Pre-birthday miscellania

Birthday dress!

My LMB draped birthday dress is finished, so thank you to everyone who commented on my muslin! I’ll be having the photoshoot tomorrow so you can see it on my big day itself on Thursday (no, not THAT big day, that’s in September!). I’m really happy with the way the final dress turned out, and the silk jersey is just so gorgeous to wear…

Labels!

My new labels also arrived this week (albeit with an eBay shipping mishap).

For some reason Cash’s aren’t offering the silver/black I had before, so I went with GB Nametapes for this lot. I’m not 100% convinced on the font I chose for “Fehr Trade”, but I love that I could get the URL printed smaller this time around. Considering that the last lot of 120-some lasted me just over two years, I have a feeling I’ll get used to this design soon enough.

BurdaStyle!

Looking beyond my birthday plans, I am super excited that BurdaStyle are coming to London next week, so I (of course!) need something new to wear to their mixer!

The LMB draped dress – muslin

As good as my word, I sewed up a muslin for my birthday dress (next week, birthday fans!), which will be the draped jersey dress from the Feb 2010 La Mia Boutique magazine, #6:

I sewed up the muslin in a viscose jersey, chosen for its very similar draping to silk jersey (with the bridesmaids’ dresses also in silk jersey, I bought TONS of this!), but it is pretty thin and see-through so it’s really only ever going to be good for muslins. After sewing a size 44 in the turtleneck and finding it quite roomy, I decided to go with a 44 here, too, even though I should be a 46 according to their size charts. This is sewn up exactly as per their paper pattern, with no alterations.

Here’s the front, side, and back views of the muslin:

Mentally sewing the LMB draped dress

I’ve gotten as far as I can on my secret other project while I wait for supplies (mostly new labels – can you believe I’ve sewn through the last lot of 120-odd Fehr Trade labels in the past two years??), so I cut out my muslin pieces for my birthday dress. If you’ve got a good memory, it’s this luuuurrrrrvely draped number from the Feb 2010 La Mia Boutique magazine, #6:

What I normally do for foreign language patterns (La Mia Boutique is in Italian) is look at the pieces and get a brief order of construction in my head. Usually I work from the top down, starting with assembling the front bodice pieces then join to the back at the shoulders, then finish the neckline, then if it’s a knit, attach the sleeves at the armscye and sew up the side seams, or if it’s a woven, do the side seams first them attach the sleeve in the round. After sewing for a while, you begin to see that most pattern instructions have you sew things in roughly the same order, so you can just do those here to suit this particular pattern.

But for more complicated patterns like this one, I like to sit down with a pen and paper and mentally go through the whole process, visualising how the different pieces interact and the pros and cons of doing which seams in which order (like “if I do this first, is it going to make it awkward to serge that?”). It’s a great mental exercise in spatial thinking, and one of the most pleasurable aspects of sewing for me.

And it means I don’t have to type in every single word of the foreign instructions and figure out what the translator’s trying to tell me (sewing terms are not the best translated! )!

So since I was writing these out anyway, I thought my order of construction might help others who were eyeing up this pattern.

Me-Made March

Me-Made March has been in full swing for a month now, and as I stated in February, I’ve been playing along at home, but taking photos of what I wear every day is just completely infeasible for me, so I’ve just kept a record of what I’ve worn instead.

I did something similar a few years ago and it was really helpful in observing what I tended to wear throughout the week and which items I turned to most often. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore an outfit that didn’t contain at least one “me-made” item (not counting weekends, where I live in grotty, boat-DIY clothes), so this challenge isn’t really that challenging for me! It’s what I tend to wear anyway!

March

  1. Tues. Navy blue riding trousers & purple cashmere turtleneck (RTW)
  2. Wed. Taupe corduroy skirt & turquoise mohair sweater (layered over a RTW white long sleeved top) (so yes, I am wearing the exact same outfit as shown in my citizenship post, right down to the same tights and boots!)

  3. Thur. First Jalie jeans & plum and green lace Patrones top
  4. Fri. Foldover wool trousers (so warm!) & RTW black long sleeved top
  5. Sat. Two 40th birthday parties! Burda September cover dress

Saturday afternoon sewing pow-wow

I normally get quite a lot of sewing done on the weekends, but this weekend was particularly fun because Susannah of Cargo Cult Craft came over to the boat on Saturday afternoon for a big, fat geeked-out sewing session!

She brought her stash of ALL the 2010 Patrones issues, plus her assorted stash of Manequims, and I lugged my KnipModes, other Patroneses, and Manequims out of my sewing batcave. You should’ve seen the amount of pattern magazines on our saloon table! It was downright decadent, I tell you…

I ended up tracing two Patrones patterns then and there:

This cape jacket (295-22)

And an asymmetrical, yoked blouse (291-23)

Susannah fell in love with two Knips (a gathered knit dress – April 10 #14 and a long sleeved knit cowl top – Feb 10 #19) and traced those on our saloon floor, too. Poor James could barely find a scrap of carpet to walk on between my brown kraft paper and her Swedish tracing paper!

Our DIY wedding – refashioning my grandmother's gown

I’ve got many, many more wedding photos to come, but as I was slowly going through all the photos from friends and our professional photographer, I realised that there were a lot of parallel poses between my grandparents’ photos and ours.

Big thanks to my Dad for taking the time to scan in my grandparents’ wedding album in hi-res format, and also to our truly INCREDIBLE and AMAZING wedding photographer, Paul Tanner. I’m pretty sure he was the best money we’ve ever spent.

Confetti toss:

Post ceremony posing:

Walking back down the aisle:

Cutting the cake:

Pre-wedding girly preparations:

If you’re new to this site, let me back up a minute and explain what went on here. First of all, yes, I sewed my own wedding gown. But that would be too easy (ha!), so I decided to sew it from my grandmother’s gown.

La Mia Boutique July 2010

No, you didn’t miss it – the June issue never arrived and is presumed missing in the post by now (so Magazine Cafe extended my subscription by a month to compensate). But that’s okay because June didn’t look that great in the online preview, and July is a fantastic issue!

I utterly love this bolero – mostly for its sleeves! You can see more easily in the layout diagram, but there’s a strip of fabric down the centre of the sleeve, with gathering on either side. I’d so take these sleeves and try them out on a shirt or other style of jacket, too.

This is actually a dress that just looks like a skirt and top – it’d be great for short lengths of stash fabrics with a nice belt…

KnipMode Summer 2010 Roundup

I’m taken a brief moment to poke my head up from under my enormous pile of BurdaStyle Book sewing, wedding gown dismantling and bodice muslining, running, gardening, wedding planning, and some seriously busy office day-jobbing to bring you an overview of the summer KnipMode magazines… I’ll show off what I’m actually sewing if and when I can, I promise!

June 2010

This dress and skirt are ok, nothing to really grab me, but they’re nice enough basics. I mostly just liked that the model has wrinkles!

Woop! Another origami dress!

Black Beignet skirt and a bias cowl top

It feels like I’ve been talking about sewing the Colette Patterns Beignet skirt for ages now, but it’s mostly because I’ve just been so busy with life (running, socialising, wedding planning, the boat, and my garden, mostly) right now that I’ve been sewing in tiny increments here and there! But it’s finally complete, and I even managed to sew up the bias cowl top from Patrones 292 (#19) to wear with it!

Even though these go so well together, I’ve actually got no shortage of other things in my wardrobe to wear with either, so there’s no “orphan coordinates” here! And I managed to sneak some mustard and navy into my wardrobe a bit earlier than I’d planned, too!