Tuesday 23 April 2024

Simplicity 8014 - A Shirtdress


A little while ago I feel in love with this ready to wear shirtdress.  I loved seeing how they styled it, options I had never thought of doing with such a dress.  Unfortunately the price of the dress put it way out of my range,  So imagine my delight when I saw the exact same fabric available at a local fabric shop. I duly purchased a decent amount of the fabric, and put it aside until I found a pattern similar enough to make my version of the dress.

Simplicity 8014 (s8014) was the pattern I chose. It has 4 different options.  I chose version A.

 I did make a toile for the bodice to ensure it would fit, and then started cutting out the pieces.  I struggled with collar and collar stand, I could not for the life of me get them to fit the bodice neckline.  In the end I cut a size smaller for these two pieces.  I have since read that a lot of other makers have experienced similar problems with this aspect of the pattern .  The rest of the dress was relatively easy from this point on.  I decided to French seam all the seams, for a tidier finish as I wished to wear the dress open as a duster coat sometimes. I omitted the bodice pockets and altered the cuffs of the sleeves to more resemble the ready to wear version.

Overall I'm happy with how it has turned out.  I feel should I ever make this pattern again, I would narrow the actual collar, its quite large or make the collarless version.  I have worn it to work as a coat, styled with my jeans and a tee, and received many positive compliments, so I'm taking it a success.

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Blooming Bouquets


Over the past couple of months I have really been enjoying picking fresh flowers from my garden and turning them into bouquets.  Having fresh flowers in the house is one of my little luxuries, and I love, that in summer  they are plentiful in my garden to do this. 

The majority of my bouquets are bright and jam packed with mainly zinnias and dahlias, and foliage. However lately I have been inspired by the works of Katherine English, and her slightly looser bouquets featuring, foraged grasses, seed heads and twiggy branches, as well as beautiful flowers giving them a more ethereal natural look.  I haven't quite mastered this type of arrangement yet, I think I may also have to visit a few opshops/thrift stores for some different types of vases, which may help them look a little more organic and less arranged.

I'm trying to think what I can plant in my garden that will bloom over winter so I can still have flowers inside, I suspect there will be the odd little bunch of gerbera or lillies purchased from the supermarket and added to some foraged finds.

Some other  inspiring flower farmers and florists are:  

Gabriela Salazar

Field of Roses

Lucy Hunter

Sean A. Pritchard

Christin Geall

Floret Flower Farm

Thursday 7 March 2024

The Sewing Revival - Classic Pants


A fortuitous linen remnant find, saw me revisiting the Classic Pants pattern from The Sewing Revival.

I originally made these in May last year, but made them a size to big, so my mum was the lucky recipient of them.

These are a straight size 10.  The only adjustment I made was to make a faux hem with bias binding made from the same fabric to keep the length.  I love the flat front and angled pockets on these. With good easy to follow instructions, these are a relatively quick and easy sew

It's a relatively heavyweight linen I've used, but it hangs beautifully. I've just ordered the same in the Navy colourway, for another pair. 

I feel that these will be a very versatile addition to my wardrobe.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Guo Pei: Fashion, Art, Fantasy Exhibition


Rihanna's famous Met Gala gown

This garment had at least 50000 hours spent on it

Guo Pei is a Chinese couturier, who creates the most magical, fantastical sculptural beaded and embroidered garments.  For more about her see here.

I enjoyed the exhibition so much, I revisited it and was able to absorb the details in her creations without as many people around. 

The yellow gown made famous when Rihanna wore it to the Met Gala weighs around 25kg.  Some of the garments have had up to 50000 hours spend on them.

As a sewer and embroiderer, I really want to touch them, and lift pieces up to see what's underneath, but understandable one can't, so lots of photos and close-ups where I could were taken.

I totally recommend see this exhibition f you get the opportunity.

Monday 12 February 2024

A New Year and a January Round Up


A belated happy new year, even though it's halfway through February already.

January was a pretty lazy month, some time off over Christmas and New year, lots of books were read, no sewing was done, though I did purchase some fabric. My dahlias and zinnias have finally started flowering and I am loving having big bright bouquets in my house.  I've hiked, and continued my daily walks, paddle boarded, and went on a holiday with The Scout to Mangiwhai.   Most excitingly I have booked myself a trip to Brisbane later in the year.

Lets see what February brings.