Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wearable wadder...

... if such thing exists! I can't help thinking about this dress as a failure. There are so many things wrong with it that I'm not sure where to start. On the other hand I always get compliments wearing it so it's probably not that bad. I think the issue is that I expect handmade clothes to fit better than bought ones. This dress has fitting issues but if I had bought it in the shop I'd probably be happy with it!
I was actually going to re-fashion it and make it into a top but I put it on and my boyfriend said that it was 'lovely" so I decided to give it another chance. I took it with me to Australia and wore it around Manly in Sydney :) I used 2 meters of pretty rayon bought in Pete's Emporium for $8/m I believe. I used misterious pattern for the top and somehow it ended a size or two too big. Neckline is gaping :/ I finished it and the armholes with bias tape made with the same fabric. I put side zipper in but I could have skipped this - the dress is loose enough. Bottom is made with 2 gathered rectangles.

I really dislike unpicking clothes and fixing them so I think I'll leave this one the way it is for now. It is wearable, the fitting issues bother me but no one else commented on them. And this dress looks good with black tights and warm cardigans so I can wear it through the year :)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Lazy summer dress

This dress will be perfect for hot summer days once we get nice weather here in Wellington. At the moment it seems that summer got lost on its way...

But anyway, I wasn't even sure if I should show it here. It's one of the easiest dresses I made and the whole process took under 2 hours and most of that time was pinning the fabric and attaching bias tape. I didn't even take proper blog photos so I have a compilation of holiday photos. I used stripey cotton eyelet fabric bought for couple of dollars at the Fabric Warehouse pop up store. I still have over a meter of it and I think I will make a top or two. 
I used one of my t-shirts to make this dress - I just made it longer. I added thick elastic that sits just a bit higher than my natural waist. This fabric doesn't fray and since it is not going to be worn in any official occasions, I didn't bother hemming it at all. I just added bias tape to finish the neckline. Somehow my neckline was very wide and bias tape helped with making it right. I wouldn't mind the dress being a tad longer but it is still wearable. There is some pulling in the armpits/upper chest that you can see on the photos. Dress is still very comfortable to wear and it was great for hot Aussie weather :)

With my cossowary friend.
And yes, I'm wearing a hip bag which is a fashion crime but it is also very handy while sight-seeing :)

Look, the stripes on my shoulder seams are matching!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Flowery floatness with photo overload

In my last post I mentioned that I made another dress for my friends' wedding. I usually like to have a back-up dress cos things happen... This time I was more worried about the weather - the wedding was in Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia and I could expect anything between 25C - 40C! My first idea was to make a maxi dress but none of the patterns I have was right. Besides I don't  like maxi dresses. I like the idea of them but I don't really wear  them ;) 

Then I came across Burda 8/2014 and dress number 116 with open back and high-low skirt. It was also a perfect match for pink flowery rayon (viscose) I bought at the Fabric Warehouse a few weeks earlier. The dress in theory should be an easy make and it would be if it wasn't for the fabric I chose and stupid mistake I made.

Long story short after I made a muslin I decided I needed to deal with gaping neckline and somehow managed to take out too much so the top was really, really tight. If I was non-breathing vampire it could work ;) Also using the same rayon for lining almost drove me crazy!!! Not to mention cutting the fabric itself. Anyway I had to recut the top and use different fabric for lining. The only semi-suitable thing I had was some synthetic stripy something from my stash. It worked really nicely and I finally decipher what that wooden spoon method from Burda is!

Changes? I lowered the neckline by 3-4 cm and adjusted it so there was no gaping. Instead of using facing for the drawstring casing I used white satin bias tape as cutting thin piece from rayon was a nightmare.
After all I love this dress! I love the colours and the shape. I love how full the back skirt is. It was very comfortable to wear and dance for hours! I will be wearing it for various occasions this summer!

The photos were taken on the Pier in Urangan. My friends'wedding took place on the beach just near there. After they went to take photos me and my partner decided to take a stroll. The pier is really long but it provided nice background for blog photos ;) As you can see it was quite windy and I had to keep an eye on my hat and my dress to avoid Marilyn Monroe moment.

And a bonus:

Also I got a big surprise today. I was mentioned by Rhonda in the Wednesday Showcase on Rhonda's Creative Life blog :) Thank you!!!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Feeling blue

Blue is one of my favourite colors. I like most of its shades but royal blue is undoubtedly the winner! I snapped 2 meters of this cotton fabric at the Fabric Warehouse sale for $3/m with no plans for it - I simply liked the color. Then I got invited to friends' wedding and "had" to make myself a new dress. This model (109 Burda 5/2014) caught my attention straight away. I was a bit afraid that huge cleavage could be risky with my built but if I don't try I'll never know, right?

The dress itself was easy to make (and I skipped the pockets which definitely helped). It wouldn't take much time if I hadn't make some stupid mistake and had to spend some time finding a solution to my problem. I didn't want to line my dress as the wedding was taking place in November in Australia which meant it would be hot or very hot. I was also to lazy to make facings. I used bias tape to finish the neckline but it was a bad choice - it wasn't stretchy enough and it was too thick for curved lines and looked terrible. It didn't stop me from trimming my seam allowances... stupid, stupid, stupid! I had to trim and clip that bias tape and then find a way to cover my mess. I came across ric-rac and hand-stitched it to finish the edge. Not the most beautiful solution but I made the best out of a bad mistake.
I made no changes to the construction. I have two issues with my dress - the neckline is quite wide and it slips off my shoulders sometimes. I'm planning on attaching a ribbon on the back to hold it in place. The other issue is the side look... I'm not sure if that's only my shape that makes it look bad or there is something I can do to make it look better. 

