SEWN: Dare to Pear Dress

Dare to Pear Dress - 1

Groovy, baby

Dare to Pear Dress - 2

I bought a yard or so of this lovely knitted fabric with repeated pear print in Sydney AGES ago. As the fabric itself is kinda quirky and attention-grabbing, I decided to make a simple shift dress with it, using a long knitted dress I have as a base (i.e. no paper pattern involved). I have never worked with knitted fabric prior to this and boy was I in for a ride. I finished the neckline and the sleeve openings using bias tape I made with the same fabric and.. all I can say it that it needed a lot of patience..

And then I decided to get a little creative and do a curved hem for the dress. That was the worst decision I made in the process of making this dress. The dress turned out a little too short to be a real dress but still a little too long to be a tank top. It’s still really cute in my opinion but I am just finding it hard to reconcile with the ultra mini length.

Maybe all I need is a pair of white plastic hoop earrings and white go-go boots, then I’ll be good to go. Swinging sixties look, of course.

DIY / OUTFIT: My own Hawaiian way

Before (left) and after (right)

A close friend of mine gave me her old Hawaiian dress several months ago. It’s a vintage blue Hawaiian dress she bought when she was on a holiday in Hawaii back in the 80’s! I love old clothes. 

Unfortunately, the dress wasn’t quite my style. Seeing that it’s made of easy-to-deal cotton fabric, I decide to bust out my Elna and give it a modern twist. And here’s the result…


Wearing: Refashioned vintage Hawaiian cropped top and skirt, thrifted necklace and bag, ASOS platforms

All I did was cut the shirred top off and finished off the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch. Then, I shortened the skirt and added an elastic waist to it. Easy-peasy! It originally looked more like a holiday dress… as in something you would only wear when you’re on a holiday. But now, it’s more like a ready-to-wear item. This is definitely something I can wear often in hot and humid Singapore! x

SEWN: Hawaiian Dress

Aloha~

I once wrote about the almost countless yards of fabric in various Hawaiian prints in my fabric stash on my old blog here. That was about a year ago. Fast forward a year and…, I have only sewn one pair of Hawaiian shorts and this Hawaiian dress.


I started this dress when I was still in Sydney. I vividly remembering cutting out the various pieces for sewing and then packing them neatly in a ziploc bag before placing the bag in a box (along with the rest of my fabric stash) for shipment back to Singapore. 

I only finished this dress in … I think September? I guess I took such a long time because I got distracted by other things that were happening in my life and also, I made other stuff in between. 


I got this amazing fabric with a Hawaiian border print back in Cabramatta in Sydney. It’s 100% cotton and I like how the stiffness of the fabric makes the skirt look kinda poofy when I wear it. Looking at the example on the front of the dress pattern envelope, I think that’s the idea of it – for the skirt to look poofy.

Pattern: Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2250, skirt length for B and strap design for A
Fabric: 100% cotton with Hawaiian border print
Modification(s): I scrunched up the bit at the chest area a little more than instructed in the pattern.
What I dislike about this pattern: That bodice. It was a tad complicated to sew.What I love about this pattern: That bodice. It was a tad complicated to sew BUT it gave me a chance to improve my skills! Oh, and did I mention that there are pockets!?



I love this pattern because the it is really unique and I love how the border print along the bottom of the skirt turned out. I know I am definitely using this pattern again. Now excuse me while I strum my ukulele and daydream about Hawaii…

SEWN: Kitty cushions

Meow

So, things have been rather quiet around here lately. Yes, I have been busy. In the time that I have been absent from blogging, I have sewn 6 kitty cushions; sewn 2 lion-head cushions; completed my Hawaiian dress; made a crochet flower pot. If you follow my Instagram @gwenstella89, you would know that I haven’t been lazy!

Ah, 6 kitty cushions. Six adorable kitty cushions.

I found this fabric panel featuring a bunch of random kitties while casually shopping at Spotlight one day and decided to buy a panel for a quick project. To be honest, I can’t remember if it was 0.5 m or 1m. All I know is that I got 6 kitties out of it. 



This project was so easy and I had so much fun matching the kitty fabric with a contrasting fabric. I chose a fun but simple purple floral fabric for the grey kitty; a plain red fabric for the brown floral kitty; a plain pink fabric for the purple floral kitty. To add some creativity to project (and to add more charm to the kitties), I made the ears bendable and added bells inside the ears! 

