Thursday, April 21, 2011

A short break...

This is a short note to let you know I will be absent from blogging and the internet in entirety for a while.  We are going hiking; for the next week we are walking the Cape to Cape walk up the south-west coast of Western Australia, a beautiful 134.5km trek through wilderness and long sandy beaches beaches... and carrying our food and tent, in fact everything we need on our backs!
For a few pictures from when we did this same trek last year, see here.
I'm sorry I haven't had time yet to reply to any of the lovely comments from yesterday's post, I have been crazy busy today, but I'm already looking forward to visiting you all again and catching up on everyone's doings when I get back...
Wishing all of you a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Easter weekend with your family and loved ones.
Later, dudes!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red and turquoise

I spotted this image at right of a Nina Ricci look in my Vogue magazine and became kind of super inspired by the mere idea of red and turquoise together.  Actually, my turquoise skirt here has had a new little lease on life since I wore it during me-made March here and has once more become a prominent piece that I am becoming more and more interested in wearing again, and in lots of different ways.  Hmmm, do I sense another re-mix here?... quite possibly.  I do feel like it was a well-made skirt to start with (if I say so myself) and it feels quite luxe when wearing it, which sounds weird since it is just polyester-y type stuff.  But the fabric has a weight and body to it that just makes it feel classy.
Also, in the progress of my jacket; don't worry, I have not given up on my hand-tailored jacket ambitions.  However, I got together with a group of good friends last night and brought my fabric and pattern out and honest opinions were aired, and the advice from all co-incided with that from Mary Nanna (as well as my own persistent and nebulous feelings of disquiet) that this was the wrong pattern for this fabric.  Or, the wrong fabric for this pattern.  Both.  So, I am still going to make a jacket using Vogue 8333, and I am still going to make a jacket using this fabric, but the two will be separate projects.  Of course, there is nothing at all from stopping me from taking the custom couture tailoring lessons I learnt from the excellent Vogue 8333 instructions, and applying them to any lined jacket pattern, right?  That Vogue pattern was sooo worth the cost, simply for the absolutely fantastic sewing lessons contained within the instructions, I'm so glad I got it and gave it a try.
So, I think now I will participate in the sewalong properly, making a proper RTW jacket as per Sherry's instructions, using some other fabric from stash.  Luckily, I have no shortage of this, no shortage at all...!  ;)


Details:
Top and cardigan; Metalicus, cardigan found secondhand
Skirt; Vogue 1023, turquoise synthetic stuff, details here
Shoes; Betts & Betts.  
Disclosure, I couldn't wear these shoes for long as I am developing a blister!  Yikes, a blister is such a disproportionately debilitating little thing when a long hike is forthcoming, which one is, and that thing has to heal, and fast!  So it was back to the old thongs for the rest of the day...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bluestone socks, and a new pet

Normally if one of my children brought home yet another new pet I would gently but firmly manoeuvre said pet back to where it came from.  Our house already passes for a menagerie.  However our new house guest is quite welcome, as he is economical on food, undemanding as far as expensive veterinary visits and vaccinations go, and will not add wear and tear to the garden and furniture.
I don't know what this little guy's name is, or whether he even has been given one yet.  He just turned up on our sideboard one day.  Unknown origins or parentage notwithstanding, he is already creeping into my affections with his gentle quizzical little face and sweet nature, not to mention the cheerful colour of his low maintenance coat.
Above, he is asking quietly and politely if we can go walkies now.
Below I am complying with his request.  Isn't he sweet?
In other new things, I have knitted some new socks... but I concede that that is small bickies compared to a new pet.


