Sunday, 16 March 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Sewing for Me

St. Patrick's Day Nani Iro Bubble Skirt sewn by Cicely Ingleside

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Newfoundland!  "Outside Ireland itself, there is probably no more Irish place in the world than Newfoundland." The internet attributes this quotation to the Irish writer Tim Pat Coogan. I can't guarantee that that is who wrote it (because, well, the internet), but this certainly is a place where the Irish history is strong. The oldest Irish immigration to Canada was to Newfoundland, and its influence in the culture and the accent are still obvious. There is some interesting information about the Irish-Newfoundland history and connections here and here.

In celebration, I thought it was time to make something with this cool green Nani Iro fabric that kind of looks a bit like shamrocks. I bought it on a trip to Ottawa, from the lovely store Fabrications. It is a double gauze cotton, and the people at the store told me it was a discontinued print that they had managed to procure. I was going to make something with it for my daughter, but I really wanted it for myself.
St. Patrick's Day Nani Iro Bubble Skirt sewn by Cicely Ingleside

I'm proud of myself because this is one of the only times I have tried something without a pattern (and had it work out). I drew my own skirt lining based on my measurements and cut it with plain white cotton, then did the outer skirt as a bubble skirt with the Nani Iro fabric. I relied on these two tutorials from Straight Grain (for a kid's bubble skirt) and Melly Sews. However,  I added my own waistband above the bubble skirt. I made it loose so it would sit lower than my waist  - so that the voluminous-ness of the bubble skirt would not make me look heavier around the middle.

Since I have a backlog of things I haven't posted, here are some other things I made myself over the last while. 
Blue & White Porcelain Crepe Dress sewn by Cicely Ingleside

This dress was made using the Collette Crepe Dress pattern, and a fabric called Blue & White Porcelain, which I bought from Fabric.com.  It is a wrap dress that wraps in the back and has a tie belt (kind of hard to see what with all the pattern going on. Next time I'll make it with a contrast fabric.).

Blue & White Porcelain Crepe Dress sewn by Cicely Ingleside

It's a nice pattern, and the dress will be really good for summer (if it ever comes!).  I would agree, however, with this post on Sew Country Chick, that it has a big fit and I could have gone down a size, and the use of facings on the arms, neck, and back were a pain. (And I actually ended up sewing them down.) Next time I would just replace them with a bodice lining.

Blue & White Porcelain Crepe Dress sewn by Cicely Ingleside

Finally, I also recently made myself this knit dress which I loooove, using the Penelope Peplum pattern along with its skirt add-on, by See Kate Sew. I chose the circle skirt and half sleeve options. The fabric I used was from Girl Charlee. (I bought it months ago; I don't think it's still listed on the site.)

Polka Dot Knit Penelope Circle Dress sewn by Cicely Ingleside

Now, the pattern is very specific that the fabric used is supposed to have 30% or more stretch and tells you how to figure this out. My fabric did NOT have that much stretch, but I really wanted to use it to make the dress. So, my first version of the top was crazy tight and stopped  way above my belly button. I tried it on and almost fell over laughing. I was tempted to take a picture of it to go with this post, but decided I didn't want my bared midriff immortalized on the internet.

So, I made a second version of the top, slightly larger. I also added 3" at the waist. I am on the tall side, and I always have trouble with shirts and dress waists being too short. I am very happy with how the fit turned out, and I think I am going to add length to the waist area of other patterns in the future. The fabric has stretched out after wearing it a few times, so maybe I didn't need to make it that much bigger.

Polka Dot Knit Penelope Circle Dress sewn by Cicely Ingleside

 The added waist length did make the skirt longer, and so I considered shortening the skirt too. I think it would look cute as a shorter dress, no? However, I will save that until next time I use the pattern. I definitely will use it again, when I find some more knit fabric I like. It's an easy sew, too. I have received a lot of compliments when wearing it, which is always nice.

Polka Dot Knit Penelope Circle Dress sewn by Cicely Ingleside

So, here's hoping your St. Paddy's Day is fun! We'll be eating potato cakes, made with my half-Irish grandmother's recipe.

4 comments:

  1. I love the blue and white dress! Nice job!

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  2. That blue and white dress is beautiful. You look great in the black polka dot one too. I love reading your updates, keep them coming!

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    1. Thanks so much, Korli! I'm relieved that the blue and white one turned out because I didn't have enough fabric - but I pieced some bits together and was able to hide it underneath.

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