Sunday, 17 February 2013

I'm making it!

So the kids have a week's half term holiday coming up.
We have no great plans, but oh it will be good to take it easy in the mornings and stay in our pyjamas if we feel like it.

I am emphatically NOT a morning person.

I am a dress person.

And a coat person.


This dress (1970s, I think) was another 99p bargain from Ebay, and it is a slightly bizarre creation.

It has been altered - the white front panel, the eyelets and the white lace-up tie have been added at some stage of its life.
Obviously a previous fine-bosomed owner had the ingenious idea, and the skills to execute her plan, for which I am grateful - I wouldn't fit in the dress either without this adaptation!

Polka dots and a ric rac print - what's not to love?

I make no apologies for the reappearance of Lady Feminella and the sequin beret - both are favourites, and perfect for a sunny, almost-Spring day.

As promised, I am revealing my sewing projects, but don't expect miracles - I haven't made anything to wear in 30 years, so my skills are decidedly rusty...

(If Lakota does her Ta-Dah! link up this week, I'll be there.)

The skirt is made from the fabric I bought at St Mary's vintage and craft fair last weekend, using this tutorial.

The tutorial is quite straightforward and I had no problems making the skirt.

However, it looks much straighter and less A line on me than on the model, presumably because I have bigger hips. I deliberately made it a slightly longer length, and followed the instructions about measurements, but the pleat at the front is pushed out when I wear it, again because of my hips, and the elasticated back looks slightly pouffy around the bum...

I think these are all issues of my shape vs. the shape of the skirt - I could have made the front pleat a little bigger, and in fact there is a further tutorial suggesting adaptations for a curvier shape.

Don't know what I'm looking so miserable about,* I made a bag too!

I followed these instructions to make a reversible tote bag, using fabric from a 1970s smock dress which made me look 7 months pregnant and hence was never worn, and a 1950s remnant I picked up in a charity shop. 

The straps were the contrasting ties from the dress.

I'm quite pleased with myself, and I daresay the kids will have to fend for themselves over half term as I run up bags and fiddle with skirt measurements or even attempt making something from a proper paper pattern.

And don't laugh, all you real dressmakers out there,  because you'll be getting a tote bag for Christmas this year, whether you want one or not!

*I'm a bit miserable because I think my camera is on the blink, it keeps turning itself off despite having new batteries... Having just bought a new tripod, I fear I may now have to repair if possible/replace if not the camera... Oh crap.

Never mind.
If my sewing skills continue to develop, I can whip up a new camera out of lurex and ric rac.

I'll be joining Patti and all her Visible friends as usual on Monday, see you there!



mispapelicos said...

Love the yellow skirt, well I really wanted, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I am absolutely in love with your pink coat, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
I am a morning person since I don´t have to get up, LOL
I will meet you there.

Connie said...

Oh you made the SKIRT!!! It's beautiful. Now I do feel like a lazy bum. I've been distracted knitting a sweater for the dog. OK OK Connie. Get to work and make that skirt! You look Amazing! Well done.

Becky said...

The skirt you made is fantastic!! I am so impressed! I can't sew, but I'm about to try to make my daughter two wild and colorful maxi skirts-- she's almost 6 and it's just so hard to find them for her. We'll see how it goes... I am sooooo NOT a morning person either. The school year bites a bit because of all the early mornings ughhh. Always love those boots and that coat is so stylish!
Becky :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, love the fabric from your skirt, looks like you did a great job! I once made a skirt which was elastic waist and I couldn't even get it on when it was done. How I did that I'll never know.
You made the bag too? And it's reversible? You are so clever!
Hope you guys enjoy your break, we have one more day of it left and being lazy has been the major agenda.

Ivy Black said...

You look proper lush and look at your skirt!! Absolutely fab...the mutts nuts in fact, great fabric. You are a sewist.
Have a great week.

Louise Mc said...

Well done Mrs. That skirt is lovely, I love the fabric and I think you are being a bit tough on yourself about the pleat, I had a bought vintage skirt once where the pleat poked open like that, I still wore it loads. You just know for the next time to make it a little bigger, but I think you've done a lovely job. I love that red dress too, the panel addition gives it a bit of a dirndl feel. xx

Fiona said...

How bloody impressive to run up a skirt after 30 years Curtise! (and a bag too) Love the retro fabric, sounds like you might be hooked. Gorgeous red frock, which I feel has a Tyrolean air about it, hows your yodelling?
Gaaah! You can't have a camera calamity, we'll have withdrawal symptoms, hope you sort it out soon.

