Monday, December 13, 2010

Two more projects finished

I feel a bit of a cheat on this post… it’s not like I’ve made a dress from scratch or anything… but finished is finished and so here’s the proof.

Project one - I was given a short dress by my ex’s sister, who acquired it from the drama department of the school she works at. A beautiful electric blue with black blobs that look almost like poppies. Someone – for drama purposes – had shortened the dress to above knee length and chopped off whatever they took up, so there was no going back there… and damnit, I dislike showing my knees. Anyway, bygones… moving on. All the dress needed in order to be wearable was to be taken in on the sides a little in the waist area – but that has taken me about two years.

Ta dah though… it’s finished! Now I just need to get a little musty smell out of it and being silk I’ll need to go to the interwebs for some advice… unless any of you have some for me. There’s a musty smell and also a little B.O. which arose in a stenchy cloud when I pressed open the new side seams. I’m just hoping that ironing hasn’t entombed the smell forever.

Enough chat – here’s the dress. And my gorgeous gas meter.


Jealous? Don’t be, the gas meter came with the house, I was just lucky…

Project 2 – this one is embarrassing in it’s tiny proportions and disproportionate amount of time it took to finish. Conservative estimates and carbon dating put this at around the 2 year mark. How embarrassment!!


Yep. Not even 10cm across. Shameful. When I lose the vibe, I really lose the vibe. It’s staggered me how many unfinished projects I have laying about the place. Just today I pulled out a gorgeous 1948 Vogue reissue that I cut out of some glorious light blue/grey satin-backed crepe about four years ago… and that’s as far as that went. The pattern tissue is still attached to the material. I’m not even sure I’ll still fit into it now. :0)

Oh, there was another thing that I sewed this week. Another long in the tooth project that I rescued and actually used.

The swing dance school that I go to had their Christmas party on Friday night and the theme was Christmas movies… anything you like from a movie about Christmas. Being contrary and having the right clothes in the wardrobe meant that I changed the theme to TV and went as Miss December 1962, Stirling Cooper – Mad Men for the non-watchers.

I had made a red dress a couple of years ago from a McCalls 8-in-1 pattern but I hadn’t worn it. Couldn’t figure out why as when I tried it on last week it looked OK… until I turned around and remembered, ‘oh yeah, this is the dress that gives you a tail.’


The damned back zipper ends right at the spot on your butt where the end of it sticks out and gives you a weird mutant tail bump. I tried a couple of fixes including shortening the zip, but I didn’t have a lot of room to move before shortening it meant I wouldn’t be able to get into it so it is still tailesque. However, much to my surprise I was at the point of ‘I don’t care’ which doesn’t happen often with my sewing. I’ll usually worry at it until it’s better or ball it up and piff it away.

So, I took out some white fake fur, sewed it around the bottom hem, then made a little scarfy tube that I draped around the front of my neck and dangled over the back. I was going to sew that on as well, but I found I really didn’t need to – it stayed put fairly well and then the ends could just drape over the back and goodness knows I love a bit of drape.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out – I think I could have gone with more lift in the hair – and I also found that I don’t want to make sewing with fake fur a habit. I swear it looked like I’d killed a chicken by the time I’d finished… white fluff everywhere. Turns out a vacuum cleaner is your friend when sewing with fake fur… but whatever you do, not matter how tempting you might find it… do not ever vacuum your clothes whilst wearing them, especially not a Dyson vacuum cleaner. They take no prisoners and will give you a hickey right through your clothes. :0)


Mad Men and the cheekiest Santa’s helper named Elise ever…


  1. I love the red dress and what a great fix! The embroidery is beautiful! And it just takes forever--no matter what the size. I started something for my Dad last father's day and well, um, still working on it. Maybe for his birthday in January but if not then next Father's day! At least you finished it and it's beautiful!!!!

  2. I love the blue dress - but I don't have any idea how to remove the odours....
    And the Christmas party look is fab!

  3. Thanks ladies.
    Debi, I'm embarrassed you've even seen my teeny bit of embroidery after having seen your magnificent piece. Especially those pesky french knots. It's been so long since I did them that I used your guide to do mine actually - so a big thank you! :0)

  4. I hate that zipper tail issue as well. I usually deal with it by just replacing the zip with buttons. A bit more work, but once you get the hang of them, not much work at all. They always sit perfectly, and are actually a lot more flexible when you're moving about - each button moves individually rather than as part of one long join.