Friday, 30 November 2012

An evening dress for my work Christmas party

I have been thinking about this project for a little while, and tonight I managed to make a start on my  dress for the annual work Christmas party

The party is next Saturday and I don't have a lot of time to make this dress because I am off to Dubai on Monday for work and not back until Thursday night.

About a year ago my dear work colleague and friend decided to buy me a little gift from Dubai, however the kaftan  you see in the photo below, wasn't something that I would really wear in its current form.  So taking a leaf out of Sarah's (of Goodbye Valentino) book, I decided to up-cycle this lovely, very Christmas appropriate embroidered fabric into something I would wear to a party.

Ever since I made the BurdaStyle geometric sheath dress in May for my sister's wedding, I have been thinking it would look lovely in black.  I took those thoughts one step further and decided the panel construction of this dress would lend itself beautifully to inserting some of the lovely gold embroidered fabric.

When I made this dress first time round, I followed the instructions and inserted the zip as instructed, however the black fabric I chose to use in this dress has quite a bit of stretch to it, and I thought I would sew the side and back seams on a stitch length of 6 to see if I could slip the dress on without the benefit of opening the zip.  Yippee it works perfectly so I just need to work out how to line it while creating something that still stretches.

I debated if I should insert a black sleeve or a gold sleeve, but I think I will go with the black sleeve so tune in later to see how that looks.

Of course no girl in her right mind would think about party dresses without giving some thought to the appropriate shoes to wear, and you may recall my beautiful Nina shoes I wore on my birthday at the beginning of the year which will work perfectly with this dress.

I am babysitting my DGD tomorrow while mum and dad move house, so sewing may not be as productive as I would want, but I will to try and finish the dress before I leave for Dubai so I don't have to worry about last minute sewing when I get back.

As normal, catch you later.................


Sunday, 25 November 2012

McCall's 6441 jacket completed.

This is another weekend where I didn't get as much sewing done as I wanted, but I am pleased to report that I did finish McCall's 6441 jacket.

  • Pattern: McCalls 6441
    • I cut a size 12 and made a sway back adjustment, and an FBA.
  • Fabric :Beautiful cashmere/wool blend 
    • purchased from Rosenburg's around £15 per metre.
  • Lining: from stash
    •  purchased from Walthamstow market for £1 a metre.
  • Alterations from original pattern: 
    • Added some diagonal double welt zipped pockets to provide a little more interesting detail.  Pockets are just large enough to take my iphone or train ticket etc.  I use the Palmer Pletsch method taken from their book Jackets for Real people, which I really do recommend.  I googled and found these instructions give it a try its so much easier than other methods I have used.
  • The lining is not inserted using the bagged method in their instructions, so there is a little hand sewing for the hems on the sleeves and bottom.
  • I added a little chain to give a little more silver bling to this jacket.
This is a really straightforward pattern to sew up, especially as its a Palmer Pletsch pattern which provides all the markings for the various alterations I needed.  This is not a "fussy" jacket and I think I will get a lot of milage out of it.

I am wearing it here with my RTW Marella pants and my Kwik Sew 2948 vest blogged about here, with the sleeves turned up.

For my next sewing project, I have cut out some of the beautiful lace I purchased last weekend to see if I can make another bra during the week (nice little easy project I hope).

Hope you have all had a great weekend.  Catch you later..................

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Amsterdam Designer Studio

Well what a weekend I have had.  I mentioned in my last blog post I had been invited to go and visit a famous Design studio in Amsterdam, and my dear sewing friend Sigrid came along with me.

As you can see from the pictures below we went to visit the design studio of Viktor and Rolf.

You would walk past this building without having any knowledge what was hidden behind a very inconspicuous sign, and if you didn't know the address,  you wouldn't even know it was there.

The building itself has lots of history behind it, and we entered through a small door into wonderful marble lined walls and floor.  We were guided up an impressive staircase that would look at home in any palace,  and taken to see where the design team create the designs for the new collection using CAD technology.  For each garment there were lots and lots of mood boards with different variations of the same garment, waiting for approval by the famous gentlemen.

