Subtle Star Wars geekery

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20170111_194745Happy New Year! I can’t seem to move on from #9 on my holiday to-do list. So whaddya know, I made another bag. In truth, I have sewn some other stuff but I’m stuck in my holiday casual gear and really can’t be bothered photographing it yet.  Plus I should have been finished with the silk dress but it was a disaster – not sewing wise, that was fine, but the dress was so utterly unflattering the 17yo fashionista fell about laughing when I put it on. I think I’ll cut it up and do something else with it eventually.

But the bag… I picked up some beautiful wool suiting fabric at The Salvos for $6. I  don’t wear suits, my work office is not that formal, but I had an idea for a bag.  It was the week Carrie Fisher died so it seemed a fitting tribute to pair the conservative wool, with some lairy Star Wars fabric as the piping and lining. When my big girls were little I used to do a lot of smocked dresses, which would have mini piping along the collars and bodice, and I enjoyed doing a bit of piping again, it gives such a lovely finish. Ferreting around and using what you’ve got on hand is a bit of a motto around here, although I think it’s really code for ‘too impatient to wait’, so the back piping has a bit of string off a parcel down the middle of it, and the front piping has a bit of red twine I found in my partner-in-crime’s modelling room.

The previous bag I made is a big hit and just proved it’s usefulness on a weekend  trip to Sydney. However the one thing it doesn’t have is a proper phone pocket so I’ve remedied that this time. It’s really annoying not having somewhere in a larger bag to easily access my phone and I’ve been using the zip pocket in the other bag, which means I can’t keep it zipped up with important stuff like lipstick and train tickets! This bag has three zipped pockets and a phone pouch. Not sure why but I really love doing these little zip pockets on bags. I do them by sewing a long skinny rectangle with the outside and pocket lining fabrics right sides together, cutting up the middle of the rectangle, sniping into the corners, and turning the lining through to the inside. Then I just sew the zip into the already lined space.  They’re so neat and nifty and I’m using up some of the heaps of zips I’ve thrifted. The one thing I haven’t got right yet is the interfacing. I bought some super heavy interfacing for this bag, but when I went to use it I realised it was going to be too heavy, so since I was sewing in the middle of the night as usual and not about to wait for the next day to get more interfacing, I just used the light stuff I had on hand. It’s fine, and means it’s nice and light to carry, but the bag is floppier than a similar store bought one would probably be. The strap is off a bag of Laura’s which she was gifted and didn’t like. I feel like a bit of a fraud using ready-made straps on my bags but they do give them a professional look.

And just because, here’s a naughty cat who tipped over Laura’s paint water earlier and was discovered wearing the green paint evidence on his paw! Lucky he’s cute and we love him

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Shop and Sew Bicycles

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Yes, all three at once – a vintage pattern, sewn up in the cutest bicycle print fabric from Spoonflower! Our work end of year ball was last night and this year the theme was sport. Lots of our staff like to do fancy dress but I didn’t want to come in sports gear, I wanted a pretty dress, so I hit on the notion of showing my sport via the fabric. It was down to the wire with the fabric only arriving on Monday (it took a whole month to find its way from the US this time, I think carrier pigeon would been faster but at least it did arrive). So I sewed all evening on Tuesday and Wednesday leaving Thursday late night for the shoe shopping and just got there.

The pattern is a 1960s dress and I’ve sewn view B. My waist isn’t as nipped in as the 1960s sirens on the pattern envelope so I cheated a few extra cms by tilting the pattern pieces at the centre front and back, with the added benefit of narrowing the skirt a little at the hem which I like. I also added an extra couple of cm at the side seams of the top and skirt, but took the bodice in a cm under each arm. I needed to slope the shoulders a little more that the pattern to get the back to sit properly and was ridiculously pleased with myself that I remembered to then take a little dart out of the collar pattern piece to slope it the same amount. I took about 20cm off the length which would otherwise have been much longer than it looks on the pattern (and I’m not short).  The back bodice is supposed to gather onto the skirt (the one bit of the design I wasn’t too keen on), so I hoped I could do darts instead. For various reasons I ended up doing two darts, plus still doing some gathering which seems to have worked well. The back is pouching slightly which I think indicates it’s slightly too long in the back, but never mind it’s otherwise all good.

I really love the collar, and the way it just covers my 45 year old mum arms while still being sleeveless! A lot of effort went into getting it to sit perfectly – trimming about 3mm off the under collar and carefully understitching so that the outer collar piece ended up a tiny bit larger and would curve nicely over the lining. I’m a bit worried I’ve clipped the notches on the collar too far and that they’ll fray, but they wouldn’t turn out nicely until I did. I intended to full line the bodice as I love the neatness this gives, but it made the back too heavy for the gathering, so I’ve ended up trimming the fabric off to turn it back into a facing. Not so neat, but it worked nicely. I’ll just have to put up with the visible seams on the inside! All in all I am super happy with this. It will be good for work on days I need to look schmick, and I’ll keep looking for the perfect shoes. These are ok but I’m imagining a cute pair of red or indigo mary janes would be perfection. And don’t you love my necklace! – From this wonderful Etsy seller.

Having only got back into blogging in the last couple of months I’m very late to the vintage pledge party, but better late than never – I’ve added the button to my blog. This is my second vintage pattern of the year but first with the button. I will hopefully get in a couple more before the end of December and can join in properly next year!