Socks; adapted from the pattern for Ladies Sockettes, from Patons Knitting Book C11, a 1960's publication, using Morris Empire Superwash Merino 4 ply in Bluestone (col 408) and with Beluga (col 430) heels and toes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hiking pants

I've finished my new hiking pants!
And I likey.  These feel so so comfortable, almost good enough to sleep in, and they also feel quite tough and practical, to withstand the demands of being out in the bush.  And pretty soon they are going to be put to the test, so we'll see how they go...
They are made from khaki rip-stop cotton, pre-washed twice to shrink and soften it up as much as possible.  I've learnt from past experience that this stuff is real hardwearing because it is very densely woven, which is fab.  You want that for hiking pants.  But its a good idea to toss it in the machine for a couple of heavy duty hot cycles before you go blunting your good dressmaking scissors and sewing machine needles on it.
I used a pattern from Burdastyle magazine issue 10/2010, pants 110.  Previously I have made up the shorts version of this pattern, so I knew already they fit well and were very comfortable to wear.  And I really like the streamlined style at the top of the pants, with no waistband and no bulky darts or pleats at the front.
My version of these pants have a few minor variations to the pattern, as follows:
Firstly, I cut the pants legs to be perfectly straight rather than tapered in to the ankle.  This was made super easy for me to do with this fabric, as it is self-marked in a grid pattern, so from mid-thigh level I just cut straight down to the ankle, following the lines on the fabric.  Easy peasy.  I also left off the ankle bands and simply hemmed the bottom edges.  Oh and I added about 10cm to the leg length, and am very glad I did.  Would have been ankle freezers if I had not, methinks...
Secondly, the pattern only had four pockets; two slanted side hip pockets and two welt pockets on the back, which are pretty small and in practise hardly ever get used for anything.  How many ladies out there actually put anything in those little back welt pockets?  Hmmm?  I'm betting no one...  Situated right on your bottom cheeks as they are, putting stuff in those pockets makes for a lumpy bumpy funny-looking rear view, as any lady knows, so really they are a purely decorative thing... so I added two roomy cargo pockets on the outside leg, details here.
Lastly, I used snaps for the closure in lieu of buttons, as these just seem sturdier and more practical for when you're out in the bush.  Snaps are not going to come flying off and get lost in a sand dune, and need re-sewing on out in the middle of nowhere.

Details:
Pants; Burdastyle magazine 10-2010-111 with a few minor variations, khaki cotton
Top; top "a" from "Unique Clothes Any Way You Like" by Natsuko Hiraiwa, white cotton, details here
Shoes; Country Road
Backpack; souvenir from Santa Fe

Pattern Description:
Flat fronted, mid-rise trousers with faced waist, fly front, slanted hip pockets, back single welt pockets, underlap with button for internal closure, outer tab with button for another waist closure.
Pattern Sizing:
34-42, I made a size 36 at the waist, tapering out to a 38 at the hips.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
In essence, although I made a few variations.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.  I had previously made the shorts version of this pattern, and the instructions are pretty much the same, so it was a second go at it.  When I made the shorts I found the instructions for the waist facing attachment to be quite confusing, but I had it all worked out by this time!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the unbulky streamlined top of the pants, and the loose comfortable look and feel of them.  It's a pretty straightforward pair of pants, goes together well, the pattern works, and they fit me like a dream.  I wanted a pair of cargo pants, and I think this pattern adapted really well to give me that look that I wanted.
The magazine version has the legs gathered into an ankle band, making the legs kind of "bloomer-y"; I didn't really like this and omitted this feature from my version.
Fabric Used:
Rip-stop cotton
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added about 10cm in length to the legs and also cut them to be straight from mid-thigh level down to the ankle, rather than slightly tapered as in the pattern.  Also, as mentioned above, I left the lower legs loose and un-gathered and omitted the ankle band.
I added big cargo pockets with flaps on the outside leg seam.  So now they have six pockets!
I used snaps in lieu of buttons.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
If I need another pair of loose comfortable casual pants I would definitely use this one again!  I love these pants.  And yes, I do recommend this one to others.
Conclusion:
Love my new pants!  They are so comfortable and I think they make a reasonably cute pair of cargoes.  I'm putting them to the test out bush soon, so I'm hoping they will stand up well to a few days of hard knocks.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lacey, sort-of Duro dress; 6 different ways

