Sunday, 23 August 2015

Peacocks and pussycats

New Look 6643 is finished. It took a while, because I’d somehow completely messed up the centre back seam adjustment for my sway back. Fortunately there was too much fabric in the dress rather than too little, but it did mean that once I’d corrected it, my careful pattern matching at the bottom of the seam was completely lost. Ah well.

It’s an odd fabric. When looked at closely, it becomes obvious that the pattern repeats are not as frequent as I initially thought. At first glance, certain feathers appear to be repeated.

The same motifs appear both sides of the centre back seam

However at second glance, the surrounding areas are very different, and the motif placement is not quite the same.

But other parts are not remotely the same

So it’s quite possible that the pattern would not have matched after all.

Once I’d fixed the centre back seam, all that was required was the teal band at the bottom of the skirt. Because the skirt is straight at that point, the teal section could be cut out as a single piece, rather than a front and two backs. Then, because the teal fabric is much thinner than the craft cotton main fabric, I decided to make the band a double thickness, folded at the bottom edge. This also meant that there was no hem stitching to try to hide, so it was win-win.

I’m really pleased with the end result. The front neckline gaped a little bit, but a running stitch along the facing, plus careful pressing, fixed that. The wide neckline and the cap sleeve effect of the bodice give the dress a nicely balanced look. And the contrast band and neckline trim work well.

The finished dress

It was a bit tricky taking photos as the weather this weekend has been, at best, mixed. One benefit of all the (warm) rain was that it made the honeysuckle in my garden smell wonderful, so as everyone must be sick of seeing the same wall in my yard by now, I thought I’d take some pictures in a different spot. You’ll just have to imagine the honeysuckle scent!

No side seams in the bottom section

Plus, here’s a bonus, taken-very-quickly-before-it-absolutely-pelts-down, shot of view D of the same pattern, which I made a couple of years ago. Also from a craft cotton remnant. By this stage it was so dark that the flash went off, which gives the photograph a slightly weird effect.

View D of the same pattern

Finally, something which I’ve meant to post about for ages. After a very difficult time, my cat-mad friend F moved into a lovely new home a couple of months ago. I knew exactly what I wanted to make for a house-warming present, and when I went to the quilt show in Malvern I was on the lookout for some suitably feline fabric to make up into cushions.

Kitty-cat cushions

Not only did I find fabric, I found buttons as well.

With kitty-cat buttons

I must confess that I couldn’t face sewing ten buttonholes, so the buttons and contrast strip are just for show. Instead I made envelope openings on the back, using the contrast and piping fabrics.

And flowery/marbled backs

F loved them. Teddy (her own, black and white, cat) declined to comment.

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