Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Lace Insertion blouse

Even though I haven't posted for about a month, I sill have been very busy on the sewing front, just not a lot to show in the way of finished objects! I have been posting a lot on instagram though, especially with #bpsewvember photo a day challenge this month. If you are not yet following me, my handle is @kaitlynssimplyvintage. There's a lot of close up of beautiful floral fabric happening over there.

Today's project has been over a year in the making. When making my wedding dress, I made a number of test garments (because making a wedding dress on a tight deadline definitely leaves time to make even more things). There were three test garments all up, this one, my Armistice blouse, and a skirt that needs taking in.

This blouse was a test run for lace insertion. I used this tutorial by Wearing History. The fabric is a very delicate, and incredibly sheer Swiss dot form my grandmother's stash, and the lace is inherited as well.

For the pattern I used Tilly and the Button's Mathilde blouse, without sleeves.

The insertion was added across the yoke, and then more lace was added to the armhole. The fabric frayed a lot, so I finished the neckline with self bias tape top stitched down.

At this point, knowing I could insert lace, I put this aside and got on with the wedding dress. One issue was how sheer it was, everything was visible. I thought about it being a lounging top, but both my Mum and sister thought it was too pretty for that.

A few weeks ago, I pulled this out and go around to finishing it. I had thought about putting buttons down the back, but the fabric frays so much, I just sewed down the back seam, leaving a little extra ease, so the top pulls over. I quickly hemmed it, and it was done. I love when long term unfinished objects come together like that.

 The main problem was then deciding what to wear it with. In the end I went for a plain white singlet, which worked well, but only because it was relatively cool. I am thinking this would also look good with some coloured camisoles underneath. More sewing plans I guess!

I paired it yesterday with a navy and white polka dot maxi skirt (hand-me-downs from Mums are the best). Thinking this will go with pretty much any skirt, especially some nice florals.

Will hopefully have some more finished objects to show you soon. Have a lovely shirtdress half made, and also am hoping to tackle my large refashion/mending pile sooner rather than later

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Vintage Floral Shirtdress

A long held sewing dream has been realised. I have finally made M6696. After seeing many amazing versions, especially all of Mary's and Heather's (I would steal both of these lady's wardrobes in a heartbeat), I knew I had to get hold of the pattern. I finally bought it a few months ago and it went on the back burner til after my thesis was finished.

Though the plan is to make many of these dresses, my specific plan was to use up the rest of my bridesmaids dress fabric. But because this fabric is very special, I knew I needed a wearable muslin first.

At first I wasn't too sold on this fabric. I picked it up very cheap at a market a while back (it was either fabric-a-brac, or the closing down sale of my local vintage shop). It's very 60's/70's, and was also very narrow. And even though I am a massive fan of florals, I felt it was a little too girly. I thought a shirt dress would work well, as the more structured lines would make less girly. However, after making and wearing this dress, I love the fabric. Funny how that happens.

I made a few minor changes to the pattern. I really do not like the back gathers that come with the pattern, so I modified the back pattern piece to the darts of Simplicity 2444. This was also a trick I did with my wedding dress. Secondly I shortened the waist half an inch. This makes a massive difference. I am finding a few of my older dresses are too long in the waist, so this will be a standard adjustment from now on. For reference I cut a size 12 with the A/B cup.

I also modified the skirt slightly, but this was to do with the width of the fabric. The fabric wasn't wide enough to take the full pleated skirt. I deliberated on using the straight skirt option, but I was concerned it would need a bit of fitting over the hips, so stuck with the fuller option. My modifications were very unscientific. The waist seam just fit across the width, and then I folded in the rest of the pattern to fit.

The dress went together really easily. I used Four Square Wall's collar tutorial and it went in smoothly first go. I hand sewed down everything.

Pattern: McCall's 6696

Size: 12A/B

Fabric: Vintage floral, picked up second hand

Adjustments: Back gathers to darts, shortened waist, narrowed skirt

Notions: Pink shank buttons from Reverse Garbage

Wear with: pink pearl set, and pink ballet flats

Make again? Yes, I am hoping this pattern will become a TN.

Hoping to be back soon with the bridesmaid dress fabric version

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Just a very quick post to let you know I've opened an Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/KaitlynSimplyVintage
Currently am only offering shipping within Australia.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Liberty Mathilde Blouse

After handing in my thesis almost a fortnight ago I have my sewing time back, which has resulted in a flurry of activity. The first project was a WIP that  had started way back in March.

This gorgeous liberty print was bought last May at the Fabric-a-brac fabric sale in Stanmore, Sydney (a day I remember well as I got engaged that evening). I paid  $8 for around a metre. I still have a good bit left over. I absolutely love Liberty fabric, the quality is fantastic, and the prints speak to my very feminine, Anglophile, country garden and flowers loving heart.

I knew I wanted to make a summer blouse, so I turned to Tilly and the Button's Mathilde blouse. I am planning on branching out and trying a new blouse pattern at some point (five versions in), but I love this pattern, and knew that with a few modifications it would work well to showcase the print with little distraction.

I eliminated the front tucks, and also changed the sleeves. The sleeve pattern is actually cut from the sleeve head of one of husband's worn out shirts. I had tried a few other sleeve patterns, but found them all restrictive of movement, and I was having trouble leveling off the Mathilde sleeve pattern.

The back closes with some beautiful green vintage buttons I bought in the Rocks (a historical, artsy area of Sydney). When sewing them on, I couldn't help but do a colour coordinated photo in this little Royal Albert dish. It certainly pulls together my love of crockery and sewing.

