The Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge - May 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The ever-so-talented Miss Crayola Creepy is hosting a sewing challenge for May 2013:


As I'm in the need of a flapper dress (I haven't totally given up on fixing this one, but I'm not really looking forward to it: it won't be very flattering in any case), I decided to join. I'm not so excited about the movie, although I do want to see it, but I am excited about this challenge! This will be my first ever sewing challenge... We'll see how it goes. At least I'm very enthusiastic.

I have a problem with 20s style, so it took me awhile to find a pattern. I love the style, but the straight dress just doesn't look that great on me, 50s style is definitely more flattering on my figure. But I have looked at so many historical 20s dresses that I can say, that even though the majority was straight with a low waist that look better on an androgynous figure, there were also more fitted flapper dresses, like these:
Joan Crawford models a flapper dress.
Flapper dress from the 20s (Decades Inc.)
Actress Juliette in Flapper Style Dress Date Photographed: ca. 1920s
So, this was my idea when looking for a pattern. I'm not great at seeing the possibilities of a pattern that has been styled very differently yet (I'm working on it...), but then I found this pattern from Sew-n-Sew:
So, I decided to get it. It wasn't the cheapest one, and I'm sure I could've found something similar with less money, but if I want to finish by the end of May, I need to decide on something. I'm quite slow at sewing and I make a lot of mistakes I need to correct, so I don't want to end up rushing this. And I really want to try to finish on time. But I'm happy with the pattern (at least for now), I just want longer fringe, like in the dress actress Juliette is wearing. This might be a challenge, though. I didn't find fringe I liked when I was doing the first charleston dress, so I hope my luck will change.

My 70s Miette

Sunday, April 28, 2013
So, I've been frustrated with the Pastille dress and realized that I need to do something in between. And actually once I started sewing again, I realized I need to fit the whole bodice again, since I will never wear it, if I just sew it now. Good thing I bought way too much fabric since I bought according to the advice on the book and if I learned something in school about sewing, it was to not waste fabric (it might be one of the deadly sins...).

Anyway, I've been reading the blogs lately and noticed that Tilly has a lovely new skirt pattern: Miette. It was supposed to be very easy without buttonholes or zippers and it was awfully cute, so I thought it was perfect. I haven't yet sewn anything since I moved to France, so I wanted to get back into it with something easy and fun. And this skirt definitely was both easy and fun. Although I'm the world's slowest sewer (why does that word make me thing something else than sewing...), so it took me a long time to do this, but hey, that's me.

So, this was one of those print yourself patterns, so I shamelessly used the printer at work, but at least I could use the black-and-white one... There were a lot of pages, which then needed to be taped together... it actually wasn't that bad, the pages were clearly marked, but since I try always to get everything to match with an 1mm error bar, it was a bit time consuming for me... And then of course I trace everything to a pattern paper. This I was wondering about if it's stupid, but Lucky Lucille convinced that just cutting is the stupid way :) (and I know I can trust her: just look at her sewing!)
Let's start the cut & paste operation
Almost done...



So, when I finally had my pattern, I took my old Marimekko curtains, with the classic "Kaivo" print (Maija Isola, 1964) and started figuring out the cutting plan. It was a bit harder than normal, since I didn't have the real edges any more and the fabric had stretched a bit and also I had to avoid the sunburnt parts of the fabric. I tried (the first time ever!) to actually look how the print would match, but I couldn't be too particular, since, you know, curtains. So, I did the best I could. Also first time ever I used decorative stich on anything. We didn't use to have a lot of those in the old machines at school, and the few there was, were never really used, we learned to sew practical things (yes, I know it wasn't the war time). So that part was done to the edge of the pockets.
Simple decorative stich, my very first :)
I don't know why I took this picture of the waistband construction, but look at my new ironing board I bought from Franprix. It makes me so happy! Who knew I could ever be happy ironing...?
I finally finished the skirt and even wore it to a picnic brunch on the first really warm day of the spring. But of course me being me, I managed to get something (pink?!) on it that doesn't come off. Well, this is not new to me, so let's just cover it up with some decorative crocheting... So I crocheted three little flowers and now you can't see the stain! And I think crocheting really emphasizes the seventies look. 
Crocheted flowers on top of the stain...
Finally here are pictures of the finished skirt (with flowers, I had some without, but they were taken with my iPhone and not very good quality...). The orange shirt wasn't maybe the best option, but it's another Marimekko product, so I didn't bother to change...
The front

The back, this was surprisingly hard to get at least somewhat straight. The picture, I mean, although I think part of it is my crooked back...
Side picture: some surprisingly good pattern matching (I didn't even consider the side seams, just front and back)
Sewing facts:
Fabric: Marimekko, Kaivo (classic Finnish design by Maija Isola, 1964)
Pattern: Miette Skirt
Year: 2013
Notions: none
Time: ~10h (yes, I'm slow, but the time went to preparing the pattern and cutting from the old curtains, the actual sewing was quick and fun!)
First worn: For brunch in Bures-sur-Yvette on 14/4/2013
Wear again: For sure! I'm looking forward to the summer. Even if it is a wrap skirt, it's constructed in a way that you don't need to worry about flashing even when it's windy. And yey: pockets!
Total price: 8,49 € (the pattern, the fabric I count as free, since the cost was for the curtains)