Birthday Bombshell Dress

Dancing Queen

It’s absolutely crazy how fast time is flying by these days! It feels like only a couple of weeks ago I was starting placement and now I’m almost finished my first semester – it’s been a very busy year so far and at times exhausting, but on the whole, I’m definitely enjoying it 🙂 On top of that, I’m also continuing my French studies, planning an overseas trip, and helping prepare for our up-coming house move (seriously cannot wait to set up my new sewing space!). On top of THAT, I just recently celebrated my 21st birthday! It was a pretty fabulous affair, a big party with both friends and family (and I have quite a lot of both!). I don’t think anyone who knows me was surprised to find: 1) there was a theme, 2) the theme was ‘Decades of Style’, and required everyone to dress up in classy vintage garb and 3)  obviously, OBVIOUSLY I had made my outfit for the occasion! I’ve been posting little teasers of my progress on Instagram for a while, so without any further ado – my 1950s birthday bombshell dress (ft. incredible Singer birthday cake, courtesy of my incredibly talented grandmother)!

Birthday Bombshell Dress

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Summer Blossom Maya Bra

Summer Blossoms Part II

I know I said at the end of the last post I was taking a bit of a break from lingerie sewing – and I haven’t relapsed yet! I actually sewed these up ages ago, but only finished them completely and got around to taking photos the other week. So enjoy my last bra for a little while!

Remember that lovely floral lycra lingerie set I posted a few weeks ago? Well, now you can meet its twin! Say hello to the rest of my little summer blossom lingerie family, a Maya, a MIX30 and a new little garter belt!

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Follies at Sea

One of the biggest inspirations on my lingerie-sewing journey this year has been, without a doubt, Emerald Erin and her Bra-A-Week challenge. Not only was it hugely motivating seeing my fellow sewists and bloggers undertaking the challenge of sewing their own lingerie, spurring me on to finally have a go myself, but Erin’s own makes are unfailingly fabulous and awe-inspiring. From her stunning bras, longlines and corsets to her great explanations of bra theory, it’s a great resource as well as serious eye-candy (so, if you haven’t checked it out or submitted a lingerie make yet, I definitely recommend you do!). But possibly my favourite makes of Erin’s this year have been her gorgeous swimwear creations. Much like my initial hesitation to sew bras before seeing the challenge, I’m sure it would’ve taken me much, much longer to get around to bathers if I hadn’t been so taken with the pieces Erin came up with! As it is, I’ve been sitting on this for a few months, but I’m now very pleased to present my first me-made bikini!

Tropical Blooms Bikini

The bikini top is a modified Orange Lingerie Boylston bra, and the bottoms altered Ohhh Lulu Graces. The outer fabric is swimwear lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics & Remnants, and the lining is swimwear lining from Booby Traps, as are the g-hooks at the back. The swimwear elastics came from Spotlight. And if I do say so myself, it’s a damn fine pair of bathers!

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Polkadot Playsuit

Time to Play

The weather is really starting to heat up here in mercurial Melbourne, and even though today is the last day of spring, we’ve already had some pretty scorching days. So although I’ve really been meaning to start work on planning some more separates and outfits for placement next year, the temptation to sew fun summer clothes has just been too strong. Exhibit A, my new 50s-style playsuit, with matching headband!

 

Polkadot Playsuit

The pattern and inspiration for this make came from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, which I received for my birthday back in May. I haven’t really made anything from it yet, excepting the quilted circle skirt – but that was more “inspired by”, as I didn’t actually use a pattern from the book – so I count this as my first proper make from it! It’s a combination of the shorts variation of the cigarette pants and the halter top pattern…with a few off-the-cuff variations thrown in 😉 the head band is the same tutorial I used for my floral co-ord set earlier this year.

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Behind the Seams: Bra-Lining Tutorial

So now that I’m as free as a metaphorical bird, I’m finally able to deliver on a long-promised post of mine: a tutorial on the method I use to line my bra cups! The main reason why it’s been a long time coming is not that I’ve been too busy, but actually that it’s been quite a while since I’ve sewn a bra that didn’t have foam cups. I sewed up another Marlborough last week, however, so I’m now pleased to present the tutorial in full. I apologise for the poor choice of fabric; the black and gold lace, while stunning, does not make it exactly easy to see what I’m doing. I’ve done my best with the photos however, and I hope my explanations are sufficiently clear (if not, please let me know!).

Now, this method will work for any bra pattern with: two or more cup pieces; a fashion fabric and a lining. That being said, I think this method works best for patterns with 2-3 pieces.

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Miss Maddy Sews a Thing or Two – Part III

Finally, we’ve reached the last and, what I believe is, the most impressive of my summer makes: a strapless, sweetheart 50s-prom-dress-inspired ball gown! I have to say, out of everything I’ve made so far, this dress is the one that most feeds the desire residing deep in my souls to be a Disney princess. When I saw this fabric online at Darn Cheap, I knew I had to have it; and in what seems to be a theme in my life, I managed to snaffle up the last 1.5 metres of it. The soft, silky texture, incredible drape and fantastical floral motif suggested one thing to me and one thing only: A REALLY PRETTY DRESS. And this is what I came up with!

The smug smile of a girl who knows her outfit is on point.

The smug smile of a girl who knows her outfit is on point.

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Who Said Sewing Isn’t Hardcore? An Underwire Cutting Tutorial

As I predicted, semester had been severely getting in the way of my sewing time (as it is wont to do). But it HAS given me the impetus to finally write up this little something which I’ve been sitting on for a while. May I present to you: my very first tutorial!

I never really thought I’d write or post tutorials; I feel like such a relatively inexperienced sewer, it never occurred to me that people might want to see how I did things and learn from it – and I’m forever relying on everyone else’s tutorials myself. But I have had a couple of requests recently about a couple of lingerie making techniques, and I am more than happy to oblige 🙂 First up: how to cut and seal underwires! I feel like this is not a step discussed or used often, even on lingerie-sewing blogs, and I can only assume this is because, unlike me, everyone else magically has underwires that fit their bra patterns. However, I bought mine in bulk, which, whilst great for my budget, has resulted in quite a bit of underwire cutting, as they’re too long for my patterns. Seeing as I’ve got quite the technique down now, I am more than happy to share!

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