Nyssa Jayne Makes It! on shoesandblues.com

Spanish Holiday

Gosh, I didn’t expect that break.  I have blogged in the meantime, but the internet appears to have eaten it and I haven’t made time to re-write the post.  I returned to full time work last year, which reduced the amount of spare time I had to blog and sew.  I also had quite an old and tired computer, hence the lack of energy.  However, I have started a brand new job, I bought a brand new computer and I am currently putting the finishing touches on a new layout, which will hopefully make this place a little more modern and demonstrate some of the things I’ve learned since I started front-end programming and now designing full time.

Previously on Shoes and Blues though, I mentioned a dress I made to wear to a friend’s wedding.

Yeah, I hang out in beautiful Spanish villas all the time

Outside the villa in Begur.

Neil took my photo out the front of our hotel in Begur, Spain, which was near where the wedding was.  What a destination!

Anyway, the dress.  It’s made from some soft, sheer cotton I got from Kinki Gerlinki, although it’s underlined with some plain navy cotton.  The top half of the dress is Licorice from Collette and the bottom half started its life as New Look 6896.

The top half of the dress actually started off as Collette’s Taffy.  Perhaps it would’ve stayed as Taffy if I had of considered the underlining a little more.  Using the right fabric for the right job, rather than getting caught up in polka dots, is something I’m looking to improve on.  In this case, I switched up the bodice instead.  I feel also that the topstitching on the bodice is wonky as well due to the inconsistencies between the fabrics.  Or it’s due to my excitement to finish a garment, either way.  The draping on the skirt isn’t underlined, so the polka dots get to shine.

The fit on this bodice isn’t perfect. The darts are in all kinds of crazy places, which is also true of the Maudy Arabella dress I made, although I only learned recently some of these dart secrets. I also think there’s some excess fabric above the bustline and it gapes at the back. I find these smaller fit issues once I’ve been wearing a garment out in the wild for awhile. Blogging about them is my reminder to take note next time.

So the skirt, while not perfect, I’m quite happy that it came out as well as it did.

Hanging out.

This is a closer look at the front of the skirt.  There’s some extra fabric at the front that drapes in the front, and the pockets angle out.  I was inspired by a dress that I bought from an op shop ages ago.  I must admit, I still wear the op shop dress more often because ironing this dress is quite a feat, however I’m going to chalk that up to another learning experience about the right fabric for the right job.

I’m not quite experienced enough to provide a tutorial on how to adapt a skirt pattern, but I figured a couple of diagrams might be of help.

What do I know about illustrator anyway

Firstly, the draped front panels. Using a compass, or a pencil on the end of a string, I put the point at the top of the skirt front, then dragged the pencil from the bottom of the skirt until it was level at the top.

Making it up really.

The next alteration was the slash and spread on the pockets. I moved the slashed piece out until the skirt side was level with the bottom (not a terribly precise process, but I had the original dress for reference). One pocket piece is adjusted, but the facing is not. Instead, the pieces are eased together later. They do a lot of the work when it comes to shaping the dress.

If you’re looking to do some more reading on an alteration like this — because advice from me should be carefully considered! — I recommend reading up on how cowls are drafted, as that was my initial reference point when I started thinking about this.

My other piece of you-didn’t-even-ask advice is about hair.  If you’re after sun-tousled beach hair, just go to the beach.  Best hairdo I’ve ever achieved without a second pair of hands, seriously.  Thank you, Spain!

February 18th, 2015
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