Monday, June 11, 2012

Skip a beat

Life's been a little hectic the last week what with work, my excessive cat cuddling duties and all that. I haven't gotten much of a chance to update the blog for a bit so here's a big catch-up on what I've been up too...

I purchased some very sweet heart and polka-dot novelty fabric that I've been resisting  for ages in my local craft shop. I'm in the middle of making this adorable peter-pan collar dress with it...

(Burda 7494)

The collar will be in a slightly off-white plain cotton and to give it a more flirty and relaxed feel for summer I'm going to use a half-circular skirt pattern instead of the fitted skirt provided. I'm kinda addicted to circle skirts at the moment, especially since I figured out how easy it is to build in a mock petticoat with tulle! (Tutorial will follow at some point, I promise!)

This is how it looks so far. This pattern doesn't actually have a separate set in sleeve but has a sort of baby-raglan built into the main bodice pieces (the shoulder seams are extended down the arm into a mock sleeve), the result being a super-cute sleeve-like effect with pretty much no effort on my part! 

Another interesting little feature of this pattern is that the peter-pan collar actually only extends as far as the shoulder seams and is secured within the shoulder seams between the front and back bodice sections, rather than continuing all the way around to the centre back seam. I'll do an outfit post on this when it's finished with some close ups of these details.

 I'm obsessed with fully lining dresses, lining a dress is a hell of a lot of extra effort, but the end result is so worth it. If you go that extra mile with your dress-making, your dress with drape infinitely better, radiate quality and craftsmanship, wear better, last longer and even make you look slimmer! 

Lately I have begun using the self-fabric (my lovely red polkadot cotton in this case) to line the bodice of dresses I've been making. I only tried doing this for the first time relatively recently and it gives a really polished, professional look to the bodice. Usually you would use a plain white or black cotton (a bit boring), or something synthetic like nylon or polyester, but they don't 'breath' enough for a cotton day dress. 

There is a uniquely Irish conundrum that arises from using cotton as your lining fabric, as we rarely get a day warm and/or dry enough for going bare-legged I spend nearly the whole year in tights. As a result, I personally prefer to use the two different fabrics in the one dress lining, cotton for the bodice and nylon for the skirt. This is because an underskirt made in nylon or some other slippery synthetic won't snag or ride up on your tights like a cotton one always does (is it just me or does that drive you crazy too!?). It doesn't look quite as pretty or perfect as using the same fabric for the whole piece but it's far more practical for an Irish dress-maker! 

I'm not sure how the armhole is going to look seeing as the pattern isn't actually for a lined dress, but rather uses facings but I'm hoping it'll look even better this way when I'm finished with it. I think I may use the armhole facing to encase both my bodice and lining armholes.

I love having Mondays off work, there's no weird sense of obligation in the air like there is on a Friday or Saturday and I can happily mosey around the house all day (in my jammies), catching up on house-work and other projects without feeling like I'm missing out on anything exciting happening elsewhere! 

So as soon as I got up this morning I went outside with my coffee and spent an hour hanging out with my moggies and taking some pictures in the garden. 

One of my neighbours (or so I'm assuming anyway!) planted a flowering cherry tree in the corner of our communal garden recently, it was a lovely little surprise to find when I came home from work!  

My Sweet Williams and Geraniums have blossomed yay!

A bumble-bee enjoying the wild Valerian.

I also got my latest fix of Mollie Makes. I've been saving it for a cuppa in the garden later this afternoon, I get quite excited when my local newsagents finally gets the newest edition in! 

Super-cute 'handmade with love' ribbon that came with it..

My favourite project in this issue is a gorgeous satchel style tablet case, now all I need is an Ipad to make it for!

And now, random music video time... 

This is such a cool video, I very unexpectedly saw these guys perform over the weekend (I won tickets the day before the gig), and I had the most fun and frivolous night of my life with my two lovely friends Alle and Jacqui. Thanks for the crazy, crazy night girls, you guys rock!


  1. Are you going to start selling things in your etsy shop? I want to learn to make my own dress! The ultimate DIY skill. It looks great and I love the fabric you've chosen.

  2. That's the plan! I'm just waiting on a whole bunble of supplies to arrive in the post and then hopefully I'll be able to start inventing pretty things to sell! Dress-making is incredibly liberating if you're not into mainstream fashion, everyone should give it a go, you never know you may have an unknown talent for it!

  3. I neeeeed to learn these skills. That dress is great :)


  4. The dress is gorgeous, fair play! Dressmaking would be so handy, probably have to have the patience of a saint though? I recall breaking down into tears when I couldn't get the thread through the needle in Home Ec some years ago! haha