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It’s gridlock out there…

26 Mar

So, Tessuti decided to run a competition, with 50% off the fabric and a pretty loose brief. And most importantly, no size specs! I could hardly refuse…

Gridlock Gertalex

I am so in love with my first Elisalex, that I decided to run her up again – of course with some changes 😉 PS – this is the first time I have EVER made a garment twice, so hats off to you By Hand London, you’ve hooked me.

Gridlock Gertalex

The fabric that everyone had to use for the competition, called ‘gridlock’, was nice and structured like my dotty Elisalex fabric, so I had a good feeling she’d come together well. The one key change being that I substituted the delightful oversized tulip skirt, for Gertie’s pencil skirt – the same pattern I teamed up with Sewaholic’s Lonsdale bodice – this time however I remembered to add in the skirt vent.

Gridlock Gertalex

I thought that with the pencil skirt the dress would be a bit more wearable and closer to the ‘daywear’ brief set by Tessuti. Further, I thought the clean lines of this ‘Gertalex’ would work and not compete with the strong fabric pattern. Oh, and instead of the skirt front darts, I created pretty little tucks that lined up with the princess seams on the bodice.

Gridlock Gertalex

Sooo, the rest of the details –

    • Lined in a cream cotton from Spotlight to play up the creamy background of the gridlock fabric
    • Navy blue grosgrain ribbon waist stay included to help control any zipper spreadage and maintain a clean shape
    • Hand picked zipper: Instead of focusing on neat, straight stitches, I focussed on invisible stitches, blending my stitches in with the blue pattern in the fabric
    • Blind hemmed by hand the sleeve and skirt hems

Gridlock Gertalex

  • A delicate little cream scalloped lace trim was added to the lining hem, it’s very sweet and just peeks out
  • The outer fabric hem was finished with a navy satin binding
  • Instead of sandwiching the zipper between the lining and fashion fabric, it’s attached to lining, ensuring it won’t show through to the outside. And there’s a hand sewn hook and eye at the top just to finish off.
  • Three navy and gold buttons were hand sewn to each sleeve. Just a little bit of shjooz to break up the pattern, without competing with it.

Gridlock Gertalex

Gridlock Gertalex

The team at Tessuti are simply going to pick their favourite garment as the winner, but I’m sure a few flash mobs/emails/smoke signals/telegrams telling them to pick the gertalex wouldn’t hurt 😉 Just kidding, good luck to everyone entering, can’t wait to see what y’all come up with, it’s been great so far!! You can check out all the entries on Tessuti’s Pinterest.

Zxx

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Lonsdale & Gertie party dress mash up

1 Dec

You may have seen on my Instagram feed (@ZoSews, how original) a few weeks ago a sneaky peek at a hand picked zipper. This was the zipper for a dress I was planning on wearing for my (gasp) 30th birthday soiree.

This dress started last year, in my mind. I saw Sarai’s tweaked floral Lonsdale dress, and I fell in love. I wanted that one! This seemed the perfect opportunity to make it!

My birthday party consisted of cocktails at a Seamstress bar (how appropriate), delish dumplings in Chinatown and then the crescendo, hours of karaoke!

Unfortunately, I was having WAY too much fun to take any photos. Yep, that’s right, I didn’t take ONE photo lol… Luckily I was able to scrounge around and get a few from other partygoers. They all look something like this, so I won’t be repetitive and will just give you one. Don’t look at those creases, I’d been sitting down for a couple of hours before this was taken.

Lonsdale Gertie mash up

Dress details

  • This number combines the bodice of Sewaholic’s Lonsdale, and the pencil skirt (minus the high waistband) from Gertie’s book.
  • Amazingly, I didn’t have to make one change to the bodice! I made one size bigger in the skirt though to account for ease required due to no stretch in the fabric. 
  • Enlarged the front waist darts because it was puffing out away from the body.
  • Due to the long straps of the bodice, this chewed up a lot of fabric – just a note.
  • I made the dress out of a ‘vintage’ print cotton, and lined the bodice with a blue rayon, both from Spotlight. This lining is what started my love affair with rayon.
  • I hand picked the zipper – a new love, inspired by Neeno and her scandalous zipper porn 🙂 I followed a mix of Gertie’s instructions from the book,with Tasia’s.

If I had my time again I’d add a kick pleat to the skirt, there’s a lot of stress put on one little join at the moment and its already starting to show after only one wear. I only realised this would happen after cutting the skirt out – too late!

I am very happy with this dress! I love the shape, so I may even make it again.

I want to write a review for Pattern Review on this dress, but I’m not sure whether to list this as Lonsdale, Gertie’s skirt, or both (do a review for each). What do you think?

Here’s a few extra birthday pics, just for fun 🙂 I cropped others out to be polite because I am so unorganised I didn’t get around to asking anyone if they minded being put on the interwebs before writing this post.

Lol. I was surprised with a cake with my face on it - scary! (yet delicious)

Lol. I was surprised with a cake with my face on it – scary! (yet delicious)

We wore party hats!

We wore party hats!

That’s it!

Z xx

Shopping: I went

22 Jul

I hit The Fabric Store‘s sale this weekend and got me some fun new things to play with – I thought I’d share my haul with y’all.

1. Papercut Patterns Undercover Hood

This looks like it’s going to be a really quick make (yay!). And, could this packaging be any more fabulous?

 

I was a good girl and traced it off and washed my fabric yesterday. Like my fancy pattern weight?

