Tuesday 6 May 2014

Sew good

Sew good,
Sew good,
I got you!

And the you in question is my second self-sewn dress.
Here she is!

A tad windswept; it's been a cardi on/cardi off sort of day. 
Partly the undecided weather, partly my decidedly dodgy personal thermostat.
But let's focus on the frock.
 I adore the fabric (a 1950-60s barkcloth curtain from a charity shop), the colours and print make me very happy.

A reminder of the 1960s pattern;

I liked the idea of the sleeve already being built in, and it certainly made life easier (I'm a little scared of sleeves.)
I will have to tackle a proper set-in sleeve though, because I prefer the look of them.  

Overall, I am pleased. The zip is neat and invisible, I used bias binding to hem the sleeves and skirt, and it fits!

What did I learn?
Don't be a slack arse and omit the stay stitching; the neck stretched, and I am really cross with myself for cutting a corner, when it was only a 2 minute job.

I am getting the impression that I am an inbetween size; a vintage 16 to fit my hips, but I have had to take in both bodices on my homemade dresses for a sleeker line, so perhaps I am a 14 on the top half.
I might have taken this one in too far, which is perhaps responsible for that little bit of puckering at the bust.

Advice, experienced seamstresses?

Anyway, I'm nit-picking. And it's interesting to me that I am noticing the flaws, and wanting to improve sufficiently so that they don't happen again. This is not like me. I usually take a fuck it, that'll do approach to most things. 

What can be happening to me? Motivated toward self-improvement? 
Surely not!

Greens, blues and pinks proliferate in my garden.

Oh, the Sputnik-y joy of unfolding alliums. 
Sputnik-y is definitely a word.

It's gorgeous out there.

Dress - made it myself
Cardigan, Fly sandals and bangles - charity shopped
Peacock pendant - vintage market
1980s sunglasses - vintage shop 

I wore this dress for the first time last week, and felt that little rush of pride when people complimented me on it.
It's a good feeling, and I'll share it over at Jane's Shiny T Tuesday
What's next?
Hold onto your hats, I might be making some flares!



Miss Magpie said...

It's magnificent, I am in awe. I love the colours too.You are officially a clever stick.

I have a question how come you find so many bloody lovely cardigans in charity shops when I can never find ANY????

Miss Magpie said...


Connie said...

Okay. So let's focus on the frock. You say you're lazy???I think not Miss Sew Good. Beautiful frock, beautiful handiwork, beautiful garden, beautiful Curtise. Lazy. HA!

Unknown said...

Well, you are "sew" cute in that dress! It turned out great! I'm terrible at being too much of a perfectionist when I sew, so I know what you mean, but I guess every mistake makes us better! :)

Jayne H said...

Isn't it fab that you can start with a bit of material and end up with a lovely frock. Love the material too. Good choice of pattern with integral sleeves and I think it turned out really great. Well done you. x

Patti said...

So nicely done, Curtise! I love the barkcloth fabric and I think you chose a fabulous pattern to show it off. Aren't you something? Something fab. xox

Angels have Red Hair said...

You are on fire ... two dresses in as many weeks ... go you!!!
I can't see any of the "flaws" you speak of ... It's gorgeous.
I can't really give you any advice ... except follow the instructions ... that usually works out for the best ... in anything :0)

Kylie said...

OMG Curtise, it's beautiful!
Looks and sounds like the sewing bug has well and truly bitten ;)
I've got it too :)
Last night I made a...baby dress for Pippa's (Ouchflower) yet-to-be born - but soon, little girl. And Oh you should see it! So cute! I could churn out hundreds of them! So quick compared to grown-up clothes (obviously!) and just so sweet.
On the darts, a tip I learned from Daisy: never back stitch at the pointy end. Leave thread and tie off. Works for me anyway...
Happy stiching and everything else Curtise. Again, your dress is LOVELY!!!

Goody said...

Wowie, that's beautiful! It doesn't look amateur at all, so I think your skills are perhaps better than you give yourself credit for. If I saw it in a shop, I'd buy it immediately.

Your garden is just a marvel in every season-even the dead of winter it has something afoot. Now that spring has come it is showing off the finery-like your frock.

Can you hear me cheering you on to make trousers? I just yelled, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"( Now the neighbours think my life is much more exciting than I let on).

