janetheclerk

cherry pie

In 50s clothing, clothing, dresses on 13 May, 2011 at 10:41 am


isn’t this fabric wonderful? it’s pure cotton, amazing to work with, has enough weight to hold it’s shape in the classic 50s skirt, and it’s adorable. however, it is not cheap. hence, this dress was made for a friend of mine.

the design of the dress is very simple; top section to empire so that it could be tapered in, with a basic bust dart, a midriff section to slightly below the waist, and then full circle skirt. i can’t quite remember the debate on the straps, but once i saw the design of two pieces and then a tie at the shoulder, we decided that this was the way to go.

maternity wear

In clothing, maternity on 8 May, 2011 at 9:21 am

as mentioned a good while back, my good friend sam was pregnant. she had her baby, gorgeous giulio, just after christmas, but i managed to get a christmas dress to her on time. another friend, anja, my long suffering friend who has actually shared a house with me (gasp), was also pregnant, and gave birth to christiaan in late april. i thank anja for contributing another taurean to the world; there can never be enough of us.

all three of these were based on the same basic pattern; i altered the details and sleeves according to what season people were in. while these weren’t difficult at all, it was definitely a lesson in making sure the head opening was big enough to do away with the need for a zip; when you can’t see your toes, who has time to do up a zip? i think in my last post on this, i said i would put a zip in, but i think i changed my mind about that. the other lesson i’ve taken from this is to transfer the idea that two thirds of the waist girth is at the front, to making shirts for men who have something of a tummy.

the rose print dress is made from a stretch cotton poplin underneath, and a sheer jersey knit polyester overlay. the green shirt is made from a printed cotton; anja was wearing this in summer, hence the capped sleeves. all in all, a very successful project.

swing dress

In 14+, 50s clothing, clothing, dresses, kids on 5 May, 2011 at 9:42 am

i’m not sure where i got this idea, but it’s hardly surprising, considering that i love 50s clothing, and the idea of dancing the night away. i found all of the stretch netting very cheaply at a waste shop; the stretch poplin in plain white was a little harder to come by, so the netting lay patiently in wait for quite some time.

i learnt a few very good lessons in the making of this style:

  • bust and waist darts are a good idea for the under layer, but the top layer should be without them
  • with the black and beige dress, i should have sewn the two layers of fabric as one, so that the dark seams weren’t so visible
  • for a real swing look, the under layer should be made from fabric with a bit of weight to it – the black and beige dress just doesn’t hold its shape unless a petticoat is used


i was so excited in making this dress for my niece. i had kept the netting especially for her, and i measured her, and it was going to be so wonderful. and then i did something very silly. i waited about four months between measuring and making; she was 8 at the time, and growing at a significant rate. the whole thing ended in tears, as she loved the dress, but it didn’t fit. i was so disappointed in myself. but, we move on. my niece still loves me, and we’ve had a good chat about the whole thing, and i’m allowed to make things for her again.