Sunday, 19 August 2012

Finished Project & Pattern Review: McCall's 6331 with a Grosgrain Ribbon Waist Stay.

As promised, here is a post of a finished project!
I have been in love with the black and cranberry/wine color combo for a long time, last year I made V1 (post here) with a slim skirt and lace trim on the hem. I wore it to my 2011 work Christmas party (pic) and got many compliments for it. Now, here is the Black and Wine dress, V2!

This is one out of two formal dresses I have to make for upcoming award nights in October and November. Both award nights will be held at the Palladium at Crown, a 'stunningly glamorous and elegant' venue... I cannot wait to get all frocked up, hair done and all!!! Exciting times! And of course I am very much looking forward to the food!!!! I want to wear the dress with black opera gloves and/or a wrist corsage (think Carrie Bradshaw, SATC) and a custom made kisslock purse in matching black fabric!

Last week, while at The Fabric Store's 50% off sale looking for "jersey" I came across this beautiful shiny-sparkly black polyester for $6/m!! I snatched up 2 metres right away!

After spending most nights on the couch watching mindless TV (I can't believe they brought Big Brother back to TV... I only watched it for 10 seconds... it is so SHIT...), I finally mustered up the energy to get started on the dress on Wednesday night. Once I got started I couldn't stop.

The outer shell of the bodice is polyester from The Fabric Store, Brunswick St. The lining is cotton sateen. Both fabrics stabilized with iron-on interfacing. I pinked the raw edges. Love the zig zaggy look! I didn't use my overlocker at all for this project.

Tricky part of this dress is still the bra cups, the concave/convexes are still challenging, but I am getting there slowly. Patience makes a difference.

The skirt lining is sunsilky polyester. I cut a slim skirt for the lining... so it's more like a petticoat/slip? I got this idea from my sewing teacher while making my M5850. She suggested it so that there would be less bulk around the waist. Also a bonus because it uses less the amount of fabric by half!! Kaching!

The dress is very fitted so to save me from broken zipper drama that I always seem to encounter with invisible zippers, I have used a regular dress zipper and added a waist stay. I handpicked the zipper, which was very therapeutic and the waist stay made the black inside look cute with a little pop of cranberry.

I have to be honest - this dress is actually too small for me. I *just* fit it. I have gained winter weight around the waist and my waist is 4cm thicker than my usual measurement. I have been trying to make an effort to eat better and exercise for the sake of my health... but it's been a real struggle. I simply love food too much. I am hoping that this dress will encourage me to lose those 4cm around the waist so I can wear it in October without worrying that the seams will burst. If that fails, I'll wear this dress in November. If that fails, then... f#ck. But I refuse to unpick!!!! I refuse!!!!!

For the hem, I researched how to do a narrow hem on my Janome overlocker, but I couldn't find the instructions. I followed the instructions in the manual but I couldn't get it to work! Grr. The lady at the store gave me a quick demo when I bought the overlocker but I can't seem to get it to work.

As an alternative, I did the narrow hem on the sewing machine. I simply folded over about 2-3mm of raw fabric and stitched it down, then I turned the hem up about 3mm and stitched it down. End result is gorgeous! I love it!!! This technique can also be used for delicate fabrics. Good to know for when I start sewing with chiffon or silk. I hemmed the lining the same way. This method also saved me from having to spend money on colored overlocker thread. Kaching!!!

Pattern Review:

Pattern: Melissa Watson for Palmer Pletsch McCall's 6331 (no halter strap), M5850 skirt, 
Size: 4 bust with A/B cups, 8 waist
  • 0.25cm polyester (bodice shell), 
  • 0.25cm cotton sateen (bodice lining), 
  • 1.2m crepe back satin (skirt), 
  • 0.60cm sunsilky (skirt lining)
Notions: Invisible zipper 14" (black), Gutermann thread (000, 910), interfacing, 1m grosgrain ribbon, bikini back fastener,
Time: 4 days, about 10 hours in total,
Cost: Fabric $14; Lining $10; Zipper $1; Grosgrain ribbon $2; Fastener $1; pattern, interfacing, thread from the stash so total is: $28
New Techniques used: 
    • Narrow hem on the sewing machine
    • Grosgrain waist stay
    • Handpicked zipper

I love the dress, if I had to pick out one thing I am not 100% happy with, it would have to be the skirt... it's a little too puffy around the waist where all the gathering is, I feel so pooofy... maybe if I iron it down a little? If I can fit into it comfortably by the time the award nights roll around I'll get photos of me on the night for sure!! I really shouldn't say "if I can fit", I am making it my mission! I need to give up those all those fob bread rolls and pork puff pastries. I know I am not a "fat" person, but at the moment I am a small framed person *with* fat.

I am ordering my custom made clutch from a friend from my sewing class and I'll do some research on how to make a wrist corsage. If anyone has tutorial on how to make one, please let me know :D

Other news on the sewing front:
  • I have finished the hem on the M5850 (sewing class project), I'll be putting some finishing touches on it during this week's class then I'm putting that dress to bed till Spring comes out of the closet,
  • Still shopping around for "jersey" for the Burda dress. I don't know if I should buy a plain or print jersey.
I heard via blogs and Twitter that there was a sewing blog meet happening yesterday in Melbourne, unfortunately I didn't attend due to other commitments but I heard it was a great turn out and heaps of fun. Wish I was there! Were you there??? Who was there??? Tell me all about it!

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Eggs, Camo, Boots & Update on M5850...

Hi Hi!

This is awkward. I was hoping to have a finished project to blog this weekend... but I am yet to finish my M5850 dress so here's a photo of my brunch to make up for the lack of finished project posts lately!

Corn fritter breakfast from Mission Cafe, Chapel St, Melbourne.
So fricken delicious!

Don't worry, this blog is not going to turn into a food blog!! This photo of the corn fritter & co is kind of sewing related, since I wore my latest handmade dress there!

Can you guess what I made?

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you would've have seen a few photos last night when I was working on the dress. If not, you will have to wait... I made this dress for a guest post over at another favourite blogger's blog! Once that post is up, I'll let you know :D

All I can say now is the dress is wonderful, I felt super cool in it this morning, in my trench and boots! My new boots! Part of last week's shoe-shopping-binge.

After brunch I went fabric shopping for my next sewing class project - Burda 7254. The pattern calls for jersey or stretch blend fabric. Being someone who basically has only sewn with cotton and polyester, I really struggled to find the jersey type fabrics. I don't even know what I'm suppose to be looking for.

I went to The Fabric Store on Brunswick St and was confused as hell. The shop was busy so I didn't want to ask for help. All their fabric is sectioned by colour... so I had trouble finding jersey.

I then went to GJ Fabrics on Lygon St and it was a little easier there, fabric was sectioned by type. The SA showed me a few jerseys and knits but nothing got me excited so I left. I'll be back though!

The M5850 WIP is almost finished. I know, I know, that's what I said last post, haha.

Last class I added the grosgrain ribbon straps, joined the dress fabric and the lining, hemmed the skirt lining and handstitched the lining to the zip section. I don't have class this coming week so it will be another 2 weeks till I finish this floralicious baby!

I have two cocktail events coming up in October and November so I need to make two dresses for those events. I am such a procrastinator though, have not started on them at all!!

I promise my next post will be a finished project!

Have a great weekend.

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