Sunday, 3 November 2013

Simplicity 1609 - Vintage 60's Jiffy Dress

I first spotted this pattern when I was perusing the Simplicity website early in the year and admired the vintage/retro appeal, the different neck options, and of course the fact it only has 2 main pattern pieces. Alas, however in Australia we don't receive the patterns until 6 months after they are released in the US (to match in with the seasons).
So I was delighted to finally buy it when I saw it in my local Spotlight.
This is a reprint of an actual 1960's "Jiffy" pattern. Jiffy because it's ideally supposed to come together in a jiffy! With only 2 main pieces (cut out on the fold so you end up with 4) and a one-piece facing (THIS WAS EPIC!). Then you can choose your neck detail, scalloped Peter Pan collar, bow or plain. The collar was what had originally caught my eye so I decided to go for that - plus I hadn't done a collar before so was keen for the challenge.
Supplies ^

I chose to make this out of Cotton Sateen - I love the feel, the sheen, the slight stretch and what a dream it is to sew with. (I DON'T however like how easily it wrinkles!!!!!!)
I chose a colour labeled seafoam green - I was originally going to do Fuschia and white but have been starting a lot of pinky projects lately so thought I'd try something different. I liked the green on the pattern envelope - yet I wouldn't be able to pull it off. The seafoam with it's more teal colour seemed like a happy compromise. I purchased white cotton sateen for the collar and was lucky enough to find a zip that damn near matched my dress fabric (although named peacock green) I then selected some buttons to match - they are little flowers with a rhinestone centre. I chose them because I liked that they complimented the scalloped style collar and the rhinestones added a bit of bling.
I have a tendency to get caught up in the sewing process and forget to take photos of some stages - So I'll try to paint a word picture for those times when a photo is omitted.
This was during the cutting out process of the pattern. I always use my floor for a more thorough overview. I cut a size 16 as I had read reviews saying that it's a traditional 60's fit that runs small and I wanted to be on the safe side. I had to take it in a bit at the end - so a 14 would have been fine. This shift-dress cut also works well on an ample bust - I was worried about this - but was pleasantly surprised.
This is the application of the fusible interfacing to the one-piece facing. I used to cut out interfacing using the pattern pieces but didn't like the result to now I apply directly to the facing then trim.
Ta Da!

This is the collar pieces cut out laying on some scrap seafoam sateen. To see if I was happy with the colour combo.
 This is me stitching the un-notched edge of the collar.
The instructions said to clip along the curves - so I followed the directions and clipped where instructed on the diagram - however when turned right side out the collar was not curved but all hexagonal looking with a sharp line meeting at each notched point. I didn't like it at all. I clipped some more - this helped but only made more, smaller hexagonal lines. So I had an Edward Scissorhands rage-blackout and just fringed the whole damn thing. BUT HEY! It worked! Lovely smooth curves!!! :)

This was the folded and ready to sew French darts. I sewed all my darts and then joined the front pieces.

Stitched on the collar.
Pinned at stitched the facing. Then the really cool part - you poke the back pieces through the shoulder part and voila! It's all done! Faced, finished and looking pretty. I pressed. At this point all that was left was to stitch up the side seams and insert the zipper. I used an invisible zip because I prefer the look of them. I then tried the dress on and decided I didn't like the length. It was below the knees (and I'm not a short woman mind you!) and just looked very frumpy! So I cut 5 inches off the bottom - and then hemmed. I'm much happier with it this way. I then applied my little buttons to the front and then stood back and admired! (as I do whenever I finish a piece!)
Some finished shots below:

Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

DIY Quilted Tube Pencil Case (Things to do with scrap fabric #1)


So this was a project I did at the start of the year - but as I said - I've been slack with posting. I'll do my best to walk you through it from what I remember!

So for those of you who don't know I'm a High School Teacher. I found that my other pencil cases were too small to hold all my little bits and pieces as I race from one end of the school to make my classes. So I thought I'd give making one a whirl.

I have always liked the look of tube pencil cases and quilting so that's where I had the idea. Then I thought I'd give a piped edge a go too (ambitious since at the time I had never done one nor did I own a piping or zipper foot. Eeek.)  I also love the look of diamantes in the points of the quilting so I thought I'd do that too. Oh and a lining - had to be lined! Aaaaaaaaaaand finally I added a little zipper pull from an old keyring which I finished with a crystal charm.

So I had certainly set myself a challenge. Journey is as follows:

I decided to use some scrap Duchess Satin leftover from a previous project. To determine the size of the fabric for the roll part I found what I would use as a template first. This turned out to be a plastic lid from a jar. Thus I used the circumference of this to determine the width of the piece and then the length of the longest item I would need to fit in to determine the length.
Lid - Traced Circle and ruler ^
I made the lining first.
I traced 2 circles on the lining fabric and cut them out leaving approx. 1cm for a seam allowance.
As the edge is entirely curved I notched that bad-boy! Notched it good! (Both pieces)
 I then cut out the lining fabric for the body of the tube and folded in half and tacked the raw edged for the opening side.

Then I pinned the round pieces to each end of the tube lining.
Then tacked on and removed pins as I tacked.

 Then came time to make the quilted shell for the tube.
I used a 200gsm poly wadding and sew-in interfacing to back the wadding.

Layered all my pieces together and pinned the corners to reduce shifting (didn't have my walking foot at the time - lordy I wish I did - would have made this so much easier!)
I traced my guidelines onto the fabric using a watercolour pencil (I always use these instead of tailor markers or pens - I prefer the ease of use and how they are easy to remove after)
I then started quilting.
Then I finished quilting!
I then began applying the flat back hot-fix diamantes.
I don't have a rhinestone applicator so I just used the tip of my craft iron and some scrap cotton quilting as a press cloth.
I got some nice, thick piping cord. Cut 2 strips of the Duchess Satin on the bias about 1" wide.

Wrapped the piping cord in the strips and pinned. Then I stitched along the end of the cord to encase it.
Traced the plastic lid on the Satin
And onto some thin poly wadding
I cut out the pieces out and sandwiched them together then stitched around the outside.
Ta Da!
I then pinned the piped edges to the quilting and stitched.
I then rolled the tube and tacked the opening edges at the corner.
Pinned on the round ends.
This is the lining and shell.
I inserted the lining, pinned then tacked.
This is the Ribtex Swarovski charm I bought for the zip. It's Aurora Borealis coated.
This is a lobster claw and chain from an old key ring that I upcycled.
Add the 8" dress zipper.
Remove the zipper pull and add the chain + charm = all nice and sparkly!!!
Turned inside out pin and tacked zipper between shell and lining. Then machine stitched.

Bottom of finished case.
Inside lining

 I then made a bow out of the very last scraps to finish the look!

I have used this case all year now and it's held up well and receives many compliments from admiring students and staff alike!
I hope you enjoyed reading this - feel free to ask questions or leave comments.