The finished garment photo isn't too clear unfortunately. There was a good bit of glare, and I didn't realise til later one sleeve was caught up. Oh well, I have good close ups of the fabric, and the picture gives a good indication of how it looks worn.

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Mathilde

Size: 3

Fabric: Liberty Tana lawn, Fabric-a-brac sale

Adjustments: No pleats in front, modified sleeve pattern, lowered neckline

Notions: Green vintage buttons from the Rocks

Wear with: my black skirts, my pink skirt, the as yet made blue skirt. The colours give me a lot of options. It also goes equally well with my cream or pink pearls.

Make Again: I m on the look out for more vintage blouse patterns, but this Mathilde modification will most likely come out again ( I actually have a refashion waiting to be blogged)

Hope you have all been having a good week.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Liebster Award

I was nominated by Beth at Sewing Soothes the Soul for the Liebster Award. I'm going to share eleven random facts about myself. Instead of nominating a few other bloggers, I'm going to leave it open if anyone wants to pick it up for themselves; there's simply too many blogs I enjoy to pick and choose!

1. I study medieval history, and only handed in my honours thesis last week. I am now deciding what to pursue next year.

2. I am a dedicated coffee drinker (who also drinks tea), and I love nothing more than a good cappuccino. Luckily Sydney has a very good coffee culture, which is something I missed a lot when in Europe.

3. I have a novel draft written based on a very dense fictional genealogy I have developed.

4. I have scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spin. I got to wear a very uncomfortable plastic back brace for a year when I was 12 to stop it getting any more out of alignment.

5. I was bitten by a red belly black snake when I was fourteen months old.

6. I collect vintage china

7. My Dad passed away from cancer when I was 14. It was the worst experience of my life, but I am so grateful for the time I had with him

8. I met my husband in my second week of university, during a getting to know you exercise in a tutorial.

9. As a kid my favourite books were Enid Blyton, then I discovered Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, and quickly became a devoted fan of classic literature.

10. Though I am Australian I have never felt much connection to my own country, instead I am a devoted Anglophile. I love English history, literature, countryside, architecture, culture etc. Getting to finally visit the UK on my honeymoon was a dream come true. We are planning on moving there in a few years.

11. I collect vintage crockery. Like my fabric collection,I unabashedly love florals of all sorts, especially the vintage sort.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

An entirely handmade outfit

 My staple of handmade items to this point has been dresses, but I am beginning to dream of many summer separates. I am itching to hand in my thesis so I can have days of uninterrupted sewing. However, my days are currently more filled with referencing, and questions of twelfth century English identity through historiography.

Last Saturday night I decided to just sew something. I needed a break. I only had a metre of this absolutely beautiful floral fabric. It's Japanese, and the hand of it feels almost like Liberty lawn. I bought it at a fabric market last year. I wanted something simple, so I decided to modify the bodice of BHL's Anna dress, one of my TNT patterns.

I cut both front and back on the fold, and added about five inches to the length. This was dictated by the limited amount of fabric. I just extended down the pleats. It was a incredibly quick sew. I finished the neck with bias tape, and put in a side invisible zip. I always wear things tucked in, so the hem is actually the selvage. Very pleased with myself I then ran into a significant fitting problem. I hadn't graded out the hips. I am very much a pear shape, and the blouse no had hips narrower than my waist. There was no way this was fitting. I thought about adding a peplum, but in the end the fix was quite simple. I unpicked all the pleats and darts to their original lengths, creating enough room in the hips. I was incredibly relieved. I then also made a matching hair scarf. It's a little thinner than my previous ones, so it was a bit more a struggle to catch in all my thick hair, but it worked!

The skirt was made a few months ago. The pattern is Simplicity 6862, a one metre, four gore 1970's skirt pattern. This will certainly be a TNT. The fabric is a light weight pink wool. I didn't line it to make it a quicker make; I have a very large collection of slips as it is.

So there is the first of my summer sewing projects. I have a new outfit, and all the pieces will be able to be mixed and matched as well.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Peasant style Mathilde blouse; my favourite ever make

Today's post has been about eighteen months in the making. Way back in February of last year I made  a Tilly and the Button's Mathilde blouse as a trial run for some lovely fabric I had in my stash. Probably within the month, I had made up my second version, pictured here. Eighteen months later I finally get it photographed.

This is hands down my favourite ever garment I have made. It is insanely comfortable, the fabric is gorgeous, and best of all I can wear it year round, it usually averages being worn at least once every ten days.

I made a few modifications to the pattern. Firstly I lowered the neckline, as it as too high originally. My other modifications were due to the drape of the fabric. I could not get the tucks to work at all, so instead I gathered the front for a more peasant style look Secondly, the neckline facing would not work with this fabric, as it frays a lot. I finished the neck with exposed bias tape, aas it was too see through to do it inside. The back closes with beautiful mother of pearl buttons.

This blouse is incredibly versatile. The fabric is very breathable, so even with the sleeves it can be a summer blouse on all but the hottest of days. In winter I layer it up with a full slip. It alo goes with a good majority of my skirts; all my black ones (the one here, black pencil, and long black pleated). It also gets a lot of wear in winter with my thick purple wool skirt and long blue coat. It will also go with some summer skirts I have in the works.

Will I make this pattern again? Certainly. The Mathilde pattern fits me really well, and there's a few versions sitting in the WIP pile as I write this.

I'm so glad I finally got around to sharing this. Do you have a favourite hand made garment that gets worn constantly?