I got the stitches out of my leg this morning and the results of the test on the mole - thank goodness the mole is a non-cancerous one but it is one that could have turned nasty quite easily so it was a good thing to have it taken out. And I'm really surprised that stitches don't actually hurt when being taken out!! Who knew? Now I just have these little white strips that hold the wound together and I have to leave them on for no less than 10 days!!
The dress I'm wearing I've actually had for a while now but never got round to wearing (basically because I had to sew all the buttons back into place again because they were so loose 2 fell off when I was trying it on!!). Its actually a Principals dress and when it was in the stores cost around $100 each, I had initially tried it on and decided against getting it because of the price. But it was meant to be mine because I found my exact size for all of $25!! And its such a beautiful fit, very comfy and I love the colours :)
Right, on to the 'How To' s that I promised. Now, I did get carried away and tended not to photograph the end of the making so I'm sorry - but the basic premise for each piece (the pencil skirt and the halter top) is there in pictures!! Also, please note that these are patterns I have designed and made up myself - and while they are not overly complicated, if you do decide to use them please let me know :) Just good manners!!
I don't profess to be the sewing queen (far from it in fact!!) but there are always a few things one should invest in before deciding to start sewing:
1) A decent pair of fabric scissors. These MUST NOT be used to cut anything but fabric - no paper, plastic or pruning with these babies because they will blunt and ruin the scissors. If you live with some one else don't leave them lying around because they are bound to be used (scissors are always one of those things that go walkies!!) and if you do leave them, anyone caught using them for anything other than fabric are punishable by death (make sure they know this before hand though!).
2) A quick unpick. This is something you'll get angry about if you don't have it when you need it, a must for unpicking those pesky mistakes.
3) An iron. I know, I don't iron ANYTHING unless it absolutely needs it, but when it comes to sewing I tend to iron at every step especially when I'm making something without a pattern. Ironing in hems, darts and zips makes the sewing process so much easier (and you'll see from the pics that I don't own a ironing board, but a towel on top of a flat surface does just fine!!)
The 1940's Halter Neck:
1 - I basically cut a decent sized square out of fabric for the back and ironed it. I then proceeded to put the zip in.
2 - Cut fabric in half, iron over about 2cm fabric
3 - Place your zip and mark where it ends. Pin the bottom of the fabric together and sew up until you hit where the end of your zip will go.
4 - Its up to you how you place your zip, you may want it completely in the middle or to the side. I prefer mine slightly to the side (Sorry, this pic annoyingly wouldn't load. I'll put it in when I can).
5 - Sew in the zip using your zipper foot. If your machine didn't come with a zipper foot (it should have, its a basic foot) then you will need to buy one or you will struggle to get a nice straight line close to the zip and you'll probably end up not even sewing the zip in because you'll be too far away from it.
5 - After that I cut a similar sized piece of fabric, pinned them to Madeline and started shaping the back and the front.
Here I stopped taking photos sorry, but I sewed in all the darts and the back and front together. I also sewed in the hems along the top and the bottom, I measured how long I wanted the neck strap to be, cut it, sewed it along the edge and folded it out the right way. I ironed it then pinned the ends in and sewed them. Hey Presto - halter top made!!
Basic Pencil Skirt:
1 - I always make the waist band first - I don't really know why, I just do :) So measure your waist and cut a strip of fabric with at least 1cm extra on each side. Also make sure the width is big enough to fold in half and be the size waist band you want (you can have any size you like!!). Sew up each side, cut the excess fabric from the corners so that it folds over nicely and gives you a good point.
2 - Cut two big strips of fabric - make them long enough and big enough to fit around you and so that you get the length you want. You may want to get a skirt you know already fits you and cut around that (much bigger though because you need to sew the pieces together and shape the skirt which actually takes more fabric than you may think!!). And having more fabric to play with is much better than having less :)
3 - Take the back piece and place the zip like the halter neck. Sew in etc...
4 - this is where a dress makers form comes in handy (yay for Madeline!!). Place the two pieces of fabric on to the form and start shaping. Adding two darts into the front and two into the back.
At this point I got carried away and stopped taking pictures but I sewed in the darts and the sides, pinned in the waist band and sewed that in and the hemmed it (it originally was going to be shorter but I liked the longer length, I have enough fabric to make a shorter version though!). I then hand sewed hooks into the waist band at the back to fasten that together, you can use whatever fastener you like though :)
Phew, that was long!! If I've confused you in any way I'm deeply sorry. This is one of the longest posts I've done and need a break from staring at the computer. If you do have any questions please comment or flick me an email, I'll gladly answer all queries :) Once again, apologies for any bad explaining - it so much easier to explain it in person but at least you have photos - goodness knows you would not have been able to follow them without the pictures!!
Have a great day,