FINISHED! Eliana and Kevin

Today, I get to talk about a dress I made all the way back in October as a pattern test for Pauline Alice. You all know that I am a fan of Pauline's patterns and so when the opportunity to test a new one comes up, I jump at it.  This one is her new Eliana dress.  A wonderful, raglan cut dress with two options, one with sleeves and the other - a very flattering summery version. You can see a super summery version over at Lizzie's.
But, first it's made from Liberty of London fabric, so lets quickly talk about the fabric.  As usual with me, I threw caution to the wind and used a Liberty that was in my stash. High risk testing! The design is Kevin (colourway B) from the Liberty Art Fabrics Collection Autumn Winter 2014.  I have fancied this fabric for a while and ended up buying it from Shaukat back in August 2014. It sat in my stash for a little time until I was asked to pattern test the Eliana dress. Inspiration.
Liberty Art Fabrics Kevin Tana Lawn
Fabric Story:
Kevin Liberty fabric was based on the celestial ceiling art in the hallway at Mount Stuart in Scotland. The constellations in the print were hand drawn in white and grey chalks on black paper to create a conversational starry night.

There is something about wearing this fabric that makes me want to pull out the latest trash magazine and read my horoscope!
Anyway, now to the important part, the dress.  The dress comes in two versions, the one I tested has a gathered neck tied with binding, an elastic waist and raglan sleeves.  I love a short dress with long sleeves, even in summer, so the choice for me was obvious!  I think that it would be trivial to replace the elastic waist with the ribbon tie which is used in the summery version.  Of course raglan sleeves provide such an opportunity for colour blocking.  And for pocket lovers, there are pockets!
As this was a test version I had a few adjustments to make with the length of the bodice and sleeves. I finished making it according to the instructions, but then found that the neck was too wide for my liking and that the sleeves hung too low due to the raglan design.  Before my next wear, I unpicked the binding collar, regathered and re sewed. I think these adjustments have been reflected in the pattern and this small change made this a much better fit for me. The photo above was taken before I redid the neck.
I really like this dress and before coming on holidays, wore it weekly to work. It is a slightly different silhouette (at least the bodice is) for me, but one that I definitely enjoy wearing. I think that it would look fabulous made up in a slightly heavier fabric as well for cooler months, with tights, so there might be another version somewhere in my future!
Lizzie is having a giveaway of the pattern so pop over there, not only to see her great version but enter in the giveaway.  Well, just a few more days of holidays for me now and I'll be back in Australia next week, where I hope to start on some new garments for 2015!

FINISHED! A Liberty Atrium Nightdress

I made a few things for our trip overseas, this dress and this hoody which have both been seeing quite a bit of wear, but always after 4 weeks into being away, the clothes I take start to feel pretty tired and you long for something that isn't on high rotation. Not so, my third make which is just a simple nightdress I made using Liberty of London Atrium.  I bought this fabric from Shaukat early last year and not really knowing what the colour-ways would look like in real life I ended up buying two colour-ways (!). The other colour-way, is a real favourite which I made up into a Kanerva , but this one is just too pale for me to make up into day wear, so just days before we left I whipped up this simple nightdress.
The pattern is from a Japanese Pattern book that I've had for a while and I used the 'Lesson 1' pattern. I have made this pattern up before as a top.  It's an interesting design feature because the pintucks just 'flap about'. But I like it.

There really isn't much else to say is there. The pattern is perfect as a nightdress and it goes great with my lounging Liberty Kimono!  The total Liberty lounging (sleeping) ensemble.

TOP 5 of 2014: Top 5 misses

Earlier in the week I posted the hits of 2014 yesterday and now here are the misses. Enjoy!
Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5
1. Sigma - Bad Fit
I love the idea of this dress. The denim, the rolled up sleeves. I really love it, but the fit is just awful. I have worn it out once and I even fixed the misalignment of the waistband, but it is just too big in the bodice and under the arms and sits aawkwardly.  I haven't returned to this pattern, although perhaps I could drop a size and it might be better.
2. Victor Chambray - Bad Stitching
Despite loving the chambray on chambray styling of the photos, I have just never worn this top. I find the topstitching to be poorly executed.  It is destined for the scrap heap. I haven't returned to this pattern either. To fix it I would need to add a bit of length and work out how to attach the collar better. And maybe hide that topstitching in a patterned fabric!
3. Never worn dresses
Another Republique du Chiffon make,  I do love the Robe Monique dress, I just have never worn the dress.  It definitely feels too big (I should have made the size down - yes the same old problem) and also I just never found an opportunity to wear it. Will I ever wear it? We'll see.

I've also never worn this Saiph tunic. No reason either, just no occasion and my other dresses always seem more me. I did love doing this challenge though with Emma!
4. Chandeliers Dress - Wrong Pattern
Oh now this was a massive disappointment. This Tessuti fabric is so luxurious that I can't believe I made such a mess of it.  If I could work out a way to refashion  it in a way that I would actually wear I would.... and one day I will because the fabric is too good to waste. Poor pattern choice (for a stretch not a silk) and probably the placement isn't quite right.  I didn't buy quite enough fabric and it sits too tight across my bottom!  Aaah, my face says it all... although looking at this now it probably isn't so bad...
5. Pont des Arts Culottes - SHOCKING pattern placement!
I had a little pattern placement problem with my dungafores, but nothing prepared me for the worst of all the pattern placement fails. These Girl Friday culottes never saw the light of day, I couldn't even bring myself to photograph them on me.  They won't either because I have since cut them up for a refashion when we return from holidays. The fabric is an absolute delight though and I haven't given up on it.  I bought it from Designer Fabrics Australia and as you can see from the photos on her page, it is a wonderful symmetrical print of, what I think are, locks. I had envisioned a fabulous pair of Pont des Arts culottes, although the story of the locks becoming a symbol of danger rather than love in the linked article should have warned me.  
Front of culottes - closed they aren't such a problem
The locks are very big, bigger than I expected so was faced with a cutting dilemma. Stubbornly I never deviated from the culottes idea, but got scared when faced with these gigantic locks and the symmetry of the fabric. I should have just embraced it, but on the sides, I completely chickened out with the symmetry and cut so that the locks didn't line up. I really like this effect, on the sides, but didn't continue with it at the front or back and stoically went with symmetry.  Mmm, I should have stuck with a consistent print plan!   They don't look that bad do they...oh yes they do.  I forgot to take a picture of the front 'opened up', but just look at the back.  Mmm. Yes, those blue 'arrows' are pointing right to my bottom and what are those pink locks doing there?
..And when the back pleat opens up, which it naturally will....  What. Is. That?  
Yep, pretty awkward.

What were your biggest fails this year? Bad sewing, bad fabric choice or was it like me and a really awkward pattern placement!?