Sunday, 22 May 2016

Me-Made-May days 9-19

So I've grouped my me-made-May days this way, so that all the outfits I wore during my 10 day cruise away would all the covered in the one post when I got home. I have another, much longer post coming that covers my adventures while away on said cruise.

Day 9
Just as I did for my previous 2 cruises, I again wore my reproduction of the outfit Marilyn Monroe's character Lorelei Lee wears as she is boarding the cruise ship in Gentlemen Prefers Blondes.

I debated whether I should wear it or not, but honestly, the novelty of it will probably never wear off, so I will probably always wear it when boarding every cruise I ever go on.

Here is a photo of me wearing it boarding my first cruise last October.

And a photo of mum and I with a cocktail in each hand not long after we boarded. We were up in the smoking area of deck 12, so it was too windy to keep the stole on.

Day 10
Our first full day at sea, so I wore my new pants and blue and white stripe top that I had made specifically for the trip. I didn't manage to get an outfit shot, so here's a group selfie from that day.

Day 11
Another full day at sea, and the weather was still a little cool, so I wore my Red and Green Simplicity 3107

I put my hair up in curlers halfway through the day so that I would have a bit more curl that evening, and wore my curlers wrapped in a scarf, out to a cocktail class and then afternoon trivia.

Day 12
Spent the Day in Noumea, and I wore my yellow check and red gerbera sundress (which I have not blogged about) over a bikini

In the evening I wore my Silver Butterick 6582

Day 13
Visited Mystery Island, which was mostly beachy with a few markets, so I simply wore my purple sarong over my bikini.

That evening was the P & O White party, so I wore my white "Seven Year Itch" dress which is getting very very snug on me now, I am really going to have to lose a bit of weight if I want to keep wearing this gorgeous thing.

Day 14
Port Vila, another sunny humid location, so I opted for my floral sundress from my sew-along last year.

In the evening I wore my  kitty valentine dress to dinner at one of the ship's specialty restaurants, Angelo's, where I enjoyed a bottle of Chianti, served in a shoe shaped bottle holder.

Day 15
We visited Lifou, so again I wore my yellow check and red gerbera dress over a bikini, although I did very little swimming here.

In the evening I wore my Butterick 5859 made in a kitty print Gertie polyester, with my new grey pants.

Day 16
Isle of Pines, I again wore my floral sundress. At this point I realised I really should have packed more sundresses, but I really didn't mind re-wearing them.

I can't find any photographic proof, but from memory, I think I wore my blue and white stripe top with my black skirt to Dinner at the Waterfront, then the Mix Bar after.

Day 17
Our first sea day on the way back to Australia, so I chose to wear my Pink wrap dress, as the long sleeves are more suited to the ship's air-conditioning, rather than the island sun and humidity.

I just loved these mirrors, wish I could have taken one home!

For Gatsby night, as I don't have anything particularly 1920's in my me-made wardrobe, I packed and wore this sparkly gown that I made to wear to a Miss Pinup Australia event some years ago. It was a last minute plan at the time, so this dress was designed very simply, and is constructed entirely of rectangles. I accessorised it with a faux fur stole, lots of beads, an ostrich feather, 2 pairs of false eyelashes and my attempt at a cupids bow lip. Oh and my sparkly high heels that I bought and wore for my wedding.

Day 18
Another sea day, I wore my Brown check dress during the day, then my kitty Valentine dress that evening. A selfie from that night of me and the fabulous musician that I had been going to see every night for the second half of the cruise. I will tell you more about him in my next post about the cruise.

Day 19
It was a chilly morning when we arrived back in Sydney, so I opted to wear my Brown Check dress again as we disembarked

I was pretty happy with my efforts of only taking and wearing Me-Mades for this cruise, although I did cheat a little and wore store bought bikinis, as I don't have any me-made ones that I am completely happy with. Also, I have so many store bought ones, that it would be a shame not to use them.


Monday, 9 May 2016

Me-Made-May days 1-8

Here's my recap of the first 8 days of my Me-Made-May

Day 1
As the first fell on a Sunday, and I didn't get my butt out of bed in time for church, I ended up spending most of the day in my pyjamas. But luckily they were my adorable kitty print burda pyjamas! I did occasionally try on garments as I sewed them to check for fit as the day went on

Day 2
I don't usually work Mondays (although on this day I did duck in to work to deal with a situation) so I just threw on the first comfortable dress I found. Which happened to be my yellow/orange/pink floral Butterick B6167

Day 3
Today I wore my Silver version of Butterick 6582, that I made a few years ago. It is slightly sheer, so I wear it with a vintage slip, as I still haven't gotten around to making any slips for myself yet.

