The flowers are out, the sun is in the sky and the trees are growing their new leaves, I adore this wonderful time of year. I find so much inspiration to live well and be more healthy in the springtime.
You have to love springtime
I’m thinking about and starting to plan out my sewing for the season ahead. I’ve got as far as knowing for sure that April is now officially my Gingham month! So look out for lots of that over the next four weeks. There will be at least one Gingham dress, a shirt and a few other items too. Today however, is almost another floral make, even though I had previously declared the florals over and done with. There is a saying which goes something like, do what you love and then at least one person is happy, and as virtually any style of sewing, with any type of fabric makes me happy, that’s exactly what I did.
I was so pleased with the finished result of the Rosie shirt last week, that I decided to make myself another one, an Easter shirt to wear. I am finding that shirts are such an essential piece of clothing in my wardrobe at the moment. They are so easy to wear either on their own with jeans or as a throw on over a vest top. And they cover a multitude of Easter egg eating sins!
This time I made the shirt a little differently with a pointed collar, instead of the rounded one. I’ve chosen to make it using a crisp cotton fabric. I would usually pre wash all my fabrics before starting a new sewing project, however on this occasion I haven’t and I may live to regret this as the fabric seems to have a starch finish on it to keep it crisp. I’m just hoping now that it doesn’t shrink when it is washed for the first time. Silly me- live and learn!
“Love, Love, Love. All you need is love. Love is all you need.”
― John Lennon
It’s Valentines week and time to have some fun! Creative sewing fun of course!
I am excited that this Valentines week is the perfect opportunity to enjoy making something a little bit different. Something frivolous and full of joy and amusement with a sprinkling of laughter.
Each season I watch the runway shows with keen interest and there are always a few designers who stand out for me. Diane Von Furstenberg is one of those. When I saw her resort collection for 2015 it all appeared to be very smart and of her distinctive style. However, Diane seems to have managed to sneak this Heart sweater and black trouser/pants look in! I Love it. It made me smile when I first saw it and with a reaction like that I knew I had to make something inspired by this look.
It is full of pure fun and playfulness with almost a touch of the fancy dress costume about it. It looks very young and energised.
As you can see, the original inspiration design is not a dress! However I knew that it was a dress that I wanted to make so I reinterpreted the Diane Von Furstenberg trouser/pants and top into a one piece look.
Once the design had been defined I wanted this sewing make to be about creativity rather than a challenge on the dressmaking and construction front. Therefore I chose to use a pattern which I use often and know fits me well because I have fine tuned it over time. The fitting would not become the focus of this make.
The dress pattern was cut into the separate skirt and bodice sections a few inches above the line of my natural waist to achieve a slightly high waisted look. I also cut the sleeve pattern at the wrist so that a mock cuff look could be created with the black fabric.
When I started sewing I had to keep switching the thread colour in both the sewing machine and the serger/overlocker, between the black and the white, which became a bit tedious at times.
The zip in the back of the dress is sewn in as an exposed zip.I think that this adds a stripe of black detail which gives interest to the back of the dress which would otherwise be plain. I am extremely pleased with the way the back of the dress has turned out. I knew what to do to achieve a successful finish on the front but the back of an outfit sometimes doesn’t get the consideration that it deserves and in this case just a simple stripe of black from a functional fasting has turned out to look quite designed.
The most fun and creative part of the project, was of course attaching the red Valentine heart to the front of thee bodice. I did this at the very last stage after my final fitting, hemming and pressing. It could all have gone so wrong here.
The brilliant red heart was cut from a piece of fabric I had in the scrap bag. Do you keep all your scraps and fabric leftovers too? Just in case?
Symmetry and precise placement was key to getting the final look perfect. I attached the heart to the bodice with a double sided fusible webbing which held it precisely in place while I stitched around the perimeter of the shape using a medium satin stitch setting on my sewing machine.
I’m not a big fan of Applique on adult clothing as a rule, however this was the only way I could think of to achieve the design with this motif. As it is intended to be fun and not taken too seriously it works well on this occasion.