Debberoo said...

You clever clogs! Its such a shame that my adventures in sewing all took place at Charmandean before I knew you. There again perhaps it was for the best, the mocking would have been merciless ;)

Did I mention purple jump suit, oh yeah, purple! jump suit!!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Oh I've been holding my breath ever since I spotted the beautiful barkcloth you teased me with in a previous post. I love, love, love this frock sooooooo much!!! The pattern is ingenious isn't it? I can imagine women back in the 60s deciding at the last minute to "just run up a frock for tonight's party" using this pattern. I don't notice any stretching in the neckline, it's a shape that suits you beautifully, that slightly bateau, round neckline. Your garden is paradise to me, yes to Sputnik-y flowers! The colours are exactly the shade of your beautiful frock. Bravo Curtise, I'm so proud of you and your new zip skills! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoox

Sheila said...

Ooh, flares! Love the dress and all the blues, pinks and purples. I think you did a fab job on the dress!

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

You are on a roll Curtise! It's so exciting to see you having such great success with your sewing projects! I don't see a fit issue, but if it is puckering a bit, it could very well be that it was taken in just a bit more than optimal. I always find it weird how I fuss so about the fit on my homemade clothing, yet I go into a thrift store and buy clothing that's sometimes too big, or too long, or whatever...and I don't blink an eye.

Love the colours in both your dress and sweater...blues, and periwinkles are my favourite. In the garden too...I love blue flowers, and your garden is blossoming beautifully!

Natalia Lialina said...

This is beyond words! :)
The dress is so pretty - the fabric, the colors, everything! The fact that you made it - just fantastic! I think your nit-picking is a good sign here. I think it because you really care. And that is because you really love what you do. Well, at least that's how I see it from my corner of the world. :) You are very talented, my dear!!

And another your talent is photography! These photos here are art! I cam look and look and look on them - I can tell you were on fire the moment you clicked your camera. I recognize those moments of inspiration, they are precious as they are genuine.

Love and many hugs!

Liesl said...

Fantastic dress - love the material, I am interested in your next project - keep going!

Vix said...

Its fantastic! Love the fit and the fabric is sublime. Even the print matches up perfectly at the front. Go, Monk, go!
The purple cardi contrasts beautifully and how fab are those sandals?
Isn't it wonderful when people compliment your frock and you can say that you made it yourself? Trouble is once you've said that they expect everything you wear to be hand sewn and you consider lying when they ask you every time you see you if that was one of your creations to save the look of disappointment on their faces.
You do sleeves next and I'll try buttonholes - I'm sure we'll manage!
Can't wait to see your next creation.
Love you!!! xxxxxx

...Madame May... said...

This dress is adorable...And NOW one of a kind... Well done !


Caroline said...

Cannot wait to see those flares!

Greenorchid said...

Love this dress.. the fabric is beautiful and the fit looks great... well done you!! Cass x

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

That fabric was destined to become a dress for you. It looks perfect. So pretty and flattering to the figure. The colours are fabulous and all your accessories complement the dress wonderfully well. We are so impressed. You seem to have gone from novice to professional in a matter of weeks. Several lifetimes later and we should still be trying to sew on a button.

Sue said...

I love the Sputnik!! Fly shoes, my favourite sort!! As for your newly made frock, well that is magnificent. Excellent work there, the fabric is just gorgeous. I love bark cloth, must look at curtains when op shoppering. Your garden is really showing off at the moment, I like it, like it a lot!!

Unknown said...

I am so impressed! Gorgeous fabric and style and it looks so beautiful on you. Time to give myself a big kick up the arse to get myself sewing again. Ouch! XXX

at my dressingtable said...

Fabulous pictures ,fabulous dress,you are a clever lady Curtise , Best wishes xxxx

Indigo Violet said...

I so need that fabric. It's lucky you live so far away, otherwise I'd be stealing it off you. Stunning!

mondoagogo said...

Gorgeous dress, gorgeous garden!

It's me-made-May this month, so if you're looking for sewing tips you should check out some of the bloggers doing that! Although the neckline doesn't look stretched in the photos anyway :)

Bobbi said...

Great dress! You seem to be a natural at sewing.
Your garden is beautiful.

Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

Oh, enjoy these early sewing creations! I look back and think some of my first garments were in a lot of ways the best, because they were so close to my original motivations for wanting to make my own things. I see that in this dress--it's a distillation of just what you like, without overthinking. Again, to me it all looks brilliant. The general fitting advice is to choose the pattern size that most closely corresponds to your bust and chest, as it's easier to add a bit to the lower body than to adjust the bodice. But I don't see any issues with your fitting, so obviously you managed very well. Can't wait to see what you will do next!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Well it looks damn fine to me! I love a bit of bark cloth. I do think you should have flicked out the ends of your hair though to look more like the girl in the picture. xxxx

Peaches McGinty said...

You made another dress! and another fabulous on too! I can't see anything wrong at all, it's gorgeous Curtise, I love the shape, colour and the sleeves, you are totally inspiring me (a sewing machine for my birthday sounds like a sound investment I think)I can't wait to see the flares, you'll look amazing in them too x x x

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I absolutely adore this dress.....that fabric pushes all my buttons. It's perfect. I love the shift dress kind of style too. It's the shape I feel best in. Well done you! I can't believe you've advanced to two you made frocks! Inspiring!!! Maybe I could do it after all??? I love the frock with the cardi & those shoes. Just gorgeous! Xx

Unknown said...

Hi Curtise!

Yes me! finally getting better, still off sick, i have to take it easy still - I might post too today, will see
Ah love and love the bloggers meet up you had with the wonderful Ladies
I love your dress, well done, very pretty colors - One of those days i might give myself a challenge and sew something - But for now my challenge is to get back to normal life, getting there!

Take care


Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Oh Curtise, it's a real beauty. Gorgeous fabric and beautifully made from what I can see. Well done, you clever thing. I've been trying to make a wrap skirt from a vintage sheet only I've managed to temporarily lose the bloody fabric pieces. We've had builders in again and I've no idea where I've put anything *sad face*. xx

Krista said...

Check you out, sounding like a real fecking seamstress! That didn't take long! The dress is gorgeous! I think the fit is perfection and I am loving the cool colors of this print. Tell me dear how do you get your garden so beautiful! These flowers are just so pretty!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Oooh, look at you in your made-by-you frock, all matchy-matchy with the flowers in your garden! You should be very pleased with yourself - you did a lovely job on the dress. The pattern is so pretty. You're much braver than I am - I would be afraid of just screwing everything up and spoiling a good length of fabric.

We're never too old to learn new skills and to want to improve ourselves ;)

Unknown said...

damn but you look fine and that dress! adore the fabric the colours and the photographs of your flowers. so excited you linked as well xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Well done, lovely job! That barkcloth is really pretty. How come all the barkcloth I come across is brown and yellow?!

Keep sewing, now I want to see more of your creations!

Pennyblossoms said...

Don't know what you're fretting about...you and the dress look fab-u-larse!
Those colours are gorg on you and the little cardi and shoes set it off a treat.
And you're colour-co-ordinated to your garden. (These things aren't just thrown together, eh?).
Z xx

Sarah Jane said...

Wow, well done Curtise, it looks fab. I long for the ability (and the time) to be able to make my own clothes. I'd love to be able to be all "yeah I made it myself, whatever" :-)
As usual your garden looks lush and you match it beautifully xxx

Angie said...

Dress - made it myself. Isn't the sound of it divine? It's a great dress!.I also struggle with the in between number that I am and I suspect most of us are in between numbers.I wan't to congratulate you on your wonderful garden and for been a wonderful hostess a few days back!

Melancholy and Menace said...

I love it! And the little mood board of colours that match it so perfectly xx

bahnwärterin said...

cant believe you are not a profi seamstress!
the tiny flaws - get lost in the beautiful print :-)
but next time such print try to eliminate the front seam - if it is a strait line.....and i would move the waist darts ca. 3cm to the side seam - the effect is unbelievable.
i cant really see it but usually in vintage patterns the bust dart is to high for our modern underwear, so move´em down. the end of the dart should be on the horizontal level of your bra "points" but 2 cm shorter (dart lenght) to avoid a bombshell look.
is it helpful?? very hard in english for me.....

Autumn said...

So very well done Curtise! I love this, and the last dress too. I've been reading on the iPad so unable to comment for some reason. Can't wait to see the fab flares you'll come up with!

