Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pretty in Pink!

Some time ago now I was given the most delightful surprise present by a friend of mine - Miss Lucy Topp.  She gave me this amazing bag with a delightful parisienne scene on the side!

I just loved it, and knew I had to make the perfect outfit to show it off as much as possible!  I found some fun polkadot fabric which I thought would be perfect -  you can see in the above photo under the bag.

Now, every year at the start of the year I attend the cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Day Three of the test match is always the pink day to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation (a charity that provides breast care nurses around Australia to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer).  On this day, the life of Jane McGrath (the wife of a now retired cricketer who died from breast cancer) is honoured, and everyone wears pink and donates to the charity.  Each year I attend the High Tea with my mother-in-law, and of course we wear pink.  Here are some photos from last year:

Roses and cakes!

I really wanted to steal this teacup... but I thought I shouldn't...

My and my mother-in-law Pam
Gee my hair has really changed in 12 months! 

My outfit for the day was this gorgeous vintage 1950s hostess set and a pair of Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes which matched PERFECTLY!  And here is a secret for you... I purchased this outfit about 6 months before I actually wore it to this event, and in that time I put on a fair bit of weight (I started getting sick in October 2012) and when I left the hotel and got in the taxi, I ripped my pants down the crutch seam, from the back down.  Thank goodness for the cheongsam overcoat thingy!

Last year the test match series was against Pakistan, and I have no idea who these guys are (I think they might have been TV presenters) but they were wearing pink, so I had my photo taken with them!

For this year's McGrath Foundation High Tea, I thought that a pink polkadot dress and the bag that Lucy gave me would be the PERFECT outfit, but sadly my health is just too unreliable, so I'm unable to attend.

Sad face.

But I decided to make the outfit anyway.  I will be there in spirit!

This is the pattern I purchased:

I've been trying to buy size 18 patterns recently, because they need less work to make them fit.  This one for instance is for a 36" bust which is pretty close to my 39" bust.  I don't tend to make a muslin unless the fabric is REALLY expensive, instead, I measure the pattern pieces to see how big the finished item will be.  When I measured this one, the bust was 40" (hooray!) and the waist was 32", which would be a bit big on my 29" waist.  But thats an easy fix!  I'll just take in a bit more in the pleats at the waistline in both the skirt and the bodice!!

I've had this fabric for a little while, and I used it to make pockets for this skirt (which I made two of - one for a friend of mine) but I was pretty sure I'd still have enough fabric.  Well, I almost didn't...

This is what is left of the fabric after I've cut out the bodice pieces, and I've laid it on the carpet so I can see if there is enough fabric to cut out the skirt.  You have no idea how relieved I was when I realised it would juuuuuuust fit!

But I wanted to be organised this time, so as well as just cutting out the fabric pieces, I also made bias and piping with a darker pink fabric the same as the polka dots on my fashion fabric!

Ready to go!

The bodice went together ridiculously easily!  Even putting the piping and the facings on was simple!  And the thing I loved most of all was the pleats on the front and back of the bodice, and not only because that meant I didn't have to waistline darts!  Its just a really nice design detail.

I didn't get frustrated until I had to put in the sleeves.  I've done a lot of set in sleeves recently thanks to all those winter coats I made last year, but wool is a much more forgiving fabric to ease in than cotton.  Thankfully there wasn't a lot of extra ease so it worked ok.  They aren't perfect, but its only me that will notice.

After a few hours I had the bodice all made:

I'm really enjoying making this dress up, even though the colour isn't one that I wear very often.  It will clash with my hair but I'm pretty sure it will look fabulous anyway!



  1. Usually I'm not a fan of so much pink, but I think this is PERFECT! I do love me some polka dots.

  2. Love the vintage hostess outfit!
    Hope you're feeling better soon x

    1. Thanks Kiri - I am feeling better every day. I'm sure its all the positive thoughts from around the world :)

  3. I love your pattern and the piping is gorgeous! I started buying patterns closer to my actual size, too, and am always amazed how many of them do measure a 40" bust when the envelope says as small as 34". Either women wore things a lot more blousey or it was kind of like our vanity sizing. Anyway, I think your dress is going to look great, and maybe you can wear it somewhere else special. Praying your health improves.

    1. Thanks Sarah :) I'm pretty sure they did wear things much more blousey... but I like things more fitted. Isn't it wonderful that we can make them to fit how we like!

  4. Another lovely project! I also like your last year's outfit, and the pic with the two gentlemen from pakistan is my favourite! So much pink - even though I couldn't wear it - is just awesome!

  5. It's almost Valentines day.The perfect day to wear pink!I am looking forward to seeing your dress finished. I'm a big fan of pink and I'm sure it will look as fabulous on you as everything else you make.I do very much hope you are feeling better soon :-)

    1. Thanks Amber. I've never worn much pink before, but I must say I just love this pink overload :)

  6. That bag is to die for! I love the material you’ve used for the bodice, very striking, and I so know where you’re coming from with set in sleeves, they’re my nemesis! I have a plan that by the end of the year I’ll be amazingly brilliant at them (this plan is yet to come to fruition). Can’t wait to see the finished piece!

    1. hahahaha thats a great plan! I suggest everything you sew MUST have set in sleeves, and by the end of the year you will surely have mastered them :)

  7. Wow, that piping is really impressive. I hope this dress will have you "in the pink" (feeling better in U.S. parlance) very soon!

    1. Thats a great expression. Its hard not to feel good surrounded by so much of this girly colour :)