Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Yearly Archives: 2013

Berry Sorbetto and Purple Hair

I took some pictures today of the top I made last summer. It’s a Colette Patterns Sorbetto top and the pattern is free from their website.

I have kind of a silly expression on my face but it’s because I had spent some time taking photos of myself again today. I still think it’s a bit of a strange experience running back and forth to my camera on the self-timer mode which is set up on a tripod. I’m getting used to it though and have better knowledge of how the lighting works in my apartment now after all these blog posts. Here are some more “model-like” photos, aha!

The pattern is super easy, I think it only took me a couple of hours to sew (not including adjustments). This was meant to be a wearable muslin as the fit isn’t perfect. I cut a 0 and that turned out to be a smidgen too small in the bust (I know what you’re thinking, too small for my teeny bust?). The armholes were also waaaaay too tight and I can’t remember how much I trimmed all around but it was probably about 2 cms. The bust darts are too high and the length is a bit short in the torso unless you’re going for a cropped tank look. Now if this was meant to be a wearable muslin, what possessed me to add piping and heart shaped buttons? I can’t remember but I still think the top is cute despite all these issues with the pattern.

The armholes are always too tight on Colette Patterns for me, I don’t know why because I’m such a thin person all around. I guess their size 0 is teeny-weeny if it doesn’t even really fit me properly. If I made this top again, I would cut a size 2 or 4, make a narrow shoulder adjustment and cut a deeper armhole or make the straps of the tank longer. This might also fix the bust dart issue without having to move the dart down.

The fabric is just a cheap poly/cotton broadcloth from Dressew. The piping and bias tape trim are also from Dressew and the buttons I found at Fabricana. So it was an inexpensive make all around.

Enough about sewing though. I dyed parts of my hair a purple-pink last Monday. Only the back sections of my hair are dyed purple-pink for several inches at the tips. You can’t really see it in the photos but it’s there if you look for it.

What possessed me to dye my hair? There is a regular patron at one of the branches I work at and she is in hair school at the Vancouver Hair Academy right now. She’s a lovely patron and she needed some live models to practice her skills on. I agreed to be a guinea pig for her and she gave me a free hair cut/trim and 30% off the dye job. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair so this was a great opportunity for me try it out. This is the first time I’ve EVER dyed my hair. Everyone at the hair academy was excited that I had what they called “virgin hair”.

It took about 4 hours but the patron was so nice, she brought me a lunch and snacks and drinks! The instructors at the hair academy are also quite awesome and check each step before the student is allowed to go further. This is why it took so long since it was also a learning environment. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and when it starts to fade I’ll buy some of my own purple dye to freshen it up.

I love dip-dyed hair!

Presenting…The Tulip Dress!

So I know I have been teasing you all with hints of the dress I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. I finished it last week and then my friend Victor Ngo helped me take some photos. Here is the dress!

Now the reason I call it the “Tulip Dress” is because I was inspired by the shapes of the petals on the tulip flower. My dress is a bit of an upside-down tulip really. As you will see from the photos below, I also wanted to experiment a bit with colour blocking. The back is in pink to give it a visual contrast with the red. I used cotton voile in red and pink, underlining with white because voile is a sheer fabric. I sewed two trims on the edges of the red layers — a pink lace from Dressew layered on top of eyelet trim that I dyed myself.

I didn’t make any pattern changes but while sewing the dress I realized the armholes were too tight and had to trim away 1/4 of an inch all around. I have realized now that I have narrow shoulders and should be making the adjustment on all patterns from here on out. I took in one cm in total at the back seam, I might take in a bit more next time. I also should have done a small bust adjustment but it’s not too problematic on this dress which has a loose fit anyways. I do intend to use this pattern again, it’s a great “blank slate” for all sorts of designs!

A cute outtake!

Here are a couple of interior shots. I used bias trim to finish the neckline and armholes. I hand sewed the bias trim and hem with an uneven slipstitch for an invisible finish. I adore uneven slipstitch (because I adore invisible finishes!) and use it wherever I can.

This project is also my submission to the Colette Patterns Laurel Contest. The sewing pattern I used is from the company Colette Patterns and the pattern name is “Laurel”. The only contest requirement was to use this pattern, which is a simple and versatile shift pattern. We were allowed to modify the pattern and envision our own version of the dress however we saw fit. There is a Flickr group for the company and you are free to peruse all the other entries!

I have no idea if I will even win any of the runner up prizes. The prizes are various gift certificates to various sewing related companies or gift certificates to Colette Patterns. But I don’t care! The goal was never to win a prize but to challenge myself and also to pull myself out of the low energy funk I’ve been in for several months. The goal was to complete a sewing project. I have achieved all these goals so I feel quite proud of myself. I also made a new online friend!

Her name is Gema and she’s from London, here’s a link to her blog. She saw my dress in the Flickr group and featured it in her blog. This is what she wrote about me and my dress:

I think this Laurel creation shows real imagination; Caroline shows a unique approach to taking a simple shift, and making the lines run in an entirely different way. It’s almost like her playful design is saying ‘Look at my face! I’m just as adorable as my clothes!’; really cute and playful :) AND she dyed the trim herself. *extra Brownie points*

Caroline’s website made me think she’s probably many men’s ideal woman; she works in a library by day, also as a scientist in a CSI looky-likey lab, makes gorgeous clothing in her spare time, and her website’s called http://fulltimevixen.blogspot.ca/. Enough said!

Haha! You have no idea how much I blushed from reading that. Sufficed it to say, I had a fun time working on this project and now I have an adorable dress to prance around in. Win-win!

[Outfit details: Shoes are Chelsea Crew from Ruche and tights are from American Apparel.]

A Sneak Peak…

So I haven’t updated this blog in a while. Without getting too personal, there have been a lot of things happening over late fall/winter/early spring. I’ve been knitting, taking fashion design classes which require tons of homework, and trying to overcome procrastination. Yep, I’ll admit it, I have a problem with it. Most people do, so I’m not too ashamed and I’ve been working on developing good work habits. I think I’m starting to get out of my lack of sewing mojo! I’ve been working on a new spring project, and will be done in a week or so.

Here is some eyelet lace trim that I dyed tonight for the project. This used to be pure white!

This is my first time experimenting with dyes. I didn’t use anything fancy, just some all purpose Dylon dye that was on sale at Fabricland and cost less than two dollars. The colour is “Pagoda Red” and I’m satisfied with how it turned out. It’s currently soaking in a mix of vinegar and water to help it set a bit more. The colour looks a lot nicer in person and I look forward to more dye experiments. I would love to dye more trims which is a fun place to start for a beginner.

Now I understand the Dylon dye I used isn’t totally colourfast, which is totally fine for me and the purposes of my project. Next time I’d like to use a nicer dye that is actually fabric reactive.

I’m excited about the project I’m working on. It’s a dress and it’s gonna be quite girly and pretty. I hope to get pictures soon to share!

I still have other older projects to photograph, including the dress I finished and wore on New Years Eve. So my goal is to update this blog at a bare minimum of a biweekly schedule. See ya later for now!

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