Red Dress

Sometimes you just know when you are creating something, that it will be awesome. I knew this dress would rock and it does!

The fabric is a lovely, light, gauzy cotton purchased from The Fabric Store. I purchased the last of the roll, which worked out to be 120cms by 120 cms, so this dress was a super tight fit. The pattern including the flounce, was drafted by me, which makes this dress even more satisfying.

I took my inspiration for this dress from Karen Walker’s Tuscany dress, which I first saw on Heleni’s blog. I even saw this dress in real life and was so, so tempted to buy it! But when it comes down to it, I’m a bit of a tightwad and $100+ (on sale) on one dress can fund the fabric to make many items. This is my sewing rationale if you like. Anyway, I trawled though many pattern sites trying to find something similar, but came up empty handed. I didn’t even think to look at vintage patterns, but Fran found one recently.

Anyway, it’s not a complicated dress and was very simple to make. I originally made a muslin of a darted bodice but changed to an elastic waist for comfort and practical reasons. I think the elastic waist keeps the dress casual, but the self belt lifts it back up a little.

I really didn’t want the flounce to be too frilly and I think I achieved that. I love how the pattern of the fabric looks on the flounce.

The belt was made with a vintage belt kit that I’d picked up from the Op Shop. I couldn’t figure out how to use the rivets, so instead sewed circles with one of those fancy stitches on my machine that I very rarely use. I still need my hubby to punch out the holes and I need to make a loop to hold the belt after the buckle.

It feels so good to make something really nice. I just know this will be a wardrobe staple for a long while.

Pattern: Self drafted – free
Fabric: $10.80 – I was charged for only 1 meter, due to the end of rolle being less than what I wanted and got 40% off.
Belt kit: .50c
Thread: from stash
Elastic: maybe 50c??
Total: $11.80!!! Bargain!!

People often question whether you can actually save money by sewing. I sew to save money and I really believe that I do. Sometimes home sewn items cost a lot, sometimes a little, but generally always less than what something comparable would cost to buy. And really, it ain’t fun going to the shops with my kiddies in tow. It’s much easier to sew at night to build my wardrobe.

School

Oliver’s first day of school.

 I told him his smile was too big and he needed to try a half smile.
 This is the half smile – lol! Maybe I need to find a different way to ask him to smile less.

He was a little shy at first…

Until he saw mini whiteboards and textas.

I can’t say that I cried, because I’m kinda happy to see him go. He’s been at home with me for the past month and I just can’t keep him happy. After all of the activity at pre school in the lead up to this leap into big school, I just couldn’t keep up with his entertainment needs.

The whole clan!

I’m off so sew bonnets now. More interesting sewing items to show soon.

Crochet

On our recent holiday I got stuck back into my crochet blanket. This is a slow burn project…. S-L-O-W-W-W-W. I originally wanted it to be a queen size, until I realised how many squares I’d need – I think 500 to 600 or something. Now I am aiming to make a generous couch size blanket with 300 squares, something large enough for me and the kids on a cold morning.

I started this blanket back in December 2010, so referring back to my original time frame of 2 years, I have 10 months to finish it. I really want to finish for this winter though, so I’m pushing through. Thankfully, I still love the colours and design as much today as I did when I began.

I now have 100 fully complete, white framed circles. I also have 70 coloured medallions and another 130 inner circles. It feels like I’ve done so much recently, but still I have so far to go. I had planned to crochet as I go, to join the squares, but it just isn’t practical in an Australian summer to crochet with a large blanket on your lap. I also think sewing the squares will be a little stronger. So those little kiddie toes don’t rip the blanket!

Details Ravelled here.

My Happy Sewing Space

I thought I’d show you all how my sewing domain now looks after I moved rooms earlier this year. I first showed my sewing space here, when it used to be almost the entire first floor of my house. My how spoiled I was!

Then I showed it here, during the move to a much smaller, regular sized room in my house, when my husband very politely refrained from making any comments about the amount of stuff I have. Phew!

Now, things are little more civilised in my space.

 I actually thought I’d tidied really well before taking these photos,
but you can still see crap stashed under the bed! 🙂
  •  Second hand Ikea daybed, just in case the room is ever tidy enough to host a guest, from Ebay.
  •  Old kitchen side table from my husband’s grandfather. The perfect size for my machines.

  • Dresser from the side of the road (yay!). Holds yarn and other random knick knacks.
  • Plate holder, which perfectly holds containers of things and patterns. It was from the ‘as is’ section of IKEA, only $39.
  • Pigeon holes from under the house of my husband’s other grandparents. They apparently are from a Qantas office and were in a lovely, shabby state when I first spied them. Unfortunately, Grandfather decided to clean them up and give them a new coat of horrible, dark stain before giving them to me, but they are still handy for things and really, it’s the thought that counts.
  •  

Almost everything has a place. Almost. Things do spill over onto the floor and bed and any other space during moments of crazed sewing, but that’s part of the creative process in my opinion. I’d love to be as organised as this space, but really, that’s not going to happen.

  • Low boy from my husband’s grandparents. Apparently it was given to them for their engagement, just prior to the depression.
  • Ikea Billy with books, more things and dressmaking fabric.

The walls could do with some more well considered styling. I love seeing the sewing areas that some people seem to effortlessly create, like Tania’s cute little sewing nook here. But I do not have this gift. I have to think really hard and plan for a while to make things look nice, and even then, I don’t always get it right.

  • Quilting and bonnet fabric, scraps and patterns, which perfectly fit into these draws.

So that’s pretty much it. I am very lucky to have my own room as it does mean I can avoid packing everything away at the end of a sewing session, but that also means this room is normally very, very, very M-E-S-S-Y!! Actually, the messiness directly correlates with my sewing output. Lot of sewing means, lots of mess. But gosh it’s fun mess to make!

I hope you are making lots of mess at your machine today!