All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

Barcode Shirt & Smaug Shorts thedreamstress.com

Dinosaur Eggs & Dragon Shorts

Last year summer in Wellington was a non-starter.  I barely made a summer wardrobe, and didn’t get to wear the few pieces I did make.  This year Wellington is making up for lost sunshine with a vengeance.  It’s been SUNNY and STICKY.  Mr D & I have been spending lots of time outside, gardening and going for walks, which means lots of shorts & T-shirts. Luckily I found the perfect shorts fabric over winter.  Isn’t it wonderful when you find a fabric and it tells you exactly what it wants to be?  Down to the last detail!  So often I know what I want to make, but can’t find the right fabric, or find gorgeous fabric, and have a good general idea of what it should be, but figuring out the design details takes more time than making the actual thing… Last winter Made Marion Craft got in this fabulous linen blend with a little triangular pattern in yellow & black: It immediately said two things to me: shorts, and Smaug. Smaug? Yep! Think of …

A super-full 1916 petticoat thedreamstress.com, 1910s petticoat, starched petticoat

The super-full 1916 petticoat: or, the wonder & magic of starch

Remember my cheater 1916 petticoat? I’m sure a lot of you looked at it and thought: “It’s so limp!”   And “There is no way that is going to support a skirt as big as her inspiration image!” Behold the wonders of starch: The photograph above was taken after I starched my 1916 petticoat, let it sit around the house for a week in the Wellington damp, handled it a lot threading the ribbon through, shoved it in a suitcase, took it to LA, wore it, let it live in the hot humidity there* for 10 days, shoved it in a suitcase again, let it sit in damp, cold, humid Wellington for another 10 days, and then pressed and photographed it.** Plus, at some point in this process Felicity managed to conscript it as a bed for a luxurious nap… And it’s still poofy! A reminder of how poofy my 1916 ‘Gather Ye Rosebuds’ dress was on the night: So much poof! So how did I do it? Lots & lots of starch! How to …

Sewing palate cleansers

I love a good super-involved, super-massive, super-elaborate sewing project (who, me?), but sometimes I need a break from all that super.  For that, I have what I call sewing palate cleansers – simple little projects that I don’t have to think about too much, and that give me a break and a refresher between brain-breaking sewing marathons. My five favourite sewing palate cleansers: #1: Wonder Unders I can never have too many singlet camisoles and knickers!  And, at under 1/2 an hour a project, they are a great break when I still have to jump back into full-on-sewing. Get the pattern here #2: Drawstring bags: I use these for sorting all sorts of things, for travelling, and as gift packaging.  Another one always comes in handy.  And they give me a good opportunity to use really cute craft cottons I otherwise don’t have a lot of reason to play with.  Bonus! Find the tutorial for making your own here. #3: Leggings Thanks to the Cake Espresso leggings pattern, I’ve gone from being anti-leggings, to loving them. …