Archive for the ‘14+’ Category

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.


sunday session: open-back blouse

In 14+, 50s clothing, sunday sessions on 12 October, 2010 at 10:44 pm

by way of introduction, sunday is my only day off during the week, so i do whatever i damnwell want to on sundays. i’m allowed to sew anything i want to, watch anything i want to, and sleep as much as i want to. i generally end up sewing something for myself, or working on a pattern.

this blouse is the result of work i started a few sundays ago. i’ve seen the open-backed blouse in the late 50s and the 80s; i had one as a child in the 80s – although it might have been a dress. the purpose of this blouse is to be a relaxed beach / garden tea type blouse which is cute and comfortable – i wasn’t particularly concerned about being sexy or flattering, i just didn’t want it to be unflattering.

the pattern is simple enough, with a bust dart only, and the back cross over happening at the waist line. in the prototype, i made the cross over too high up, and the waist line wouldn’t sit well. i also adjusted the hip measurement from the original pattern; the angle between the waist and the hip was too sharp, and i ended up with a drapey / skirt look which just didn’t go well with the blouse – my original pattern had 3.4 cms taken off the hip measurement on each side. i also shortened my original pattern to keep with the 50s look of blouses to the tummy rather than to the bum. the shirt has interfacing along the armholes, and the neckline and back.

the fabric i chose for this is a pure cotton print, and is called: ‘topsy turvy’ a stonehill collection by donna wilder for fabric traditions.

12 may 2010

In 14+, what i wore today on 12 May, 2010 at 2:07 pm

i got the idea for this dress while falling asleep.  i had found the red dotted arnil very cheaply at my local trimmings shop, and had by kismet found a stretch white cotton very cheaply at my regular fabric shop.  talk about a happy co-incidence.  i wore my superdooperdancing shoes, as they are just my most favourite right now.  please excuse the bruise on my leg, it comes from my nearly two year old puppy bumping into me on the same spot three days apart.

alice or jackie?

In 14+, 50s clothing, clothing, dresses on 14 April, 2010 at 1:14 am

i have finally gotten the a-line pattern right, and it’s a wonderful dress – flattering while covering all the lumps and bumps, of which i seem to have a lot lately.  the deep neckline gives the eyes something to look at, while the lack of waist darts gives room to have a big tummy day.  the shape of the dress is maintained by darts in the back.

with alice in wonderland fever all over the place, i started this one out as an alice dress; the blue fabric is reminiscent, and the delicate ricrac keeps it playful.  however, i ended up putting a very 50s style collar onto the dress.  the collar was a bit of a bind, i went through three iterations before getting one that looked good on the dress.  so, is this an alice dress or a jackie o dress?

the orange fabric will have a-lines made out of it, with 3/4 sleeves and a ruffle collar.  very exciting.  these will be on sale at euphoria in durban, and on etsy.


In 14+, sizing on 21 March, 2010 at 4:21 pm

sizing is always a difficult one, as everyone is different; this may sound simplistic, but it makes the world of difference when you’re trying to get something to fit.  My experience with generic sizing is that it’s always wrong, either the waist is too small, and anything to fit my waist is about three sizes too big on the hips, or the shoulders are way too broad, and i end up looking like i’m wearing a sack.   not quite the look i ever go for.

i’ve done some research on the net and amongst my friends, and this is what i’ve come up with as a comfortable fit up to a size 40.  i work on the assumption that women have boobs, tummies and thighs, all of which aren’t quite as firm as we’d like them to be, but there you go.  that plate of pasta looks better than a carrot.

this doesn’t at all mean i’m not willing to make clothes for women who have smaller boobs, or who do in fact have flat tummies 🙂