Oooh, I do enjoy doing these more than is healthy.  Playing about in my wardrobe, I mean.
I made this dress, a modified version of Simplicity 3745 out of white dotted swiss voile and a crocheted lace for the border and bodice trim about two and a half years ago and have worn it tonnes of times since.  I'm sure I will wear this one to death.  I was inspired by a minor infatuation in the fashion world for the Duro dress. The funny thing is that initially I wasn't one hundred percent happy with it.  The shape of the dress with its V-neck and gathered areas both in the bodice and in the skirt was new for me.  I felt the bodice made me look a little bit matronly in the bust.  This is kind of hilarious as I am really the complete opposite of matronly in the bust area, so yeah, the dress was a new experience.  But initial "is it really me?" thoughts notwithstanding, the dress has had plenty of outings.  So I guess it turned out to be "me" after all.  The presence of lace helped, probably.
White is sometimes seen as a difficult colour to mix and match, a prima donna colour much the same as black which can swamp and downplay any other colour.  But I had no troubles playing with this dress and creating six different seasonal looks.  In fact it was heaps of fun!


The light colour, airiness and laciness of the fabric says "summer" all by itself, so in the warmer months the dress is ready to go with a colourful scarf as its only adornment, below left.  To be honest, the lowness of that neckline does mean a scarf makes me feel a lot more comfortable in this dress...
If a fancier summer ensemble is required the all-white look is always elegant, with a little cardigan, heels and an elegant bag all that is needed to dress it up for a half glamorous soiree, below right.
For a casual day, a few drab neutrals downplay the rampant femininity of that frothy white lace at left, and on a cooler day the freshness of white gives a lift to a warm richly textured and coloured scarf, a denim jacket and some slouchy boots, to make a nice outfit for meeting some friends or the husband out somewhere, at right.
On colder winter days, the dress has enough of its own personality than it can stand being toughened up a bit with all-black accessories such as biker boots and a little black leather jacket and a long skinny scarf. Actually I have worn this exact outfit several times last winter but never took a photo for the blog.  And for a smarter day look, the lace border of the dress looks interesting when peeping out from under a winter coat.
Which look here is your favourite look?
(The look I am wearing today is the drab one, with my dog in the picture with me...)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cargo pockets, and a lovely surprise