Trust me, the jingling bells doubled the cuteness factor of the kitties. 


And, just to spice things up a little, I made the kitties wear my glasses. Geez, I was totally smitten with these kitties. 


That purple kitty looks flat because I was not done with filling it up before taking this family photo. I had run out of the polyester filling and HAD to take this family photo because I was giving one of them to someone who was leaving!


I’ve given all but one of the kitties away to my friends. One of the kitties now resides in Shanghai, another in Chicago, and the rest remains in Singapore. One of them lies in bed with me at night. Honestly, I’m NOT a soft toy person. But I DO like this kitty I made. xx

SEWN: Hawaiian Shorts


This is a sewing project that I completed late last year while I was still in Sydney, and while I was still writing my thesis and pining for summer. 

It’s not just about my love for Sydney’s summer – it’s also about my obsession with Hawaiian print. 


Hawaiian print – the mere thought of those words is sufficient to make me smile and do a pirouette. You might think that I am exaggerating. I can assure you that I am not. 

I can’t even remember where I bought this Hawaiian print fabric because it has been soooo long ago. It’s 100% polyester with a texture that is similar to Billabong board shorts. So, of course, I had to make a pair of beach shorts out of it.

Pattern: New Look 6055, option E
Fabric: 100% polyester in Hawaiian print
Modification(s): I shortened the hem and opted not to include the belt loop (mostly because I was too lazy to sew them).
What I dislike about this pattern: Nothing!What I love about this pattern: It’s super easy to sew and there are POCKETS!!!

Unfortunately, I have only worn this pair of shorts once thus far and it was not a trip to the beach. So, this is the only photo I have of the shorts to show to everyone.

I wonder when I’ll get the chance to wear this pair of shorts again…

Anyhoo, I have about 1 metre of this fabric left and guess what I’m making with the remaining fabric? A matching bag!! 😀

x g

SEWN: 60s-inspired Mondrian Shift Dress



Dreams do come… partially true.



(via)

This 1965 Yves Saint Laurent “Mondrian” Day dress is one of the reasons why I fell in love with the 60s. (That and the whole flower power movement and the Twist and Twiggy and british pop songs from those years and…….)

Ok, I digress. 


Yes, this 1965 YSL dress is divine. All other (cheap) Mondrian-inspired dresses manufactured by clothing chain stores are crap. This F21 remake is an example. 


But it’s impossible for me to own the genuine 1965 YSL dress. It is also impossible for me to wear a cheap remake without feeling repulsed. And so, I set my heart to making an acceptable remake of the dress.


You have no idea how I squealed when I saw this fabric in Mondrian print in a craft shop last year. The Little Gwen in my head even did a little victory dance. 


And several months later, this dress was born. Life is good.





Pattern: New Look 6049, option A
Fabric: 100% cotton in Mondrian print (front), black polyester (back)
Modification(s): I shortened the hem and reduced the size of the bodice (as usual).
What I dislike about this pattern: Nothing!
What I love about this pattern: IT’S A SHIFT DRESS!

SEWN: Red and white cherry dress

Cherry is da bomb

Ah, a sewing post. 

I made this dress over a year ago but never had the chance to write about it on my now defunct craft blog. So, here it is, featured as a sewing project for the very first time on my new blog! (Yes, check out the old blog if you are keen on knowing more about some of the things that I will continue to write about here.)



The dress
Matching seams!
The pattern

Pattern: New Look 6020, option D (bottom right)
Fabric: Cherry print in polycotton for skirt, red polyester for bodice
Modification(s): I shortened the hem and reduced the size of the bodice (as usual).
What I dislike about this pattern: Zipper on the side rather than at the back
What I love about this pattern: Two words – sweetheart neckline!



Sweetheart neckline

Despite reducing the size of the bodice, it still ended up a little too big. But that only means that the next time I use this pattern again, I’m going to continue to reduce the size a bit more and it’s going to end up perfect. Regardless, it’s a sweetheart neckline!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

And you have no idea how much I love cherry print. Cherry prints are cute AND sexy. What are the chances for something to be cute and sexy AT THE SAME TIME!? I think I have made my point. 


