Sunday, 30 January 2011

BWOF 09-2009-137 Flounce skirt

I guess one bonus of going up in size (on the bottom half at least) is that I now get better value from my Burda magazine - being able to utilise both the standard and plus size patterns.  This skirt is from the plus section of the September 2009 issue.  Can someone tell me where to find the line drawings these days? Anyway, if you have the mag then you can look if up, if not it doesn't really matter anyway does it?

I cut a 44 in the waist and 46 in the hip, which should have fit my measurements but I actually found it a tiny bit snug and had to let the seams out a smidge.  In future I would allow extra width in the side seams just in case.

The fabric is a wool/polyester blend.  I previously used it for my entry into the RTW knock-off competition on Pattern Review a couple of years ago, which I only got three votes for - me and two of my IRL mates.  I didn't think it was that bad!

I didn't make any changes to the pattern, even the length was fine for once.  The flounce at the back is a nice detail and avoids the need for a vent.  I usually find that hemline details in skirts tend to make me look a bit squat but this hangs nice and straight and doesn't add width.

I am pretty happy with how this skirt turned out and it will be wearable all year around which is a bonus.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Cupcake Apron

A co-worker of mine has a friend whose little girl loves cooking.  For Christmas she was given a toy kitchen which she loves but her Mum couldn't find any aprons to fit - she is only 2.  I was enlisted to have a go at making one that would fit so my friend could give to the little girl for her birthday this week.

I used BWOF 07-2008-137 (a baby's romper) for the bib part and this template for the skirt and pocket (I cut the top off and added 8cm total width in the centre front so I had enough to gather).  For the frill and straps I used strips of the  contrast fabric which I folded in half (frill) or sewed into a tube (straps).  I made two small loops (straight grain, folded in the edges and top stitched) and attached them just above where the skirt joins the bodice to thread the straps through. Also I bagged out the bib for neatness and topstitched in a three-step zig zag to jazz it up a bit (any fancy stitch would work). It probably took me an hour and a half or so from start to finish.

I think this is probably the cutest thing I have ever made and so far everyone (me, my friend and the Mum) has loved it.  It's the little girl's birthday today and I can't wait to hear her reaction.

Friday, 14 January 2011

It's my 3rd Blogoversary

Today is my third Blogoversary! Wow, when I started this thing I never imagined I’d still be going three years later and I hoped rather than believed anyone would be interested in reading it!

So this is an opportune time to reflect on the past year in my creative life.

2010, as I have previously mentioned, was a challenging year for me which overflowed onto my crafting world in a big way. In March we got caught in a freak hailstorm that hit Perth which resulted in our house getting flooded. It was nothing like the scale being experienced in Queensland at the moment (donate to the relief fund here) but it was enough to lose all our floor coverings and a large portion of our furniture. We managed to save most of our belongings, which spent the next three months crammed into my sewing room while we got everything replaced. On the positive side I did a lot more knitting in 2010!

My work life was also very stressful in 2010 for reasons too boring to discuss here. This impacted my creativity just because I was so tired a lot of the time.

There have also been some other issues competing for my limited time which have drawn my attention, sometimes too much.

However, not to be overly negative, when I have had the chance to make stuff I have enjoyed it as much as ever, maybe more. And I did manage to reach my goal of completing 30 projects – even though I did cheat a bit by including 2 wadders and a couple of (major) toiles. So without further ado…


My top three for 2010
Gossip girl dress

Houndstooth coat

Baby starghans

My three biggest disappointments
The Garden State dress: my ham-fisted fba mucked this one up!

The grey frankendress: this one was not my fault but suffers from pointy boobs that I just can’t seem to fix.

Sunflower dress: I don’t know why I just don’t love it

Projects to carry over
The red silk corset: I just can’t face this right now. I have almost finished it but have got to a stage I don’t know how to remedy and if I don’t do it right it will look terrible!

Jess’s wedding dress: That one is on hold for a while due to circumstances beyond my control (good circumstances – they haven’t broken up or anything!). It will probably fire up again in late 2011.

The McQueen Kimono jacket: I still really want to do this project but my weight gain means there is no chance it will fit me as it is. I need to do major work to the pattern and I just haven’t had the energy. I am not ditching it but just need the stars to align a bit better before I can take it on.

Wish list for 2011
My immediate goals are the need to blog a couple of projects I have finished in the last few weeks. Then I have a UFO to finish and two more projects cut out. After that I want to have another go at BWOF 11-2007-107 and fix that pesky bust problem.

Further than that it is hard to plan beyond summer. I am on a contract at work which ends in August. I have to re-apply and don’t know if I will get it or not (there is a pretty poor record for that here). I will have to apply for other jobs just in case and who knows what might eventuate there? Always in the back of my mind is the desire to do something more creatively satisfying.

So 2011 will really be stepping into the unknown for me. Whatever happens there will be a lot of change and its associated stresses, which is why I am unwilling to add more stress by setting too many goals. My only goal is to create as much as I can and not too many wadders this year (although I read once that if you don’t make bad fashion choices sometimes you are playing it too safe!). I will try to blog at least once per week but please forgive me if that’s not always possible. I hope you will stick with me for this ride and I look forward to what comes next.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Goodbye 2010 - the Garden State dress

I don't know about you but I am quite happy to see the back of 2010!  To say it was a challenging year is an understatement but I have definitely come out of it stronger.  All the stresses of 2010 means I wasn't able to focus on my creative pursuits as much as I would have liked, but when I could they helped me get through some really difficult times.  I foresee 2011 also being challenging (at least the first few months) but what can you do other than face it head on?

I'll do my 2010 round up of projects on my blogoversary in just over a week so today I will show you what I whipped up for New Year's Eve...

I was going for this -

But may have strayed dangerously close to this -

Whatever, I loved Garden State so I don't mind too much!
The pattern is BWOF 11-2007-107 which has been really successful for a number of people.

I love how the skirt came out - although on me I could have done without the underskirt.  I made a lot of alterations to the front bodice and never managed to get it quite right.  I don't think that is the fault of the pattern, I think I was a bit over-zealous with my FBA.  I haven't made a fitted bodice from Burda before, are they cut for a c-cup to start with by chance?  There is just too much fabric in the front so it pokes and pulls a bit weird.

The back isn't bad, the only alteration I made was a 3cm sway back adjustment.  There still seems to be some excess fabric in the back waist but not enought to be really concerned with.  It's so hard to fit yourself and it's usually not until I see the photos that I notice problems, especially on the back.

The fabric is quilting cotton (yikes!) which I don't normally use for garments (other than PJ pants) but I don't think it looks too mad.

I am thinking of this as a wearable muslin.  I want to use the pattern for a work dress so this was a trial run to see if the general shape works on me.  If I can get the fit worked out I think it will be okay.