Photo from last year's Me-Made-May

Day 4
It was a very chilly morning, so I decided to wear my Marilyn Brown Check dress to work (and to a friend's place then my grandparent's place after work) I am absolutely loving this dress, as it looks so classy and put together, but it is stretchy and comfy as well.

Photo from a few weeks ago

Day 5
As I had just finished my new grey trousers and blue stripe blouse the night before I really wanted to wear them to work and give them a good test before taking them to wear on holiday. I am happy to report they survived the day perfectly, and my boss (who is pretty used to my sewing by now) was blown away when I told her I had made the blouse, so that's a good sign. I felt pretty chic in the outfit, and I already planning more of these blouses.

Day 6
I decided to pull out an outfit from my wardrobe that hasn't seen much use lately, and that is my top and skirt made from a vintage Anne Adams dress pattern. I was never 100% happy with the way the neckline sat, and after it was washed the fabric was very wrinkly, so I got lazy and just shoved it in the cupboard.

That evening I squeezed myself into my white "Seven Year Itch" dress for dinner out with my dad.

Day 7
I spent this Saturday mostly sewing up last minute things for my trip away, so I wore an old comfy favourite, although it is a little snug on me now. It is my version of Butterick B6522

Day 8
Mother's Day once again! This year we brought lunch to my Grandma's house for her, and I of course made the dessert, a New York Cheesecake this time. I had just finished sewing another blouse from Butterick B5859 from some of the kitty print polyester in the Gertie range. So I wore it and my grey trousers (which I then chucked in the wash so they would be clean to take with me on the cruise the next day) My grandma liked my blouse so much, she wants one now!

And that is all you'll be hearing from until I return from my cruise! Hopefully I will be able to convince mum to take daily outfit photos of me, so I will be able to share those upon my return!


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Marilyn's red jacket from Niagara

In the next instalment of Dixie's mad sewing frenzy at she prepares to go away on a cruise for 10 days during Me-Made-May and needs to make sure she has enough suitable me-made clothes, I have for you my version of the red jacket that Marilyn Monroe wore during the 1953 movie, Niagara.

To make this jacket very simple in its construction, I simply used the bodice pieces from Butterick B5824 and reshaped the lapels. To make it nice and snuggly (and also use up some stash fabric) I made it from a lovely soft polar fleece that I have had for quite some time. My version is not going to be quite as fitted/tailored, but still have a very similar shape and look

It came together super quick, I cut the pieces out before work on the Thursday, and got most of the construction, except the pressing and hems, done that evening. As I had made this pattern before, I already knew how it went together, so that helped a bit. I also left it unlined, as the fabric was soft, so this saved on fabric and time

Before I sewed the collar facing pieces on, I put the jacket on my mannequin and used pins to outline the shape I wanted the collar lapels to be. I used this as a guide to trim all the collar pieces.

Pinned lapel shape

Adapted collar facing

The collar facing piece was the sewed onto the main part of the jacket, curves clipped and turned right side out and arranged on my mannequin. At this point I hadn't pressed or hemmed it, but it was about 10pm so I decided to call it a night.

And then, when I was heading to bed, I spotted another kitty in my basket. This time it was Mabel. I guess she figured that if her sister was allowed to sleep in it last night, then surely she was allowed to as well?

The next morning, before work, I gave the jacket a quick press along the collar, side seams and darts (not bothering to wrangle with the sleeve seams) then chucked it in a bag along with a needle and thread so I could hand stitch the facing down during my lunch break at work.

I also used some of the time before work to pick out a nice button for my jacket, but some reason I had it in my head that this jacket had a black button, but when I checked the photos, it was actually white! Ooops! But at least I realised before I had done the button hole and attached the button. When I got home that evening I picked out a white button instead and and hand sewed the hem.

I still have to work out how I want to do the sleeve cuffs, and I also still need to attach the button and make the button hole, but I am leaving that til later so I can work on other outfits at the moment, and if I run out of time, I can hand sew those things while on the cruise. The jacket has turned out a little larger around the waist than I would have liked, but I think it still resembles Marilyn's jacket. I will probably make another, more tailored, version of this jacket at a later date.