When I went to my letterbox yesterday inside was a most delightful surprise, this wonderful pattern from Gail of My Fabrication.  Pure class and elegance, no?  Thank you so much Gail!!  I already know exactly what I am going to make out of this one, and am pretty excited to give it a try.  But first...
Thank you so much everybody who commented yesterday, with such kind words expressing touching faith in my ability to not make a complete and utter hash of my Japanese fabric; I will endeavour to sew up to those expectations.  Not that there is any more or less pressure or anything, hehe.  The lighter caramel side has a landslide of admirers, and it is therefore fortuitous that my own preferences have been swaying more and more in that direction too.  But before hacking merrily away into that wool and silk gorgeousness that I carted for thousands of kilometres over land, rail and sea all the way home from the land of the rising sun (see, no pressure...) I am going to take a short sartorial breather...
A few quick and satisfying projects are now just what the doctor ordered, after a week of couture stuff.  I have an immediate need for a pair of hiking pants.  The cargoes I was wearing last year have gone into my refashioning-possibly-charity-bin pile. The few photos I have of myself in those things were pretty eye-openingly awful, and incidentally I am now horrified that I actually put some photos on the blog here, yikes!  Now I look back on some of those earlier photos and shudder, toy with vague ideas of deleting some of the more unflattering shots.  But the blog is a journey, and the progression has been an honest one.  Keeping a sometime personal style diary has done wonders for my natural tendency towards dag-dom.  I am a lot more careful how I look now before I sally forth on my daily adventures.  We all heartily agree that appearances aren't everything, right?, only because we don't want to appear shallow, but secretly we all want to put our best foot forward nonetheless... because we are human after all.
Anyhoo, I am making my new, hopefully cute, hiking pants using a pattern that doesn't have enough pockets, so I am adding some cargo pockets and took a few progress shots to illustrate...
Cargo pockets are not just squares/rectangles, but must form a little "bag", so start with a piece that has box sides to three of its edges like so (don't worry that those sides of those sticky-outy box edges are wider than the bottom box edge... minor detail)
Hem the top edge of the pocket like normal...
Sew up the two short edges of the boxy sides at the bottom of the pocket piece (yes, my side pieces are still longer and do stick out a bit, don't worry about this for now)
Right sides together, and upside down on the finished outside leg seam of your pants, sew the bottom edge of the pocket in place.  Because I want these pockets to be extra sturdy, strong enough to hold things like guide books, cameras, hats and sunnies, etc, anything that will be needed regularly, I sewed this seam in triplicate, for triple the strength.  Strength is more important than beauty here, remember these are hiking pants...
Now flip the pocket piece up and turn in those side edge seam allowances.   Now I folded in that extra width of the side edges at the bottom to be part of the seam allowance and tapered this down at the top so the box sides of the bag are wider at the top than they are at the bottom...  If this doesn't make a lot of sense don't worry too much about this bit.  Dimensions are not really drastically important.  These are hiking pants, remember...   Topstitch down close to the fold.  Again with the triple lot of stitching. The width at the top edge of the pocket between the two side seams you've just sewn should be the same width as the bottom seam.
Now, flatten the pocket down at the top and sew the top down vertically through all layers directly over the side seams you have just sewn, but just for a few cm.  Do this at least in triplicate again.  I just did a mad burst of forward and reverse stitching and lost count of the number of seams here, this just needs to be real sturdy.  This will just hold the top edge down securely and stop it from flapping about and letting your treasures spill out while you are walking...
Flaps; just sewn as normal, two pieces, right sides together, sewn around three edges, turned out and topstitched, finished width about 1.5cm wider than the top edge of your pocket...  Note the violation of couture tailoring here, no tamed seam allowances but the corners have been trimmed, (horrified gasp!)  Meh... hiking pants...!
And sewn to the pants just above the top of the pocket.... right sides together, again as normal...
Aaaand folded down and topstitched in place... I don't know why I took so many photos actually.  This is hardly rocket science.  Probably would have been more exciting if I had tamed those seam allowances, hmmm?
And there it is, a useful and cute little bag stuck on the side of the hiking pants.  If you want you could put a snap or a button on for extra safe-keeping, but in my experience these don't ever get closed up anyway and the flap is enough to keep things safely inside.  I'm sure I will be really grateful for these extra pockets out on the trail.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Autumnal shades, and a dilemma

Just been enjoying those lovely fresh autumnal days lately, feeling the sunlight warm but not harsh on the skin, breathing in that fresh crisp air.  When the days are just that little bit fresher like today I get to employ one of my favourite outfit styles; layering a few thin cardigans together to get a bit of a autumnal colour palette happening.  I just love these rich warm colours together, I think they are "me" colours, and I'm happy the weather is cool enough for me to wear this great dress again.


Details:
Dress; Burda 8511, with minor modifications and lined, purple raw silk (hessian silk?) seen first here
Apricot cardigan; Metalicus, found secondhand
Khaki cardigan; Country Road
Scarf; refashioned from an old Tshirt, seen first here, tutorial here
Shoes; Betts & Betts, had these for about twenty years


