Friday, April 10, 2015

Capelet Sewalong : The Final Round-up!

What a great sewalong!  I hope you all enjoyed following along if you weren't sewing.  Thanks also goes to Decades of Style for giving us all a discount on the pattern.

Since finishing and wearing our capelets, and posting photos wearing them in the Facebook group, we have noticed just how versatile this garment is!  It can be dressed down with jeans, it can be dressed up with a fancy skirt or tailored pants, it can even be made from light fabric and worn as a blouse!  I honestly don't think this pattern is given enough credit, and I also think a lot of people have passed it over as being too odd.  Not true!

And here's the proof - our finished garments!  I'm pretty sure that once you've seen these you will want to sew one for yourself.

Diana Cruz-Hasler
Diana used some favourite fabric from her stash to make her capelet.  I love how the gold buttons bring out the gold in the fabric.

Meet Diana's two 'monkeys' Sierra and Chloe, who insisted in being in one of the photos.

Eszter Molnar
This lovely lady speed sewed through her capelet, only starting three days before the deadline - but how amazing is this ice blue colour on her!  In love!!

Janine Robertson
Janine also had a last minute run at the deadline and did really well to get it finished, as her capelet is lined as well.  She did make a small boo-boo, but we aren't going to talk about that here (10 points to anyone who can pick what it is).
In love with this colour too!

Joanna Hehn
Joanna picked some lovely fabric that really doesn't read well in this photo - its a brocade with a little floral paisley print in green, pink, and blue.  Great fit Joanna!

Kacy Burchfield
Kacy picked a fabulous pink and brown houndstooth print fabric, which was challenging to do bound buttonholes on, only because it made you cross-eyed!  Kacy also made a boo-boo, funnily enough the same one as Janine.  Have you picked it yet?

Katherine McRae
Contrary to the expression on her face, Katherine really loves her capelet!  What she wasn't loving at this time was wearing heels on wet grass, and the sun in her eyes.  She wore this outfit to church and got lots of compliments.  I'm not surprised either - how great does it look with more casual pants!

Naomi Brick
Naomi loves her capelet and is already planning a couple more.  This one came out a bit tight across the bust, but I think it is still very wearable!

Rachael Coutts
Rachael was the first finishedAnd look at that happy face!  Its the result of someone who challenged themselves with their sewing and succeeded!  Rachael only started sewing THIS YEAR so all of you that think this project is too advanced for you - think again!

By the way Rachael - that building behind you is magnificent - what is it (besides a glasshouse)?

Tanith Kovari
Tanith is another one who challenged herself with this pattern, and I think the result is fabulous.  And that amazing fabric will go with just about anything!

Then there was me.  I made two capelets, one in gaberdine and one in velveteen.  I also made items to wear with my capelets.  A dress for the gaberdine capelet, and a skirt for the velveteen one.  Except there was a problem... the dress didn't fit.

It took me 24 hours to dust myself off from that - it really rocked my confidence in how I felt about myself, and how I thought I looked.  But dust myself off I did, and here are the results.

My gaberdine capelet:

And my velveteen capelet and skirt:

I love both outfits and I think they are going to be worn often as the weather here cools.

The lovely people at Decades of Style were so happy with the response to the sewalong that they have generously donated a US$50 voucher, so I had Stella help draw me a winner from the girls who participated.  I assigned numbers to the girls in the order that they submitted their photos.  This is the number Stella drew:

Its upside-down, but thats the number 3, and number 3 was:


Congratulations Joanna!  Send me an email to collect your voucher.

Ladies, once again WELL DONE.  Each and every one of you did a magnificent job, thanks so much for participating!  And for those of you that weren't able to join in, I hope that seeing the finished products made by sewers with different experience levels makes you want to take out that pattern and have a go for yourself!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cinderella : The Ultimate Costume Porn

Ever since I saw the preview online for the recently released Cinderella movie, I knew I just HAD to see it!!!  And I wasn't even going to bother borrowing a child from someone as camouflage!

This movie was a visual feast from start to finish, and while everybody is raving about the blue gown that Cinderella wears to the ball (and with good reason - that thing is incredible!), the standout for me was just about everything Cate Blanchett wears as the evil stepmother.

From the minute she walked on screen (in the above outfit, actually), I was completely spellbound.  Her costumes were such an incredible mix of 1940s screen goddess and 1880s victorian that I just couldn't look away!  The costume designer for this movie (who is now my hero) is Sandy Powell, and she based the evil stepmother's look on 1940s icons like Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford, and then blended those elements with the 19th century look of the rest of the film.

If I could walk around like this every day I would be eternally happy.

Yes, that is a cat on a lead...

This chartreuse colour (which was very popular in the 40s) seems to be the characters signature colour, as most of her outfits features it.  Unless she's wearing leopard...

This is the only full length photo I can find of this outfit (sadly, cause its awful), and I let out an audible groan when it came on screen.  If I can find an appropriate fabric, keep an eye out for me sewing my tribute to this in the coming months.

The outfit she wears to the ball once again features the signature chartreuse colour, and an amazingly sculptural collar reminiscent of the architectural quality of Charles James.

My other favourite characters to watch were the evil step-sisters.  I loved the way that they always had matching outfits, just in different colourways.  And as much as their mother was 1940s, the girls were 1950s with accents on their outfits like peter pan collars, and little cropped sweaters and knitted boleros.

But just like everyone else I was completely spellbound by Cinderella's gown as she attended the ball. 

I completely stopped listening to the dialogue, and could pay attention to little else than the skirt every time she was on screen.  The way it floated was incredible, and every time it flicked around I tried to get a decent look at what was going on underneath!

Look at it float!

I've done a bit of reading since, and the foundation for the skirt was a crinoline cage - something like this:

Then their was a couple of petticoats loaded with frills on the hem and on the inside (these are what you see when she dances).  The next layer was a "really cheap" iridescent pale white fabric, with five or six more incredibly light and floaty layers over the top of that, in colours like silver, lilac, lavender and blue, which all mix together to form that iconic colour.

There has apparently been a fair bit of controversy on social media about the size of Cinderella's waist and how it must have been digitally altered.  Clearly these people have never seen the effects that a well fitted corset and a massive skirt has on how a waist looks!

The other epically amazing gown that Cinderella gets to wear is her wedding gown.  It took 16 people 550 hours to make, and its on screen for less than 30 seconds I'd reckon.  Oh, and all those flowers were HAND PAINTED after the gown was constructed.

If you haven't already seen it, do yourself a favour and get to a cinema.  I guarantee you won't be disappointed!