lauantai 3. toukokuuta 2014

How can it be May already?

What happened to April? Looking back, I've had the busiest April for years, with work, dissertation studies and sewing, too. Also, earlier in the spring I got the good news of securing a full time job at the university for four years, and just this week I signed the papers for my very first, very own apartment. So May is going to be rather wild as well, with the move (why do I have this many books and this much fabric, why?), a touch of renovation and everything that goes into moving house. The last time I did that was 10 years ago, so I'm a bit nervous.

As always, sewing is my way to unwind, relax and escape the every day stuff. As I said in the previous post, the Courtois project is on hold until I find suitable ribbon to trim the skirts and the jacket. I could neaten the insides of the jacket while I'm waiting but that's just... nah. Instead, I've  begun to make a late 18th century waistcoat and jacket and I'm trying to make them entirely out of what's in my sewing and fabric stash. So far I've put together the waistcoat and I only need to sew the shoulder seams and put in hooks and eyes. The fronts are taffeta and the back and the lining are coarse cotton.

The taffeta is buttercream colour.

I had to do a bit of piecing with the lapels, because I had very little fabric.

Today I also cut the jacket pieces. It's going to be a zone-front with a silly tail. It will also have a wide collar but I haven't cut that yet.

These kind of sleeves always remind me of the Barbie dolls I had as a child...

See? The fabric is actually stripy.

Back and front pieces.

But wait! There's more! I hardly ever have just the one sewing project, so I'm also making a new Irish dancing dress for myself. I've been dancing for 10+ years, but only recently got into competing and I expect to participate at least a couple of feisanna towards the autumn this year. I wanted to try if I could make a nice dress for myself and also try my hand in machine embroidery. Now, the modern Irish dance dresses tend to be a bit overwhelming and (dare I say it) tacky, but there is a beauty in them and there are some wonderful dressmakers out there. I've compiled some of my favourites on this pinboard for inspiration. I like the more traditional styles in decoration but I like the modern dresses for their lightness so I wanted to try and combine that. This is what I have at the moment:

The front hem. I'm going to add another pair of spirals in that empty space in the middle and the spirally design will continue to the back along the hem. The back is going to be plainer because it will be largely covered by the cape. The front pieces have iron on support fabric on them and I've also flatlined all the dress pieces with cotton.

The front of the dress. I'm going to add some details on the birds and obviously finish the head spirals on the other bird as well. The symmetry is a tad off in places but since this was my first attempt at machine embroidery and I don't have a special embroidery machine, just an ordinary one with zigzag stich, I'd say it's a passable result.

2 kommenttia:

  1. I think it's quite impressive! I used to do competitive Irish step dancing years ago (in the 90s and early 2000s...) and the dresses were a little less crazy and colorful then. It was so exciting to get to a point where I got to wear the super embroidered ones, though! But even now with my current sewing skills, I would feel inadequate in terms of making one (well, I suppose I could make the dress, but embellishing it is beyond what I feel inclined or capable of doing!). I look forward to seeing more pictures of your dress! I'm sure it will turn out wonderfully!


    1. Thank you! So nice to find other dancers :) I've since finished the machine embroidery part on the dress hems. It's looking goodish and I'm hopeful for the eventual result. Of course, the stitching is not as neat as it could be if the embroidery was done with an automatic, programmed machine, but it's ok. I'm neatening it by hand.