July is Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. Its a month set aside for celebrating indie patterns. I always the challenges set by Kat and Mel and this year is no exception. Week 1 is dresses and I made yet another Giselle maxi dress using fabric bought from my first Yorkshire Spoolette meet up in Feb 2016 <link here>. Tangentially, I have used all but 1 of the fabrics I bought then and that’s great for me :-). I digress, lets get to it ……..
Can I just start off by saying that I love this dress! OK. So when Kat and Mel announced the themes I was pleased to see that dresses were in Week 1. It didn’t take me long at all to decide on which indie pattern dress to make – Giselle by Kate and Rose Patterns.
I have made 3 of them ( here and here) before but none in a rayon challis fabric. The fabric is irresistibly soft and I very nearly made pyjamas with it. It also gets double points for stash busting as it has been in the stash since Feb 2016 :-).
Since I have sewn this before fitting was not an issue. I made the version with the under bust yoke but sleeveless. The sleeves and neckline were finished with cotton bias binding.
This is a quick dress to sew up. The skirt panels are basically rectangles that are gathered and sewn together. I always add in seam pockets to this pattern as it comes without pockets and that’s my only complaint (a very minor one 🙂). I finished my seams with the overlocker.
Its a loose fit easy to wear dress. Very swishy and its one of those dresses that always has me on my best posture. You know the sort of dress you feel like you are letting it down if you slouch or don’t stand proud :-).
I made this dress using a birdy fabric that I had bought some time ago but was quite precious about it. The challenge was just perfect – it made me brave enough to cut into the birds :-). I had bought the viscose jersey from B&M Fabrics in Leeds.
I wanted a simple pattern with few seam lines to maximise the impact of the birds. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.
The dress is meant to be a mini but I maxified it for full impact 🙂 Sewing it up was so fast and took less than an hour to sew up. I opted to sew a neckband for a t-shirt look.
The dress is so comfortable and I love it.
I can’t help but feel like lifting off and flying when wearing this dress. Thanks for this challenge Kat and Mel! Now, I need to go finish my Apron challenge make :-).
This is the project that made me realise a skill deficit; I had real problems lining this dress which made me set a 2017 new year resolution: to sew more lined garments.
I was attracted to this dress after seeing this picture.
Sewing it was very easy. I cut a size 38 which is my Burda size. It is supposed to have front pockets by the princess seams but I couldn’t imagine using them – the dress is elegant and ruining the princess line with a bulky pocket? No, I wasn’t having it. I could have also added in-seam pockets at the side seam but I completely forgot. You know when you are sewing and everything is going swimmingly and the fabric is a pleasure to deal with – its easy to miss something.
The fabric was bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market. Unfortunately when I saw it they only had about 1.5 m (£3.80/meter) left which is a shame because I think I would have liked to make long coat out of this. The fabric is viscose wool mix which has a lovely textured hounds tooth pattern.
The shift dress is fitted at the bodice using dior darts (which are my new favourite darts now). It just skims the rest of my body being neither boxy nor tight. I like the boat neckline as well, it lends a Jackie O feel to the dress. I have styled it with a brooch as seen here on IG.
I initially thought that maybe that might make me look too air hostess’y but they do always look stylish so no problem there.
The lining is a bemberg in magenta which just feels luxurious against my skin and so worth the trouble I went to sew it. I ended up hand sewing the lining on to the armholes and neckline ( on the dress form) after several fails at ‘bagging the lining’. Determination and discipline got me through this because I knew if I moved on to the next project I wasn’t going to return to this for a really long time. So I doggedly finished it and its far from perfect. But I will learn to line it properly next time and will report back in autumn when I make another one in a glorious tartan :-).
Verdict – I will definitely be making another one. I like Burda patterns for their cheaper price point and how well they fit me as I had to make no adjustments at all to this. Still lining it was worth it as it fits like a dream and the luxurious feel of a dress gliding past your arms to settle on your shoulders is wonderful.
I’d love to make a colour block version like this MaxMara one here (RRP $650 btw):
Don’t you just love sewing for the options it gives to recreate very expensive looks?
As always, thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy sewing all!
I have been trying to do a bit more pattern drafting. Often I just get carried away with the idea that it is far more convenient to just cut into an already drafted pattern and take it from there. However, I have spent quite a lot of money towards books, classes and tools on pattern drafting so I must make more of an effort.
I decided I wanted to make a drop shoulder tee-shirt which was inspired by this Boden top.
