Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Melbourne Cup Dress : Its finished!!

Well I had a fabulous weekend in my sewing room!  And so productive - I got my dress for Melbourne Cup finished!!

I started with the skirt, cause that was the bit I was most worried about.  I frenched all the seams because I can, and I ended up with this:

Yay! Ponies!!

Then I got on with the bodice.  I traced the pattern I fiddled around and did a Full Bust Adjustment on so I could fiddle with it again.  It had a scooped neckline and I wanted a V neck.  It took a bit of adjustment to get it right because my first V neck cut was a bit mumsy... and thats not quite what I was going for!

I then hemmed the skirt piece and stitched the two together, and pinned it to my headless helper so I could revel in the achievement!

Yay!  A Dress!!

It was still open at the back at this point, so I sewed the back together with a centred zipper in the top, and a split in the bottom so I can walk (very important!), and I ended up with THIS!!!

Now, you will have to forgive the bad hair and no makeup - I was really just trying it on to see if it fit...

The front - see the non-mumsy neckline

 The back - I like the shape
Its a shame that one pony's nose is missing, but there wasn't much I could do...

So what do you think?  I'm pretty happy with it, and when I get all the accessories on (like the magnificent fascinator that should arrive tomorrow) and the proper hair and makeup etc I think I'll look pretty cute!



Friday, October 26, 2012

Melbourne Cup Dress : A Change of Direction

So I had to throw all my dressmaking plans out for this dress and go back to the drawing board.  Sigh!  This is due to the fact that I've put on around 5kg (10 pounds) since I've been unwell - too much comfort food!  I no longer have enough of the horsey fabric to get around my now curvier curves...  Thankfully I hadn't started cutting ANYTHING out, so I was able to rethink from scratch.

Its going to be a bit more of a challenge now...

So I started thinking about my options, and realised I could make a skirt with panels... and I remembered this skirt:


Right!  So the skirt bit was sorted - but what about the top?  I made the pattern for the skirt from my Marilyn dress but I didn't want the top like that - cause this is for the day time, not the night time...

I had recently done a Full Bust Adjustment on this pattern to give me a bit more room, and I thought that this, with a V neck instead of a scooped neck, would give me the look I was after:

Gee I wish I was still this size.... 

So - the dress will have an empire line, with the blouse ending under the bust, and the skirt with the shaped seam lines will continue from there to just under my knees.  I'm pretty happy with this design, and I'll have enough fabric to make it happen!  Hooray!!

Also, my shoes arrived - and they are a FABULOUS match!

I also got a beige/sand coloured clutch bag

And Bobbie, from Madly Hatted Millinery, who I commissioned to make my fascinator, has made a start, collecting these bits:

See the little scrap of fence I sent her to get colour matches from

Now that I'm feeling much better I'm pretty sure I'll have the dress all but done this weekend, so you can all excitedly look forward to next weeks post where I will show you the Melbourne Cup Horsey Dress!!!

Thanks for your patience over the past few weeks.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Its almost Melbourne Cup time!

Sorry for my absence just recently - I haven't been well.  And while I'm not fully better, I have a dress to sew for Melbourne Cup Day and I need to get on with it!

First up, a bit of information about Melbourne Cup day for those of you who aren't Aussies.

Melbourne Cup is a horse race that takes place in Melbourne, Australia on the first Tuesday of November, and has done since 1861.  Its known as the 'race that stops a nation' because that is quite literally what happens.  Everyone is glued to the TV (if they can get to one) or the radio if thats the best they can do, for a few minutes at 3pm to see if the horse they backed, or the horse they drew in the office sweep, comes in first place.

Its also a huge day in fashions on the field.  Beautiful dresses, amazing hats, shoes, bags... sigh!

Pretty much every restaurant and club worth its salt has a Melbourne Cup function where you can get dressed up and enjoy a long boozy lunch, a fashion parade or two, and watch the race.  But I always try and go somewhere where horses are running, so always end up at a race track somewhere with a whole bunch of friends, and we party on into the night.  One day I'd like to actually go to Melbourne for the Cup...

But there is a downside - and it involves a warm day, sunshine, too little food, and too much alcohol

Being a lady, I have rules about this sort of thing...

Its almost the start of the party season in Australia, and its often said that white collar businesses start winding down after Melbourne Cup day, and don't fully get their acts together again until after Australia Day (26th of January).

Right!  That brings me to my outfit.  This year I decided to make something instead of buying it, and of course its going to be over-the-top.  But given that I haven't been well and I'm running out of time, I've had to put the shirtwaister dress to one side to make sure I get this project done.

If you follow my facebook page you may well have seen me post a picture of a piece of fabric.  I was trying to work out if everybody thought my idea was a good one, or if it was just too over-the-top.  The fabric was this fabulous border print with ponies on it!!!

Isn't it fabulous!
Please excuse its wrinkles - I prewashed it and haven't ironed it yet...

The response was overwhelmingly positive, so I bought it!  Now, I would love to have made a beautiful full skirt from this fabric, there just isn't enough of it - boo!  So I'm making a wiggle dress instead.  Today I went out to get fabric for the bodice of the dress, and while I was there I found a great pattern to use.

I couldn't get an exact match for the bodice, so I went with one a few shades darker

I'm going for the sleeveless version (bottom right)

I know its not a vintage pattern, but its a classic waisted wiggle dress shape.  And I was able to buy my size, and this pattern comes with different pattern pieces for different cup sizes, so I eliminated a lot of work straight up.

So now I'm excited to get started - but I need a lie down first...


Friday, October 5, 2012


Sorry all, I have been unwell since last weekend, and have done very little sewing - very little of anything actually!

So I thought I would suggest some other bloggers you can read instead of reading my blog.

Gertie from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing is getting through her coat sew along - they are up to marking their cut pieces.  I was going to join this sew along but then it got hot here, and the last thing I want to do is sew a coat!  Check out their progress here.

Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness (one of my favourite blogs) has a chat about his love for vintage glamour and where he think it came from.  Read it, and the comments from his readers (which are always enlightening) here.

Laura Mae, who writes Lilacs & Lace is making a ballgown and she has made the embellishments before the dress...???  Find out why here.

Fleur at Diary of a Vintage Girl talks colour and having your colours done here.

And lastly, Bunny who writes The Musings and Adventures of a Pinup Mama, talks about her love of Broadway.  She really is an inspirational blogger!  Read her blog here.

Thanks everyone - I'll try to be back to my usual self next week.