Thursday, 18 June 2009

Strapless dress with boning

I am immensley pleased , I don't mind telling you, and even if I do say so myself ...  I have nearly completed the dress for Miss L.  It's ready for her fitting tomorrow which is making me nervous, but since it will be the third fitting - the first two with toile's, then I think it might be ok.  

It's taken me the best part of a week to cut this out, and sew it together, not least because the spotty fabric has driven me literally dotty, it's so fine and flimsy.  I had to lay it over sheets of paper, line it up exactly - no mean feat I can tell you, then lay the pattern over it, and cut.  A nerve racking experience if ever there was one, because this is ALL the fabric there is - no spare parts and as it is 100% pure silk with quite alot of 'stretch' - almost chiffony in texture, well you can guess!!  I had a small moment of near heart failure yesterday when one of the pins got stuck under my presser foot as I was sewing around the curve of the left boob which made a very wobbly line - talk about the most conspicuous place this could happen, and so a very very delicate operation commenced to unpick the extra tight stitches (due to aforementioned jam) and restore the boob to smoothness.  Luckily it worked out fine with no lasting damage, but it could have been a whole different story! 

The reason I am especially pleased is because I drafted and cut this pattern myself.  If somebody had told me even last year, that I would be able to do this, I would have thought them quite dotty!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

How to make fabric flowers

edit: This post has been hit over 1,000 times. If you use this tutorial and post the results on your blog, please do me the courtesy of posting a link back here. Thankyou!

How much fun can a girl have with a candle and some silky fabric I ask you?

I was inspired by the beautiful poppies and roses in my garden - they are my favourites, red ofcourse, and I really wanted to make some pretty flowers to embellish some things i'm working on. I had a definite picture in my mind, but my last pathetic and ugly attempts were so horrid I gave up trying to sew them.

But then I remembered somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind, a trick with synthetic fabric and flame.

What you do is cut some circles, no need to be perfect, or you can cut rough flower shapes, or even petal shapes. Then you hold them near the flame - just near enough so that the edges curl, and you keep turning the shape until the whole edge is singed. Then you sew together in any formation you like, and add beads or buttons for the middle.

I've used organza for the red flowers and a silky lining fabric for the black ones. You can't use natural fibres for this otherwise you will set fire to them! Only synthetic fibre works because essentially what you are doing, is melting it!

Each fabric behaves differently over the flame so you have to practice and experiment, which is half the fun, and I can tell you ... once you start, you can't stop!