Here’s the finished lace duster based on “Tunic Dress with Lace” from Happy Homemade Sew Chic:
I used an applique seaming technique to get the hems to match the front’s scallop-and-eyelash edge. For more on that, see my other blog, Distaff.
Because the lace has all these black lines running every which way, I just finished the seams with a rolled seam on my serger. The only other little thing I did was to sew a very narrow strip of black twill tape along the shoulders, for support.
I can’t wait to swan around in this, while sipping a Martini.
We’re going luxe at the Japanese Hippie Doomsday Cult Sewing Club. Next up is lace!
Oh yeah – let’s get all fancy! Slinky! Sexy! And put these simple sewing patterns from “Happy Homemade Sew Chic” through their paces.
I had an idea to make a lace duster for summer. I love the costumes on the Australian TV show “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” so I figured, why not adapt a Happy Homemade pattern?
Trusty ol’ “Tunic Dress with Lace” fits the requirements nicely. I picked out some black Art Deco style lace from Mood Fabrics in New York and got to laying the thing out. I wanted to make as much use as possible of the scalloped edge with the eyelash detail, so I laid things out carefully. You’d cut the front of “Tunic Dress with Lace” on the fold normally, but instead I lined it up on the edge to take advantage of the scallops.
(Note on the pattern how I’ve marked several Happy Homemade patterns on the same piece. The book’s patterns are somewhat modular, so tracing onto durable patternmaker’s paper is totally worthwhile. See here for the how-to.)
I estimated that I could make a duster below the knee and also squeeze bracelet-length sleeves out of the lace I bought, so I lengthened the pattern a bit accordingly.
Now all I needed was a way to carry over the scalloped design to the hem and the neckline. More on that technique next time.
Now that the Japanese Hippie Doomsday Cult is dissolved and the end of the world is NOT coming (not anytime soon, anyway) we’re glamming up the garments from Happy Homemade Sew Chic.
Next up is a lace duster. Again, Tunic Dress with Lace from the book is the inspiration. I had considered buying a proper duster pattern, or even adapting a cardigan for the job, but my recent adaptation of good ol’ Tunic Dress with Lace inspired me to play with its blank canvas some more. Besides, “lace” is in the title, so it makes sense. Kinda.
The V-neck is a good shape for the front of the duster. Instead of cutting on the fold for the front, I cut two fronts in a single layer with the decorative scalloped edge along what would have been the fold line. I cut the back out of one center panel – again cutting not on the fold but in a single layer. Finally, I did the sleeves with the scalloped edge along the sleeve hems. I have to figure out how to use the scraps of the edge for the hem of the duster itself and the V neckline. That’s for another day.
I entered my tablecloth dress into the PatternReview.com “Upcycle Contest” and I won!
OK, I didn’t win the contest really. A woman who made a very cool denim jacket out of some old jeans won. But I won the “random prize” which is a gift certificate to Patterns from the Past, an online seller of vintage sewing patterns. It’s better to be lucky than to be good, right?
This means I can display this logo on my blog. Magic!
I take this victory as a sign that the Japanese Hippie Doomsday Cult has pleased the gods with its devotion, thrift and style. Sew on!
So, the world still has not come to an end. The plain clothes I made from “Happy Homemade Sew Chic” are growing stale, as the book’s Japanese Hippie Doomsday Cult look loses favor to prettier styles.
Bring on the frippery!
One nice thing about “Happy Homemade” is that the patterns are so simple, they’re blank canvases for creativity. Take this dress I made this weekend, based on “Tunic Dress with Lace”:
A far cry from this original, eh?
The dress is certainly in the thrifty spirit of Happy Homemade. I made it from an old cotton Indian-made border-print tablecloth. I love the print, but it no longer goes with my dining room decor.
I cut off the border to made the V neckline, belt, and ruffles at the hem and sleeves. I was able to cut the body of the dress out of the body of the tablecloth, strategically avoiding old stains (wine! coffee! back in our carefree days!).
I made several modifications for fit – I added shaping to the sides, added fish-eye darts in the back, and added shoulder darts in the back to control neckline gaping.
I am planning to play with a few of these Happy Homemade patterns to see how I can jazz them up. Now that the world’s going on, we need to look our best!
I sewed up another item from Happy Homemade Sew Chic yesterday – item N – the Jersey Bolero-Style Jacket. It’s neither a bolero nor a jacket. Discuss.
This fabric is a viscose knit border print that looked like a good idea for a dress when I bought it at Elliott Berman fabrics. But when I draped it I realized it was too busy for a dress and the border print would tend to widen things that are wide enough already. So I made this cardi instead.
I made changes from the first version, mostly to make use of the border print:
* Lengthened the sleeves and the overall body 2 inches to take advantage of the deep black end of the border print.
* I also used the black end to make the neckline binding.
* Sewed the front tucks as directed – that is, sewn from the wrong side – instead of from the right side like a pintuck. This method worked better for the heavier, opaque quality of the fabric. A pintuck looks better on a sheer.
* Tucked but did not sew down the back tuck because I didn’t like how the sewn-down tuck worked with this crazy print.
* Sewed on a neckline clasp I got from the jewelry-making racks at Joann.
I made the whole thing on my new serger, except for the tucks. The hems were done using the coverstitch mode.
I really like this piece. It’s one of the best patterns in the book. I sewed it up easily in an evening.
I think my misbegotten pants must have heard I was trashing them on Thursday blog, because they got their revenge.
While I was zipping up the pants after a bathroom break, the zipper made a break for it:
Did I mention I was at work? I held up the pants, saying a thank you for the long blouse I was wearing, walked to my desk and fished out a safety pin.
The pin did its job and I got home without any further wardrobe malfunction. I ripped open the zip and threw the pants in the trash. Clearly, we were not meant to be together!