Saturday, 26 March 2011

from the sublime to the ridiculous

This, of course, is the sublime. It's a Horrockses day dress from around 1953. It is my idea of total gorgeousness. A genuine Horrockses dress goes for a small fortune on ebay, as well it should. Even this Horrockses homemade lookie likie is going for £75 on a vintage site.

In May we UK girls are having a meet in London and Mena (the overlord of sewweekly) has kindly said we can set the theme for the following week. So we are having a red, white and blue Union Jack theme.

However Debi, sewweekly contributor and UK girl herself, also suggested we go for this Horrockses pattern, as it is available for free, yes: free, on the V and A website. As we are meeting at the V and A that sounds like a challenge I can't miss! I have chosen a red roses on white patterned fabric, and I will be wearing blue gloves.

That's the plan. Whether I am up to it is entirely another thing. I am going to give it my best shot! First job, print out about 60 sheets of pattern. Done.

Now to stick them together with sellotape.....

Here's the ridiculous:

This was the pattern I chose for this week's challenge: take an ugly pattern and make it nice. Epic fail from the start: this pattern just isn't that ugly, I really like the blue maxi skirt, actually.

However the resulting skirt I made is really ugly:

I have jollied it up with a horrid stripe of red. Hideous. It's black and not spring like at all, it's baggy, it's too long. In fact it is just ugly.

So I have decided to put it away altogether and leave it alone for a bit. What I have done is the exact opposite of the challenge: I have made a quite nice pattern into a hideous skirt. Opps!

Wish me luck with the dress.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

green green green

Last week on, going green for St Patrick's day. No time, no green fabric, no real ideas... but you've got to be in it to win it, so I went for a super easy pattern with only 4 pattern pieces (front, back, arm facing, neck facing) and made the top right item in a smidge over 2 hours:

And here I am in it, there is green there, honestly....

Even though I am quite busty the cowl neck doesn't seem too much frontage, I hope. I may be delusional, of course.

While I am on the subject of busts, I also return to the topic of knitting (of which I have done none) - the mother in law has produced some knitted boobs, yes, knitted boobs, at the request of a friend. Apparently they use knitted boobs as a teaching aid to encourage breast feeding. As a keen advocate of breast is best I am very happy Sue was able to help, and this is the surreal result:

Three of them are purple with black nipples. One is baby pink with a brown nipple. Sue just used the wool she had. I have no idea how they use these in the breast feeding class but at least they will have a good laugh! We certainly did.

Finally, I have spent too much money on a pattern that is just gorgeous. I have no idea if I will ever make it as I may have overreached myself. I don't know if I paid too much money, but I had to have it.

Divine, isn't it, darlings?

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Belt up!

All the comments I had about the smock said it needed a belt. So I have made the belt, I remain deeply unconvinced, but for what it's worth:

And for this week, here's the fabric:

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Windy Miller eat your heart out

Tah dah!

This is my top, finished. I did think it looked a bit like a dishrag when it was only half finished so I am actually quite pleased with it. Despite the only instruction sheet in the packet sayinng "continued on sheet two" I was able to finish it! Here is the top in all its half finished, hideous glory:
It is just as well I was making this as part of the sewweekly challenge or I would never have completed it, I was convinced it was hideous. It's actually wearable.... plus along the way I did my first sleeves and my first collar: neither perfect but not too bad, and next time it will be better.

Next week, something green for St Patrick's day!

Monday, 7 March 2011

three sheets to the wind(mill)

This week at we are making items inspired by where we live, or, as the site puts it: an element, local treasure or landmark in our own cities. For the record, the featured cities will be Singapore, San Francisco, Houston, Melbourne and Chicago. As I live in a small village in a flat area of Lincolnshire I was a bit stuck. I toyed with the church and the duckpond but my hubby pointed out that every English village has a church. However, the next village to us has this:

My first thoughts were of using the sails as a sort of abstract applique. But then I remembered my youth, and the excellent Windy Miller:

I am going to try for a smock, I am channelling my inner peasant, the guy on the left is my fashion inspiration:

As everyone knows, the seventies are big this season. OK, so I didn't know really, but the Style supplement in the Sunday Times says so, therefore it must be true. I am therefore revisiting 1976 and have chosen this pattern that I think I got in a charity shop:

And yes, I am going to use that fabric!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

If you're thinking of being my crepe dress it don't matter if you're black or white

I have finished my dress made form curtains and a valance sheet and actually I think it rather successful. The curtains were £1 from a jumble sale:

I had six of them! I had my worries that the dress would look like curtains but I don't think it's that bad:

As this is supposed to be part of the Spring challenge with Colette patterns we did try for an outside photo, if you look closely I expect you can see the goosebumps ;0)

Next week on sewweekly, an item of clothing inspired by where you live - I am really really thinking about it very hard, some ideas but nothing concrete yet....