making... Let me tell you, its easy and satisfying. For a complete novice with a bruised history of incomplete projects through misjudgement... to work my way through this pattern was an ego boost! I pinned, I planned, I ironed and then... I bias taped. Ergh.

I am utterly in love with the top and even though its as simple as me with a hangover, I still have an issue with bias taping. Its my achilles heel. Maybe this harks back to spending €50 on a selection on bias tape makers that I will never use (6mm bias tape maker??!!), cutting my finger on my rotary cutter when I was cockily showing my fiancee my new tool and wasting loads and loads and LOADS of fabric trying to make the bloody stuff!!!

Have a look at this disastrous hot water bottle I made....

The bias tape would not join and came away when I put the hot water bottle in, so its actually an utterly useless piece of material seen as its whole purpose in life was to hold a hot water bottle!

Hmmmmm... from the other side it looks nice, maybe when I get more sewing miles under my belt I will be able to rectify the situation with this little beaut. Tis a shame too because that ruddy quilting took me AGES and used loads of precious Gutterman thread too!

I love the 25mm Clover Bias Tape Maker and if anything is going to help me crack this saga... its that!! People, word of wisdom... I don't have many so heed this, DO NOT buy a 6mm bias tape maker, unless you want to bias bind a thimble. I can't think of many projects that would warrant what would be 3mm of fabric border. I don't know.. maybe I'm naive and maybe in years time I will laugh at the stupidity of me writing that..... I hope so actually, then I wouldn't have wasted €9 on it.  

Right... time for some reflection....

I will wear this top again and again and again. I am wearing it right now as I listen to BBC 6 Music.... see....

... but I have made some mistakes...

I was a F.O.O.L to use red bobbin thread and navy main thread. I thought that it would be funky and the red specs would compliment the red stripes. NO! It was a pain in the ass and looks terrible on closer inspection... 

Also, I am still struggling with bias tape.... I lurve the look of it too, hence why quite early on in my sewing days... I have a rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat and lots of bias tape makers. I guess it's OK. I know its going to take some time for whats going on in my head to be replicated into what I'm making with my machine. Patience is the name of the game. I am really proud of the darts on the top. I know that they are childs-play to people reading this with more than a few days experience sewing, but I loved how they brought life to my top!

OK... next project....   Angela Kanes Pinafore Dress

I'm going to use this material.....

Its a Navy and Cream stripe. As you can see, I have already cut and started darting... so tonight I am going to start sewing all the bits together... wish me luck! Happy Sunday!!