Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Afternoon Blouse

Thanks so much for all of your comments on my plaid dress - it's quite reassuring to know that we all seem to be in the same boat when it comes to sewing with plaid. We love the outcome, but it's a long hard slog to get there!

Let's talk about this blouse that I've named 'The Afternoon Blouse'.

29 Jan 2013 4

29 Jan 2013 7


I have to honest, I've always been a bit envious of those that seem to be able to whip up garments in a day (or a matter of hours!). I've never been able to do that. I could probably whip up a circle skirt relatively quickly in a day if I wanted to (or desperately needed to), but because I like to take regular breaks and my time is limited, my garments are usually made up over a few sewing sessions.

Having said that, I was really quite proud of myself when I made this blouse from start to finish on Boxing day afternoon last year. This is number 2 on my sewing list now complete.

Pattern 9

29 Jan 2013 3


29 Jan 2013 2

The blouse was really very simple and quick to make up. I made a number of changes in the pattern, the major one of which involved taking out quite a lot of fullness from the bust area before tracing my pattern ready to use and drafting a longer (and more shapely) waist/hip design.

You can't really tell because of the fabric, but the little front button detail is very sweet and makes the blouse look a tad more difficult that it actually is.  In fact, my button isn't actually even a working button (though the pattern does call for an actual button hole in the instructions). The small v-neck is just big enough to make this a 'pull over' blouse with no zips or closures.

I plan to make a few more of these in plain fabrics so that the front button detailing is more of a feature. The circle skirt is one I made last year.

I'm really interested to know how all of you like to sew - is it short sharp bursts like myself or do you prefer to complete your projects in one go?

XX
Jen

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mad at the Plaid...

I made it through my first week back at work barely, but I made it! It's also been incredibly hot this week, we've been faced with 41 degree heat in Sydney (that's 105.8 farenheit) and there have been major fires across Australia, especially inland where it's been even hotter. It's much cooler today which is a relief (the cats are also much happier) and David comes back from the USA tomorrow (he has been at conferences and academic-y things for the past 10 days) so hopefully the coming week will be a little more bearable.

Enough complaining, let's talk about the dress!

13 Jan 2013 6


13 Jan 2013 3

I worked on this dress in stops and starts for a few weeks towards the end of last year. We were quite busy during those weekends celebrating things like 30th Birthdays and 2nd Wedding Anniversaries.

I love plaid/tartan but completely understand why I don't often sew with it - it makes me mad. Getting everthing to match and line up is time consuming and, let's be honest, a real pain in the bum! It also doesn't help when the plaid I'm using is rectangular as opposed to square, but that's what you get when using fabric from your stash that you thrifted years ago for about $4. You can't have it all.


13 Jan 2013 2

Untitled

13 Jan 2013 5
Wow! I got the back to line up!!

13 Jan 2013 7

13 Jan 2013 4

I have to admit though, that despite the time consuming nature of the fabric, I am quite chuffed with how it turned out. Especially where the shoulder straps line up with the bodice. I think it's also a lovely detail the way the plaid in the straps is angled before coming into a nice matching line down the bodice front.

I'm not as pleased with the bias waist band though and really should have tried harder to make sure I started with the point of a rectangle in the centre top as opposed to the middle of one. I didn't really have enough fabric to recut the waist band but the print itself, luckily, is busy enough to compensate for that. You live and learn. 

Overall I really liked the pattern. I was worried about the bodice fabric bulging out the side of my arm pit because there are no side bust darts in this dress, but it sits really nicely. The bodice is fully lined with the same plaid fabric and the waist band is underlined with a plain white cotton (which I highly recommend if you are cutting this on the bias - it gives the fabric more stability.)

Overall I really love this dress. I wish I could have made the skirt a bit fuller but there just wasn't enough fabric, I added as many pleats in the skirt as I could!

I think it's going to be a great transitional piece as we head into autumn this year, and it works well as a summer dress that's more work appropriate. I can now tick number 3 off my sewing list!

Pattern 10

Do you use plaids in your sewing often? I'd love to hear any tips you have for making it less 'a pain in the bum' if you have them!

XX
Jen

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Sewing Year in Review...

Thanks so much for all of your comments on the new blog look!

I've spent the past few days working on Etsy shop items and watching (and finishing in 2 days...) season three of Downton Abbey. I'm pretty sure the shop will be up and running at the end of January and I can't wait to get back to it again. It will feature embroidery and 40s inspired design and that's all I'll say :)

I'm dreading heading back to work tomorrow, I've made so much progress on three new sewing projects (including 2 from my list) during the past 2 weeks. It will be sad to break my sewing routine and struggle to find the time to do it again (as always). So in light of the sewing projects ahead in 2013, I thought it would be fun to do a 2012 Sewing in Review. I sewed much more towards the end of the year after coming back from Europe feeling refreshed and ready to tackle my sewing machine again (and perhaps use some of the pile of fabric I bought back from Paris).

The last two items I haven't yet managed to get up on the blog yet, but I'll be posting them soon!

January:

19th Jan 2012 3



Black floral circle skirt made from vintage cotton.

February:

26th Feb 2012 7


Floral v neck dress with added pleats.

May:

20th May 2012 2


Colette Patterns Jasmine Blouse and blue circle skirt.

June:

19th June 2012 2


Grey circle skirt.

September:

3


Blush pink wool 60s a line skirt with added belt tabs and buttons.

October:

23 Oct 2012 5


Floral v neck dress with added waist band - number 5 on my sewing list.

November:

16 Nov 2012 1


Red circle skirt.

December:


Plaid 50's dress with added pleat detail - number 3 on my sewing list. Blog post coming.


50s floral blouse - number 2 on my sewing list. Blog post coming.



So that was my sewing year in review, not too bad in my opinion (though not as good as some of you!!).  It was certainly the year of the circle skirt for me and I've just begun making a black one (I can't believe I've gone this long without a black circle skirt...).

The one really great thing I can take away from my sewing last year is that almost all of these items have become things I wear regularly. It's always nice to know that I wear the things I make!

xx
Jen


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Look for a New Year...

Happy happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great time saying good bye to 2012 and hello to 2013. We had a lovely relaxing evening with friends at our place before wandering down the road to watch the fireworks off the Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight. A glass of champagne, a bit of cleaning up and then to bed.

I also hope everyone was spoilt on Christmas day. We spent it eating and watching movies while I got started on making items for my Etsy shop which I plan to reopen at the end of the month (!!).

I'll be posting a little 2012 Sewing Review in the next few days but first wanted to announce my blog make over and name change (as some of you have noticed already!). It's something I've really been meaning to do for a very long time now but just hadn't gotten around to it.


I've updated my name from Pretty Little Pictures to Jennifer Lauren Vintage and updated my web address to www.jenniferlaurenvintage.com. You will still be redirected through to my new address from my old one though (www.the-paperdoll.blogspot.com).

I'm still working on some of the stand alone pages but in the next few weeks I'll hopefully put a Tutorials page and a Sewing List page up as well (having my to do list posted has been great in helping me to stay focussed on current projects rather than get swept up in the anticipation of new projects).

And speaking of Pages, I'm planning a whole new Links page too. Some of the links I currently have are really out of date, so if you have any suggestions of blogs to read (or think your own might fit nicely in my links section) just let me know in the comments.

I have to say a huge thanks to Tasha for the design, she was amazing with my endless questions and really made the whole thing go so smoothly. If you need anything done design wise for your blog (Blogger or Wordpress) give her a shout!

Again, Happy New Year lovely people!  I hope the year holds everything you are wishing for and more...

xx
Jen