Lucys Lounge said...

your outfits are lovely. the red dress is great. I do that trick to make clothes fit me. lucyxx

Anonymous said...

Oh what is there not to love about ric rac print and polka dots. I'm particularly smitten with the ric rac print I must say. You're off to a great start with your sewing endeavours and the print on the skirt you sewed is bright and lovely. The totes look like they have a great length in the straps, I like. X

thorne garnet said...

ric rak and polka dots on the same dress equal brilliant. Tote bags for everyone!

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Heavens to Betsy, Curtise, the skirt looks amazing. You very clever thing you. I'm impressed and very proud of you. Absolutely adore the bag too. I'm planning to make a bag from a pillowcase - one of these days when I stop being a patchwork maniac.xx

Unknown said...

The red and white dress is MAGNIFICENT - I would be buried in it! I particularly love the milk maidesque bodice. And the yellow skirt is splendiferous - the fabric is GORGEOUS and I love the line on you. You are the Domestic Queen of the Internet Blogging 40+ Sewing Blogging Mummy Blogger Universe Boss of the World!

Love you like MAD!

Sarah xxx

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

You are very talented...I am so impressed!! The print in the skirt is so fun!

Sarah Jane said...

Sigh, I do so love Lady Feminella, even though her name sounds a bit like a period painkiller!;) Pink and red is one of my favourite ever colour combinations. I had a look at that tutorial and it looks quite complicated to me. Your creation doesn't look at all as though your sewing skills are "decidedly rusty". Looks fab from what I can see.

Yay for the school holidays and a break from the morning rush xxx

List Addict said...

Well done! The fabric of the skirt is lovely. I love your coat too. It is stunning!

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

Your initial sewing projects are terrific, just think of them as warm-ups for great projects to come. I do love your bright yellow skirt.

Your pics are still great. Can't tell the camera may be on the blink. The red coat with the amazing red dress is a beautiful combination.

I may need some eBay tutelage. I can't seem to locate vintage dresses that would fit me. Probably 'cause I'm a pencil. But I found a hot vintage number at the Salvation Arm for $3.99 that I can't wait to show off on the blog. When the high winds and freezing cold temps abate.

ButterandBuntings said...

That skirt is amazing! And such a great fabric look lovely. And that coat is the best thing ever!Enjoy your time with the kids!

OP SHOP MAMA said...

I'm impressed with your sewing! I am CRAP at sewing. Minor adjustments is the extent of my capabilities.
My mum used to have several fits trying to get me to sew right - poor thing. She and I used to abandon projects in fiery fits of frustration.
Love the bags! And the skirt.. fabric=brilliant.
That dress is intriguing, and cool!

Thank you for asking - my friend's girl has moved to a spinal unit where she will be for several months, adjusting to being paralysed chest down... it's a nightmare scenario, as you could imagine, but they are doing as well as could be expected in such a trial. While they hope for a miracle.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Polkadots and ric rac, two of my most favourite things! How I've missed commenting on your posts. I was so desperate to not miss anything that I would read your posts on my mobile phone while we were away. So not the same as seeing you in full screen glory! The red frock is just fab, I love the big bosomed edition, it's a little bit drindle like. The coat looks gorgeous over it too. And clever you for whipping up a skirt. I love the fabric & the shape. You are one multi talented hot to trot Mumma! Xx

karensomethingorother said...

As someone who is STILL hemming the kids' pants by hand, I am in awe and total admiration of your sewing skills. I love the skirt too. I think it looks very good. I also love your red and pink outfit. It' so cheerful because honestly? Can I just tuck myself into a hole and die? Do I really have to wait for spring to come back? Waaaa! Can't stop crying.

In other news, I was at an outlet store today and they had this beautiful vintage-y looking wool coat that was made in Canada and beautifully lined. However, I'm ALWAYS FREAKING SHOPPING BY MYSELF, so I didn't know if it was absolutely fabulous or if it look like some granny's nubby couch. Long story short, I thought of you, Curtise, and my other fashion lady friends, and wished I had a high-tech phone with which I could have texted a photie of the coat to you all, and you could yay or nay it.

That was a long boring story, but you get the gist.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think you deserve to splurge on a new camera because you save so much money on your clothes. And now sewing, too! It's always tough to get started, but it feels so good when you're finished, doesn't it? Your skirt and bags look great. I don't know why you were complaining about the skirt - it's fab!

Sheila said...

Wow, I adore this last picture - you look so wonderful! I love the coat, and you rock that dress!

Vix said...

