Sunday, 26 February 2012

Fabric Give Away!! 100% Silk Peau De Soie/Duchess Satin

Friends, followers, family, fabric-lovers and other things starting with 'F'.

It's give away time over at Julia Bobbin for all those lovers of silk and shiny.

I am giving away to one lucky person two meters of one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever let my Janome sink its teeth into.

The fabric is 100% silk Peau de Soie, also commonly known as Duchess satin and its in a hard-to-find royal purple. I have been on the hunt for more of this fabric in other colours ever since I found it but can only find whites/baby pinks/baby blues. If anyone knows anywhere online that you can purchase this fabric in other colours, let me know!

There are so many things that I love about this fabric:
  • Firstly, its silk.
  • Secondly it is perfect for evening gowns and vintage numbers
  • Thirdly its royal purple.
  • Fourth, its Peau de Soie - French for 'Skin of Silk'
Have any of you used this fabric before? Its incredible! It is so strong and has so much bounce in it that it looks like its pumped with air! Take a look at this picture of the fabric folded on its side.

I made a dress out of it a while back using Burda 7494 and I got compliments on it every time I wore it. The colour is so rich and vibrant and shiny. What I love about the body of duchess satin is that even when I took the dress off, it sat up like there was still someone inside it, its incredible! (And admittedly, slightly creepy).

I loved the fabric so much that I bought me another two metres of it and Im looking forward to giving it away to a fellow reader who can delight in it as I did.

Here are the fabric details:

2 metres (2.18 yards) of royal purple Peau de Soie (Duchess satin)
130cm wide
100% silk
Dry clean only
Value $35AUD per metre
Side effects: when you touch this fabric people have been known to lose their vocabulary and be reduced to only the sounds ‘ooo and ahhh for at least five minutes.

To win this fabric simply comment on this post.

All entrants will be put into a hat (well your names will be any way - its logistically impossible to fit actual people into the hat) and one lucky person will be announced the winner.

Entries are open to everyone from anywhere in the world.
Entries close on March 2nd, 2012 Australian EST
One random winner will announced in a blog post on March 4th, 2012.

Oh how delicious! Speaking of delicious, has any one seen the Give-Away over at Thinking in Shapes?

Ummm ... it's a Mad Men dress! In fact two mad men dresses, one in an extra small and one in a medium. Lady Danburry has made them in honour of the Mad Men Challenge. True story!

Isn't it lovely? The thing that really tickles my fancy is that it's called ... the Julia Dress That makes me happy in all sorts of selfish ways. I'm only human...

Check out Lady Danburry's blog to win one of the dresses.

How you are you going with your Mad Men dress?
Found your inspiration dress yet? Picked the fabric?
I have been busily stalking following many of your blogs and there are some mouth-watering ideas popping up.
Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

I have recieved a few emails from readers to say that they are unable to leave a comment due to some blogger glitch. I'm convinced it has to do with gremlins.
If you can't leave a comment, send me an email instead at 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Joan Holloway copy-cat

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to announce my most recent celebrity copy-cat dress; the Joan Holloway.

I modelled it off this dress worn by the character Joan in Mad Men.

This dress is in perfect theme of my latest (and well.., first) sewing group challenge: to re-create a mad men dress! If you missed my last post and want to join in on the fun you can check out the details here

I cant wait to see what everyone comes up with! I am going to need some serious massage therapy come April 1st; the muscles in my neck and back are all jammed up in anticipation and extreme excitement.

I have created with considerable help from my husband Mr. Robin Bobbin (Robin input 99% - Julia input 01%) a shiny new blogger button for the Mad Men Dress challenge (note, I cannot guarantee shiny-ness).

Mad Men Challenge Blogger Button
Isnt it lovely? So for those of you who want to show on your blogs that youre participating in the challenge, just copy the HTML in the grab box below and let’s make magic. (Disclaimer – I dont know how to make actual magic; never got my Hogwarts letter).

So … back to my latest copy-cat dress!

When I first saw it on the screen the cogs in my brain (I like to pretend theres more than one in there) started turning and I go into a state that can only be described as a ‘lust-over-a-dress-shock (L O A D S)

This is where my brain starts feverishly working over time trying to deduce how it can re-create this visual delight. I try and get my head around the idea that no, at 1pm in the morning/night the fabric stores are not open and there is no point getting in your car and camping out in front of one of them till morning (and crying CERTAINLY wont help).

To anyone witnessing me going into LOADS it might appear that I have turned into stone or perhaps looked a Basilisk in the eye (nasty beasts), but if you look carefully youll notice the pools of drool start to trickle down the side of my face and thats the sign that I am still alive. ish.

There is something about the combination of blue and white together that delights my senses, and coincidentally also gives me the urge to sail a boat.

Naturally I love the shape of this dress of Joanies. As all Joanie dresses do, they pull in at the waist and hug the curves in scandalous-disguised-as-conservative ways.

These sorts of dresses make me feel good. Plain and simple.
I guess its the most flattering shape for my figure and Im always satisfied with the end result when I replicate this shape.

You know, when I purchased this fabric and cut out the dress I got sidetracked with another project and almost didnt continue with this dress - gee, I wonder if I'm the only sewer with this problem ... Im so glad that I picked it up and got re-inspired again as I love how it turned out.

Once again I pulled out a recent favourite, Butterick pattern #5603 which I used to aid me in re-creating my Peggy Olson dress.

The bodice of this dress has such a lovely shape and mimics vintage beautifully. It has a lovely wide bateau neckline and a darling V shaped back neck.