I went out and bought a few extra supplies for my Vogue 8333 jacket; the horsehair canvas and the silk organza for the underlining.  Something I have not got yet though is the lining and this is because I have hit a bit of a dilemma; when I looked at the silk linings I still couldn't decide which side of this fabric is to be my right side...  When I first spotted this fabric in Japan I knew it was The One, and I initially was drawn to the wrong wide of the fabric, which is the darker side.  It is mostly a very dark charcoaly-brown, almost-but-not-quite black, and showing through is the multicoloured thread of the other side, coming up as dots of coffee, beige and bone.  
However since I got home and have looked at it a few more times, the right side is starting to grow on me too, a rich mixture of all the warm shades of coffee, caramel and bone, and with a hint of metallic gold sparkly thread every now and again which probably doesn't show very well in my picture below.  The golden sparkle was the initial turn-off to me for using this side out as I'm not sure if a sparkly coat, even a subtly sparkly coat is really "me", but the warm cosy browns are kind of appealing to me a lot right now.  It would certainly be a more interesting jacket and more out of the ordinary.
Thoughts anyone?  
In fact, I will admit that actually the sheer beauty of this fabric is crippling me somewhat... the prospect of stuffing up is causing a mild case of paralysis.  When you have cheap fabric and an easy project it's very easy to slice straight into it and whip something up, and the confidence and lack of worry one has simply because of the cheapness of the fabric and the easiness of the pattern, often insures a good dressmaking result.  On the other hand when one is facing magnificent fabric and a difficult pattern, the looming menace of failure sits on one's shoulder like the little old man of the sea....
Does anyone else ever get flummoxed by the crushing responsibility of not ruining a too-beautiful fabric?
(I will confess to fleeting thoughts of going and buying less gorgeous fabric for this project, just to avoid making a terrible mistake.... !!!  this has not been ruled out!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tim's backpack

Today; another blast from the past...
When Tim was about eighteen months old and had become a brand new older brother, I made him a backpack, using a pattern from one of those wonderful TopKids magazines (very sadly discontinued).  It is of denim, lined with check cotton, and I appliqued the letters of his name on the pocket using interfaced scraps of the same check cotton, attached on with skinny zig-zag stitch.
He was so cute with it and wore it all the time when I first made it.  He would put it on first thing in the morning and toddle around with it on his back all day, with a few precious toys inside.  
Later it was his kindy bag. 
Then later when he got older it wasn't cool anymore and didn't get used for years.  Now it has become an awesomely cool bag once more, and is the one he takes along to uni everyday.
Funny...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vogue 8333, a wearable muslin

I have finally finished my muslin of Vogue 8333, a bit late for the RTW jacket sew-along, but meh.  It's done.  I will wear this thing.  I like it with the sleeves folded up like this, and I like the oversized nacre buttons I found for it.  I think it will be even better after a few more washes, to nicely wrinkle it up and settle in those seams, and I am toying vaguely with the idea of dyeing it... what do you think?
Something I've noticed, and you can see it in the picture, the right side lapel has a slight tendency to sit up higher than its roll line, in spite of  (or because of?) the hand-stitched bridles within.  Do you think I should I be worried about this?