Asparagus Pea said...

Well done on the dress - it's a beauty. Love the fabric- very vibrant colours. Goes with your garden stylings. Our front garden is currently bursting with eye popping pink red and white azaleas. Looks like the Queen Mother's hat. Would never have chosen them but I love them just the same x

Unknown said...

I just love how your dress matches your garden. Genius! And very clever too, as much as I'd like to be able to sew, I can't. I've tried and I absolutely can't. Boo Hoo! x

Shawna McComber said...

It looks fantastic, Curtise. I love the colours and they look so good on you. I love how you tie in some flowers with your outfit on every post and I share your love of floral fabric. I admire your taking on the sewing projects and doing so well. I would rather like to wave a magic wand and get the clothes I like. I don't really like sewing and dresses are a nightmare to get them to fit properly. I am kind of hemming and hawing over making some skirts though. Not that I need any.

Fiona said...

Please Miss, what's stay stitching?

You are sounding like a proper sewist now and producing garments like one too. This is frockin' fantastic, so well executed. I love the design of the dress too, with it's integral sleeves. Gorgeous print and colours on the barkcloth and it goes so well with your cardi. Your garden is a picture as usual... allium sphaerocephalon are beautiful, I planted a load once but none came up, no doubt eaten by some little buggers. xxxx

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Very nice dress .indeed.:)

pao said...

That's your second sewn-by-you dress?! It looks superb on you. The fabric is wonderful and the pattern you chose to use is great with it. And your garden, oh my. Can't wait to see what you come up with next. Yes, flares. But what will the fabric be...?

Kestrel said...

It's lovely - the perfect pattern to showcase such gorgeous fabric. i also love those colours.
The best piece of sewing advice I got was based around taking your time - only do one 'thing' on each session like cut out the fabric or make pattern adjustments or sew. I find it helps stop me cutting corners.
Welcome to the world of sewing blogs! :-)

silvergirl said...

love the blue flowers
always looking for that color for my deck and they are hard to find

Helga said...

You total Goddess, the new frock ROCKS in every way!!! Love the fabric and style, and you look divoon in it!
Ha, set in sleeves can be a pain, but you can DO IT!!!!! Rawr!
There's NO stopping you now, my darling!

Mother of Reinvention said...

Your dress is beautiful and you look stunning in it. The fabric, the colours, everything is gorgeous. With regards to the wrinkles, check your bust position, heightwise. Is the point of your bust at the same point as the pattern? It is hard to tell with your fabric but does your dress have bust darts? You might want to drop them down a bit if it is. Also, you might need a bit more room in front but only 1/2 an inch or so. I don't see any flaws in this dress. If I had made something so beautiful I would be bloody happy. Can't wait to see your flares now. Xxxx

Señora Allnut said...

great job and fabulous dress, such a pretty print!!, and I agree with you about how frightened sleeves can be!, and how important is to make all that apparently useless stitching and ironing!
But you look so gorgeous and your flowers and plants are blooming madly!!, so awesome!!

Mrs Bertimus said...

Love that dress!
That is all I can say, I am speechless!

freckleface said...

Cor blimey, you're a natural. One minute it's I might try a tote bag and the next it's this heavenly creation! That fabric is just so beautiful and look how well it fits you! Amazing. Yes, you do have to do a bit of jiggery pokery with sizing. I take in and take in and take in. I'm sure patterns are cut big. With sleeves, i always pin at the top and bottom then fit the rest of it in. The other thing to know is when you are sewing in the round or when there is more fabric one side than the other, like with sleeves, do a few stitches, then stop, with the needle in the fabric, lift the foot up, adjust your fabric and do a few more stitches, then repeat all the way round. That will avoid bunching. Happy sewing! Xxxxx

Unknown said...

Good work ! And briliant colours on the dress and the beatiful photos !
Some day ... I will try to sew something....Maybee...

Trees said...

When I first started sewing I too was kind of like - do I REALLY need to do that.....turns out sometimes you REALLY do! But your frock looks wonderful, a set in sleeve is great too - but frocks like these with only a few pieces really build confidence and I love to make them still as they are a "quick win" :) Looking forward to seeing these flares!

Mrs. D said...

That dress looks lovely! Well done :)
I'm making my first dress in sewing class, I'll let you know how that goes LOL