Monday 29 December 2014

Mabel meets a prince!

Ha! Do I look pleased with myself? I promised you better pictures of my latest Mabel skirt. Here it is, accessorized with a handsome prince!

Just before Christmas my husband and I went to see Dutch National Ballet perform Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella in Amsterdam. It was one of the occasions I planned to wear my (still unfinished) Christmas dress to, but sometimes you need a Plan B. My red and black Mabel skirt was just what I needed.

During intermission and after the show I checked out the prince's costumes,  beautifully made garments with lots of hand sewn details.

After the show we waited patiently while the prince was signing autographs for his fans and talking to little Cinderella's, probably all dreaming of a ballet career.

When there were no booklets or posters left to be signed it was time for a very important question. "Wanna grab a beer?"

"Sure!", said Prince Guillaume, also known as Mr. Canal Couture. The prince quickly changed into his jeans, and that night Mr. Foxgloves, Miss Canal Couture, the prince and I drank beer and partied happily ever after!

Sunday 28 December 2014

Muslin marathon and Dahlia disaster

This is my third muslin of Colette patterns Dahlia dress. When I first laid my eyes on the pattern I considered it a candidate for this year's Christmas dress. I bought some nice plaid fabric and blue lining and was ready to go.

Then  alarming pictures started to show up on blogs, Instagram and Twitter. It looked like lots of sewists had fitting issues, especially around the shoulder section. O well, no need to worry. Not with my extra broad swimmer shoulders. Gaping neckline? Are you kidding? That never happens to me. Matter of lady cargo distribution, I presume. Boy, was I wrong! 
When I cut my usual size for Colette patterns it resulted in a bodice with enough room in the shoulders to wear a linebacker outfit underneath. Which was quite unexpected, since I had to widen the shoulders of my Moneta dresses. No need for a FBA, in fact I could take the muslin in at the bust. What??!! That's a first!
From the waist downwards things looked pretty good so I kept focusing on the bodice. The problem seems to be caused by the one piece raglan sleeve. I started by adding a dart, them I changed to a two piece sleeve and although the fit improved, I'm still not satisfied. Time was running out, so I put this conundrum aside for a while and looked for another pattern for a Christmas dress. Why not kill two birds with one stone and make a shirt dress for the autumn of 1000 shirtdresses challenge?

After tracing the bodice of M6696 I found the neckline too high for a festive dress. Burda Style 5/2010 #137 was another option, but after tracing that bodice it seemed too low. I don't want to sound like Goldilocks but when you have a larger bust size the line between just right and absolutely indecent is a very thin line indeed. I added an extra inch to the Burda bodice, adjusted the collar and lapels and changed the sleeves for the M6696 sleeves. For the skirt I wanted a 3/4 circle, which I drew on an old duvet cover to make a muslin.

The skirt looked fine, so I divided it into three parts (two front skirts with added button bands and a back skirt) and was ready to cut into a beautiful black jacquard. Only to discover my piece of fabric could not accommodate a wide midi skirt AND long sleeves. Back to the drawing board for a half circle skirt. To make a long story short: three days before Christmas my dress still looked like a frumpy duvet cover turned muslin.

Basically I had the choice to hurry along and try to finish this dress in time, or to sit down by the fire with a glass of wine, watch some movies, bake more cookies. Wine and cookies won.

Christmas was great, with good food and wonderful company. And of course when Foxgloves and thimbles, Canal couture and Sartorial sweatshop are celebrating Christmas together lots of sewing related gifts turn up under the tree!

Happy holidays!

Monday 15 December 2014

Mabel by candlelight

I finished another Mabel skirt. This time I used a red and black double knit, bought a few months ago at the Utrecht fabric market. The result: very comfortable party wear! Construction wise there's nothing new, so I thought I'd let the pictures tell the story. 

That's me, modelling my Mabel skirt at a party. Take a close look and you might just see the waistband. Fashion pic fail! Not to worry, mr Foxgloves would take some pictures when we went to a concert last week. 

Same outfit, another glas of wine, candlelight and an iPhone camera. Sorry! December parties, great atmosphere, crappy pictures. Cheers!