I really wanted to make this muslin wearable since wasting fabric, even calico, goes against like just about everything to do with consumerism and using planetary resources that I believe in.  It is finished (sorta ridiculously) to couture standards...  well, I needed to have a go at all the couture techniques that are introduced in this wonderful pattern...
With a few exceptions; I forgo-ed pad-stitching the collar (I figured I'd already practised that one sufficiently pad-stitching the lapels) and just whacked in some iron-on interfacing.  No one will notice that.  I've learnt the thing about couture... done properly, no one should be able to tell couture apart from RTW, without taking the whole thing apart.  
Couture is in the inner details.  
The only reason one might notice a difference between the two at a casual glance is of course if one's hand-stitching is so badly uneven that it stands out on the outer like a sore thumb... but I pride myself on having pretty good hand-stitching if I say so myself.  Another couture exception in this garment is that I machine-stitched the buttonholes.  Will save the hand-finished buttonholes, with properly waxed and pressed silk thread as specified, for the real deal.  Finally, this garment is not underlined, unlike my "real" jacket will be.
Irene warned me that the torso of this pattern ran narrow, and I did check this carefully during the bodice construction bit.  But I am kind of narrow in the torso already, and actually found it to fit me fine.  I might shave a teensy bit off the bust curves but I don't think very much.  One part I had to drastically adjust was the sleeve cap... here is the jacket with the sleeves as per the pattern set in.
See how horribly poof-y and gathered at the top they are?  Even my youngest son, who is remarkably uninterested in details, and clothing details especially, noticed and kindly pointed it out to me unbidden, in case I hadn't noticed the hideousness myself already (I had).
I then reduced the height of the sleeve cap by a good 1.5cm in my muslin (as in top photo).  A bit better, no?
However will I need to adjust this detail in my wool/silk jacket? possibly not, since wool has shrink-ability going for it allowing one to shrink the sleeve cap into the armscye, whereas of course calico has absolutely zero shrink-ability.  Leading naturally to one of my pet peeves with the whole muslin charade in the first place, the difference in material properties; also titled "why the only useful muslin is one made in the exact same fabric as your garment" rant that I am not going to go into here, wishing to spare everyone a massive post.


Details:
Jacket; Vogue 8333, calico
Camisole (under, barely seen); Country Road
Skirt; skirt "m" from Unique Clothes Any Way You Like by Natsuko Hiraiwa, linen/cotton mix, details here
Sandals; Micam by Joanne Mercer, from Hobbs shoes (will be so depressed when these die...)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Customised nails

What to do, what to do...
I saw this extremely yummy shade of nail varnish in the latest Vogue magazine and felt it was just the thing!  Really wanted to have it...  Tres beautiful, no?
But the blurb described it as a seasonal limited edition Chanel shade (Nouvelle Vague) that has quickly sold out.  Not going to let a little thing like that stop me from wearing this delectable shade on my toes, now.  For a start, the name "Chanel" on the bottle is already going to mean a ridiculous price tag.  Sorry, but I don't pay more than a few dollars for a bottle of nail varnish... and what's more it's so super easy to mix and match your own cheap and colourful nail varnishes to get the colour you want.  It is!  Have you ever tried it?
Sometimes (occasionally) I buy a colour simply because I know it will be a goodie for mixing with others to get new colours.  Such as white.  Not always, I often then get side-tracked and lazy and just wear even the more unusual colours straight as they come out of the bottle, prompting questions such as "why the turquoise nails??" and having to come up with an explanation that doesn't involve a fancy-dress party...  Fortunately I think Perth is becoming more switched on to exciting new nail colours such as the ones I like.  Whatever, I really wanted this particular shade of heavenly muted duck egg blue for this week... 
So I got a little bit of light blue (Artmatic Lit'l Boy Blue, I've had this particular one for about fifteen years) and mixed in just one drop of light yellow (BYS Bright Light, a newie) and got the perfect shade.
This is so easy!  The only thing to look out for when mixing your own is that it dries pretty quick, so use it as soon as it is mixed.  
Voila.  The perfect duck-egg blue, and even better, I didn't have to pay $50 odd for the designer label...
I have a friend who has a firm saying, "there's only one thing worse than chipped nail polish on your toes, and that's no nail polish on your toes" and I couldn't agree more...

Friday, April 8, 2011

An un-stylish blogger writes about Vogue 8333


I didn't intend to take a photo of today's outfit, as it was one that I threw together with no intention of looking stylish or put-together.  Purely randomly chosen things.  And I ended up being perversely happy with it.  You know a day where you have a contrary, grumpy, don't-give-a-toss attitude to how you look... and end up feeling sassily funky and pleased with your unglamorous, even weird ensemble.  All these items I threw on today are individually items I have felt ambivalent with lately.  I didn't care what I looked like as I was contemplating a day at home, office-ing, and a little bit of muslin-ing.  Yes, people, I am getting along with my muslin of Vogue 8333 and it is proving a doozy.  Not in a good way.  I've read before about the dangers of OD-ing on your pattern during the muslin stage, and I am in near danger of doing just this... I have nearly finished my muslin, on which I am trying out all the couture techniques explained within that are new to me, and then I will take a short break before starting on my "real" jacket.  A short break during which I will do some quick-fix fun stuff, instant gratification stuff.  Vogue 8333 is emphatically NOT an instant gratification project.


