Sunday, 21 June 2015

MY SUMMER SOLSTICE DRESS : : VANCOUVER'S COAL HARBOUR : : SIMPLICITY 2444

A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art






A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art




A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art



A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art



A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art

Oh my goodness....hello hello everyone...and eep...where to begin? Let's see....we've got awesome views of Coal Harbour and the Vancouver city skyline! I'm modeling My Summer Solstice Dress! It's the longest day of the year, and spectacularly good weather! And, I'm finally blogging about this gorgeous gifted fabric! GAH! Can you tell I'm overwhelmed!

We took these photos in Vancouver's Stanley Park; along it's famed seawall, looking across Coal Harbour towards downtown Vancouver. The City of Vancouver is almost entirely surrounded by water. Kinda hard not to get an awesome photo when there is a stunning city skyline, Pacific Ocean, and endless watercraft, no? The mister and I thoroughly enjoyed a long, leisurely stroll along much of the aforementioned seawall yesterday {jelly sandals are in my straw tote}. And, as if that's not special enough, it's that other most magical time of year...summer solstice...the longest day of the year. My photos were snapped around eight thirty in the evening, and the sky hasn't even hinted at dusk yet.

Even though today is the first official day of summer, I've been mentally, and physically, in summer mode for most of June.  There's been lots of outdoor play, along with pleasant gardening tasks. That being said, I have managed to squeeze in some sewing time. I successfully sewed two Hawaiian shirts for the mister this week. Now, let's see if I can get him to model them for the blog, shall I?  I've also been sewing {yes more} summery dresses. If my fabric stash is any proof, {it is}, summer is my very favourite sewing season.

Speaking of dresses, I'm pretty over the moon with this one. This is the fabric that Barbara Jane gifted me back in October as a result of this giveaway. To briefly fill you in....it's ever so lovely hand printed silk screen cotton titled  Mud Ripples, from Nomad Art in Northern Australia. You may recall me writing about the good karma of this company in my blog post here.  I received a generous 1.5m piece of 110cm wide fabric; just the right yardage {meterage?} for a skirt or top. But me? I saw a dress, and nothin' but a dress. The fact that I actually eked one out, with sleeves no less, still has me a bit impressed. It was after careful consideration, that I laid the pattern out cross-wise on the fabric. The skirt is not as full as most of my fit and flare dresses...but I actually quite love the silhouette. I sewed this a few months ago, and I gotta tell ya....it's fast becoming one of my favourites. It's not so much that the dress is different from my gazillion other Simplicity 2444's; it's not. But it just feels right on me!  Sometimes when I'm trying to squeeze out a garment from a smallish piece of fabric, there is compromise, but not so with my Summer Solstice Dress! That red trim down the centre back and along the sleeve edges? I utilized the plain red fabric that runs along the selvedges. Not much else to say...the skirt is lined, I used an invisible zipper {which actually is invisible, big whoop}, and I added a waistband and two tabs with decorative buttons {the pattern is Simplicity 2444, but I self-drafted the skirt and borrowed some design features from Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1873}. The sales clerk commented that the buttons I was buying were Target buttons, which had me momentarily flummoxed, until she pointed out that they look just like Target's logo.

Thanks bunches for your comments on my childhood inspired matchywear. Not quite a dare, but my cousin {more on that soon} Curtise from The Secondhand Years put forth the suggestion that I sew a jumpsuit. Whee! Another fun plan hatched and in the making, thanks Curtise!

*All righty...a quick note for my email subscribers....my last post did not reach you via email. No clue as to why....hopefully it won't happen again. If this post does not get sent via email...well, you likely won't be reading this either, LOL. Suffice to say, I will attempt another method of delivery. **Yay! Looks like we're back to normal delivery!





 




Friday, 5 June 2015

DARE, DARE, DOUBLE DARE, I CAN SEE YOUR....MATCHYWEAR : : #SEWINGDARES

Simplicity 1803, Simplicity 1783









Simplicity 1803, Simplicity 1783



Simplicity 1803, Simplicity 1783




Hi everyone! Me again. So. It's official. Yep. Gillian, from Crafting a Rainbow dropped the bait, and I bit. I'm participating in  #Sewing Dares. What is, you ask?  It's a fun challenge masterminded by Gillian. It's unique because it's tailored for the individual. No two people will have the exact same #sewingdare. Why, you ask? Well...it's totally for fun. But more than that, being dared is motivating. My dare also got me thinking about being a kid, sewing for Barbie, playing dress-up....all kinds of things really.  Here's how it played out...

Me: Dare me, dare me. But something sewing related please. I'm having childhood flashbacks of hanging upside down from the monkey bars in a dress. 

Gillian: I dare you to sew something inspired by a childhood outfit or an old favourite item that's been lost/worn out/outdated. Give an old classic a new twist.

Up first...research. According to the photo albums, I was clearly all over the two piece matching outfit when I was a kid. Dress over shorts, cropped top over capris, jacket over pants...I remember them well. It was fun seeing that my love for colour and pattern was evident even at a young age. 'Nuf said, the look is decided...we're going for matchywear.

....I blame it on Dior and I. After seeing the film, not only is everything sublime, but I have this urge to design. And so I gleefully hacked away at Simplicity 1803, adding length, fullness and in-seam pockets to the bodice pieces. The pants, my trusty Simplicity 1783, are sans pockets and with the zipper relocated to the side seam. For continuity matchiness, I added v-notched hems to both top and pants. Gah....I had way more trouble with the top than I should have. When I was playing designer, I muslined the top with  a high-low hem, and I thought it looked nice. But when I sewed the garment in the good fabric, it looked wrong...just...so wrong. So that was a job....unpicking two rows of machine stitching and re-cutting the hem. Then there was the gaping at the armhole. 'Course, that wasn't evident until after sewing on the self-fabric bias tape. Still...all in all, I think the effort was worth it. I have summer weight matchywear, just like years ago. I can't say it's sublime, but in 100% cotton, it's cool, comfortable, and fun to wear. Fabric is Artisan Spirit-Shimmer-Peacock by Deborah Edwards. It's difficult to see, but it has a pretty metallic gold dot throughout the print.

Now? Did I play it too safe, asks me? That's my biggest question mark with this make. The fabric is definitely colourful and patterned, but it's reading as a solid. I'm wondering if I should try a #sewingdares part II and use a more sixties inspired fabric? Or hey, how 'bout a cropped top....bwaaahahhaha...now, that be crazy talk.

All righty....whadya think? Do you have a memory of a favourite childhood outfit? Do you have a sewing dare for me? Please do dish....

Simplicity 1803 : : Also seen here
Simplicity 1783 : : Also seen here and here




 













Wednesday, 27 May 2015

FABULOUS AFTER 40 STYLEBLAZER INTERVIEW


A big thank you to Deborah Boland of Fabulous After 40. She very recently featured me in her Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer series. Her interview questions were tailored just for me. I'm dishing on why I love colour and how a handmade wardrobe is changing my life one garment at a time*. You can read the article here


* A massive exaggeration on my part.  Forgive me please...I'm feeling like a schtar.



All photos in this post credited to the incomparable Melanie of Bag and a Beret. I may make stuff, but Melanie puts the cool in creative. Seriously, when's the last time you played dress-up? In an alley?