A tale of two Wandas

Hello sewing chums, I hope you are having a good weekend? I am LOVING being part of The Monthly Stitch during Indie Pattern Month for a number of reasons: so many talented sewistas are joining the community and sharing their makes; every time I check my blog feed I see more gorgeous things which I want to make; it’s FAB that everyone is getting so involved with the challenges and last but not least ….. I was a winner in the first week Dresses category! More of that later …. It all kicked off for me by reading about the inaugural secret santa style pattern swap. It’s the first time I had participated in something like this and it was really good fun. I know that the person I bought a pattern for liked it because she has made it up and written a blog post about it – I thought she looked gorgeous so have been congratulating myself on my excellent choice (it’s actually really hard not to comment on the post and say “It was me” but then I’d be just as bad as my Y9 form who do Secret Santa each year and everyone knows who has got who!). I was chuffed when my pattern arrived – my partner had organised for it to be sent directly me to and the company addressed it to her so I do actually know who my partner was! Anyway, you know who you are and you made an excellent choice for me so many thanks. image I decide to make the dress up in some lovely floral cotton I had bought at Badger and Earl when I was doing a workshop there. I measured myself and went for 12 on the bust grading out to 14 at the waist. The paper is really study, i.e. not tissue and the instructions are OK.  The pattern is described as beginner  but to be honest, if I hadn’t already got a couple of frocks under my belt I might have struggled a bit with some of the instructions e.g. pleats.  Anyway I made the dress up and … was hugely disappointed. imageimage The dress was too big – I didn’t need to have graded out at the waist after all. Unlike Wanda the yoke did not come immediately beneath my boobiloobies (although in fairness the line drawing does show it as being more on the waist but that version doesn’t include the bust pleats/gathers) and my floral fabric looked positively frumpy.  All in all I thought it looked like a 1950s utilitarian type frock you might have worn to do the housework! image I really was hugely disappointed.  However, I decided to try and put  a positive spin on it and congratulated myself on having made my first wearable muslin.  I felt I owed it to my swopsie partner to have another go – I did not want to just blog about a failure so I immediately set about making another. I bought some cornflower blue linen at Sew Over It whilst doing my first Vintage Shirtdress workshop and decided to use this for the dress part and use the last of the scraps from my Liberty Queue for the Zoo left over from my Belcarra.  I spent a stressful Friday night trying to eek it out … and failed. imageIn the end I had to give up.  It was only the interfacing I couldn’t squeeze out so I had an idea!  I decided to use the linen as a full lining.  Having made a couple of  BHL KIMs recently I was familiar with this method. The is a real departure for me  – I normally stick to the pattern because I haven’t got the knowledge/confidence to deviate but this time I really went off piste! I did a full lining in the linen and it worked!  To be honest I am not sure if the delicate tana lawn would have held up the linen base anyway. imageI even made alterations so that the dress would fit me and was more like the Wanda of the pattern illustration.  I chopped off an inch and a half from the bodice and took the sizing down too.  It looks so much better with the yoke ending just under the bust rather than at the waist – don’t you think? imageimageSorry the photos are not great.  The sun wasn’t out and Mr CK was not in the mood for taking photos – how I need a blog manager! There is still some pooling at the back which I will attend to next time. image I wore the dress to work this week and lots of people commented on it; it really is a work dress I feel. Anyway, I decided what I needed to finish it off was a little cropped jacket – made in the blue cornflower linen. Which brings me neatly onto my exciting news.  I was one of the winners for IPM2015 dresses contest. My prize was a Tia Dress Craftsy Class and a Named pattern of my choice so I have chosen the Lourdes Cropped Jacket to join Wanda.  I am not sure when I will get round to making this up as my sewing TO Do List has just gone off the scale this month. image So, here it is then …. my entry to the New to Me contest.  Thanks to my swopsie partner for choosing the pattern for me in the first place and I also want to say a special thanks to Elle from Laura Loves Pugs whose clever ideas for using precious fabrics inspired me for the second Wanda. Toodle pip, Clarinda x

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When Frida met Kim …

Hi all, welcome to my June post for The Monthly Stitch which is also a contest entry for the dress competition. The focus for this month is Indie Patterns but as I have only ever sewn Indie patterns I am on familiar territory!

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During the first week of Me Made May when I was managing to keep up with all the IG posts, I spotted one garment made with a fabric I found so fabulous I immediately set about tracking it down – thank you Fondant Fabrics.

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Isn’t is fabulous?  Just in case you too want to buy it, here are the details:

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I wish I had made a note of whose IG I saw the fabric on so that I could say a huge thanks.  My plan was to make a BHL Kim with it to wear on the last day of MMMay15 as a sort of grand finale – also coinciding with my husband’s birthday.  I made it by the skin of my teeth – sewing the bodice lining in whilst sat in bed having my early morning cup of tea on the 31st.

Regular readers of my blog Clarinda Kaleidoscope will know I have a bit of a love affair with Colette Patterns Sorbetto and usually manage to squeeze one out of my scraps.  I did things a little bit back to front this time.  After I cut out my Kim, I eeked out my Sorbetto – no pleat and made that up first.  It very quickly became a favourite.

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Anyway, back to Kim.  I spent ages cutting out.  I wanted a centralised Frida on the bodice – tick.

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I also wanted to do the same on the back – sadly I made a right ole booboo.  Can you spot the obvious mistake?

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Retrospectively, I think it may have been too much having two centralised Fridas.

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This is my third Kim; my first was for a wedding (a Flamingo Border) and the second was a fun, nautical version.  I am not known for my muslins (naughty girl) but I have made adjustments.  I chopped off about an inch from the shoulders to save them slipping down and I sewed a wider, sweeping arc for the seam allowance at the Princess seams because my boobiloobies don’t fill the bodice.   I think this is the most I have altered a garment in terms of fit.

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Anyway, if I say so myself I think it is an absolute glory.  I am SO chuffed with it. The Kim is a great pattern – the instructions are really clear and if you need extra help with fiddly bits, the details on the Kim Sewalong give all the detailed advice you need.

It is such a glorious day we decided to visit Parham  – an enormous country house with massive parklands, formal gardens and today, a craft fair. I thought it was a fitting location for my new, favourite dress and was delighted when one of the “crafty” ladies told me that she thought my dress was the best one she’d seen this year!

Anyway, let’s hope the sun continues to shine on us.  I think I might even have a mid week post this week, as on Tuesday I am starting a three week workshop at Sew Over it to learn how to make their new Vintage Shirtdress – can’t wait. Will close with a couple more pics from Parham but please feel free to skip if you have Frida/Kim/Clarinda fatigue!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda

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