Details:
Shirt; Burda 8497, white cotton, details here
Skirt; Vogue 7303, green velveteen, details here
Tights; my own design, details here
Cardigan; Metalicus
Thongs; Mountain Designs


Thank you so much Donna, for giving me this award!


Now, I'm to write 7 things, supposedly about myself, but instead for something different I'm going to write about 7 of the couture techniques I've learnt doing the muslin for Vogue 8333, which I expect will be a lot more interesting.


1. Bridles.  You could be forgiven for thinking Vogue have inadvertently branched out into horse-riding advice, but no, this is still within the realms of dress-making.  The bridles are a pieces of tape hand-stitched onto the roll line of the lapels in couture jacket construction; to both stabilise the fold and also help create a soft fold.  Giddy-up!


2. Pad-stitching.  Is where you do long lines of running stitches laid out in a grid, or a cross-hatching arrangement.  The result is fabric that is a bit stiffer, like it's been quilted.  Well, padded.  Thus the name,  Methinks. When one does this to thick wool fabric with some body one can hide the pad-stitches within the fabric somewhat, making them almost invisible.  When one is trialling pad-stitching on a calico muslin like I did, it looks.... kind of ridiculous.  I don't care.  I will wear my silly looking pad-stitched muslin with pride whence it is done, you'll see.


3. Taming, (the seam allowances).  If you think that sounds a wee bit kinky, well, in the immortal words of... somebody, the best is yet to come.  Taming the seam allowances within a corner involves folding the two edges of the corner down firmly and closely to each other, pressing into submission and hand-stitching down.  One does not, I repeat, NOT trim triangles away from the corners to remove bulk.  Oh yes, I tell you, we are throwing old ideas out the window in wild abandon with this project, die-hard corner trimmers....  NOT SO FAST with those scissors!


4. Spanking the corner;  ooh, yes, I kid you not, fellow seamstresses.  And you thought sewing was for squares, dried up earnest individuals with no excitement in their lives... well, little did we know about all that "spanking" going on in those couture workrooms!  The Vogue 8333 instructions recommended something called a "clapper", not owning one of these intriguing sounding tools I used a wooden spatula instead.


5. Fell-stitching.  Well.  Having not done fell-stitching before I googled it and found a little tutorial.  And discovered that I had been fell-stitching, like, only all my life, believing myself to be slip-stitching.  Who knew?  A subtle little distinction...


6. Hand-finished buttonholes.  Hold your horses, before one steamrolls ahead and starts hand-stitching one's buttonholes, the instructions specify to first wax, and then press the thread.  Yes, press the thread.  Another first.  Has anyone else out there, and I mean anyone, ever ever pressed their thread before?  Hmmm?  Been using un-pressed thread for your buttonholes?  Faaail...


7. Not necessarily a couture technique, but the instructions recommended that once the collar is turned out, and if you are not ready to sew it to the neckline, in order to keep the roll-line nicely folded and in order pin it to a tailor's ham and set aside.  I couldn't resist giving it a little face...


Now to give the award to 7 other stylish bloggers, (and please, there is no obligation whatsoever to do this... if you hate blogger awards then feel free to ignore this and don't hate me)
Darci, of Darcidoodle-do
Liza Jane, of lizajanesews
Steph, of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World
Magda, of magdamagda design studio
Patty, of the snug bug
Bernice; of Raindrops and Bellyflops
Denise, of dame design studio