Top left hand corner picture shows fabrics laid out on the floor, and we were informed that many many hours are spent selecting the fabric for each garment.  Lisa our guide told us that some fabrics cost €100's and that one particular garment had a production cost €800 just to make the garment, without the cost of the fabric, designers, and shop mark-up.

Viktor and Rolf make miniature size dolls of their outfits and you can see on the back wall photographs of these dolls.  Bottom right is a section of the area the machinists work in. All but one machine had "do not touch" marked on them, except one which had "Intern machine" written on it.  This did make me smile.

Below is a photograph of Lisa and I taken by Sigrid in the Board Room of V&R - tough gig!!!

Lisa was very busy working on the current collection so didn't have time to go for lunch with us so we thanked her for her hospitality and headed across the road because we noticed a cute little shop that sold buttons - check out the door knobs.

The shop had 100's of buttons in it and many of them were vintage buttons and I spent €20 on the set you see in the picture below.

Our next destination was the famous Kantjeboord.  Let me tell you after the excitement of V&R, then the button shop, by the time we left Kantjeboord I was exhausted.  I had purchased some lace from one of the girls from our sewing weekend and I took the samples with me, so it was a case of looking for the lycra, elastics, ribbons bows etc to match the lace I had bought - this in itself took quite a lot of time and really made me appreciate the time Sigrid has spent find these things for me in the past (thank you).  I did find some very pretty lace that I couldn't resist and they also gave us a small pack of lace as a gift for being such a good customer.  I can't tell you how much I spent.... boy it adds up and thankfully Sigrid had some spare Euros in her purse to make up the shortfall in my own purse.  I can't say I will not want to go back to the shop because I would be telling a fib, I can say I have enough to keep me going for a few months to come.

I am now back in the uk, and sadly will not have any time to do any sewing until Thursday night at the earliest, but I had the best ever weekend.

I have to give a huge thanks to Sigrid who not only let me stay with her and her family, but also acted as my chauffeur getting us to where we needed to go.  Also thanks to Lisa for giving us a glimpse into another world that we mere mortals can only dream about.

Hope you have all had a great weekend.  Catch you later....... 

Friday, 16 November 2012

kantjeboord and a Fashion Design studio

Hi Readers

Once again I am in the Netherlands for work, but today is Friday and I have a great weekend ahead of me.

Firstly I am meeting the lovely Sigrid and spending the weekend with her and we have some exciting things planned.

Tomorrow we will go to the famous Kantjeboord where Sigrid and other lingerie sewing buddies purchase the beautiful lace and lingerie making notions from.  So far every time we have met up this shop has been shut - I just hope that isn't the case tomorrow.

Our 2nd bit of excitement for the weekend is a tour around a famous design studio.  One of my D Mike's colleagues has kindly connected me to his wife who is a fashion designer for a very large famous company based here in The Netherlands and she has agreed to give us a tour of the design studio.  Hopefully we will be able to take some photographs, and needless to say, I need to ask before I mention the name on my blog, but suffice to say I am sooooooooooooo excited.

Lots more later...................................

Sunday, 11 November 2012

McCalls 6441 progress & Christmas Stocking

Hi everyone, I think we should introduce the 3 day weekend because I never seem to have enough time, but I guess that is the same for all of us.

I managed to do some more on my jacket before my DGD arrived, but then my attention was redirected as normal!

First my son presented me with a shop bought Christmas stocking and asked if I could embroider Alana's name on it.  I found some fleece fabric and used that to do the embroidery on and then stitched the name tag on by hand.

Shortly after Alana arrived, my daughter turned up with Bentley, and we managed to get a 2 1/2 year old little girl and a 10 month old Great Dane puppy to sit still long enough for us to take a photograph.  Definitely one for the album especially as I have a similar photograph taken when my daughter was around 3 or 4 with my first Great Dane Mitch - Alana reminds me so much of my daughter.

