(Belated) Birthday Dress

Well I finally got myself away from the rugby and outside in my pretty new dress to take some photos. Curious husband actually suggested the location, the Wellington Botanic Gardens, and last weekend we had a beautiful sunny Sunday perfect for an afternoon outing.

Curious husband often grumbles at being removed from his natural environment, the slightly-less-nerdy-than-mine nerdy-husband-room complete with glowing water-cooled monster computer and various other husband-only items, but I secretly suspect he quite enjoys playing photographer. Allow me to submit evidence A: the camera memory card with over 250 photos on it.

Ready?

Ta-dah!

Please excuse the crumpled skirt, I did iron before we left but sitting in the car on a warm day undid my efforts.

As I mentioned previously, with the advent of my 30th birthday,  I wanted to start a new personal tradition of making a dress each year for my birthday.  The idea is that it can be a nice every-day kind of dress, or a completely unjustifiable unnecessary dress and that’s ok, because it is the birthday dress and no excuses will be required.

Cutting out…

This year, the inaugural birthday dress year, I was interrupted by life but the dream lived on and while it is a little late, here it finally is. There were plenty of options but in the interest of instant success (we cannot accept failure for the inaugural dress) I chose to go with the tried-and-tested Colette Rooibos.

I bought this pattern quite some time ago and it recently featured in a sew-along on the Coletterie blog which I followed in spirit. I considered participating but I am terrible at sticking to a sewing schedule and only got as far as pulling this amazing rose printed linen from my stash that I bought while on a work trip to Melbourne. There is always time for fabric shopping in a new city while on a work trip, believe me. Eventually I also purchased a beautiful contrast cotton and cord to make the piping then I sat down and decided where I would pipe ala my Photoshop/Gimp tutorial.

Rooibos Piping Options – click for better detail

Initially I was just going to follow the patterns suggestion to pipe the neckline, arm holes and pockets but when I thought about it I also liked the idea of enhancing the empire line panel so I made up the first two options and decided that I did like the empire piping but it was too much with the neck and arm holes done as well so in the end I chose to pipe just the empire line and pockets and keep the contrast at the collar like option 3.

Then I set to making the piping following this tutorial from the Coletterie.

This was my first time making piping  and it worked perfectly, I was so proud of myself.

The rest of the dress went together smoothly. This is my first Colette pattern I have made up (I own 4 in total) and I was impressed with the detailed instructions and beautifully clear construction diagrams. Independent pattern companies are always a breath of fresh air, you should go buy yourself a Colette pattern right now. They have just done up their shop page and it is looking fabulous.

So here it is, inside & out, on Scarlett – the dress is a little  skewiff in these photos due to the hemming attachment underneath but I promise, despite how it looks, that the hem is even ;)

And here is a bit more handy work from Curious Husband and the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens:

and some ducks!

So keep your eyes open next year sometime around June for Birthday Dress #2 ;)

Preview the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook

BurdaStyle now have a dedicated BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook page! You can preview the book there and check out all the members who contributed to it…I’m a bit miffed that I’ve been left off the list but I have emailed them about it – I’m guessing it’s from when they made all users with an ‘_’ in their log-on names change them and I got lost somehow…so hopefully my picture pops up soon :)

There are also links for where to buy the book in hard copy and as an eBook and eBook owners can enter their codes to download the master patterns in PDF format.

Yesterday I received an email from BurdaStyle asking for my current address so they can send back my garment and a copy of the book in November. I’m taking that as my cue to share photos with you and reveal which garment is mine ;) Yay! And Phew! For a minute there I thought I’d have to go and buy my own copy of the book.

I’m VERY excited!

Update 20/10/2011: Ohh yay I got added in, thanks team :) and I got a cool little badge on my profile.

Sewing as Art – Paper Dresses

Another bit of sewing as art for your friday:

I saw this in the latest Urbis magazine (issue 64 – 2011) – It’s from New Zealand Fashion Week and these dresses, believe it or not, are made of Kleenex toilet paper! Aren’t they breathtaking?!

Fashion design has always been strong in New Zealand, think Collette Dinnigan, Kate Sylvesta, Trelise Cooper, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet – I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one of these wonderfully talented ladies no matter where you are in the world reading this (and if you haven’t go Google now).

Interestingly BurdaStyle also posted a paper fashion blog post today and it is equally amazing, check it out here.

Social sewing, the best kind of sewing

On Sunday I hung out with the Wellington Fabric Hoarders crew again. It’s been a couple of months since my last visit, not only did I have a great time I was also very productive.

I hemmed my (belated) birthday dress, cut out a new JJ blouse & Esther cardi. We also gossiped about sewing and discussed who we thought would win versus who we would rather win (in order to give the mighty All Blacks the easiest road to the finals) in the Australia versus South Africa* quarter-final rugby game.

So I completely forgot to take any photos during the day since we were using my phone to play music (yay) but here is a picture of all my sewing items ready to go. I am quite proud of my compactness, there was a time when I used to try to bring most of my sewing room with me!

Inside these two bags are my sewing machine, overlocker, 4 cones of black thread, 3 cones of grey thread, power cords (which I almost forgot) and a double plug , two sewing patterns and fabric for the Esther and JJ, two Manequim magazines for show-and-tell, (belated) birthday dress ready for hemming, two pairs of scissors (fabric scissors and, of course, paper scissors) and a plastic box full of bits and bobs (pen, pencil, chalk, unpickers, spare bobbin, white and grey thread, spare needles and extra sewing feet etc). For this meet I knew exactly what I wanted to do so it was quite easy to be prepared. (Also I totally need to make a copy of my Bernina bag that fits my Elna!)

And here is a picture of a kitty I saw as I was leaving, he was enjoying the sunshine in the Massey atrium.

On the way home I happened to drive by the Fabric Warehouse’s new location with the intention of taking a new photo of the front but what’s the point of driving past if you don’t go inside? ;)

The store is amazing, bigger than their old premises with lots of new fabrics and really cool vintage sewing items on display. Parking is heaps better and it is much easier to get back on to the main road. I’d like to say that I came away with some amazing new fabric purchases but all I have to show for my visit is $100 worth of interfacing. I know that sounds like a lot of interfacing but I really have none left in my stash, I have slowly used is ALL up. So I got some special wool interfacing (the black stuff) for a coat I currently have cut out (but I’m not sure if I’ll get it done before Summer arrives) and just some plain white in two weights.

So that was my weekend. I did intend to photograph the (belated) birthday dress when I got home but I decided that you’ve seen enough of the view from my verandah and Curious Husband suggested a very good location to take the pics at next weekend. Maybe I’ll try to give you guys a little tour of Wellington with a new location for each new item I sew. Maybe, lets see how long that lasts shall we? Hehe, hey it might get me out of my “ugh, photos” slump and I think you’ll enjoy it too. Here is a sneak peek for now ;)

*For those who are playing along we decided that South Africa would probably win (we were wrong) but we would rather Australia win since they would be an easier beat in the upcoming semi-final. Although the counter argument was raised that if Australia did win and then beat us in the semis and went on to win The Cup then that would be bad since they are so close to us and would rub it in out faces ALL. THE. TIME. Where as South Africa is farther away and we could almost ignore their gloating. The counter counter argument to this was that if South Africa win, beat us in the semis and ultimately win The Cup then they will be the first team to win two Cups in a row and their gloating will be x1000 which will be bad x1000.

Ahh, sewing and Rugby, I am so home!