Friday, 20 July 2012

Back in Time

Way back in May, I visited the Textile Museum of Canada's More than a Yardage sale. You can check out the museum here. It's a pretty great event, and all the proceeds go directly to the museum. In the past, I've picked up a book or two, and made a few donations - good times are had by all! This year, I was on the hunt for patterns. For the most part, I tend to avoid revisiting the Eighties; I was only a kid back then, really, but some things just shouldn't be repeated. However, when I saw this pattern, I thought "hmm, good basic, and I don't have a shirt dress pattern at home..." So I snapped it up. Here's the pattern I used, and here is the result.

I knew it would be small in the waist, but simply omitting the gathers in the skirt gave me the room I needed. But as for the top... yikes! According to the envelope, size 10 was meant to fit a 34" bust. I'm 2-3" larger, and after checking that it wouldn't be too small, and making my standard 1" tuck in the length, I went ahead and cut my fabric. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture - it was massive! I ended up eliminating the back yoke pleats by taking in 3" at the centre back, and still needed to take in about 1 1/2" at either side seam. The proportions of the original dress would have been hilarious! Almost 10" of ease? No thanks. And this is why I avoid Eighties patterns.

I'm very pleased with how the dress came out in the end. The fabric, also a Yardage sale find, has some unnatural bounciness, but for $5, I can't complain. I didn't want sleeves or front pockets, so I didn't use them. I bound the armholes in self almost bias, there wasn't enough fabric for true bias strips!

I really like how the skirt hangs, and even though I wasn't doing the 2-in-1 Sew Along with A Fashionable Stitch, I used this trick for button placement. Love it!

Odd head placement - but pockets!

The back - sans excess blousing

Although I finished the dress at least three weeks ago, it took me that long to find a belt. But now that it's all together, I'm looking forward to wearing it outside the yard.

Til next time...

Thursday, 5 July 2012


Here's a little taste of my other big love - flamenco! At the end of each year, my fellow committed amateur flamenco dancers and I perform in the recital (yes, it's just like being a kid again, but more fun)! I usually make at least part of my costume, but this year I volunteered to make blouses for one of the classes I was in, and here is the result! 

I've been dancing with most of these ladies for a few years now, and we performed a classical number to the Habanera, from the opera Carmen, complete with castanets.

The blouses are based on this Burdastyle pattern. I found some plain red rayon for the main fabric, and managed to find the floral fabric for the ruffle without too much trouble - there are a lot of reds in the world! I was happy with the rayon, since the other budget friendly choice was polyester crepe, but man does it wrinkle! Good thing we were all very warm under the lights. I serged all the seams together (saving valuable time), and used the amazing 3-thread rolled edge setting to finish the sleeve and ruffle hems (which was another time & sanity saver). I attached the ruffle and made a casing at the same time, and used elastic in the neck edge to keep the blouses feeling loose and fluid, and adjustable for each of us.

Note the rolled edge on the ruffle!
We all had a blast performing, and I'm already looking forward to next year!