I also made another blouse from Butterick B5859, this time using a piece of the cat print polyester from the Gertie Fabric line. I've had about 1.5m of it, that I picked up from the remnants at spotlight for ages, and I never knew what I was going to use it for. I am glad I kept it til now, as I think it was perfect for this pattern, and I also think I am going to really enjoy wearing it.

I still have to hand sew the down the inside of the neckband, but I'm leaving that for later also.

Anyone else been doing any last minute sewing?


Thursday, 5 May 2016

A Quick outfit of basics

With Me-Made-May upon us, I realised (like many people) I was a bit short of a few basics. As I am going away for 10 days next week, I decided it was really quite vital that I fill some of those gaps before I left. So while I was also working on a much more complex evening gown project which I will share with you later, I also squeezed out some time for a simple pair of pants and loose fitting top.

As it happens, this was perfect to fit in with this month's Social Sew, hosted by Allie from Allie J

For the pants I used my graded up version of Vintage McCalls 9708 (so I'm counting this towards my Vintage Pattern Pledge count) lengthened to full length with a bit of added flair, from just over 2m of some soft grey suiting type fabric that I purchased from an op-shop, and a vintage grey metal zip and little grey button from my stash. Nothing particularly exciting happened with the construction, and I am very happy with the fit, even if the waistband is maybe a tiny bit too snug, and the front a little bit baggy. It is still a pretty big improvement over the fit of pants I have made in the past.

Front view

Not yet hemmed

Back view

Once I had finished the pants, I realised that all my me-made tops are quite fitted and would not work with these pants. I decided I wanted a loose fitting blouse to wear with them. I didn't have to look far in my patterns to find a suitable one. I decided to use Butterick B5859 and sew up the size 22, based on the finished garment measurements, as I wanted it to be loose fitting. I chose a lightweight blue and white striped fabric with a nice drape from my stash, and cut out the pieces I needed. I decided to slightly shorten the bias cut ties, as I didn't want a huge bow on my already plus sized chest.

I followed the pattern instructions for the most part, except for setting in the sleeves, which I like to do before sewing the side seams. It was a very quick sew, and I will probably use the blouse pattern again.

half done, still needs hems and
the tie sewn on

Completed top

What do you think? Perfect to wear while on a cruise or what?

I can no longer take full length mirror selfies, as we have rented out that room, so this is the best I can do for you. I was so excited when I finished it last night I had to try the outfit on to see how it looked, and I tried my best to take a selfie, showing at least some of the pants.

Just before bed last night, I came out to the Dining room to find Tessa had helped herself to my Pink Lined Easter Basket (which I had used earlier in the day to carry some dishes to my grandmother's place) and I just couldn't bring myself to kick her out of it, she was too adorable! At least I can just untie the liner and throw it in the washing machine.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Me-Made-May '16

As it is now the first day of May (and a very wet one at that) I thought I had better post my Pledge on my own blog, seeing as I was one of the first to sign up on So, Zo.....'s sing up post.

I Dixie O'Dare, of, Sign up to participate in Me-Made-May '16. I pledge to only wear me-made clothes every day for the duration of May 2016

I've had a good start so far by making sure I wore my retro Burda pyjamas to bed last night.

I did eventually get dressed, as I had to run to the supermarket for a few things, but mostly I spent the day in my sewing room, armed with my iron and a spray bottle of diluted vinegar, to work on my latest project.

I am sure a lot of you will be able to recognise what dress I am aiming to reproduce with this pleating, and if not, your only guess is that it is another Marilyn Monroe reproduction. I already have 2 other Marilyn Monroe reproduction outfits sitting half completed in my sewing room, that I did mean to finish before starting on this one. However, once I get an idea in my head to make something this spectacular, I just can't focus on anything else.

So far I have spent a majority of today and yesterday pleating the fabric for the skirt, and while I am further along than when I took this photo, I am still not finished the second side of the skirt (then I will have the fabric for the bodice to pleat as well!) But I am so excited for this dress, and I am sooo happy these pleats seem to be working out pretty well.

Anyone else participating in Me-Made-May (or working on any Marilyn Monroe outfits)?