Monday, 27 January 2014

The Guerilla Gardening Sigma

I finished this dress after the much needed cool change came through Sunday last week, but I haven't got around to blogging about it until now. No excuse really, I just haven't got around to taking the pictures. Anyway, thank goodness for the cool change as it meant I could finally get back to sewing. The heat was making me stir crazy. I think it had something to do with leaving the curtains closed during the day, shutting myself off from the world and only peering out of the windows once the sun went down at night. On the odd occasions that I left the house over the weekend, the place was a ghost town – it was as if I stepped into a zombie apocalypse and I was going to have to slay a pack of zombies as I entered the supermarket. People walked with their heads drooped and grunted nonsense. Anyway, I have sidetracked. As I was saying, I am glad that the cool change finally hit as I really needed to finish my Guerilla Gardening Sigma dress.
The fabric I used for the final run of my Sigma is the tana lawn, ‘Guerilla Gardening’ by Liberty of London. I am a little bit obsessed with Liberty fabric as I love that there is a story behind each fabric design. This one is based on the global movement of 'guerilla gardening' - gardening without boundaries and bringing life to neglected public spaces. The design is inspired by Richard Reynolds who transforms roundabouts into garden spaces in places throughout London, such as Elephant and Castle. I love that the fabric design is intricate and has animals scattered amongst trees and garden beds.
I decided to take my time with the dress and sew it with a new level of accuracy (mainly because I knew that the fabric was expensive and I feared ruining it). The perfectionist in me could not be tamed! I measured and drew all my seam allowances with chalk instead of simply using the scaled indicator next to the needle when sewing. I know this sounds like a total waste of time, but I actually found having the sewing line all chalked up helped with my accuracy (hmm, am I trying to convince myself that this new habit is actually worthwhile?? Here's the truth: I bought a new mechanical chalk pencil with multiple colour ‘leads’ and believe this may have fuelled my excess use of chalk. I’ll let you know if I maintain this new seam allowance chalking practice as now that I have admitted to this in writing, it really seems like a complete waste of time).



Anyway, the dress came together well and I had no dramas with executing it. I sewed a straight XXS as in the last one (blogged here), I graded the hips to a larger size and then had to shave off the excess as it was too large across my hips. I do, however, find this one slightly tight across the hips. Grrrr. Maybe I need a happy medium?
To be honest, although I love the fabric and I love the dress pattern, I’m not entirely sold on the end product. I’m not sure if it is entirely ‘me’. I will wear it as there was sweat and a few tears shed while making it (no blood though), and I don’t want my time or money going to waste. But it’s definitely not my favourite ‘Myra made garment’ and it definitely didn’t meet my expectations (or even come close). Maybe it’s the colour or the fact that I don’t wear a lot of patterned fabrics, but hopefully it grows (hehe) on me. I do love my garden and I love the guerilla gardening movement, so maybe I just embrace a change in my style and know that this is really me on fabric.
Has anyone else made something that they dreamed would be perfection, only to be disappointed in the end? Oh, and has anyone got the Deer and Doe Belladone dress pattern that they are willing to sell (or lend) me? I really want to make a Belladone dress but I'm not sure if I want to order it all the way from Paris. Has anyone else out there made the Belladone? Should I bite the bullet and order the pattern?

Here's my breakdown:
Material etc:
1.3m Liberty of London tana lawn @ $52/m = $70
30cm interfacing @ $15/m = $5
1 x invisible zip = $4
Total = approx $80
Time taken = approx 12 hours (over 1 1/2 weeks)




10 comments:

  1. Sorry, I don't have the Belladone, but I do have the Reglisse if you want it.
    Your dress looks lovely and I think you'll grow to love it. I agree that if you embrace the print and story on the fabric then you will feel it more. It is a great fit. I just finished my first Sigma - the fit isn't as great as yours but I'm pretty happy with it. They come together pretty well.

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    1. Congrats on finishing your Sigma - I can't wait to see your version. I'm thinking that I actually need to lengthen the bodice on my Sigma about 1 inch as it doesn't fall on my natural waist - I might try this for the next (I'm thinking a 3/4 sleeve plaid one for an Autumn work outfit). Ooo, the Reglisse is beautiful - yep, I wouldn't mind looking at the pattern. I'm thinking that maybe we should get some Canberra sewing folk together one day after work for a coffee/drink or maybe a morning tea on a weekend - what do you think?

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    2. Yes! Definitely! Let's organise. What date works for you and your trip to Sydney. I'm good for afternoons on Saturdays or all day Sunday... but not the next weekend. Email me on kirsty dot bunfield at gmail dot com to organise. Also currently trying to organise a regular stitching get together so will keep you posted on that.

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  2. How's the 15 February say around 12.30 in Phillip? For a cofffee/lunch then a shop at A2F?

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  3. Is it the colour of the print you don't like? Or is it "too much" Liberty in one hit? As much as I love Liberty, I have to be very careful or I end up looking like I have been playing with my Oma's quilt. I have switched to buying Liberty prints in silk to prevent any potential "Vontrapp family curtain clothes" comments...and my friends are VERY honest! If you want to buy more Liberty online visit B&J fabrics. It's one of the few stores that offfers Liberty in jersey, silk, chambray, denim etc I just bought a crazy amount of white guipure lace from B&J : ) I'll be visiting freinds in Manhattan in the second half of the year if you want me to pick up fabric for you- I'm going to go fabric crazy : )

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    1. Fabric shopping in Manhattan - you lucky person! I'll keep it in mind and look at my Liberty wish list - thanks :) I think that my problem with this is partly the colour (I usually wear more blues than greens), but also that is is very busy. But looking at the pics on here, I can see that from a distance, I don't mind the pattern - the colour does make me look a little sickly though. Haha - I totally understand the 'family curtain clothes' feeling - as much as I too love the floral designs, I don't know if they'd suit me.

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    2. Speaking of floral designs, I was at Sportscraft this afternoon and found a whole rack of Liberty print shirts, dresses and shorts!! And sooo cheap! They might have it online as well. Just thought that you can try on their dresses to get a feel of the colour and design and then buy some fabric...so cheeky;) but it might also be cheaper to buy premade Liberty :)

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    3. Thanks Natalia. I swung past a Sportscraft on the weekend and had a look at their Liberty range. No dresses in the store I was at but they had a fair few shirts. I think I am altering my style to include prints etc (I previously wore a lot of solid colours) - I do love the prints and designs... it'll just take me a while to get used to my new altered style. Thanks for the cheeky suggestion :)

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    1. Thanks Calvin. Nice to know that there are people out there interested (or entertained) with what I write :)

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