As it happens I had an easy fit tee-shirt sloper from when I used Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich.
I drafted the sloper about 2 years ago so I decided to play around with that.
I started off with the basic tee-shirt sloper and I went on to follow the instructions for dropping the shoulder. The instructions don’t give you any further info regarding the sleeve pattern piece so I used my own logic by gently drawing an opposing curve with roughly the same amount taken off. Eventually, I stumbled upon a great post<link here> which explains in great detail the technicalities of the dropped shoulder.
I decided that at this point it would be a good idea to make a toile as I hadn’t made one yet. I used some jersey fabric that had been in my stash since 2014 – I bought it on EBAY during a late night browsing session (I have since managed to break that bad habit). I think it’s a viscose jersey which is very comfortable to wear. I also quite like the Argyl print :-).
For the neckband I measured around the neckline once I had finished and deducted 30% of the measurement – added my seam allowances and voila – a neckband that snaps perfectly against my body.
My next step with this draft will be to create the yoke pattern pieces and to drop the shoulder a bit further. The next iteration will be colour blocked to see if the proportions work well.
This was a quick refreshing project as I was not having to think about the instructions or whether I may have missed out something – if I can hang on to that feeling it would help me focus on doing more drafting. Do you prefer drafting your own or find it easier to use patterns?
I made this after buying the pattern during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It was a bargain at £5. Here is the line drawing.
My thoughts are that it is very quick to sew up and took one sitting to finish. The sleeves are very straight forward and there is no easing involved. The most challenging part for the beginner might be the mitred corners. The sizing was spot on and I didn’t make any alterations at all.
Personally I feel like the side vent is too high for a winter garment given that its supposed to keep me warm and cosy. With my poor circulation I would feel this gap acutely. In winter I wore it layered over thermal sweater underneath. The fabric is a wool jersey that I bought form Fabworks. It washes in the machine and I tumble dry it on low – that seems just fine. I have since washed this about 5 times now with no problems.
I actually first made this toile in June 2015 – I know because I have a log of the picture of the muslin.
Vogue V9112 is an asymmetrical seam detail dress design by Marcy Tilton. Loose-fitting, pullover, sleeveless dress has single-layer, pleated, stand-up collar, seam detail, side pockets, bias neck and armhole facings, shaped hemline, and narrow hem. Wrong side shows on collar and hemline.
Here is the cover picture:
….and the line drawing which shows all the lovely intricate seams:
I was put off this pattern by how much ease it had after making the toile. I cut the size medium based on the pattern size recommendations (this was before I figured out the lack of finished garment measurements). Needless to say it sat around in the UFO box for a while then I picked it up again determined to fix it as I liked it in principle. However, I was very ruthless in removing ease and ended up with something that barely resembles what the designer intended. I am okay with that though as I made it work for me.
I took it in by a lot on the sides and the back seam. I omitted the pockets as this was a toile. Although now, with hindsight, I should have just added the pockets since its turned into something wearable. Being linen – it if of course lovely to wear. It’s the sort of thing I will throw on when its nice and hot and I want to be unfettered.
I will be giving the pattern another go definitely – in linen again maybe with some Sashiko embroidery on one of the curved pieces.
The final result is something much more fitted at the bust and loose-fitting everywhere else. I finished the armholes with bias binding. The only thing I need to change now is the colour – I am thinking of dyeing it a deep violet colour.
Verdict – worthy of a second shot at it because despite the fit issues (based on personal preferences only) I still like it. I do need to remember to be careful when cutting it out as it is all cut single layer – I got away with it because I was using a plain solid fabric but with directional fabric I would have messed up.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy sewing!
For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.
Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.
I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.
I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.
Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.
Yellow Maxi Skirt
For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.
I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.
I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!! The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂
So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….
Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,
I joined Instagram (IG) with a very sceptical mind. I kept my eye out for the catch. Having tried Facebook very briefly when it first came out and disliked it intensely, Twitter as well which I didn’t and still don’t get – I was of the opinion that social media just wasn’t for me. But slowly my favourite bloggers were also going onto IG and touting how amazing this platform is.
As a general rule I like to think of myself as open-minded enough to try out new things and experiences (at least once). Trying to live by what I preach – if my kids had a penny for every time I said to them “But you haven’t tried it!” they’d be millionaires by now. So I went ahead and joined IG in Nov 2015. I had no idea what a hashtag was or how things worked on there. Since then my affair with IG has been on/off with the on being more prevalent. There are times when I do get annoyed at the proliferation of an overly promoted new pattern or event but its all part of the experience (it’s a minor irritation at best). But it is quite a helpful place for info on patterns, sewing or just about anything really. And I think this is where the IG and the sewing community meets to create a confluence of energy, creativity, inspiration………its a wonderful place.