I’m going to make the Undercover Hood in a delightful pink and grey striped Marc Jacobs knit, also from The Fabric Store. Here it is  drying on the line. And, drum roll, I’m not making a toile – yep, this is me, rebelling.

 

2. Green and white silk

I’m planning to use this as lining for a Sewaholic Minoru 🙂 Don’t hold your breath on that turning up though!

3. Black wool

And this is the planned outer fabric for the aforementioned Minoru – inspired by the black wool Minoru from Sew Brunswick!

4. Black and white silk

Last one, don’t know what this will end up as but I was attached so bought it anyway. Don’t judge – we’ve all been there 😉 Let me know if you have any ideas!

I think The Fabric Store is my favourite fabric retailer in Melbourne – great range, I always seem to find things I like there, and finally the staff are really helpful, and lovely! My mustard jacket was made with fabric from there too 🙂 (v8146 – nearly there and Presenting v8146)

What have you guys purchased lately?

Z xx

Crescent skirt – comes with free sunshine

30 Jun

I went to see the Australian Ballet’s production of Onegin today with my Grandmother (yes – it was great!). But before the ballet, I sneaked in some cheeky fabric shopping at the Clegs stocktake sale. Surprisingly, I walked away empty handed – completely empty handed, not even a notion in sight! But, to ensure I had enough time for my shopping, (priorities!!) I went in to the city early, and was greeted by a stunning Winter’s day. Check out how pretty the Arts Centre looked!

Melbourne in Winter - Arts Centre

On my travels, I was wearing my completed Crescent skirt in a lovely bright yellow from The Fabric Store – which added even more sunshine to my day! I love cracking out a bright piece in Winter, it makes me feel much more sunny and upbeat.

Here’s me in the sunny Crescent skirt with my pretty dancing friend:

Crescent skirt

I did freestyle from the instructions a little, and used an exposed zipper. That was my only diversion from the pattern though – amazing!

Crescent skirt with exposed zipper

When making this skirt, my overlocker (serger) was threaded with black thread – which, had I used it to finish these lovely yellow seams, would have looked heinous! I was too lazy to rethread the machine, so instead I bound my seams with yellow ribbon that I had lying around. Which on reflection, took much longer than rethreading the machine would have taken! Duh.

Crescent skirt - bound seams

And just for fun, here’s a picture of the stage curtain at the State Theatre – isn’t it beautiful! You can see the orchestra pit down the front too.

State Theatre curtain

So that’s my sunny skirt – it’s positively un-Melburnian, i.e. not black. Do you wear certain garments to pick you up? How do the colours you wear affect (effect?) your mood?

Renfrew you, Renfrew me

28 Apr

A couple of months back now, I took advantage of Tasia’s birthday discount and ordered myself a Renfrew, Lonsdale and Minoru. I already had the Pendrell and the Crescent skirt. And just quietly, I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Cambie too!

I tackled my first Renfrew in view C, the cowl neck. I had seen so many lovely versions online, and I wanted to join in the fun! I particularly liked Leith’s lovely yellow number. The plan was that this go was going to be my toile, with the hope that it would be a wearable one 🙂

So, over Easter, I Renfrewed it up. And this is what I ended up with. (Ignore how awkwardly it’s sitting above the bust, no mirror in the park to check prior to photos 🙂 )

Renfrew front view

What size to make?

It took me quite a bit of thinking and consideration to decide what size to make. The Renfrews I had seen online looked like there was quite a lot of ease in the pattern, and I was after something a little more fitted. So considering my measurements, the finished measurements and the fit I was after, I ended up making; the cuffs at a 10 (will go 8 next time), the front and back at an 8 grading to a 10 at the hip (will shape this in more next time, likely staying at 8 the whole way down), the cowl at an 8, sleeves at a 10 (will grade to an 8 below the elbow next time), and the waistband at a 10 (will go 8 next time).

Renfrew back view

The back - a bit baggy

More details:

  • I constructed the whole thing on my overlocker (serger). This was so quick and easy – loved it!
  • It’s made out of a stretch wool blend (??) from Darn Cheap Fabrics

If you are making view C, please, please note there is an error in the instructions. In the words of Sewaholic, “In Sewing Step 6, for View C, text should read ‘Sew collar pieces right sides together along un-notched edge’.”

Of course, I did not find this out until I started Googling after my tantrum of not being able to make it work. Joy.

At first, I had just gone ahead and sewn it correctly without reading the instructions (win!), but then, I stupidly read the instructions and tried to unpick the overlocking. This was a nightmare!! So I did something naughty and just cut it off. Gasp!

I then overlocked it together again as per incorrect instructions. Attempting the next step (step 7) would subsequently not work because it was now obviously constructed incorrectly.

Then I realised i had sewn it right the first time, and had to pull it apart and put it back together again. Cue tantrum. And I must confess, I did just cut the row of overlocking off again.

Renfrew cowl

The finished cowl

But it was all ok in the end.

I was a bit hesitant with the whole knit thing (I have a ‘knit scar’), but given that there were lovely cuffs and a waistband rather than those awful to sew double stitched hems – and I decided to overlock the whole thing – it was really quite easy (apart from the aforementioned tantrum).

And the best bit is, that even though I will change it for next time, this is totally wearable!

Here’s some more pictures:

Renfrew cuff

The cuff

 

Renfrew serging

The delightful overlocking and waistband

Oh and I am so so close to the finish line with my v8146, half a hand stitched hem and some prick stitching to go!!