Saturday, 8 March 2014

Window Shopping

A few details about my life before I get into the sewing talk...

A few years ago I emerged from University with a degree and not many job options. I looked around for a while and after several months of nothing but judgemental looks from the staff at centrelink I got a job working in a hospital. Not what I studied but I took it. Now on the first day at work the staff gave me a uniform and told me how to wash my hands and sent me on my way.  Don't worry I'm not actually responsible for nursing care.  

I've decided to go back to Uni this year and get my nursing degree. I've only just realised how much this decision is going to turn my life upside down more then any other time I have done tertiary study. Now putting aside all the reading and time management it seems my wardrobe is going change a lot. 

I have to wear short sleeves (at least 5 cm about the elbows) cleavage covering tops most days at Uni to be allowed into the practise labs.  I have avoided that shape for a long time.  My "uniform" is usually a knit tank top jeans and a cardigan or a woven tank top jeans and a cardigan.  Throw on a scarf and jacket for colder weather. So I have to make some things to wear.

Now to the fun part. Picking patterns...
kimono top
I already own a copy of this pattern and have made it up a handful of times.  It's an easy little top I can make in a day that doesn't have darts.  I usually only wear them on really hot days because wearing it with a cardigan is comical.  This is what I have been wearing most days at Uni.  I think I will have to make up again at least once.
Sinbad and Sailor Fitted Dove T
I have already bought this one as well. I half made it up once and then remembered I don't LIKE sleeves and boob covering tops.  It makes wearing cardigans difficult and makes me look like a barrel. I don't think my lecturers at Uni will appreciate my feelings on this so I guess I will try again.  Hopefully if I pick a really young and out there print it won't make me look that horrible. 
Sewaholic Renfrew
I "own" a copy of this one as well. I traced my Mum's copy. Never made it up.  Knits are a little scary I am not going to lie.  I can make a mean pair of panties or a singlet top but I use lace on all the raw edges and those are never going to be seen by anyone who isn't sleeping with me or doing my laundry. Wearing a knit top outside the house that's different.  But it's an option.
Megan Nielsen Briar Tshirt
Finally some window shopping! I don't think I could do the crop top version and that curved hem in a knit would give me nightmares but I love the versions I have seen around.  So flattering. 
SewChic Ehlen Blouse
This top looks adorable! I've never bought anything from Sew Chic Patterns or heard much about them. I found this pattern during a late night net lurking. It really tickles my vintage sensibilities. I would probably need to do an FBA and fiddle with the peplum to get it to fit. My instinct would be to deepen the V. Don't think my lectures would like that. 
Grainline Scout T
I live in Grainline's Tiny Pocket Tank so I should already own this one. But a few things have stopped me from buying.  I don't know if the relaxed, dartless, kinda short shape will suit me and I don't like sleeves. I would probably lower the neckline a tiny bit.
Vogue 1247
The fun one! I have been meaning to buy this one just because of all the great ones around the sewing blogs. So flattering once you get the size right.  She even looks like a nurse kinda.  A sexy sexy nurse that wants to take your blood pressure. Something about her expression, short skirt and horrible pocket placement.
Salme Cut Out the Shoulder Dress
A dress! I am tempted by this one.  I can overlook the fact that it's a shape and silhouette usually pushed on plus sized women by rtw clothing companies.  Hate your arms but look like a blob when you cover them up? Look we cut a hole for you! Don't really have a waist, especially when you indulge with a large meal? It's called elastic and we have some for you! If it was in a plus sized clothing store it would have a necklace sewn into the shoulder seams, or even worse a picture of a necklace printed onto the neckline. Gross. I do think it will look great with some boots and leggings in winter if I get the length right. Without a fake necklace.

