Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A wedding dress practice skirt

I'm making a wedding dress for my friend D (I'm also one of her brides' maids, and making the bridesmaid's dresses). D's wedding is about 6 months away, but she is starting to work on her wedding dance. Skirts make dancing interesting, especially if you're not used to dancing in them. So, a practice skirt is necessary. The difficulty we face is that she lives in Perth, I live in Canberra, and the other bridesmaid lives in New Zealand.

Clearly, toiles are going to be my friend.

The other thing is the guy who is helping them choreograph their wedding dance lives in Canberra. I also dance the style of dance, so seems I needed a practice skirt as well.

D's practice skirt is made from a thin satin, lined with a heavy calico. I put in a self-cover button pick up at the back, to allow her to dance. Trains and dancing do not get along.

D's Practice Skirt - Back

D's Practice Skirt - Side

D's Practice Skirt - Front

D's Practice Skirt - Side

D's Practice Skirt - Back with pickup

D's Practice Skirt - Side with pickup

My version of the dress is a slightly thicker satin, again lined with heavy calico.

My Practice Skirt - Side Front

My Practice Skirt - Side Back

My Practice Skirt - Back

Monday, May 21, 2012

My style Heartland

I don't like modern fashions. None of the colour palettes for the last few years have worked for me, most of the silhouettes for that time are unflattering to me or make me feel uncomfortable. All of this amounts to having bought very few items of ready-made-clothing in the last few years. I do buy things, but not often. And, thinking about it, mostly staples like t shirts and cardigans that are (less) influenced by the current fashion trends.

I look through clothing catalogues, blogs, pinterest, online sources, and I pin the things I like. If you're interested, this is my style pinboard on pinterest. I know the kinds of things I like to sew, and that I tend to wear. And I recently looked at all of this in relation to each other, and came to one conclusion.

My style heartland is 1950s, full skirted, party dresses.

They are just so gorgeous - feminine, fun, and flattering. They allow me to hide my hips (which I have never really liked showing off), and flatter my figure. I know that there are all sorts of feminist readings of the 1950s dresses, but in a modern sense, I just love them. I don't think in a modern context, those feminist readings have quite the same meaning. If it was totally realistic for my lifestyle, I think I'd probably wear them every day. Sadly, it doesn't.

But, here are some I've pinned recently that I love.

And yes, some of these are modern, but they have that same feel. And oh, the gorgeousness.

An update

So, it's been a while. Like, a long, long time since I've posted (okay, 6 months isn't a long long time perhaps, but it feels like it.) I have been sewing, but I wanted to post things in the order that I sewed them, and I hadn't taken photos of everything. But, now I have, and 6 months have passed, and I am just going to have a longish update post, which will kinda sum up the last few months.

So, the thing that was holding this whole thing up was the jacket I sewed for my class last year. It's a pinstriped jacket. I love it, and I feel like I am going to run away to the circus every time I put it on.

DSCF4828 Run Away To the Circus Jacket Run Away To the Circus Jacket Run Away To the Circus Jacket Run Away To the Circus Jacket 

 Isn't it cute? I had such difficulties with matching the stripes - of course, I had to make it difficult for myself and have the stripes on the bias meeting at the centre back. But, I'm super pleased with the results.

In January, I sewed a bunch of things, many of them still un photographed. This top is a dusky pink satin, and is the same pattern as my red day after dress. I wore it to my friend's Australia Day party, and it is quite comfy, but doesn't really fit in with the rest of my wardrobe, so I haven't worn it since. It does work with the necklace, which was the point.

Dusky pink satin top Dusky pink satin top

In February, I made this dress for my aunt's 50th birthday party.

Duro Dress DSCF4747 DSCF4748 DSCF4755

 I sewed other stuff between February and May, but I haven't photographed it. And really, it can stay unphotographed. (At least for the time being).

I started a millinery course as part of my studies. The first thing we made (and the only thing I've photographed so far) was fascinators. I made three - two remain unphotographed - and I love the third.


For one of my classes, we had to design a collection, and I based it around my jacket. And titled the collection, funnily enough, 'run away to the circus.'

My collection sketches:

Run away to the circus Run away to the circus
And my finished garments:
Run away to the circus Run away to the circus Run away to the circus Run away to the circus Run away to the circus large flower details concave buttons large flower details concave buttons
I love the button details - I agonised over the buttons, and finally decided on those ones. They needed to be that big to work, and I love the detailing of them.
Coincidentally, the shorts and jacket go very well with the corset and undertop I made for my moulin rouge outfit - the red of the satin is almost exactly the same as the red from the jacket lining, and the pinstripes.
Run away to the circus

And that's me, basically up to date now.