Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In love

Not a garment this time, just a little post in between.
I just had to share my newest "love interest".

It might sound strange to say that I don't care for the latest fashion as someone who enjoys sewing that much, but I don't really. At least you couldn't really call it a proper interest, I just wear what I think looks nice.
I do have however a big interest in fashion history. The reason for that was, in the beginning, my love for making costumes (for plays, movies or just for fun) and the need to research for those.
Now I'm just fascinated by the way fashion has developed and most of the time I find historic fashion much nicer as the latest one. Too bad one can't wear a rokoko dress out on the street on a regular basis.
Well, a week ago I found this book (two books actually) at the bookstore and I was in love. It's published by "Taschen" and features the collection of the Kyoton Costume Institute.
And what can I say... it's so beautiful!

Have a little look for yourself:

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Isn't it just gorgeous? :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

White as snow, red as blood...

Yay, a new dress!

I just love wearing dresses and I love fairytales, so I guess it's finally time I combined the two!
Snow-White isn't neccessarily one of my favourites, but I always loved how she is described.
"Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, 'If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame.'"
So when I had the idea for this dress I immediatly knew that I of course would have to use the three mentioned colours.
I used two kinds of jersey (from my endless stash of fabric I bought at some point...), because I have an overlocker now and can finally sew it properly... I've really been going mad with working with jersey since then!
The pattern consists of a simple tanktop pattern with a v-neck and a slightly gathered circle skirt. It's really simple and I had it drafted in a matter of minutes.
I'm really glad I had enough fabric for the circle skirt because I love how it moves :)

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I finished the dress by applying an apple (front) and Snow-White's silhoutte (back) on the top part, which I cut out of red felt.

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Besides working with jersey, another obsession of mine at the moment is using felt for decorations. It works really great, because you can just cut out whatever shape you like without having to neaten the edge and then just sew it on. Try it, it's awesome! ;)
First I wanted to place the silhouette at the front on the skirt, by the way, but I had to sacrifice that idea for my lovely circle skirt. Because of all the fabric you wouldn't have been able to see Snow-White. But I like how it turned out in the end just as much and I can still wear it the other way around, with Snow-White at the front if I feel like it! :)

How lucky some o'er other some can be...

Another post to reduce the stash of stuff I haven't posted here yet.
This time it's something from the film project "A Midsummernight's Dream" again: Hermia's and Helena's dresses.

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These two dresses belong together design-wise as is quite easy to see. They share a similar shape with the accentuated waist and the a-line skirts.
The two girls share a deep friendship, which I wanted to show with the shape of their dresses, but they are also complete opposites characterwise, shown by the slight differences in the cuts and most of all by the colours.

Hermia's dress is much more flowy and loose than Helena's, thus mirroring her personality. Hermia doesn't have a care in the world, is very naive but also very self-centred and a tiny bit shallow.
In the movie, the more impulsive characters all wear warm colours, mostly shades of red and pink, so the magenta colour of Hermia's dress also puts her in that category.

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The pattern is based on Burda magazine 05/08. No. 127 and I have used a beautiful magenta cotton-blend for the dress. The waist is handembroidered with little roses and we chose matching jewellery to wear for her.

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Contrary to Hermia, Helena is always trying to be as responsible as posssible and is generally a lot more grown-up than her friend. She compromises a lot, making it easy to walk over her, as she seldomly stands up for herself.
Cold colours, like Helena's blue, are worn by the more settled, reserved characters in the story.

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The pattern I used is Burda magazine 11/07, no. 112, made with bright blue cotton. The jacket I wear with the dress in the movie was made from some Burda pattern I bought, I can't find the number now, though. It's white denim with light blue lining.
The waist is handembroidered here as well and I have matching earrings and a matching necklace to the flowers on it.

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Two more down and I still have so much more left, not only from the movie...

P.S.: The layout of the post editing thingy has been mean to me today. I hope it worked out in the end...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Graduation Dress Frenzy

My graduation was in June already but I only now got around to posting this.
Pre-graduation was a busy time but somehow I still ended up making a total of 4 graduation dresses! Here's a quick recap on how that happened ;)

I decided to make my own graduation dress pretty early on and I really wanted a retro/50s dress. After a little search I chose Butterick 4919, which is a beautiful pattern from 1952.

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Because I wanted to be able to wear the dress not only this once, I made a knee-lenght version. I always find it hard to find occasions to wear floor-lenght dresses... ;)
I chose two different shades of green dupioni silk for the dress at my new favourite fabric seller, who is actually a wholesaler and has LOADS of fabric because of that. I'm so glad I found this place!

And that's how it turned out! I'm very happy about the outcome and am especially excited that I actually found matching shoes! Yay!

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Now because my friend Beccy's birthday was about a month before graduation I decided to make her dress as well as a birthday gift for her.
She always loved the regency-like pattern from burda-magazine 12/2007 and so that's the one we chose, with alterations of course.

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She wanted a red dress and finding that fabric was a lot harder than finding mine.
In the end we were lucky enough to find a very soft, dark-red silk and a silver/grey dupioni silk and beautiful red lace to combine it with.

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Here you can see a close-up of the layered top part. The colours are a bit twisted because it's a scan... sorry.


After word got out that I was sewing dresses for graduation, a lot of girls hinted at wanting one made as well. In the end I relented, at least in the cases of my friends Moa and Anne.

Moa and me chose the Vogue pattern 1014, but found it to be a bit boring in the original.

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So this is the original pattern...

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... and this is a sketch I made of how to alter it. We actually got rid of the sleeves as well as you will see in the the photographs :)
We then picked out two different kind of jerseys, one is slightly more shiny than the other and a black lining fabric to make it less see-through and to darken the blue slightly. The colour of the fabric can actually look totally different, depending on the light, so it was hard to catch the actual colour in the pictures.

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I think the colour is closest to this last one...


Now, the last dress I made and which was finished really last minute (one day before graduation) was made from Butterick 4657.

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I didn't change anything here, just made it a little shorter involuntarily because in this pattern the waistline is marked incorrectly. Still looks nice though.
I made the dress out of greenish-blue silk with black chiffon over it. Because the dress is made out of three layers in total (the basic layer, one gathered see-through layer and one layer of interfacing) there are roughly 40 different pattern pieces and some of them have to be cut out multiple times...
By the way, when I cut out the fabric for this dress I stabbed my thigh with my scissors... it almost needed stitches. I couldn't walk properly for days - sewing is dangerous, kids! ;)
I don't have proper pictures of this one yet, so these are only temporary... you can't really see the colour in them and they're not a really good angle either, but better then nothing.


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I know the two pictures are very similar, but in the first one you can see the colour better and in the second one you get a better view of the gathered top part. I'm sorry for the quality and colours, these are only scans.

And these are just two more pictures I really like! :)

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Well, that's it for now, I'm hoping to post again before I leave for another week of vacation :)