I'm impressed, the skirt and bag are magnificent. "Rusty" my arse! Can't wait to see what else you're going to whip up.
Love the red dress with the lace-up bodice. I've got one of those contraptions, they're great fun. Never apologise for the dear Feminella coat, it's beautiful on you and perfect for this most welcome bit of Spring we're getting.
Have a fantastic half term holiday. Stay in PJs, watch rubbish telly and eat biscuits.

Kelly Jackson said...

Curtise, the first dress is amazing, very Heidi meets 70s sex goddess, I'd say! And it does go oh so perfectly with your coat. Congrats on making the skirt and the bags - I would be proud! The skirt is so very spring-like, and well, we all know one can never have enough bags. I hope you get your camera sorted - what a bummer - and that you have a fab week in your jammies. xoxo

Anonymous said...

The rock and rolla polka dot milkmaid dress is splendiferous! What a great idea to fit in small chested dress, if I only could have such skills, I'd love to adapt everything like that!
The sequined hat and Lady Feminella are my favourite too!
Great job with the skirt, I need to sew something new and those tutorials sound wonderful, the fabrics you used for the tote bag are beautiful too!
Love xxxxxxx

freckleface said...

Welcome back Lady Feminella, always a pleasure.

Now I think I am going to need a picture of you for my dirndl gallery (work in progress). That dress is perfect. Ric rac, red, lace up bodice. If I could do one of those heart symbols, I would.

You're a seamstress! A bona fide mistress of the needle. This is not just a bag, this is a reversible tote bag. Unbelievabubble.

I can totally relate to your statement about mornings. Him indoors woke me up early today giving me instructions about filling walls. Two things. One, filling is his job and two, I don't do early mornings on my day off. I said to the walls, 'I'm not happy'. Enjoy the PJs!!!! xxxxxx

Melanie said...

What a fabulous make, I love your yellow skirt! I also love your red and white ensemble xxx

Unknown said...

aahhh look at you :-) You did fabulous the skirt and the bag are gorgeous well done you, you should be smiling ;-)Hope you had a good half term i love your red and white coat your wearing you look gorgeous. Have a good week and i hope you manage to sort your camara out, dee xxx

Rose&Bird said...

Well done, the skirt is great! If I'm not sure of the fit on a pattern I tend to do a practice run in a cheap piece of fabric first (actually at college I was taught to ALWAYS do a muslin - BOOORING!). Re fabric on ebay - I don't tend to buy from any particular sellers, I just browse fabric and decide what my limit is per metre, then bid accordingly.
The Feminella coat is fab - don't apologise for showing us again!
Hope your camera is ok x

Miss Simmonds Says said...

It's always a pleasure to see Feminella! She's such a gorgeous shape... and I also own a Feminella, a 50s net petticoat I bought back in June! I'll send you a photo of the label! Your skirt is brilliant! I love the fabric and really it does look fabulous on you... a much needed injection of Spring colours. Make more! The bag is great too, something simple you can experiment with.. I see a productive future ahead! The mish mash ric rac dress is fab, I love the corset front, only way to get your knockers to fit in a dress. It look gorgeous on you!
Have a lovely half term! xxxxx

Kylie said...

Well I think your stichin is bitchin and that you look lovely in both outfits (and I'm not just sayin that because you're my partner in sewing crime) x

The Style Crone said...

Congratulations! I'm so impressed with your creations and the fact that you made a skirt AND a bag. Who knows what comes next in your sewing evolution.

Your right! What's not to love about ric rac and polka dots and on you, they both shine. I have my favorites that are repeated too, and don't know what I would do without them. I lost my favorite boots in my home two times last week, but they magically reappeared. Close call!

Patti said...

You did it! And very nicely I might add - love your new skirt and I think the shape really is perfect, despite your mild critique : > Love the lace up top too. Thanks for sharing all the goodness with Visible Monday!

Krista said...

This little frock has brightened my gray morning to no end, I adore it's playfulness and it looks as though it was made for that jacket! You are too sweet in it! But I really want to congratulate you are making a skirt and a bag, wow Curtise seriously I am impressed, you said, you did, that rules! Even if you feel the fit's a bit wonky it really does look great on! I see great things in your future :) Enjoy sleeping in my dear and new projects!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Your camera is playing up simply because it has been blinded by the sexacious photos you keep taunting it with!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the skirt SO much, it's such a good tutorial isn't it? I actually prefer the straighter line and as you know, I adore the fabric. And what with your red "how many jugs will that be love?" frock, two things are bound to happen ... you'll have an early spring and there will be more than a few prangs on the roads every morning now. I love that beautiful 50s bag fabric and gawd I just love YOU!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Love your retro skirt and bag! You are having much more luck than me at the sewing machine! Well done! xx

Kaffesoester said...

