Friday, 16 March 2012

Tying up loose threads - Miss D's sewing review part 2

Hello dears,

Well I got kind of sidelined on my mission to post the second half of my sewing review basically the bit where I tell you what I hope to create in 2012 partly because I've been off creating and partly because life has been v busy.  Anyway no matter I'm here and I'm typing now.

I left you last time with the astonishing realisation that I made 21 items of of clothing in 2011.  Well astonishing at least to me because I thought I'd been much more idle than that.  I also filled you in on my hard drive nightmares, which are still unresolved but the positive being that I now have to make loads more memories to fill up the new one.

I have also finally got round to writing the about about me section, which has been on my to do list since I started this blog nearly 6 months a go.  So please feel free to have a read and find out a little bit more about this lady you see lounging around in leopard with half a glass of Babycham.

Right I think I have sufficiently preambled enough so down to business.

This year I hope to achieve the following:

Going in search of a great fit

I am diving head long into the fitting process especially the region I refer to as the girls because they're one of the reasons I got into sewing in the first place.  I have the proportions of an exclamation mark all top tapering down to hardly any bottom.  The plus being I have carte blanche to wear clothes that make a statement!  I often joke I was put together just before the team of body construction people were due to go on tea break.

My first muslin (ever) for the Pastille dress and first of three or fourish

Last year I kind of winged it because I was wanted to crank out as many things as possible with my new found skills.  However, I now understand that fitting and the time it takes is just as important if not more than the time spent with Brenda (my sewing machine).

I've joined in with the Colette Handbook sew along to assist with this, which is hosted by the lovely ladies Sarah at rhinestones and telephones and Erin at misscrayolacreepy.  The fitting I've done with their great advice for the Pastille has definitely put me on the right road.  I've nearly finished it and will blog shortly about it whilst trying to catch up on the next project the Truffle dress.

Taking time to smell the flowers or taking projects slower and enjoying them

I've always had a tendency to want things done yesterday especially when I get an idea for something fabulous, which I guess is a good and bad in equal measure.  I realise now that last year I rushed through quite a few items that I made and I wasn't as happy with the finished article as I could be.  So going forward I will slow down and take the time to learn all I can from each make as well as taking time patch up the things from last year that need a little TLC.

Need to sort out the wonky hem and the missing button on the sea of love dress.

Get involved with the community spirit of sewing

Reading people's blogs is so inspiring and now that I'm a little more settled into my sewing I'd like to take part in more challenges, meet ups and do a few give aways of my own.  So far I've signed up for Sew Colette and the gorgeous Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Challenge.  I'm working on a Joanie because she's the best fit for my vital statistics.

This is the Joan look I'm working towards just need to find myself a gold pen necklace.

Being less selfish or making for others

I have to say I have been quite good at making presents since I discovered my creative streak but this year I plan to take it to the next level because one of my dearest friends, Laura has not only asked me to be her bridesmaid but has also given me the challenge of making the bridesmaids' dresses. We met several years ago while on Erasmus exchange in Spain and we have been great friends ever since.

At my cartoon party - Sara (a gorgeous bridemaid to be), me (Betty Boop), Nick (dashing groom) and Laura (beautiful bride to be)

I can't tell you how thrilled and honoured I am to be asked.  The process is already under way.  We  have chosen the vintage pattern we want to go with Simplicity 3592 and have decided on pewter duponi.  It's going to do wonders for my learning curve and I'm just so touched to have direct input into what is going to be such a special day for someone that means so much to me. 

We've chosen version 2 with the full skirt and I will be reaching out to all your seamstresses for advice a plenty.  I think we're going to look like a 60s girl group :)

Life is one long lesson or I'm going to learning to knit and how to overlock amongst other things

The last teaching I had was my pattern cutting class in September, which was great but I feel like I'd really benefit from extra tuition on intermediate techniques like piping and overlocking so I'm heading back to Kat's sewing school for some lessons.  I did manage to get a quick workshop in on overlocking at the Make Lounge in February, which was great but still feel like I could do with a little more instruction.

The napkins that I made on the overlocking course.  A good excuse to throw a dinner party ;-)

Having become such a happy hooker (keen crocheter) I have decided I need to tackle knitting mainly because I spotted this beauty in Claire Montgomerie's book Knitting Vintage.

My life will be complete when I can rock my hand knitted tangerine Aran cardigan

I'm very luck to have a great stitch and bitch group near me at a lovely wool shop called Purl.  I've been going there to crochet, drink wine and laugh a lot for the past 6 months and now they're going to teach me to knit.

Stitching up a storm with the happy addition of wine ;-)

The master plan or the top 5 things  I plan to bring to life this year

1. The Salvador Dali tribute bedding

I am going to applique a huge black felt moustache on a plain duvet cover and then make a border of tiny moustaches using my printing kit gifted to me by the lovely Aymi.  Then on the pillows I will applique two large lobsters.  I think it will be the bed of dreams.

Nutty as a fruitcake but I love him and find him very inspiring plus he has one of the best tashes ever.

