Hope you have a great Christmas!

With just hours until the big man arrives in our house, I just wanted to pop over here and wish all of my lovely readers a great Christmas. I hope you are able to enjoy it with family, friends, loved ones, pets or whoever else you choose to be with.

This is my contribution to Christmas at my parents house (the last of four stops for us to make tomorrow!), made with this recipe. I’ve love to say that I get better at making these each year, but I don’t.  This year I’ve slightly under cooked the gingerbread, so it’s not as structurally sound as in previous years and I’ve had to prop up the roof from the inside with a Tupperware container.

I guess it’s a good thing it only has to last a day till it’s demolished by the kids.

Merry Christmas!

Vogue 1174

I was hoping that this would be a cute little dress for Christmas day, but I’m feeling a little *blah* about it.

While I think strapless dresses look great, I’m not sure they are right for me right now. After reading most of the reviews of this pattern, where the sewers noted not being able to eat in their frocks, I modified the dress by adding straps and omitting the foundation and boning, which keeps this strapless version up. Being realistic, I am often carting around a two year old on my hip (not because she can’t walk, but because I need to keep her out of trouble) and I really like to eat, so it seemed smart to simplify this dress a little.

Unfortunately, I’m not happy with the dress now that the modifications have been made. I added a bit more ease at the waist for comfort and eating, but this seems to have impacted how large the back of the skirt is. The pattern ease is confusing in itself, despite being strapless and needing to be tight to keep it up, it includes ease in the bust. That seems a little strange to me – I thought strapless dresses needed zero ease. Even though I used the finished garment size to determine which size to cut, I still needed to take this dress in.

Poorly fitted skirt back

The fabric is a Hokkoh quilting cotton that has been in my stash for a while. I thought this non-drapy fabric would work for this pattern, but I’m not sure. The flat fold piping is voile. The dress isn’t hard to make, but it is a litttle time consuming to get the piping neat and even. I can be a little picky with these things and it bugs me that I didn’t fix some small areas. I’m also not happy about the super bust flattening properties of this dress, which for someone like me, ain’t so great.

Out of focus piping shot.

I wish this was an awesome frock, but it’s not. Oh well, I still have a few more days to knock up a new dress.

Happy Sewing all!

Collette Meringue Skirt V2

Collette Meringue Skirt in denim = happy!

How many of these skirts can one person make?? three? four? ten??

I wore my black version to Island at Sans Souci last night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It is so super comfy, that I managed to eat my weight, or thereabouts, in traditional Greek mezethes and then eat dessert without feeling the slightest bit uncomfortable. I love clothing which is conducive to gorging oneself.

 This time I faced the skirt and hem in a paisley quilting cotton from my stash. Again, just because.

The key difference between this and my first version of this pattern, is the way I constructed the scallops. In my first, I clipped and notched the curves of the hem before pressing very well and very carefully, but still a few pointy bits remained, which you can see below.

I realise you can only see them on close inspection, but it does bug me. This time, I remembered this post on Pattern – Scissors – Cloth showing how to sculpt perfect scallops by trimming the curves quite close to the stitching, rather than clipping and notching.

It was definitely a more successful method for getting smooth curves. I also edge stitched the curves this time as there is a considerable difference in the weight of the denim and quilting cotton. I may still do this on my black version too.

Vogue 1174 is now finished, hopefully I’ll be able to photograph it tomorrow. Clearly there’s a ridiculous amount of sewing happening in this house at the moment. I think I’m in denial about Christmas being just days away.

Collette Meringue Skirt

When I first received my Collette Sewing Handbook, I knew this skirt would be my first make and I’m very pleased with the finished product.

I really needed a simple black skirt in my wardrobe, but now I’m thinking about all the possibilities for this adorable little number. Perhaps even something like the pale blue striped one in the book.

This skirt was so fast to make it’s not funny. I had the pattern traced, but fully cut and constructed the skirt during nap time, so less than 2 hours.

I’m really surprised with how well this skirt fit without any major fitting modifications, especially as I had so much trouble fitting my Beignet skirt, which still ended up swimming around my hips. I cut a size 0, grading up to a 4 at the waist. I minimised the front darts as I often find they poof there, and slightly lowered the rise, because even though I love the look of a skirt that sits on the waist, I don’t love wearing them.

I faced the scalloped hem with Liberty, left over from this dress, just because. I have my work Christmas party tonight, so I think I’ll wear this. I have so many dressed to wear, but these peeps are used to seeing me wear daggy black pants and a polyester shirt, so I don’t want to shock them with too much of a wardrobe change. You know the carry-on you get some times when people see two completely different sides of you??

Vogue 1174 is next.

Happy sewing!