Contrary to my plans I didn't actually wear it for that wedding. I made another dress that I decided was more suitable for the occasion and the weather. I will blog it soon :) 

I really like this dress. I like the cleavage that let me show off my assets without being vulgar. The tulip bottom nicely balances the top and I like it's shape. I will most likely use the top and bottom parts again in different projects. I think the top part with circle bottom would look great! 
The dress is all wrinkled but I was too lazy to iron it just for 5 minutes of taking photos... Also who the hell irons things on holiday, right?

I think that lining the dress would fix the problem in the back but would add another layer of fabric that I wanted to avoid. If it's not lack-of-lining problem then I guess it's a bit too small across the back and needs extra 1-2 cm. On the other hand I only noticed it on the photos so it might be less obvious in real life.

I'm not pregnant!!!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Piggy bag aka instant gratification project

I'm not the biggest fan of sewing tote bags. They are easy and practical but there is not much fun in making them. This one was started last year when I cut the fabric, sew almost everything together and then left it in the darkest corner of my sewing corner. Two weeks ago, just before going on holiday I realized that I really needed a tote bag. Finishing the project took me 10 min (!) and it was perfect for countless hours of walking in Sydney - it held 2 little bottles of water, tube of sunscreen and all my souvenir shopping ;)
I bought this piggy canvas in Spotlight ages ago. I just love that print! The fabric is quite sturdy so I wasn't afraid to pack BBQ supplies (including bottles of cider & beer) in there. The only think that I hadn't thought much of were white stripes - not ideal as they get dirty very quickly... Hopefully washing machine will fix that problem. Construction of the bag is very simple, even the pocket is very easy and fast to make. Last year I made several bags just like this one and I believe it takes around 30-40 min for one be made - including cutting the fabric! Perfect instant gratification project!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pink snake

When I saw this piece of fabric in the op-shop I had no idea what to make with it but I bought it anyway. It is slightly stretchy satin in snake skin print and it is PINK (I love pink!) At some stage I wanted to use it to line a jacket but changed my mind before cutting anything. A few weeks ago I went to my stash hoping to find a match for top 115 from Burda 6/2014 and decided to give it a go.

The results are ok. Not great, not amazing but ok. I made no changes to the pattern. It is a very easy make and it doesn't  take long - perfect instant gratification project. I should have used different fabric though...  I'll definitely make it again but in thinner and drapier fabric - it will look better. I will probably add 1-2 cm to the back piece as the back is a bit wrinkly. On the other hand it might be just the photo/pose thing. I was struggling with taking photos using timer and fighting with battery that was almost flat. Probably pulling it down on the back would solve the problem - I should have looked in the mirror first ;) Anyway here it is:

Monday, 27 October 2014

Everyday dresses

I'm not sure if those dresses are good enough for the first post here but on the other hand they are also the most worn items I made myself. Dress 106 from Burda 5/2014 is very simple - 3 pattern pieces, 4 elements to put together. It takes about an hour to make this dress - unless you cut your pieces in wrong way and have to re-cut them ;)

First dress is made of cotton jersey bought in Spotlight - I fell in love with navy and pink peacock-like pattern. I originally bought it for some kind of wrap dress but changed my mind. The cleavage in this dress is very wide and deep - i took at least 6 cm off the width of the front piece and it is still not right. It also tends to move a bit exposing bra straps. I kept the original length of the dress - it is longer on my then on the model in the magazine but I prefer that length.

Photos are not amazing, I know. I had to take them myself and most of them ended blurry and terrible. Next time I will just wait for my partner to play a photographer ;)

My second dress is made of some sort of stretchy double-layered fabric bought during The Fabric Warehouse sale. It is so soft and nice in touch that I couldn't say no to it. I omitted gathering on the main front piece this time and cut out a wedge to make the cleavage more shallow. I also made this dress shorter and some days I think it's a bit too short. The length of the sleeves is due to my silly mistake - I cut out the first piece in a way that it stretched lengthwise not widthwise... I didn't want to waste the fabric so I cut the sleeves out of that piece.

The true color is shown on the photo above but this one shows the texture of the fabric better. It has lacy top layer and knit bottom one. I used french seams to make this dress - it was my first time doing it and it wasn't the best decision as this fabric is not thin enough for that. Anyway, I learnt something new making that one :)

And here are my dresses just hanging out :)

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Let me introduce myself: my name is Marta and this is my first post on my new blog! There are some things you should know about me:

  • I'm Polish and I moved to Wellington, New Zealand a few years ago. Never regretted my decision!
  • English is my second language so I expect there will be some spelling or grammar errors (hopefully not too many!)
  • I've been blogging in Polish for about 2 years now. At first about scrapbooking and making cards and then about jewelry. 
  • I don't like bilingual blog posts and I lack the skills to create button that changes the language of the entire blog, hence I thought about starting this one
  • In 2013 I received a sewing machine for my birthday- one of the best gifts ever! My baby is Janome DC 2050 
  • I don't have much experience sewing, I'm self learner but so far I've made several wearable clothes I'm happy about. 
  • One of the reasons I want to make my own clothes is my body shape - RTW clothes rarely fit me properly. I always thought there was something wrong with me but some time ago I realized the problem lies in the clothes!
  • Why Silly Billy Sewing? Despite Urban Dictionary' definition I am not a mountain goat with down syndrome (WTF?!) It's just what my better other half is often calling me and it seem like a good name for a blog.
I think I've got basics covered. Thanks for visiting!