Bunny Skirt!

back to blueYou may remember that at the end of June I went through a Navy Blue Period. Well here is the first (yup, I blogged badly out of of sequence) of my blue garments (garment three was worn to a sewing-blogger gathering, but I returned photo-less. I am trying to get some nice pictures of it, I promise!).

bunny 3

As you can clearly see in the close up at the top, this skirt is covered in little bunnies!! I had originally wanted to make a Cambie with this fabric, but Stone Fabrics only had a little piece of it left. Did I still want to order it? Errr, yes, of course!bunny 1

With such a small piece of fabric, the obvious choice was to make a Ginger a-line skirt. I have used the pattern before so I knew it would fit, and the simple style would show off the print. There isn’t much to say about the skirt; I used an invisible zip, lined it in navy and finished with a loop and button on the inside (my new favourite alternative to a hook-and-eye)

bunny 2

As soon as this skirt was completed the weather got really hot, so this skirt got overlooked in favour of floaty maxi-dresses and skirts. The weather cooled down a bit towards the end of July and I wore this skirt to Zoo Lates (zoo fun for grown-ups at London Zoo).
bunny 4

My Bunny Skirt got to meet some real-life bunnies and it even got a close encounter with a snake!snake

The Bunny Skirt even got to meet some Sewing Bloggers a few weeks later at Goldhawk Road (photo from the lovely Roisin at Dolly Clackett.

A Tale of Two Cambies

2 cambiesI’ve made not one but two Sewaholic Cambie dresses this week!

First up was a stash-busting tester of the pattern, using some black something that I think I got at Walthamstow market early in my trouser-making days. I thought it was poly-something, but the more I worked with it, the more I felt like there was some wool in it; I did a burn test and it is definitely at least 50% poly but I guess I will never know. I had some black and white striped bias-binding which I used to add some piping details to the waist and neckline.

cambie 016b

I did a FBA seen here and toiled the bodice in a heavy IKEA print, but when it came to the black fabric there was still adjustments to be made. Lots of unpicking was involved in this make around the bust. The darts aren’t perfect but seriously who, other than eagle-eyed sewists and readers of this blog, will notice when I wear it in everyday life?!

cambie 017bThe overall look of the dress is pretty plain and simple, but I think there is definitely space in my wardrobe for some plain simplicity. I can imagine this becoming a spring and autumn work staple, to throw on with a bright cardigan. I used “Doll Pink” lining for a splash of fun on the inside and in the pockets.

cambie 019bI love the overall shape of this dress, when I was finished I just wanted to spin and twirl around in it.

Once I was happy-ish with the fit I was ready to turn to the floral fabric I ordered from Stone Fabrics (sadly they didn’t have enough bunny fabric for a Cambie dress, but I got the last piece to make a Ginger skirt). But before I cut the fabric I did a bit of dart manipulation to turn the giant under-bust dart into three regular sized darts in an attempt to lessen the pointiness.

cambie 010b

I’m not sure if you can see, but the fit is much better now the shaping is spread out around my bust. Still not perfect, but getting closer! (Still a teeny bit of wrinkling at the front) When I tried the final dress on, it was a bit loose around the bust and waist so I took the side seams in a bit. Obviously my finger-based measurements weren’t entirely accurate so when I tried it on again there was no breathing/eating ease! Third time lucky and the side seams nip me in enough to be flattering but with enough space to move and eat. (Looking at these pictures the sleeves on this version seem slightly looser, but it might just be a posing issue).

cambie 012b

 

I love this floral print so much, although I think it will need a lot of ironing. I lined this with a dark navy lining fabric; it was the premium lining from John Lewis as that was the only colour match, but it feels so nice to wear and worth the extra £5 or so it added to the cost of the dress.

I’m definitely going to be making more Cambies; it is drafted so well and the method of attaching the lining to the dress makes it so pretty inside as well. I just need some suitable weather for wearing pretty dresses.

 

Planning: Decisions!

I spent most of Saturday was spent playing with tissue paper, tape, colour pencils and rulers – making FBA (full bust adjustments) to the patterns I am planning to make in the Easter holidays (one and a half days to go!!). I have been umm-ing and ahh-ing over my choice of fabrics, and after recieving some swatches from Stone Fabrics (this did not make my decision easier since it gave me more potential choices) I have some sewing plans for the holidays. Hooray!

First up is the spring jacket. I made a muslin of the  BurdaStyle 02/2013 #106 jacket and decided that I actually liked the lapel-less style. I showed my blog post  to my colleagues at school, asking if the turquoise was too bright, and was told by A “You don’t need a plain navy jacket – you’re not 50!” That was me told! I ordered a swatch of it and as soon as I opened the envelope I was squealing with delight.* The colour is so much better in real life and so I am placing my order tomorrow, along with some white for the contrast bands (and I think they have some polka-dot contrast lining that will work! double squeal!) My only remaining dilemma is whether I need to underline the fabric, and if so with what (I used silk organza to underline my couture dress). I think I need to read Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Bible in bed!

For the Cambie dress fabric choices, again A gave me a stern talk. “NOT the red one, you already have too many polka dots.” Too many polka dots? Is that a real problem? Hmm… Then I remembered an episode of New Girl (starring the quirky Zooey Deschanel, new series starting tonight) when she gets accused of “rocking a lot of polka dots.” Her response, which could also be describing me, was:

“I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally weird that you are not a dessert person – that’s just weird and it freaks me out!”

So did I choose polka dots for my Cambie? Nope. The clear winner among friends I showed my swatches to was in favour of bunnies!

 

I also really liked the swatch of this floral print – it is not as bold as some of the other designs but has bits of hot pink, purple and turquoise so will match all my favourite cardigans! I am going to make both versions of the dress pattern, partly for a bit of variety, and partly because the bunny fabric was the most expensive and the narrowest so I’m going to try to reduce my costs slightly.

fabric choices

 

I made a muslin of the bodice in calico and then cut up my IKEA fabric to make a wearable muslin. (I wanted to make sure I posted this before I get distracted by hot-cross buns and mini-eggs, so apologies for the mirror-pose photos). I love this dress so much already – after doing an FBA the neckline fits perfectly with no gaping. I was planning to make this to wear, however I think the fabric is a bit too stiff (the bust darts are too pointy however I sew them and the skirt doesn’t hang right). I want to get the fit just right before cutting up my expensive bunny fabric so I may make a final test in plain black fabric (with some black and white stripy piping to add a bit of fun).

cambie muslin

*another colleague has commented how cute it is that I am so easily excited when I talk about/stroke fabric! This did start the day I got all those free Liberty samples.