Freaky-as animals, all camouflaged even

Have you heard about Indie Pattern Month? Mel and I co-hosted it last year, and so much fun doing so. And it’s happening right now, for the second year in a row! Yay! This year, to keep everything in one place and make it super easy for everyone to follow along and take part, we’re hosting it over on The Monthly Stitch. It’s also bigger and better than last year, oh yes it is!

One of the changes we made this year is the addition of sewing contests. Four contests, one per week during June, with prizes from amazing sponsors. Each contest has a theme. You can read all about them (and the sponsors and the prizes) over here.

Now, since I’m one of the judges for the sewing contests, I can’t enter them. *sob!* But hey, nothing stopping me from sewing along with them, right? And we all know I love sewing challenges, especially ones with tight deadlines. Something about that kinda kick-starts my sew-jo. πŸ˜‰

The first of the themes was ‘Dresses‘ – nice and easy, just make a dress from an indie pattern.

It was pretty easy to decide which dress to make, too. A couple of months back, Mel and I asked people to vote on which indie pattern we should make for our next ‘twinsies’ sewing mission. The Colette Rooibos won, but before we could start on it, I found out I was pregnant (yay!), which meant I wouldn’t be able to fit the Rooibos for long, if at all, due to it’s fitted waist.

Luckily, the pattern that came in a close second in the voting is a lot more pregnancy friendly – the Midsummer Nights Dream wrap dress from Papercut.

(Yeah, I know. I’m making yet another Papercut pattern. But hey, it’s Indie Pattern Month, and quite frankly there aren’t that many indie designs out there that I can wear while pregnant! So you’re likely to see a couple more Papercut makes before June is over, mixed up with some Victory as well, or that’s the plan anyway.)

Mel and I decided we’d both make up the Midsummer Nights Dream dress for the ‘dresses’ week theme. We mentioned our plan to our fellow Monthly Stitch editor, Juliet, and she was keen to get in on the action as well. Yay! Triplet dress making!! πŸ˜€

Unfortunately, all our plans to meet up for a joint photo shoot fell apart, so we each got our own photos on the same day. Check out our three dresses:

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel made her one out of a gorgeous pink-and-black patterned viscose crepe that she bought ‘specially for it.

Juliet made her’s out of a pretty blue silk, soft and floaty and sheer, which she underlined in blue.

And I broke all the fabric-suggestion rules and made mine out of a loose weave cotton.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made some other changes to my version of the dress as well. I lengthened the waist ties coz a) I like long waist ties, and b) I wanted to make absolutely sure that they wouldn’t be too short to go around ‘the bump’.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As with all Papercut dresses I make, I lengthened the skirt by 16cm.

Rather than using bias binding on the neck and armhole edges, I added an extra 1cm seam on all the edges that were meant to be bound, attached cotton tape to them, and folded them under. Which would have worked a lot better if the fabric I was using didn’t have such a large amount of stretch across the bias. (Whoops.) But it didn’t work too badly, I don’t think…..?

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Details of the gathers where the bodice meets the waist ties

The other change I made was to the straps. The pattern calls for them to be made by extending the bias binding from the neckline up into shoulder ties, which is very cute (and which I did on my first Midsummer Nights Dream – yes, this is the second time I’ve made up this pattern). However, since we’re at the start of winter here, I wanted to have straps that sit smoothly against the shoulder so I can layer this dress with long-sleeved tops and cardigans. So instead, I made some wide straps and just stitched ’em on at the back.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

At the front, I thought ahead a few months and attached them with snap fasteners. (After all, I’m gonna need easy-access to certain parts of my anatomy and snap fasteners are a bit easier to operate with one hand than ties are.)

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Easy access!

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Overall, I think these changes worked pretty well – I’ve already worn this dress a couple of times and it layers nicely over and under things. (In fact, I’ve had to restrain myself from wearing it several days in a row, as I may like it a lot!)

The fabric I used is an odd, loosely-woven cotton that has two layers – the top layer in green and with the print, and an underlayer in the same weave in white. I had no idea there were two layers until I started cutting – it came as a bit of a surprise, but didn’t cause any issues thankfully as they stayed together really well.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The loose weave did, however, mean there was quite a lot of give along the bias. I let the dress hang for a couple of days before hemming it, and my gosh there was a lot to take off in some places to get that hem even! It went from taking nothing off in some parts to taking about 15-20 cm off in other areas. Yikes!!! (Big thanks to my little sis for patiently helping me level the hem on this one. And for being my photographer. Thanks, sis!)