Just have to finish a very special dress then I can get started on this project.  And you know do some Uni home work. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Gold Machine

Blackside faceplate
As I was sewing my gold dress last week I kept thinking "Oh I have to write something about my 98k, it could be a series" I am dreaming big for this little blog, I know.
serial number EV 525167
If you are playing at home when you see the red S singer logo like this it means that this machine was manufactured sometime in the 60's and as we discovered last time, the K after the model number means it was manufactured in the Kilbowie factory in Scotland (that's a joke, if anyone reads this post I don't expect you to read up on old posts this is supposed to be fun not educational). This beautiful machine is from 1963 and is not that popular or well known. I have no idea why. It's gold people. And so tiny and cute.  Offically 3/4 sized. She weighs a ton though.  

Only 50,000 of these gold machines where made (later gray machine the 286k was made and these two models are usually lumped together) compare that to the numbers of featherweights made some people say one million some say 2.5 million.  A lot more featherweights around but still these little gold wonders get no love and featherweights are selling for $300-$600.
She has all blackside pieces instead of chrome, one of the reasons I had to have her.  Now everywhere I look online states that Singer made pieces like this between 1941-1953 because of  shortages of nickel and chromium.  My 98k was made a full decade after that which is interesting. 

If anyone who stumbles upon this post knows anything about them please feel free to comment. I know very little. The lovely couple who sold her to me passed along some folk law and rumour about her model but nothing concrete.  The rumour goes that these were made to be used in institutions like schools and prisons. A budget model.  Which is why she is so heavy. The very simple engineering with hardly anything you could pull off and pocket also suggests this.   
Slide plate and bobin cover plate are in one piece
You hook your finger under and remove the whole thing to get at the bobbin

I know of only 2 others both of which were "released" from the factory on the same day. One has all blackside pieces and the other has some blackside and some chrome. I wish I could say I sewed my gold dress on my gold machine but it didn't happen that way. I bought her with a visual that I would sew 60's dresses with full skirts while wearing a 60's dress with a full skirt so I should do that sometime soon.  

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Gold Dress

Lucifer my cat, my Prada sunglasses, a purse my Gran left me and my shoes
A whole month ago sewamysew warned her readers to never ever ever sew a dress for an occasion the night before. I have done this on numerous occasions. Usually for weddings or engagement parties. I have made several dresses in 12 hours or less that look okish. A few are rare success's which I wear again and again but usually I wear them on the day because in my head I have no other option, you can't go to the engagement party and wedding in the SAME dress, and push it to the back of my wardrobe the next day. On one such occasion the dress was thrown in the bin the next day. Sorry make that twice.
spoilt cat
I somehow found myself again the night before a wedding "making it work" last Friday. I promise I started a full week ahead of time and I had a plan and everything organised before Friday night. But the universe made sure I was either exhausted and recovering from night shift or out of the house at family commitments all week. I finished this dress at 4:30 Saturday morning and had to be up at 10. Which is why I waited a full week to take these photos.
This is a byhandlondon Elisalex dress. My first one and I'm very impressed with this pattern. It's not perfect mostly because I cut lots of corners but I think it's passable. I traced a size 14/18 and added a 2 inch fba.

I did this because my upper bust measurement was 40" and my waist measurement was 33". This was pretty close to the 14/18 which is full bust 40" and waist 35" except my full bust is 42". I followed the instructions from the sew along and it worked perfectly. Those girls know how to do a sew along now. I left the waist a bit roomy to leave room for a sit down dinner. I took 10 cm off the bottom of the skirt but I might take a bit more off next time.
Lucifer looking for attention and my awesome shoes with a gold heel
It is made out of 2 fabrics a synthetic gray/brown lace with gold glitter sprinkled on top and a interesting gold woven silk fabric that behaves a little like a taffeta. The lace was $4 a meter on sale and the silk was $20 a meter both are from darn cheap fabrics. As soon as I got the silk home I threw it in the washing machine and shrunk it. It was on hand wash mode. That counts right?
Trying out some model poses but the BF is making me laugh. fail.

I stretched it back as best I could before cutting it but I am sure it is all wonky. This is a hand wash only dress. The kind you do in a sink with your hands.  

Next time I will start a full two weeks in advance.