Now for my progress on my McCalls jacket.  Once babysitting duties started I had to leave my sewing until this evening and I have completed quite a bit, but decided to stop before I got too tired.

I wanted to add a small change to the jacket so inserted angled double welt zipped pockets into the jacket.   I always use the Palmer Pletsch method but one modification I make is to use the clear wash away stabiliser to draw the welt box on to use as a stitching guide. 

You can see a peek of the lining I have used - nothing jazzy or bright, but I think this works well enough with the simplicity of the jacket.  This photo was taken after sewing the lining to the jacket and still needs to be pressed so excuse the crumpled look.

When I purchased this lovely wool and cashmere blend, I also bought this contrasting pure silk to sew a coordinating blouse.  I can see the jacket and the blouse with a lovely black skirt or trousers.... this is a mini wardrobe in the making.

This is my progress so far.  Will I finish it by tomorrow night?  Hmmmmm I have to sew in the shoulder pads, press, clip and trim the seams after sewing the lining to the jacket and finish the hem..........  I might be lucky and be able to finish it before I go away for work this week and who knows maybe take it with me.

Hope you all had a good day.

Catch you later............

Saturday, 10 November 2012

McCall's 6441 Progress

In a previous post I mentioned that I had cut out the McCall's 6441 Palmer Pletsch jacket pattern but didn't have time to start sewing it.

When I went to the sewing expo with Sigrid and Clare back in September, we all purchased some lovely fabrics and I went for this pretty lime green wool and cashmere blend.  This is a great colour and goes so well with chocolate brown, navy blue, black and I guess you could even wear it with white. Those of you who are experts in colour, will no doubt see other possibilities too.

Can you see the fabric peeking through the neck edge of the jacket.  This is some more of that lovely spandex mix knit that I made some other tops from, see here and here.  At the moment I am thinking of another cowl-neck top again, but this time with long sleeves.

The sleeves have zippers inserted at the cuff, however because the seam where these sit are underneath, I am not too sure of the positioning because it isn't that visible, however it still good experience because I haven't inserted zippers in a sleeve before.

If you are anything like me, you probably hold your breath when inserting the sleeve into the armcye.  A tip I picked up on a sewing course I went on was to use the inside of a tie (which is cut on the bias) and stitch it to the sleeve head, stretching as you go.  The bias causes it to shrink.  Sadly it didn't shrink quite enough so I had to still had to sew two row of stitches which I then used to gather up the ease.  Next I pinned in the the sleeve smoothing out the gathers to avoid any pleats of puckers as these would show up on a plain fabric.

This is probably as far as I shall get tonight, and I will need to make an early start if I want to sew tomorrow as we are babysitting our beautiful GD tomorrow, but so far this is a fairly easy pattern to put together.

Adjustments: The nice thing about these patterns is they have kindly marked the cutting lines for sway back, and full bust adjustments etc.  I cut a size 12 and after doing a tissue fit, I found I needed to add an inch to the bust, adjust for my sway back and I added a little to the upper arm of the sleeve (clearly my biceps are larger than the pattern allows for).

Notions required are:- 18" zipper for the front and 2 x 7" zippers for the sleeves.  1/2" shoulder pads and the usual thread and interfacing.

Stop by tomorrow, fingers crossed this jacket will be finished.

Catch you later.........................

Monday, 5 November 2012

My Wedding Plans Continue

A few people have asked me questions about my wedding plans, so I thought perhaps it was time for an update.

My D Mike and I get married on the 18th May next year - however that is only a fraction over 6 months away.

I plan on making my wedding dress and the 6 bridesmaid dresses, however there are a couple of minor  major problems.

Bridesmaid No.1-My daughter who is expecting her first baby 2 days after the wedding and who still wants to be a bridesmaid - its a little difficult to calculate what size she will be.