And because I am cheesy, I like wearing this dress with my very treasured pair of cherry earrings which I bought from the Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll and Alternative Market a few months back. Oh god, I miss those days…


In other news, I have too many photos to share and too many things to write again. Stay tuned for another blog post soon! 

SEWN: 70s floral dirndl skirt


This is another project that I completed many months ago. I think I finished this in autumn (around May) but never got around to wearing it, taking photos of it or blogging about it. But here it is! I wore it the first time to the Priceline Pout Day which I talked about a while ago.


Butterick 5935 (via)
Floral print which, according to my friend, seems Laura Ashley-inspired

Pattern: Butterick 5935, option B (pictured on the right)
Fabric: Polycotton, Laura Ashley-inspired floral print
Modification(s): I shortened the hem (as usual).
What I dislike about this pattern: I think a dirndl skirt is meant to be a full skirt. But for some reason, my dirndl skirt simply isn’t as full as the ones shown on the front of the sewing pattern. I am definitely unable to stretch my legs out and run quickly when wearing this skirt. But I guess it doesn’t really matter that much. 
What I love about this pattern: The mere fact that the pattern is from the 70s makes my heart sing. Oh, also, THERE ARE POCKETS!


That’s all for now folks! I’ve wasted 343264735 hours on the computer trying to fix a problem that I have been having with the system. Now that I have (sort of) fixed it and written a blog post, it’s time I continue working on my thesis……………………

xx g

SEWN: A dress called Edith

Edith

 Edith is currently my favourite dress at the moment. Yes, I love her so much, I gave her a name. 

She is a vintage-inspired 60s summer dress made using Butterick 6582, a retro reissue of the original pattern that was printed in the 60s. 


Love the print on the fabric

Pattern: Butterick 6582, option C
Fabric: Polycotton, Floral motifs with white and green gingham background
Modification(s): I shortened the hem by 15 cm because I am fun-sized!

Initially, I was quite apprehensive about this pattern because the bodice looked complicated to me with all the various pieces and the ruching at the shoulder. But the instructions were really helpful and the sewing process was a real breeze!

I really love the shoulder detail and the gathering at the sides of the skirt, which makes the skirt looks poofy when I wear it even without any petticoat underneath! (That said, I do still want to get a petticoat…)


Bodice and skirt
Poofy skirt!

This is definitely a pattern that I will use again. I am probably going to make Version A the next time!

More photos of the dress can be found in the previous post here.
xx

SEWN: Polka Dot Cape

 
 

Pattern: Simplicity 2030 (Sew Simple)

Fabric: Velour, navy polka dots on white background
This cape is made of velour, just like Zapp Brannigan’s suit. But this cape is more awesome than Zapp Brannigan’s suit. I think I bought this fabric earlier this year when it was on sale. The polka dots and the plush, shiny look of the fabric blew me away the very moment I laid eyes on it and I knew I had to get it. I don’t know why, but for some reason, the fabric screamed, ‘KATE SPADE!’ to me. 

Wearing the cape with ASOS sunnies, DIY denim, and red lipstick

Within a minute of deciding that I was going to buy the fabric, I also decided that I was going to make a cape with the fabric, regardless of the suitability of velour as a material for making something that is meant to keep a person warm in winter. Oh, and also, the pattern does not recommend the use of velour at all. Sense 0 – Sensibility 1. 

But hey, the end product isn’t too bad! I didn’t make a muslin but simply made some alterations to the pattern based on my… intuition… and how the cape looks on the white silhouette on the front of the envelope. These are the changes that I made:


– Raised arm holes
– Shortened cape
– 3 hook and eye instead of the 4 prescribed by the pattern
– Additional topstitch all around the bottom which was not stated in the pattern. I did this to make the fabric stay in place since my fabric is quite light. Without the topstitch, the bottom of the cape looked puffy as the velour is not heavy enough.

The cape
Detail

I reckon the arm holes can still be raised a tad more. Regardless, I am still happy with how the cape turned out. Now, let me lay the cape to sleep into my wardrobe and I shall find an opportunity to wear it when I’m back from my clinical placement in Albury.

Let me know what you think of this polka dot cape! 🙂