For example, have your eye on a fabric that you MUST have but can’t find it in your regular haunts? Not to worry IG buddies are the best at telling you where to get it. Want to buy something from the US but postage is prohibitive; IG buddies tend to offer to pick it up for you and send slow cheaper mail (you pay P&P of course). Got a pattern you are not sure about? IG is always full of opinion. Cant decide which buttons to use; IG can help. Have a RTW inspiration garment you want to sew but dont know if there is a similar sewing pattern; Ig to the rescue. Missing pattern piece; IG to the rescue. I could go on and on. But sometimes you don’t even know that you need rescuing before IG comes to the rescue. Which brings me to Vogue 1314….
As part of a sewing challenge I was doing last year the prompt was “On my table” and I posted this…..
Immediately my IG buddies warned me about the sizing problem with it – It runs large they said. Thanks, said I……… I had already cut it out. They are right I said, after basting it to check fit. The ruching was drooping which looked unpleasant.
I cut away about 5/8″ from each side seam and basted to check fit – I liked what I saw without the ruching so I left it at that. I dithered over whether to add the sleeves or not and my OH weighed in with ‘no sleeves’ which is what I did. Lets pin this here for now and look at some pictures.
Fabric is a John Kaldor ity jersey that I bought ages ago from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market. I have loved this fabric for so long and was too sacred to cut into it but I am trying. Readers I am really trying to use my precious fabric. Now this is beautiful lightweight jersey with a slight sheen to it. It also has the characteristic of showing up every simple cellulite dimple, muscle clench and panty lines. So I had to line it with power mesh and wow – what a difference that makes. I went from Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian…(maybe not that much of a difference. But I think you get what I mean). The mesh gives it a nice smooth lining and feels really nice on. It also meant that I have clean finish armholes. The neckline is finished with a band. I hemmed it with a twin needle which stretched it out, so I cut it off and left it unhemmed since this doesn’t unravel. The hem definitely needs stabilisation before hemming.
Sorry for the long rambling post but the story behind this dress was so integral to how it turned out that I wanted to share it. I associate this dress with the awesomeness of IG – it’s not perfect at all but there are a lot of great aspects to IG communities with much less of the negatives that come with other things like Twitter and Facebook (IMHO).
Verdict: I like this dress a lot (truth be told it makes me feel like I have a big booty which in turn makes me feel guilty that I like the feeling of having a big booty which I think makes me very unfeminist —argh TMI).
Right. So yes I like this dress and will make another one in the next size down with the ruching at the sides. The relative simplicity of the design lends itself well to loud prints and I do love a loud print. It has the potential of becoming a TNT.
And…back to social media… Do you like it for your sewing? Do you prefer other social media platforms? or better yet share a sewing story where social media helped out. G on, we’d love to hear it. 🙂
Since making a dogs dinner of my twins’ birthday dresses <link here>, I vowed to make it up to them (&myself) so when Easter presented the opportunity of making them something special I jumped on it.
Using the same pattern as before and some long-term stashers I produced these dresses and leggings for them. The faced the hems with the same fabric as the leggings to make them matching sets. My girls love them and wear them constantly. These dresses have gotten so many compliments.
I am so glad I finally used up that Lillestoff fabric which I bought in early May 2014!!!!!! Its only been waiting 3 years :-). Heres to using up more precious stashers.
I had missed sewing with linen over the colder months so when I saw this pattern I decided to have a go with some linen that has been in my stash a long time. The lace used for the contrast was something I picked up from Bombay Stores in Bradford. It was quite costly at over £20/meter but I bought a half meter during their 20% off sale. The colour matched the linen perfectly so I knew I would use it for a yoke or something similar. Continue reading →
To add to my growing colleterie of Monetas (it has been officially designated that a group or collection of Moneta dresses is refered to by the term colleterrie).
At last count I now have made 7 Moneta dresses. And readers, I have plans for more:-). So yes this is a pattern that keeps on giving for me.
Enough waxing lyicals – I made them for the #monetaparty which was this really huge event on Instagram. It was fun seeing all the different Monetas that our incredibly creative community made. It always amazes me how only one pattern can literally be made by 1000 seamstress and not a single one is the same! Continue reading →