Bridesmaid No.2 - My granddaughter who is currently 2.5 years old, and growing, so I need to wait until at least March/April before starting her dress.

Bridesmaid No.3 - My daughter-in-law who is also expecting (baby No.2) so she doesn't want me to start her dress until after she has had the baby and lost some of her baby weight so around end of March beginning of April.

Bridesmaid No.4 - granddaughter No.2 who is only 18 months old and still growing, so again we can't start her's until the same time a granddaughter No.1.

Bridesmaid No. 5 - Mike's niece who is currently 10 years old, and of course growing so I anticipate starting her dress around March.

Bridesmaid No. 6 - Last but not least the only bridesmaid that isn't expecting a baby (that I know of) and isn't a small child growing rapidly, may give me the opportunity to start her dress around February.

So what about my dress?  Well of course like any bride, I am on a diet and trying to lose weight, so I have given myself until February to lose a few extra pounds before I think about making a muslin of my dress.

We are going for an Art Deco themed wedding and I want an Art Deco style of wedding dress.  I have purchased about 6 patterns and I think there are elements from each of the patterns that I would like to incorporate into my dress.

I know the colour I want for my dress, and I am going to make the Bridesmaid dresses in the same colour.  Colour will be introduced via flowers and in particular for the little ones ribbons.

We have booked this beautiful venue which is right next to the river.

and will be having the party in the marquee as shown below.

we have chosen and booked our car this lovely 1920's Wolseley

So we still have loads to do - I know what flowers I want, but haven't decided for the Bridesmaids yet.  The guys are enthusiastic to dress their part so they have been looking at appropriate clothing (with a 20th Century twist) for their outfits.

So while we have made progress, needless to say there is still LOADS for me to do.

Needless to say, because my D Mike reads my blog, I will have to think of another way to share my progress with my wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and colour schemes. Until then, catch you all later..........

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A non-starter for the sewing.

Well I never really got going on my sewing this weekend other than running up 3 pairs of panties that was it.

I did cut out the paper pattern for McCalls 6441 but that is as far as I got because my daughter turned up with Bentley.
McCalls 6441

Saturday night was the night most people were setting off their fireworks in advance of bonfire night (5th November) and my daughter was going to London to have dinner with her partner's sister.   I was concerned that this would be Bentley's first experience of fireworks and was worried that he would get upset and frightened, so Saturday evening we were babysitting a big black dog.  Thankfully, although he was aware of the fireworks, he wasn't a quivering wreck under the table, like our old family dog used to be each year.

Today I was just catching up on jobs, such as my pile of ironing that had been sitting patiently waiting for me to clear it, so I just had to knuckle down and get it done before Alana, my son and my daughter-in-law arrived for lunch.

Now the nights are drawing in early we wanted to get up to London earlier than we would normally do, before it got dark, and boy it was cold on the bikes - I need to brace myself for the winter months ahead and prepare to get cold and wet cycling my bike brrrrrrrrrr lets hope it helps burn off the calories I need to burn before my wedding.

Talking of weddings, should I start to panic - it will be exactly 6 months on the 18th of November - frightening or what!

Last but not least I got this sweet thank you card from Sarah of Goodbye Valentino with the following message:-

The simple and sweet purpose of this new blog award is simply to thank the  people who take the time to comment on your blog. My job is to pass it on to nine bloggers who comment on my blog.  I tremendously appreciate each comment I receive.  I’m passing the award on to the nine bloggers who have statistically provided the most comments on Goodbye Valentino. Many thanks to all of you for your comments and special thanks the following bloggers. Pass it on ladies!

Thanks Sarah, so following the instructions above,  I would like to pass this award on to the following great people who often comment on my blog (thank you):-

Handmade by Carolyn  Everything Sewing Biblioblog House of Pinheiro La Sewista
MushyWear SewRuth Sigrid Coco's Loft

I hope you all had a good weekend.  Catch you later...........