I’m back! The whole month of June seemed to slip by so incredibly fast – between my exams, a house move and my three weeks of incredibly jam-packed holidays, July arrived before I even realised it’d been well over a moth since I’ve managed to post! Not that I’d let myself feel bad about it; things have been incredibly hectic lately, and we all know that life just happens sometimes and you have to let some things slide – but still, I never want to just fade away from existence in the sewing blogging community, I love this corner of the internet far too much 🙂 But however busy the last few weeks have been for me, they have still been very productive for sewing! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll have seen a little preview of my sewing area – I can’t wait to share it with you properly (once I’ve tidied it up a bit more and taken some proper photos 😉 ). But the absolutely lovely new space I have to sew in has been extremely inspiring, and I’ve finally gotten through a bunch of projects that have been sitting in my queue for months! And first up, I’ll be sharing projects made in my favourite fabric of all – remnants!
I ask you kindly and humbly to please bow down to me as your remnant queen, because what I’m about to share with you is, I think, deserving of the title. Two metres of amaaaaaazingly lush silk from Rathdowne Fabrics for $15 – and what better use for it than some incredibly luxurious underwear??
This project was really was a triumph of thrifty sewing. I’d been keen to make myself a slip or two since the start of the year, as they’re great for wearing with unlined or sheer dresses, adding a layer, and just fun to wear for a retro feel 😉 Silk is an obvious choice for an authentic vintage feel, as well as being a sumptuous and beautiful fabric to wear against you skin. An obvious drawback, however, is the cost – hence why there aren’t many students packing drawfuls of pure silk underwear. I’m here to prove that sewing luxuriously CAN be done on a budget though! I’d been keeping an eye on the remnant bins at Rathdowne for a while, as you really can’t beat them for the quality and size of their offcuts. Then low and behold, for one day only they advertised 50% of all remnants!! I went in expressly for the purpose of finding a suitable silk remnant, and managed to find this lovely two-metre length of blush-coloured silk. Win!
The next issue of course, was finding a suitable pattern.I had a very clear idea of what I wanted: a simple, bias cut slip with thin straps and a sweet-heart neckline. I didn’t want any bust cups or gathering, as I was looking for the smoothest silhouette possible – very important if you’re wearing it under thin or sheer dresses! My search was proving somewhat fruitless though, until a friend delivered a bounty in to my arms – a huge collection of patterns someone she knew was giving away, and she’d thought of me and passed them on! Amongst them was New Look 6244, a summer dress and slip pattern – simple and bias-cut with no fastenings or closures – perfect!
I made view B, the shorter length of the simple slip-type dress. For once, I went with the size which corresponded for my bust measurement – as the dress is bias-cut, it has some stretch and therefore the pattern has negative ease in it, so I didn’t want to size down! I graded to a 12 for the waist and hips however, as they had a few inches of positive ease built in. As it only has two main pattern pieces (front and back), and the straps, it came together increeeedibly quickly! After a quick fit check after basting the sides together, I overlocked the raw edges (yes, on my new overlocker!!). I also overlocked the neckline edge, with the differential feed set to a verrrry slight gather, in order to prevent the bias-cut edge from stretching out, and make sure it clung nicely to the body. I then turned this under and stitched this down. After leaving it to hang over night and working out the hem length, I hemmed it using the rolled hem finish on the overlocker (if you’re thinking I have been extreme in my enthusiasm in applications of my new overlocker, you are absolutely correct!). And there I had it, my very own, deliciously soft, decadently luxurious pure silk slip. The fit is beautiful and it feels amazing on :0
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! I also managed to make a matching camisole from the same pattern (just by cutting it to a shorter length), and a pair of Ohhh Lulu Alice tap pants all from the same remnant, STILL for the low, LOW PRICE OF $15. Like the slip, they’re both finished with a 4 thread overlock on the seams and a rolled hem. Again, this silk is so light and beautiful that I can barely even feel it against my skin. And the best part? I STILL have some silk left! Not much, but certainly enough for bra…watch this space 😉
If that wasn’t enough, I have another remnant special to share! While shopping at Lincraft a while ago, a decent sized piece of white rayon
magically appeared in my basket found its way in to my arms for the amazing price of $2.70, and there was no way I could leave it there….
Well, a few months down the track, it’s finally metamorphosed into a beautiful blouse made using the By Hand London Anna dress pattern! I’d been toying with the idea of an Anna blouse for some time, as I love the fit of the bodice so much – in the end, it was extremely simple! I just decided how long I wanted it, and cut the skirt panels to that length, then constructed as usual. I’d initially planned to use facings around the neckline, but I realised the fabric was sheer enough that they’d show through – time to put the trusty overlocker to use again! It’s the first time I’ve made Anna in such a drapey fabric and it’s really incredible how lovely the effect is – so soft and pretty!
Finally, I was able to give both my Anna blouse and my rosy slip an outing recently – I wore them to The Dressmaker costume exhibition! I loved both the book and the movie, and I think most sewists would be hard-pressed not to be in absolute awe of all that amazing costuming. Another outfit detail, the gloves I’m wearing are vintage ones belonging to my great-grandmother – so very special indeed! It was an amazing afternoon and also a great photo op (thank you to my man for the extremely enthusiastic photography!) – I’ll just leave a few snaps below…
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx