Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday night pattern-free sewing (and lots of poncing about like a super-model on a Sunday)

Ok..I should have said, " a slightly older, wrinklier, greyer, shorter super-model than you're used to seeing..."
On Saturday,at Kimono House, I taught a class in the pattern-free 'trapese line top' from my book

On Friday evening, shortly after I realised that I'd turned most of my trapese-line top samples (that had been worn and had faded slightly) into my crocheted rag rug a few months ago, I pulled out a pile of knit fabrics and began sewing up a somewhat-frenzied pattern-free storm....
Having bought this purple fabric only because it was cheap enough to use for toiles (muslins), I didn't expect to put on this little dress summer dress and NOT WANT TO TAKE IT OFF.  It's a gorgeous viscose-lycra blend and is super-fluid and comfy.  It would be beautiful to wear on one of those 40-degree days we have here in Summer.  Unfortunately, with top temperatures averaging around the 15 degree mark lately, I can't see it getting much wear for a wee while yet.

I'm suspecting modal or tencel is the other fibre in this black lycra-blend jersey.  The fabric is fine but has a gorgeously heavy drape, like a wood-based fibre does. 
I can't normally do long black and voluminous dresses without looking like a little pile of black fabric. (When you're 5'1"-and-a-bit, you need a bit of body reference). I like the way this one skims but still hints at a person inside the volume of fabric.
And I can do the ties up at the front and pretend to be some sort of  Raphael cherub (completely ignoring the glaringly obvious grey hair and wrinkles.. and the dress, come to think of it...).
Then I whipped up a few quick little summer tops.  This marl grey cotton-lycra number is slimmed right down to hug the hips and emphasise the drape across the front.
...and it's suddenly occurred to me that with my hair all not-so-super-model grey, I can actually wear marl grey now.  I never used to feel good in it.
This black top (below) is a pure cotton jersey, so not as drapey as its lycra-blend cousins.  I turned a wide hem and made a fake binding (instructions in my book or in my Draped T-Dress pattern) that sits on the hip.  It emphasises the boxy shape that the fabric wants to create.
 This one below is a toile (muslin), in a drapey knit remnant that was wider than it was long.  I played about with a different fold and came up with a drape detail that I think needs further experimentation.... I'm going to come back to this one.
..and here's one I prepared earlier... 

I made this red cotton-jersey number during the summer, and have worn it a lot since.  It somehow escaped the rag rug.

The class at Kimono House on Saturday was loads of fun - but I think there are enough images here for one post, so I'll come back to that one. 

In the meantime, if you're inspired to try pattern-free but want a bit more help than my instructions in my book, you might like to book into the class at Bargain Box Fabrics in Mornington on the 26th July.  (I actually have no idea if there are any places left in the class, but you could always ask!).


Annie said...

You look fabulous and have really inspired me to have another go

thornberry said...

If you can't find any of those dresses or tops after my next visit, that will be because I have stolen them ALL. Especially that black long-sleeved dress!
And yes, you do look fabulous!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

you are only too short for super model status, rest is fabulouser than fabulous and honestly, they should have short super models. the paid ones look so boring.

I'm just a blobby mess I don't have the attitude for poncing and swanning ;-)

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

You look fantastic Nikki.

I think I need a drapey top with a super deep (but not indecent) cowl, and lots of across-the-tummy folds to disguise my flab.

Jane said...

Okay since I can't do the classes I will have to buy the book now! I wanna make these tops! I love your drapey stuff.

Fer said...

Just gorgeous Nikki! You could always bung a black skivvy and leggings under the purple dress for some winter warmth?

Katy Cameron said...

Love all the mock ups, I think that would have taken me Saturday to create as well! I did giggle at the 'little pile of black fabric', because if I try wearing big and voluminous I look like a walking circus tent ;o)

Tas said...

You design, you make, you model. Geeze. What don't you do?

That black dress is gorgeous but I am always a sucker for red. Mmmmmmm.

Uniforms said...

Nice post.

Deb said...

Very timely of you. I've been looking at how to make a cowl, drapey top. Didn't think to look on your book but it's on the shelf so here I go! Already done the measurements!

Ramona said...

Love the tops. Can't imagine sewing without a pattern! Will have to look for your book.

And the grey hair looks awesome!

Anonymous said...

Love all of this drapey beauty. You look great!!