I love the high empire waist of this pattern, which emphasises the waist to contrast nicely again the width of the hips.

As before with the Peggy dress I completely changed the skirt of this pattern for the pencil skirt instead of a full panelled skirt that goes with the pattern. 

Here's a picture from the Butterick website of how the dress looks when you completely follow the pattern. It's beautiful but quite different to my finished look!

The skirt I used has four darts at the front and the darts on the pattern piece didnt line up with the darts on the original skirt that comes with the pattern. This just wont do!

I used my re-drafted pattern from my Peggy dress where I took the time to slash and cut to move the darts in the bodice to line up perfectly with my skirt darts. You can see in more detail how I did this on my previous post here.

I added white ribbon trim around the front and back neck.

Just like the inspiration dress I added the white ribbon down the front of the dress starting from under the bust. The ribbon ran parallel with the centre front all the way down to the skirt hem.

I then hand sewed 8 lovely buttons to the left of the trim to mimic the inspiration piece.

What is it about buttons and bows that turn me on so much? I never thought I was a real girly-girl but I think I have just always been in denial. Im probably as girly-girl as you can get.
Wow, I feel so much better getting that out in the open.

I added my own little sleeves to the bodice as the Butterick pattern doesnt come with sleeves.

And yes I do own an iron, I don't know what is going on with the sleeves here.

Other changes:

I fully lined the dress – the Butterick pattern only gets you to line the bodice.
I moved the zipper to the centre back instead of the side seam and I used an invisible zipper to close
I cut the bodice 12, waist in a 10 and used my own skirt with a size 14 from the hips down (sigh).

I love how this dress turned out! When I wear this I really feel like I am wearing something that no one else has and it satisfies all my vintage urges.

And there you have it!

Looking forward to seeing all the Mad Men delights for the challenge. Any one started their Mad Men dress yet?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Mad Men Dress Challenge - You in?

Find a dress on Mad Men that you love and create your own version.

Email to me:
  • A photo of you wearing the garment
  • A photo of the inspiration dress
  • A link to your blog/ blog post of your dress that I can reference
  • Your first name
  • Email the above to – I will respond with a confirmation within two days that I have received your email.
Due By:
Send the above details to me by Friday, March 30  that gives us about six weeks to create a masterpiece!

The Blog Post:
I will then post up everyones photos and blog links on Sunday, April 1st  Thats April Fool’s day, how appropriate.

Ok so its no surprise to anyone here that I like me a bit of ‘Mad Men time.
And when I say a bit, I mean a lot.
And when I say a lot, I mean more than is socially acceptable.

The main reason for this obsession/love? The clothes (though I do also enjoy watching the show for non-frock reasons).

My TV screen has a worn out mark on it from where Ive constantly scratched at the screen, pining after the fashion delights. The thing that makes me feel less ‘freakish is that I know that in this wonderful sewing community I am not alone in my absurdity. Right? Thank God the actors addresses are not made public as I could imagine myself turning into a ‘hide-in-the-trees-with-goggles type stalker and apparently thats illegal. Whatever.

Ive recently made myself a few garments directly based on dresses worn by characters on this TV show. Remember my black and white gingham print Peggy dress?

Ive also been influenced by the silhouettes of the clothes from that vintage and have incorporated them into my other garments such as my fantastic elastic skirt, and my galaxy dress. You can see my other ‘celebrity copy-catdresses here.

Ive also recently finished another copy of a Mad Men dress, this blue and white number worn by the fabulous keeper of my heart; Joanie. 

Oh isnt it lovely? Bows and buttons and the never-fail combination of blue and white! Stay tuned for this dress folks, Ill be posting it this weekend and Im quite pleased with it too if I do say so myself. 
Heres a tasty little preview for you …

The point to this story is all this Mad Men dress copying got me thinking (I do that sometimes) and I had me a notion.
If I love the Mad Men dresses so much, surely other people do too. There are many trees surrounding these actors houses, surely Im not the only potential stalker-in-a-tree-with-goggles person out there.

Wouldnt it be great if we all got our creative hats on and created a Mad Men dress each?!!
Can you imagine the sensory delight of seeing a whole lot of Mad Men dresses recreated.?!!

Challenge accepted.

So I decided, lets do this! Lets buy yourself some goggles and .. no wait … lets put out a challenge to the sewing community and see what wonderful mad men inspiration dresses we can come up with!

The challenge is to imitate a Mad Men garment of your choice by a certain date. You can of course make any changes to it that you like. Once youve made it, email me a picture of yourself wearing the garment and a picture of the inspiration dress. Send along a link to your blog post if youve done one and then Ill create a page with everyones creations and links on it for us to all drool and get excited over.

Maybe youve already made a Mad Men dress and you want to send me those pictures instead! Please do!
Heres a few Mad Men dress ideas to get you fired up and inspired.

Oh boy, Im excited!

So whos in?

Im so excited to see what people come up with!! I reckon this could be a heck of a lot of fun! I cant wait to see people un-leash their inner Joan/Peggy/Betty/other gorgeous character on the show.

I'll be creating a blog badge for those of you who want to show on your blog that youre taking part, which I'll be posting up on the weekend.

I have a shiny new blog button for this challenge. If you want to show your readers that you are taking part in this challenge, just add a HTML widget in your layout and copy the text in the grab box below.

Mad Men Challenge Blogger Button

These dresses are going to be delicious; how fun! Stay tuned for my Joan imitation dress which Ill be posting this weekend.

Until then, happy sewing!