Tuesday, 23 September 2014

FO: Anda/Staples dress mashup

I started this dress last year during a mini staycation/sewcation in the summer holidays. It was originally a Burda Anda dress.
Image from BurdaStyle

I downloaded the pattern whilst we were still living in NZ and took forever to do anthing with it. (I did start a tunic top for eldest a couple of years ago using the pattern, but it remains a UFO).

I deserted this make part way through because when I tried it on it was a shapeless sack reminiencent of a hospital gown. This was as much to do with the fabric as the style. The Anda is supposed to have a drawstring tie, but whatever I did I couldn't get the channel for the tie to go in the right palce around my middle or for it to look level all the way round - so I had a bit of a hissy fit and gave up.

Earlier this summer I found it whilst looking for something else, as you do, and thought I could probably do something with it. I actually finished this at the beginning of July, took all the pictures, wrote the bare outline of a blogpost, then didn't do anything else until now. 

Having seen quite a few pretty versions of the April Rhodes Staple Dress, I had already noted the similar style so I decided to do some shirring around the middle as I had a bobbin of elastic left over from this.  The shirring isn't as tidy as it could be, and I have probably done one row too many, but I was trying to control some of the volume in the back - it's pretty blousey.
blousey back
 I lined the skirt section only, otherwise I'd be doing my own version of the famous 'Lady Diana Spencer' shot!

It's not my best make, but for the swelteringly hot days we had at various points in the summer, it was great. The weave of the fabric is quite open and was perfect for letting cooling breezes pass through. I considered a high-low hem as per the Staples dress, but to make the proprtions look right, the skirt would have been uncomfortabley short at the front, so a straight hem it was.
It's quite swishy:

And lastly, this picture is here just because I like it!

Monday, 22 September 2014

A Summer of Stripes- part 3 and a sad summer

This pattern may look a little familiar - it is the Burda Raglan sleeve top 2/2013#127 that I have made 3 times before, but this time it is a dress (seen first here):

I got the fabric from Lisa (formerly of Small Things now blogging at Paprika Patterns) during the Spring Sewing Swap hosted by Kerry of Kestrel Makes, earlier this year. As soon as I saw the fabric I thought it would be perfect for a little t-shirt dress to take on my summer holiday to Italy. There-in lies a tale...

I started the dress during a quiet weekend right at the beginning of the summer holidays. My eldest two had finished school for the summer and my youngest still had 2 days to go. Husband and Middlest had travelled to Norfolk with the aim of Middlest doing some sailing and Husband and one of his nephews cycling from Norfolk back home (roughly 100km). Unfortunately not all had gone to plan - I had a phone call from a very distressed and disorientated Husband, who had come off his bike in the middle of nowhere. He was clearly in a bad way and ended up being taken to hospital in Kings Lynn. My dress was left forgotten mid-stitch on the machine, while I sorted out the other 2 children and hot-footed it to the hospital (an hour and a half away).  Husband had been unconscoius, was found to have 3 broken ribs, a black eye, very painful shoulder, severe bruising and multiple grazes and gashes. Luckily he was with his nephew who had called an ambulance, unluckily he was very injured, and was told by the hospital that he couldn't fly for six weeks - this all happening 2 days before we due to fly to Italy for our first hot family holiday since we got back from living in NZ.  Cue cancelled holiday and very sad, worried and disappointed family. We did get all our money back including extenuating circumstances refund from RyanAir - surprisingly.

Moving on a couple of weeks, Husband was being to feel his recuperation was going well and he was a little more mobile. This was not to last, we had a phone call from my brother-in-law asking me to collect all the children that were at my mother-in-law's house and keep them out of the way. My father-in-law had collapsed whilst playing tennis and there was an ambulance crew in attendance. By the time I got there (5 mins away) it was clear that my father-in-law had died, and I had to go home and break the news to the rest of my family. This was completely and utterly unexpected, and was a huge shock to us all. Husband found himself suddenly having to be much more active and under stress whilst being in pain, at the same time assisting with the arrangements that go with organising a funeral.

