Thank you for all you lovely comments on the Macaron dress. Yes, I see it in my future too, because having parted 40 bucks for the pattern (I can hear your sharp intake of breath from here) I want to get value for money out of it. Besides, how much easier will it be second time when all the alterations have been done already? (oh and yes, that was piping you saw, I put a line of piping in between upper and lower bodice to soften the transition between the fabrics).
I decided that this month I wanted to spend some quality time going through all my "almost nearly right" projects to see if I could make them "I really rather like this."
First up, the "frump" dress - a Simplicity one (sorry can't find the number now) which was the culmination of many bad choices. I still liked the fabric though, and decided it would benefit from some "less is more" treatment.
I got rid of the collar - which is a combined stand and collar number and never sat properly, shortened the sleeves and the hem and added a belt to give is some much needed waist shaping. A big improvement - I wore it today and got a compliment, always a good sign, because when people don't like something I make they say, "did you make that?" followed by "oh."
Next up, I had to fix the Amy Butler weekender bag. I broke the zip trying to stuff some fabric I bought at the op shop in. I don't know about you but replacing zips is not my favourite form of sewing so this time I invested in some heavy metal.
If you are thinking of sewing this bag, be warned about the fate of plastic zippers:
And look how nicely the new zip matches the lining:
Finally, I had to do something about this coat (Burda 11-2008- 107). Double breasted knee length wool coats are too hot for this climate and I will never make another. I can wear this about a week a year without overheating. The problem is that the front overlap adds considerable warmth, and has to be worn closed in order to hang nicely.
The design was always a bit of a risk. I loved the pleats and waist shaping but the collar and collar stand are totally out of proportion and have a propensity to sit flat, giving rise to the nickname, "the jester jacket."
I think the real problem for me with this coat is that it would be better on a bigger person. By bigger I mean taller and broader. All the details are so large scale that I feel a bit swamped in it.
here's another view - all in all, I didn't do too bad a job with this, but at the time it was actually beyond my skill level - my hands were shaking with fear as I finished the hems!
To fix this was going to take considerably more effort than the other two projects. I wanted to reduce the size of the collar and stand, take up the pleats at the bottom, put in some side inset pockets and convert it to a single breasted button through.
To do this, I had to get out my old pattern drafting books, because one thing I've learned about sewing, when you wing it, it shows.
Full length view so you can see the new proportions (and my white as white pants - the day is yet young):
I left the shoulder tab on as a reminder of what it had once been:
The vintage buttons I used on the front:
I really enjoyed all of these refashioning projects as they required me to be more creative than usual. What's more, all the pieces of fabric came from the Sally Army, which also made me be more creative than usual.
There are several reasons why I am "making do and mending" this month. One is because we are planning a major renovation on our house but I'm not sure when, or where we'll be living while the roof's off. I'm mentally starting some of the clean up process now. Secondly, it's easy to get into the mentality of "what's next" when you're sewing. More patterns, more fabric, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things to make. This process has enabled me to take a few steps back and it's very satisfying to bring the potential of these garments out.
So now it's back to the wardrobe to find other things that would benefit from a little attention. There is no shortage of worthy projects.