I got this fabric from the Trelise Cooper fabric store up in Auckland a few years ago, when my lovely partner and I went on a weekend trip there and I somehow managed to convince him to let me go in and have a look when we randomly stumbled upon it. For those who aren’t from around here, Trelise Cooper is a New Zealand fashion designer who uses the most gorgeous fabric in her creations – lots of bright, colourful, floral, quirky, luxurious things. Mmm….. And her fabric store was full of them, too! I couldn’t justify the prices on most of them, but this was only $10 a meter and the creepiness of the animals appealed to me far too much to leave it there. So, home it came. πŸ˜‰

And seriously, isn’t this print disturbing? Kids toys – should be cute, kinda is, but is kinda scary, too. They’re the sort of toys you could imagine coming to life and creeping around with evil thoughts at night, just like in those really bad ‘horror’ stories everyone used to tell at sleepovers when we were all about 12. *shudder*

Yeah, I love this print. πŸ˜€

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I think that’s one of the reasons I love this dress so much – since I can’t fit most of my wardrobe at the moment, I’ve been feeling a bit less like ‘me’ as I haven’t been able to wear things that are my style most days. This dress? I love it – the design, the print, the colour. I feel like ‘me’ in it. And I can wear it for the next couple of months! Total win.

We went off to the zoo to take photos. In theory there are spider monkeys somewhere in the enclosure behind me. We did spot them a bit later though, including one who was wandering along with a banana clutched in his tail – pretty awesome! Never seen that before.

However, I failed to notice that of course busy green background + green printed dress = camouflage styles. Whoops!

Are you taking part in Indie Pattern Month? Are you entering any of the contests?

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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20 responses to “Freaky-as animals, all camouflaged even

  1. How cute is your little guy in these photos! You’re so clever making all these preggy/feeding friendly clothes, I’m pretty I was rotating about 4 garments in my later stages of pregnancy (and feeling crap in all of them!)

    • He was being a rather adorable photo-bomber then! (I didn’t include the pics where he decided my legs were a good tunnel to try to walk between, haha!)

      Preggy dressing is kinda sucky, eh? 😦 I find it really makes me feel blah and not like myself, having to resort to wearing things I wouldn’t wear normally. Hence my current challenge-to-myself to make things I’ll wear afterwards and that I like to wear now! Because ugh, I don’t want another 4.5 months of hating my wardrobe when it usually gives me joy. :-/

  2. Adorable! You and I seriously have a pattern connection…or maybe we’re just papercut gals. I have some fabric earmarked for this that I was going to cut out today πŸ™‚

    • Haha, funny! πŸ˜‰

      What fabric are you going to make your one out of? Looking forward to seeing it!

      • WELL I did have some crepe with birds on it…but you talking about indie pattern month MAY have gotten me side tracked. I want to use the bodice for the franken pattern challenge…which means I’ll be needing more fabric πŸ™‚

      • Oooh, a Midsummer Nights Dream franken-pattern? I am intrigued!!! πŸ˜‰

  3. gilliancrafts

    Your dress looks great!
    That fabric is double gauze! Japan is pretty obsessed with it in summer… suddenly it’s everywhere as pillowcases, handerkerchiefs, and clothing. I like it because it’s cosy in winter but cool in summer.

  4. Cute dress! Finding “me” clothes for pregnancy is something I struggle with too and sewing is the perfect solution.

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, so much maternity stuff is all the same and boring and/or sack-like. 😦

      • Ugg. I know. My pregnancy wardrobe finds no inspiration at all from maternity designers. This pregnancy I am trying to channel Anthropologie.

  5. such a cute dress! what a great idea snapping the straps, great thinking batman!

  6. Ahhhhh Drake!!!!! So cute! This is such a fun dress- I LOVE the print! And how clever are you?! The snap fasteners are a brilliant touch!

    • Aw, thank you!

      Yeah, the Little Guy was being remarkably cute during this shoot, haha! Love it when he does that – usually he spends the whole time running away and I have to chase him while trying to get photos! πŸ˜‰

  7. I love how you have winter-ised this pattern. I had put mine on the “wait until summer again” pile, but you’ve just made me rethink that idea. I love the flat straps and that you are thinking well ahead and maternity-ising patterns – such fun.

    • Oh no, it’s totally winter-isable! Flat straps instead, add the usual tights-boots-cardi-merino top underneath, and it’s all good! (I saw, sitting here wearing my one yet again. πŸ˜‰ )

  8. Love the summer-to-winter conversion, very clever! And yes, the print is very very you!

  9. Pingback: Pattern exploration: sewing for feeding mothers – I'm not Tina Wheeze

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