Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Vintage Dress Sewing Mishap!

Late last week I was attempting to draft up my own adjusted version of this dress. It was proving to be more of a stressful experience than the relaxing one I had envisaged. It turned out I was about half a yard short of the vintage fabric so off I trotted to Spotlight to pick up some plain cotton which would make up the missing yardage.

Truly. I was only there to purchase half a yard of fabric. Plain aqua. But somehow I walked out of that very store with a new reproduction vintage pattern in my hand and 7.5 metres of beautiful cotton sateen. The pattern is Vogue 2903.Figuring I would have the motivation to complete the true vintage pattern once I had had success with the new repro vintage pattern, I set about cutting whilst adding a little to the seam allowance as my measurements were only slightly larger than the size pattern I had. I followed instructions from my 1950's vintage McCall's sewing manual on how to add to the width of a garment so I imagined it would work!

Seems like that pattern drafting course can't come soon enough! The first picture shows the tent that I have sewn and the second is the something of what it should look like if I grab half a metre at the back and pull it in! Some length needs to be taken off as mid calf length isn't working for me. There are reverse box pleats hiding in there but hard to see as I've basted them all in place right now. With the addition of sleeves I think this dress has some promise! And yes I've chopped off my head as I am having a very dodgy hair day and don't want to torture you all with that sight. My little assistant reminds me of another little girl who needs to be in her mummy's dress shots....

Photobucket Photobucket

So off now to take in those multiple princess seams and have it look more like a fitted, flared 50's dress and less like a carnival tent complete with fairy floss hair!!

(Just looking at that sorry looking backyard... I wanted to add that the very makeshift gate gadgetry going on there is temporary whilst we wait for the new sliding gate to be made! As for the lawn or that yellow crunchy stuff in the background, it's what is left of our lawn after being sprayed in preparation for our new lawn.)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Honesty is not a pretty thing...


Prior to Friday night clean up.....
Even the dog's hanging her head in shame...

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Alpha Mummy attacks/celebrates 4yr old Birthday!!

These last four years have gone past both so slowly and so fast! Four years ago I was busy birthing a 9 pound baby just on gas (yes I am proud of that feat!!). In four years my daughter has grown up to be a very articulate, crafty and loud little girl whom I'm immensely proud of. Oh the crafty things she loves! Just warms the cockles of my heart!! If she didn't like crafty things.... well, that's just not worth thinking about! tee hee...


Anyhoo, the Alpha Mummy in me came striding to the fore this year. Well, actually I've been planning this birthday since before Xmas but don't tell anyone. Fairy was the theme and fairy it was. We had the fairy castle birthday cake, complete with little sugar fairies found at the last minute after months of searching! The cake design came from the Women's Weekly Kids' Birthday Cakes cookbook (the 2000's version). It was such fun making this cake and I had a ball using my vintage Tala icing set to pipe the windows, gates and vines from melted chocolate.


I used a new recipe for the frosting on this cake. I haven't been too charmed by other butter-cream recipes I've used, namely those from the kids cake books. So I tested a new type of icing using Copha as I was sure the day was going to be warm and didn't want the butter-based icing sliding off the cake! Here's the link to it... I used the Australian version, which is half the amount of the original recipe, and it still made bucket loads! The result was a beautiful icing which didn't have the overly sickly buttery taste of others I've used but still a lovely rich taste.

To continue the fairy theme I also ordered a super cute fairy wand cookie cutter on Ebay and was blown away by the wonderful customer service I received! I sell a lot of things on Ebay and try to be nice but often the transaction is just buy and sell. But this seller, Riches and Realms, was super helpful, emailing me with lots of ideas and suggestions, listing things specifically for me that she had in her stock. And super speedy postage and emails. Thought I'd pass on the good word if you had the need for cookie cutters or cake decorating supplies! As for the photo, this is shot is pre-baking time and I did ice the cookies but didn't take a photo!


No fairy party is complete without fairy-fun-filled-party bags! I whipped these up using some cheap cotton the same colour as the fairy birthday girl's dress. Some simple love heart shapes sewn on with a vintage button embellishment. Simply cut the rectangles out with the pinking shears to save on hemming and cut out the embellishments with the shears too. A little zig-zag stitch up each side and you have yourself a fairy bag! Pink ribbon bows finished these off and inside were treats like bags of fairy dust I made up in the organza bags you can get at the $2 shops. Lots of glitter and those shiny sparkle scatter shapes and confetti!


And to ease my post-party come down I thought I would indulge in some decadent self-sewing, and use a sweet vintage pattern I picked up on the weekend. I nearly fell over when I saw that it was in the vicinity of my size. Well my bust size that is! Seems like in the 40's, 50's and 60's not many lasses had bazookas my size! The fabric pictured with the pattern is one I picked up from ebay some time ago and is a lovely vintage polished cotton. I think I may have just enough fabric to make this dress. I've even impressed myself by making a muslin first two drafts as I don't want to make any mistakes cutting into this fabric! I've had to adjust the bodice BIG time and of course the raglan sleeves aren't making it easy. I'm attempting the full skirted version.


Now that 'The Party' is out of the way I've been thinking of my upcoming year, with my daughter at kindy and me swinging into bigger-time Silly Gilly mode. I've signed myself up for a WEA course on Pattern Drafting. It's a four week course 'giving you the skills to draft patterns from scratch'. As I've been dressmaking for years and am still not confident in altering store bought patterns, I thought this course would be a good avenue to learn some new drafting skills. I also aim to be clever like Nikki and use my Autocad design talents to draft up some new kids' toy patterns I am currently designing.

So, one week to go till kindy starts, and I find myself alternating between being exasperated with a four year old's litany of questions (which start the moment she wakes me up) and a little teary that my one and only is off to the big wide world. Aw shucks. I've a tear coming again......

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Drowning in Vintage Patterns!

Hello stranger! I'm the stranger, that is... I've been busy in the Silly Gilly household and it hasn't been sewing Silly Gilly wares. I've been busy photographing, sorting and uploading my quite hefty collection of vintage sewing patterns to a new Ebay Store, Silly Gilly's Vintage Wares. I have only just scratched the surface of my collection and I've already listed over 50 patterns!! And these are the ones that I don't want to keep. I still have my collection of patterns that I have intentions of using!

pattern pattern

pattern pattern

I have listed children's patterns, women's patterns, vintage craft books, vintage cook books, vintage sewing supplies... the list keeps getting longer. Suffice to say, it's a massive job and I'm working hard to get all the items listed before the end of next week. It's poppet's 4th birthday party next weekend and I've turned into quite the Alpha-Mummy organising the party. Methinks I may have gone a little overboard... but hey, we only have one child and she's only 4 once!! We have a fairy theme planned and I'm torn between two styles of cakes. Oh, the dilemmas!! Here's a little pic of the flowers I've been making as decorations.


All this clearing out is the beginning of my 'Amp Up Silly Gilly' year. Poppet is off to kindy this year so I aim to use my free time building up Silly Gilly to a bigger thing than it is now. I've been a little absent from this blog in the last couple of weeks as I'm spending a lot of time thinking and planning and sorting out my creative space both here in the Studio and in my head.

I also have some more pattern ideas brewing around in up in the cranial creative space. A couple of smashing ideas came to me at 4.30 am this morning! So up I jumped and scribbled them all down. Strike whilst the iron is hot I say!

So you will be hearing more from the Silly Gilly camp now that I'm into the swing of clearing the space here. Drop by the Silly Gilly Vintage Wares store.. you never know what you'll find!