Back with something… New? The sorta camas blouse.

Well, it is a new make. Actually, two new makes, but it’s based off a pattern that I have already made once (okay, okay, I’ve made it twice) and now modified, have made it twice more.

This is actually the second of the two tops that I made. But before I get to the top(s) I want to tell you about work. Well, not really work per say, but I happened to have been at work when I was inspired to make this top. I end up at a lot of networking events for work, which means I get to see a lot of different styles on a lot of different people. For someone like me, it’s certainly one of the perks of the job. So, I was at an event and there was a woman who was wearing a long sleeve top that had a very cool twisted front. This of course sent me down the rabbit hole of trying to mentally take it apart and figure out how it was made. To be honest, I might have missed a bit of the conversation that was happening as I was trying to figure out the construction order… But I covered my tracks well enough (in the conversation) and managed to work out a pattern hack I thought would work.

Enter the Thread Theory Camas Blouse. I made this top a few months ago so I can’t quite remember what I did to modify it, but I think I I just extended the front pieces and removed the neckline trim.

This was a meter of silk that I purchased for a dress but never ended up using, so I stuck this in the washer and dryer (tough love) and cut into it. This is actually the wrong side of the fabric, I wasn’t a big fan of the shine of the right side. As I mentioned, this is top two. The first one (seen below) was made of a polyester in a really great print. I loved it so much I decided I needed it in silk. Well, this silk was a beast to work with and it left me a bit jaded with the top itself. I have worn it a few times, but ended up having to hand sewing the front crossover closed. Ask me how I found out the front cross in a silk was too floaty to stay closed; work function.

This was the first one I sewed – I love it! The weight is just perfect; it’s not clingy or staticy, and the drape sits well with just a small stitch to keep the top closed where I want it to sit. I wear this for work, so I kept the neckline modest, but someone could have a lot of fun with this if wearing a bra wasn’t on your list of “things I need to do”.

Got any good pattern hacks? Spaced out in the middle of a conversation because you were trying just a little bit too hard to determine how to make something? Please tell me I’m not the only one…

A dress of painted gold

Sounds rather extravagant doesn’t it?

Well it is!

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The basic pattern is New Look 6401 with some modifications. I made 2 muslins out of old butter yellow bed sheets, and you can imagine the look on the bride’s face when she tried those beauties on. After two muslins I was ready to cut into the fabrics. The dress has three layers to it; a lining, an underlining and the fashion fabric. It was well worth it to triple layer it as it helped to decrease any showing of bumps or a very attractive undergarment. The seams were sewn and serged. A center back zip was switched out for an invisible side zip and all three layers have machine stitched rolled hems. I really like the way the machine hem made the dress fall as she walked. The fabric wasn’t pre-washed and it was professionally ironed just before wear. That many layers and an old, spitting iron were never going to end in anything happy. I added in blue satin ribbon as stays to keep her undergarment straps in place and used some vintage snaps from my grandmothers stash. I can’t think of a better place for them to have been used.

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Above 2 photos by Danielle Bossert Photography

This amazing fabric was purchased in India and is a base of 100% silk (in a beautiful off white) that was allegedly painted in gold. It may be gold, and it may be paint, but either way it is the type of fabric that’s a pleasure to work with.

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My beautiful girlfriend was married to the man of her dreams a few years ago and I was lucky enough to be a part of the special day, in a small way. After a few unsuccessful dress shopping trips, and a few discussions, I offered to make her wedding dress. She graciously accepted and so the dress came to be.

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They had decided on a 1920’s prohibition themed wedding and they pulled it off in a truly magical way. The photos you see here are not from my typical photographer, but from a few talented women; Miranda of MKDegroot Photography and Danie of Danielle Bossert Photography.

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There’s some photos of the wedding, and some of the dress.

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Hope you all enjoyed the meander!

Silk: worth the wait

I am lucky enough to have good friends that know me well. They know my personality, my disposition, and my complete and total fabric snobbery.

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I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. I use to sit at my Grandma’s machine and sew up all the scraps she had pulled from old garments. It was a machine that had the “pedal” to the right of the knee, not on the floor, thank goodness or I would have had to wait until I was 12 to start sewing!

For many, many years I use to find the least expensive fabrics possible to whip up into clothing. I just wanted to churn out clothes. The fabric I used, the fit or even the type of garment I made really wasn’t important.

A few years back I stumbled into the world of sewing blogs – I was fascinated by them. One of my favourite finds was the blog Sallieoh. I did the normal stalker thing and read through everything I could find on her blog and I came across this post. It completely spoke to me. And it completely changed how I looked at my hobby, my art.

All this to say, I am now firmly rooted in the fabric snob category and I want to love wearing the fabric that I wear.

So, back to my girlfriend; she was on a trip to LA and visited the garment district. She also has a love of fine fabrics (this would be the friend that came for a visit) and spoiled me with 2 cuts of silk and a generous cut of bamboo jersey.

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I have a RTW top that I love to wear and thought would be a fantastic shape to showcase the fabric. Since it was precious fabric, I didn’t want to jump straight to cutting into it. I decided that instead of spending the time pulling a pattern from my perfect fitting top, I would go the easier route and buy a pattern. I hunted around and finally landed on McCall’s 6927. So I grabbed some silk blend stash fabric (purchased at a great price) and got to work. It was a disaster. The head of the shoulder would.not.fit. I ended up taking most of it apart (french seams and all) and re-cutting the sleeve head down.

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Back together it went but it wasn’t quite perfect. Enter fabric number 2. Stash fabric, but again the fit was just off.

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Finally I decided that the best course of action was to pull a pattern from the RTW shirt I loved. Now by this point I was determined to get the fit exactly the way I wanted and was not going to cut into my silk until it was spot on. This time I went to my scrap bin and found some floral poly silky fabric and set to work. The fit was spot on.

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And then it was time, time to cut into the precious yardage and voila.

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Let me tell you, I have nothing but bitty pieces of scraps left of this fabric.

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Have you ever had a vision of a garment in your head that you didn’t give up on? Did it turn out or did you end up with a wadder?