So, as I said in my previous post, this summer has been pretty awful and it wasn't really a holiday for any of us. Husband's recuperation is going reasonabley well now, but getting used to my father-in-law not being around will inevitabley take time - if indeed one gets used to that kind of thing.

At some point in Husbands early recuperation I managed to finish this dress.  I think it spent 2 weeks mid-stitch on the machine, needle down. I was fully expecting the dress to have a hole in it where I left the needle in and/or to be stretched out of shape where it was hanging over the table, but all seemed fine.
After the traumas of its beginning, the dress was finished quite quickly without out any further drama, and I am really pleased with it. It is quite figure hugging, and I have to be very aware of my posture (and what underwear I choose) when wearing it, but I love it.

I have hemmed it just above my knees and have worn it like this since finishing it. I have included a picture where I have pinned the hem a lot higher with a view to wearing it with leggings and potentially making it more versatile, but having said that, I am not sure I would wear it that short as a dress...
Shorter length - why don't my legs go brown?
 I am particularly pleased with the neckband on this one - the previous ones have been a bit loose and gappy, even when I reduced the length on my last one.  This time I reduced the length by 12% rather than 10% and it is perfect - and looks rather fetching with the stripes going in the opposite direction. I finished the neck with a twin needle, but I may redo this bit as I think a single line of stitching may look better.

Anyway.... happily Husband's physical recuperation is going reasonabley well, although coming off Tramadol is not for the fainthearted - withdrawal symptoms anyone? Also we have booked a holiday somewhere hot for half-term, so I will get to wear this on holiday after all.

I am not normally one for unburdening myself of woes, but I couldn't do a post on this dress without it really.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

OWOP Round-up 2014

So I made it through the week of OWOP, but am not sure I have photos of all the days. To recap, the pattern I have chosen to use is the Burda Raglan sleeve top 02/2013 #127:


Saturday 6th Sept:
Travelled into London to try and see vlogger Alfie Deyes with Eldest. We were unsuccessful, but had a nice day - didn't take a photo:

Sunday 7th:
Home, working on trousers in an unblogged dress version:

Monday 8th:
This is my 'why didn't I do this earlier?' look:

Tuesday 9th:
Puzzling over pattern instructions having been to the gym:

Wednesday 10th:
Home - working on trousers again...

Thursday 11th
no idea what I wore and seemingly no photos either - oops!

Friday 12th
Home - working on trousers again...

It did get pretty chilly on a couple of days during the week and I almost had to use my other version of this, but it is mid-alteration and I don't really like it very much. I will finish the alteration and see if I like it a bit more - most of my dislike is to do with the fit.

I still really like my makes from this pattern and I wear them pretty regularly. I wouldn't be at all surprised if more turn up in the future! Thanks Jane it's been fun!

Monday, 8 September 2014

One Week One Pattern - OWOP is back

A couple of years ago, Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons hosted a group challenge called One Week One Pattern, or OWOP for short. The challenge is for sewists to choose one pattern and wear garments made from this pattern for a week.  It is up to those taking part how they interpret this - you could wear one garment styled in seven different ways or if you are very prolific, you could have a different garment for each day of the week. Since 2012, Tilly has been a bit busy, appearing on the first series of  the British Sewing Bee, writing a book and producing her own sewing patterns amongst other things - which means that OWOP has a new host, the lovely Handemade Jane.

Jane put out feelers regarding a rerun of OWOP and got a pretty overwhelming response as far as I can tell, and so we find ourselves 3 days into the challenge already. I have signed up, hence this post and I am doing ok so far.  The pattern I have chosen to use is the Burda Raglan sleeve top 02/2013 #127:
and I have four versions of this.  If the weather continues to be sunny I may have to be inventive with 2 of them, (one unblogged) otherwise they will all be being pressed into action! I will be doing a round up post after the end of the week.

Last time round I used the Lisette Portfolio tunic/dress pattern, my round-up is here.