Monday, 13 June 2011

thank you, Queen Elizabeth

Us Australians are grateful for the Queen of England gracing us with another public holiday to celebrate her birthday, even though it's about two months after her actual birthday and we don't really have any celebrations like they do in England.  But we're not complaining, we love our public holidays!

For me it meant extra time to get some sewing in, do a photography assignment for my course, go out to dinner with some friends and sneak in a sleep in too.  And best of all? My normal three day working week has been shortened to two days, yippee!

I actually made sewing my photography assignment as the task was to pick a subject, theme or narrative and take 10 shots demonstrating the skills we have learnt in the course: correct exposure, different shutter speeds etc.  And I thought what better narrative than the story of how us sewists transform fabric into something wearable?

I started with this oversized navy polka dot dress that was sewn by my late grandmother and has been sitting in my refashion pile for a few years:


It was just a shapeless shift dress, but she had sewn it with French seams for the side seams, so I just cut it across the width into three rectangle 'tubes' of decreasing length keeping the side seams intact.  Because the polka dot fabric is a thin rayon fabric, I used a cotton poplin in navy blue as a lining cut a little longer so it would peek out:


The waistband casing is actually the lining fabric.  What I did was sew the lining to the skirt, right sides together, flipped the lining to the inside but instead of pushing the lining all the way in and then pressing the edge,  I left a few centimetres of the lining above the sewn edge of the waistline to form a casing for the elastic.  All I did then was to topstitch around the top and the bottom of the casing, insert the elastic and I ended up with a contrasting waistband.  Too easy! And it looks so neat from the inside too:


Of course it wouldn't be one of my projects without a minor stuff up! One that I didn't find until the end and have decided to live with: I accidentally sewed the wrong side of the lining to the right side of the skirt before I flipped it to the inside and so the overlocked edge of the skirt lining peeks out a little bit:


And I used the rolled hem feature on my new overlocker on the edge of those layers which works brilliantly of course! On my old overlocker I had to change the foot plate by unscrewing it, removing and screwing on the other one, and change the presser foot as well as play with the tension to get it to work.  On this one though all I did was take out the left needle, flick a lever, turn the dial and hey presto out came perfect rolled hems. 

Best of all the recipient sure likes it (oh you didn't think this is a skirt for me did you?):




For my photography assignment I also took a series of photos of the steps involved.  I actually only used the pattern shown below as a guide for length because this skirt is basically just a dirndl skirt (rectangles gathered at the waistband), so the pattern piece is really just for show more than anything!







this one is supposed to show the needle going up and down - trying to be artistic!


Because this is only a community college course there is no pass or fail, but I hope my tutor and class like the photos.  We had appalling weather here over the weekend but I think they turned out well!

23 comments:

  1. I've had a pretty good sewing weekend too! Love love love this skirt on Anna. Great photos.

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  2. No sewing at my house this weekend but the weather wasn't as bad as they said (but I am over the Arctic feel). That little skirt is beautiful .. I really love it and it looks so nice on Anna... very grown up and sophisticated.

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  3. I got zero sewing done this weekend and had the entire weekend to myself.

    Anna looks adorable in her new little skirt and how special that it's made from her great grandmothers dress!

    Blessings

    Linda

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  4. Cute skirt - love the big blue polka-dots!

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  5. Your refashioning worked out so well. Cute skirt!

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  6. Your photos are wonderful! And the skirt is absolutely adorable.

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  7. Your adorable model is actually smiling! What's with that?

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  8. Nice photos. I love photography too. I think photography and tennis are such complementary hobbies.

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  9. Holy freaking cute!! I love it! I may just have to copy this one for Myra. So adorable!!!

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  10. You clever girl you! Anna sure does have her mama's good taste!
    It turned out so cute! And her great gramma probably couldn't be prouder! Pok a dots are sooo in now too... what's not to like?

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  11. Lovely Kristy, what a fun garment and assignment. Your Grandma would be smiling.

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  12. My goodness Anna has grown! She looks lovely in this skirt.

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  13. Oh how precious that Anna is wearing something that belonged to her great-grandmother, then re-fashioned by you. So many loving hands have fashioned that fabric.

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  14. That looks great! And the photography is really good too! I spent the holiday Monday sewing as well. It's a wonder you couldn't hear the machines whirring across the country!

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  15. What an amazing refashion! Anna is adorable as ever and I love all of the detailed yet artistic pictures of our craft.

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  16. Cute skirt. Cute model. Great photos!

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  17. Beautiful skirt and your photography is brilliant.

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  18. Love those photos!! And the skirt is just so cute (oh and so is Anna)

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  19. hey no fair! We don't get a public holiday for Liz's birthday in the UK! >:(

    At least you made good use of the day - that skirt's adorable and your artistic photos are great!

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  20. Lovely artistic photos! I have no knack for nice photos, so I appreciate those who have the skill to do so. Love the way you refashioned this dress!

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  21. Your daughter is adorable in her sweet skirt! I love your photography too, so engaging!

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  22. Oh my what an adorable little girl and the skirt is just so specail!

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  23. Love this!! And shes super adorable!!

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