Party, party, party wear

Happy New Year! Resolutions are not something I’m good at. I mean it only took until December to get to 2014’s “sew more lace” resolution. Last year I beat myself up trying to not buy any clothing at all, it wasn’t the RTW faste officially, but I made myself miserable with self imposed deprivation. There just wasn’t enough in my wardrobe to rely on making ALL THE CLOTHES and so often I remind myself that I am not a designer. Designers studied pattern design – I didn’t. I’m an enthusiastic amateur and its worth remembering to not beat myself up over that! This year? Press on, keep learning techniques and enjoy the sticky tape and ruler stuff – ‘cos I love me a good bit of patternmaking!

This beautiful silk charmeuse sat in my stash for years. Not quite enough for this but too much and too pretty for that. Until the day I spotted the orange plain silk charmeuse – a nice addition.


As I’ve mentioned before, Sydney gets hot and sweaty right at the time of year when we’re supposed to go to Christmas parties looking all ‘put together’ and swish! I have a lot of trouble caring about how I look at the best of times but in this weather – blah! And fancy dress parties in December – double blah! A friend suggested pre party dressing should be done with the air-conditioning on – a complete revelation to me – we rarely use our aircon such is our concern for the environment and all – but now I can dress for a Christmas party without looking like a lettuce left in the sun!

I’d still prefer to photograph my darling daughter in this devine silk though…

How should one attach the contrast bands? A straight seam – too easy, where is the fun if you’re not tearing out your increasingly grey hair in angst? Oh no, must increase the degree of difficulty if at all possible and cause excessive headaches to boot…so I used the spanish hemming attachment on my Bernina. Having diligently watched the videos and scoured the interwebs, trial runs were done in the same fabric scraps and still this was a major pain in the bum. From a distance it looks passable but ugggh, those beautiful thread bars are all over the place in reality. Oh, in keeping with the silk theme I also used reels and reels of silk thread for this effect. I even tried using paper under the work to help with stability but then had to tear the paper off risking stress on the silk, the orange bands were already interfaced. This killed me I tell ya! The sales lady of course told me what an idiot I was – can’t/shouldn’t have used silk. Duh, sorry, hadn’t realised I was only to use calico on my new extremely expensive machine with optional spanish hemstitch attachment. Hadn’t seen anywhere in the instructions, only use this attachment on stable non beautiful fabric! In the photo below you can see where the thread bars go from vertical alignment to ziggy zaggy to whatever they wanted to do. I was pulling with all my might on one side to encourage an even feed – but it didn’t work. Don’t try this at home folks!

spanish hemstitch variations
spanish hemstitch variations


Wearability? The whole garment falls backwards, partly because of boob projection, but also I think because there isn’t enough width at the back neck since it is a vertical slit. These things seem to sit okay on Peruvians; they don’t have to continually tug at their necklines to stay put – but then they’re wearing woolly handwoven blankets made from alpaca fibre and this is floaty silky stuff. My solution – add bling! Lots of glass beading sewn to the front to increase the weight and encourage it to sit forward. I cannot hand on my heart say this fixed the problem. It still falls backwards. Its cute to throw over something I want to cover up, like Christmas pudding belly, bloated fat tummy days and such. But of course that means layers! and heat! BTW as much as I complain about the heat, the white Christmases we’ve enjoyed in the northern hemisphere just don’t feel like Christmas to us – swimming and boats are our Christmas tradition – strange thing tradition – it is what it is.


This garment does get worn, but all that tugging makes me self conscious, I don’t reach for it as much as I should. I noticed my darling 16yo has the same issue. Maybe a makeover of this delight is in order? Any suggestions as to how I can encourage this silky loveliness to sit where its supposed to?


Back stress
Back stress


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  1. That Spanish hemming is lovely, isn’t it? and well done for trying. Proper weights at the front inside hem may do the trick? In retrospect you could have cut it as a diamond rather than a rectangle allowing it mould to your body on the bias.

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