Over the last three months, life has been very exciting here at sewing avenue, not to mention busy. So one thing I have been longing to get around to is the Spring cleaning!
I feel so happy at this time of year with the arrival of spring.
Don’t you? It seems to bring with it a lighter, brighter mood as well as longer, sunnier days. If I could rearrange the calendar, I would choose to have new years day about now at this time of year. I would certainly have more success with my New Years resolutions if I could start them going forwards into the spring.
That said, I am immensely proud of the achievements so far this year.
Along with all the sewing projects, there have been five brand new pattern releases, one of which I was incredibly pleased to be able to give away for free. It is so nice to be able to give something back to everyone who is continuing to support me. I am looking forward to working on and being able to release more pdf patterns over the coming months. It has been a very special privilege to be accepted into the independent pattern community. A big thank you to Fiona at Diary of a chain stitcher and the mood sewing network.
I have also been fortunate enough to be interviewed by two different designers’ forums and will hopefully be able to share those with you soon.
So all in all, not much time has been given to sorting out the fabric stash, cleaning the sewing machine or even hovering under the sewing table. It is now time to put everything away in it’s proper place, wash down the surfaces and generally have a tidy up.
Do you like to have a big spring clean of your sewing space and equipment?
“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.