Saturday, February 26, 2011

Me Made March

I, Andrea, of Confessions of a Lazy Bee, sign up as a participant of Me Made March 2011. I endevour to wear one article of me made clothing each day for the duration of March 2011.

I'm seriously doubtful if i'm ready for this, I don't have nearly enough self made clothes to get me through a month, but maybe if I heavily layer summer clothes I might get through it! I did well in January in Sydney, but that was summer and now I'm lucky to squeeze ten degrees out of a day.  So I may post some pictures. Not every day though, and I will be wearing the same thing most days. Today I'm wearing a silk cowl neck jersey top and courduroy pants that I've made, so thats encouraging.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Prep work for stripey top.

The sewing machine has been largely idle this week, as I've only sewn this muslin from the draped pattern. Its really too cold to be trying on cotton summer tops though, so here it is on the dress form (she really needs a name doesn't she?) Do you see the black cross in the front centre? Thats her belly button. See the green cross a few cms below that? Thats my belly button. What did I tell you? Long torso.

I prewashed my fabric, both the black and white srtipe and the blue floral for the tiered was-a-muslin dress that i will get back too. No shrinkage or colour running. Good.

 Then happy day, these arrived, and they fit and I'm in love.
They're Fly London and were 70% off.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Drafting, not translating

So I SHOULD be working on a big translation job, but my dress form and this striped fabric have been calling out to me.

So while taking a completely unjustifiable break I did this:
Which is, I think, how one drapes a pattern. (Look at me with my technical terms!)
Its inspired and more than a little based on this pattern but it looked like a good opportunity to try draping and I couldn't wait for the pattern to arrive by post. I feel a little bad though, am i ripping of a indie designer? I'm not selling it, and it wouldn't be any good. Well, if it doesn't work I'll be buying the pattern anyway as it's just so pretty!  I'm thinking vertical stripes, black bias tape neckline and black buttons down the back. I'm even going to muslin. And I'll get back to 50's dress one day. Soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Muslin progress and weekend skirt

So my muslin for the 50's dress is now at this stage:
All done except the zip and buttons. And you know what? I've lost interest. This is still just the muslin, for a dress I am excited about, The final version is inspired by this Prada dress (please excuse picture quality):

In this fabric, which I picked up as a remanant in Milan. I think it was intended as curtaining.

So instead of pushing on with something I was becoming meh about, I made a skirt in a weekend! It would have been a day, but pizza and bread making duties (and some actual paid work) pushed it back again.


I drafted the pattern from my italian drafting book, cut, ironed, and topstitched on Saturday, and on Sunday inserted a zip, hand stitched the waistband facing and hemmed on Sunday! I didn't muslin, I didn't mark seam allowances, I didn't even prewash the fabric (though I'm afraid I'll regret that one in time) it felt so liberating!

The skirt was inspired by the fabric, the first that I'm using from my Ulladulla stash; a 5 kilo collection of vintage, bargain fabrics (my three favourite words!) brought back from Australia. A burn test revealed it to be a cotton, though its very smooth, almost satin. Beautiful print.

The urge to do it quick came because these new shoes are on their way, and I think it'll go brilliantly together for spring.Next up: a back buttoning blouse in this black and white striped cotton. Lovely.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Collar mistakes

 Without thinking I attached the collar of my 50's dress muslin like a shirt collar, trimmed and pressed it.  It didn't look bad, but it isn't the design.

Old me would have come up with a work around rather than unpick it.
 New me unpicked, stay stitched the trimmed edge, and resewed it sandwiched between the shell and facing.

Doesn't it look pretty? Newer me will read the instructions and not get in such a pickle in the first place.

This whole muslin thing is a good new habit, but I can't do all the work just to throw something out.

So see that blue flowery square? Its a vintage crepe(?) that would look dashing as a tiered and scalloped skirt. Don't you think? Those buttons won't do though, so I'm off to dive into the button collection that ate Grassina. 

I don't know where this new perfectionism is coming from, or where it will go. I think blogging  is to blame. I feel beholden to make things well. Heres the big question: Do I really have the patience to make the same dress twice in a row? Or will I throw it all over once I'm past the muslin non muslin?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hi! I started this blog at the end of last year and promptly forgot about it. Not exactly, but I went to Australia for two months and while the internet has reached there, my sewing machine was back here in Italy and the only sewing I've done in 2 months is to hem a pair of jeans, convert other jeans into shorts and trace off a few patterns from some wardrobe staples that were past their best.

But I have been reading blogs and books, and I had an AMAZING trip with my mum to Canberra to see the Ballet Russe costume exhibition. I'll share more about that later this week.

On returning once more to my beloved sewing table, I did something I've been meanng to do for a while, and I'm embarassed to admit has taken me so long to get to.

I measured myself.

Of course now it makes so much sense, to get perfectly fitting clothes is why we sew at home isn't it? But I had just thought myself of standard size, shop bought clothes generally fit, and I generally fit a 10 to 12. So thats what I've been sewing. For years. Out of sheer laziness I never measured myself and have been painstakingly hand making my clothes in the wrong size. So my revelation is...

I have a long torso. Several inches longer than normal.
50's pattern I'm remaking.

So having learnt this, Im now making my first ever muslin, for a dress I have already made and never worn because its the wrong size. This also means my dress form is wrong, so I might get Beppe to do a magic act and saw her in half, I need lower hips.

My first ever muslin, and endangered dress form.
This is good, this is learning. I will try not to think of all the time and fabric I've wasted in the past and instead think of my future of perfectly fitting outfits.