Fantastic red and white outfit - the Danish colours! The coat is really fabulous, and a revisit is most appropriate, especially in sunny weather! Let's see her in summer too (coats are female, right?).

Your skirt is lovely - you've chosen a lovely fabric! If you're having trouble with the back of the skirt, maybe a peplum top or jacket could help?

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the family in "handmade by mom"!

Anonymous said...

That skirt is definitely one to be proud of. It looks lovely and if you hadn't said anything about the fit no one would know - fabulous.

Vintage Coconut said...

I do quite love the red dress and it's tied up top.
The skirt you made is SO CUTE. I really love it and the fabric is delicious.
The tote turned out well too. If you keep at it you will be a sewing whiz in no time. =p

Unknown said...

The red dress is very interesting one of those strange gems!
Bravo for the yellow skirt, i am impress and can sew shit and i have no patience for sewing and i bought a sewing machine! I have impossible dreams it seems!
I leading the easy life these days, not working, no children just me and me, so wonderful!
I'm happy for you that you will have a break soon

Ariane xx

Unknown said...

Love love love this look! Nothing better for Visible Monday. Debbie

Anonymous said...

:::::::::::Wild Applause:::::::::
You did it Curtise!!! I LOVE the new skirt!! Awesome job!! AND a tore--you are ROCKIN'!!

Quick sewing tip--use an old sheet as fabric when you're tweaking or adjusting a new pattern. That way you can make adjustemnts to pattern without sacrificing your good fabric. This is how i draft or alter patterns before making the real thing!!

Ah--Lady Feminella returns!! Love the red outfit!

Helga said...

WHOOT! You go girl, you'll be Mistress of the Sewing Machine in no time!!! You did a fine job, darling!
That first outfit has my mouth watering!!! The sahpe of feminella just makes me squeeeeeeeeee!

Camelia Crinoline said...

Yay for sewing! Your skirt and tote look great. I love the skirt fabric. That coat is seriously fabulous.

Melanie said...

I'm not really here but so good to see you! Awesome sewing. (The skirt looks alive when you scroll down the page.)Ravishing in red.

Vicky Hayes said...

You do look wonderful in dresses skirts and coats and I'm so impressed with your sewing skills! The lacing on the ric-rac dress is perhaps a little 'Do I please you master?' for my taste but you make it look wonderful as you always do! Always happy to see Feminella making an appearance! Vicky x

silvergirl said...

I hope ya'll have a wonderful holiday
Staying in pj's for as long as you want is the best
I am loving the vintage fabric skirt
Just so fun and fresh

Forest City Fashionista said...

Excellent job on the skirt and the bag! You may just inspire me to try to make something (no promises). Sorry to hear about the camera woes. Mine will do weird things every so often, but as I can't afford a replacement, I just give it a stern talking to and it seems to help.

I am not a morning person either, and love nothing more than to be able to stay in bed til mid morning and then lounge around in my pj's so enjoy! I do love all the red in the first outfit.

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

I am not and never will be a morning person, not unless I've stayed up all night. I'm enjoying the fact that the kids are old enough to pour their own cereal, but they still make an unholy racket every morning when there isn't school!

I'm VERY impressed by the skirt and bag making, you put me and my paltry pudding making to shame! You'll be bimbling on about interfacing and French seams before we know it, and running up silk bloomers on the machine before breakfast! Fab wench dress too ;-)

Unknown said...

Your red dress makes me REALLY need a piece of cherry pie. Very, very cheerful look in anticipation of the down time! I am in complete love with your coat, and your look delightful in it.
Happy sewing ...

Mrs. D said...

Haaa the white and red dress is so pretty! Love the combo with the pink coat!
The skirt loosk good - I can't really see the defects you mention in the photo, so it's all good haha

MakiMaki Vintage said...

So much cuteness!!

xo Noelle

MakiMaki Vintage

bonsaimum said...

Your sewing looks fine to me. You look spectacular as always. :)

joyatri said...

Aren't you clever making a skirt without a pattern? I love the vintage fabric, and of the bags too. You can never have too many tote bags.
That polka dot/rick rack dress is wonderfully odd. I'm also impressed that you can buy clothes that fit off of eBay. I find that sellers don't record measurements properly so that even things that are supposed to fit, don't. I'd live in that Feminella coat, too.