2. The Vogue 8280 aka the Roland Mouret Galaxy dress take off

To stay true to form I'm planning to run up V8280 in leopard print and then lean characteristically in a doorway wearing high heels and drinking a large mojito ;-)

I'l be going for middle version on the right hand side

3. Simplicity 9302 or my homage to Barbara from The Good Life dress

I scored this pattern some time last year off of Ebay and it's been in my must make pile ever since.  It's quite a bit smaller than me but since having had a good bash at an FBA using the this excellent tutorial at Sew L.A. I feel ready to conquer it.  I heart the ass off the sleeves in the lefthand version.

I will wear this frock barefoot when I volunteer at my local community garden - hippy chic at it's best

4. V1137 the award ceremony outfit or any reason to get dressed up to the nines dress and coat 

This was a pattern that I purchased a few weeks after I learnt to sew last year with the intention of it being something to aim for.  When I saw some pics of Adele at the 2009 Grammys I just knew I had to make it happen.

Just need to find a milliner to make me a fabulous fascinator.

5. Minnie Mouse was a bad girl bombshell dress

I bought Gertie's bombshell dress course back in July 2011 and started on it straight away but then stalled when I realised I would have to do lots of alterations.  Now though I'm looking at it as a huge learning curve with the added bonus being that I could never buy this ready to wear because of my proportions.  Once I crack the changes the bodice is so versatile I'll be able to put it to a great many uses.  Plus I've seen so many gorgeous finished ones around the blogosphere including Karen's of Did You Make That, that I have to get on it.

Still very much a work in progress but I'm going at it with renewed vigour :)

So that's the plan Jan!  Wish me luck I think I'm going to need it.

Before I scoot off to bed I'll give you a quick whip round of what I've made so far this year.  That way I can start a fresh with a post on the my new frock next time.

I thought I'd give cross stitch ago and purchased subversive kit it gives this gentle craft a twist ;-)  Also Caitlin Moran's book is amazing and I highly recommend reading it.

The polka dot double agent dress made from Oonaballoona's ace tutorial and worn to the excellent ElleKaye play.  Go see them they're ace!

Next came what I'm calling the librarian with attitude dress made from Vogue 8413 and worn to the bloggers' de-stash meet or as I like to refer to it - a sewocracy.

All the gorgeous blogettes braving the cold thanks to the wonderful Zoe and Claire.

 My haul from the meet up!  Just check out those high waisted trousers. I'll be going all Dolly P with big hair and big attitude!

My lovely friends received a little handmade card from me on Valentine's Day and I got chocolate and cake in return. Spread the love I say.

The superman 3/4 circle skirt made using Patty's calculator.  Excuse the mad pics I was trying to show the full swish potential :)

The Mysterious Cities of Gold Sorbetto made with the fabric I bagged from Kathryn of Yes I Like That

 The Pink Wafer on Acid tea cosy made for the my lovely friend Jo of the Royal Wedding high tea fame.  This cosy is as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside just like her.

And finally folks my most recent make the crocheted man about town tie for the one and only Jarvis Cocker.  I'm just about to package this baby up and send it to BBC6 music.  I have high hopes he'll wear it next time I see Pulp at the end of the month.  It's part of my cunning plan to knit my way into a job in radio.  After the success of the Hoxton bonnet for Radcliffe and Marconi this cannot fail ;-)

That's all folks!

Until next time keep calm and carry a spare pair of tights,

Miss D



  1. Awesome list! Weren't you going to email me about your FBA revelations?? Your bombshell dress is going to be wonderous BTW.

    Also I can't believe we have the same crochet tie patterns. Although I still can't actually crochet, I try but it just isn't happening.

    1. Ah sugar I knew I was meant to do something. I will send deets over post haste.


      PS if you want a little crochet hook up just holler back and we can meet and hook together. I swear once you get it it you'll be hooked - baddest pun ever ;-)

    2. That would be ace! Will email you :o)

  2. Wowzers! So much to take in! As I told you before, you were NOT made just before the guys went off for their tea break, you were made at the BEGINNING of the day and they lumped all their best work on you!!! I feel sorry for everyone else who was made that day!

    Good luck with your aims to conquor the fitting process. When you have some well-sitting basic patterns, you'll be able to make them again and again with different details, sleeve lengths etc. so it won't be an up-hill struggle for every new garment you make from here on out.

    Let me know if I can help in anyway chica Guapa!

    Zoe xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Blogger was an ass and wouldn't let the lovely lady of Ginger Makes leave this here comment:

    Hello, lady! I'm one of your readers and a big fan of your blog/style/etc! I just wanted to chime in with a comment re: bridesmaid's dresses (for some reason I'm unable to comment with my wordpress account... ugh... computers!)! Those bridesmaid's dresses are going to be gorgeous! I love the pattern, and it will be lovely in a pewter-y dupioni! Can I offer you a little unsolicited advice? I made bridesmaid dresses for my sister's wedding in November, and I wish someone would have told me to be more generous estimating the amount of time it would take to make them (it took me about DOUBLE the amount of time that I thought it would)! So be sure to make yourself a schedule and then add extra time to it! I really wanted the dresses to be perfect, so I took lots of care with them, and they were more complicated than anything I had made previously (plus, you're fitting other people, so that presents challenges). But it's such a great experience and really helps to make the wedding special! Good luck!! Can't wait to see them!

    Sonja (from Ginger Makes...)