19 August 2012

Project: Minnie Mouse blouse

I spent a bit of time last week trawling through the huge stash of Make It Easy sewing magazines and patterns that my Nanna gave me. Make It Easy was one of those weekly magazine series in the 1980s, and I now have the whole set. While there are some rather, ahem, scary-looking fashions (triangle-covered dungarees, anyone?), there are also some really cute ones.

I found this blouse pattern in magazine 3, which implies that it's an easy design. It's not. In fact, I wouldn't attempt this without at least a year of sewing experience. I did ignore some of the instructions and make up my own (like using an overlocker stitch to finish the neck hole and cuffs in the inside instead of hand-sewing them).

The sizing with these patterns is a bit weird. According to their measurements, I am a size 8 in the tops, and a size 10 (!) in the pants and skirts. This blouse is quite generously sized (as per the style in the 1980s), but the neck hole is weirdly small (I had to squeeze my tiny head through). Next time I'd simply cut the slit in the front of the blouse a little bit longer.

In these photos I'm wearing the blouse with a black skirt I made at the start of 2011 (also made from the Make It Easy Patterns, but before I had the instruction magazines). I think it looks best with a skirt, but could also be worn with skinny jeans (either untucked or not). I think I might redo the hem before wearing it untucked, as it looks a little wonky (the tension on my machine went a bit weird after I'd done some gathering stitches).

This was easily the most complicated thing I've made, but also probably the cutest. I mean, I look just like Minnie Mouse!

05 August 2012

Latest sewing projects

A couple of months ago I decided to tackle the Miss  Marlo dress in Pip Lincolne's Sew La Tea Do book. I'd been wanting to make it for a while, but hadn't bothered to print out the updated pattern from her website. (Note to people with the first imprint of the book: there was a printing error on the Miss Marlo pattern, so you'll need to get a new one here.) I also decided I wanted to scale the pattern down a little bit, as the smallest size was S to M.

It's a really simple dress to construct. Pip's method of doing facing is really easy, so if you've never sewn anything with facing before it's a good place to start. It also tucks in neatly with very little fuss (I can't say the same for facing on many other patterns). In scaling down the pattern I must have done something weird, because the front ended up 6 centimetres longer than the back. I was able to easily fix the problem by adding a feature strip of red fabric to the bottom. The pocket is made from some Robert Kaufmann fabric I had in my stash.

I later decided to try my hand at turning the dress into a top. I scaled the pattern down further, and used a larger seam allowance for the facings to get a more fitted look (using a black fabric that has a little stretch).

The buttons are just some of the many I bought from Skull Buttonry. The Skull Buttonry Etsy store is run by Cate, who many of you many know as the brilliant woman behind the Foundation 18 orphanage in Indonesia. In addition to her other Etsy stores raising money for the orphanage (see Foundation 18 and The Giving Bowl), Cate now sells buttons to raise much-needed funds (with ALL of the profits going to the cause).