Wedding Dress – Lining

So now my wedding dress is underway and I have begun by sewing the lining which I am going to use to fit the dress. I have decided to do French seams throughout to add a neat look to every layer.

Here is the lining dress on my manequin.

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I have decided to leave the back open instead of using stretch illusion since I am very pale and the illusion fabric is usually made for ballroom dancing where fake tan is the name of the game. I have also moved the closure to an invisible zipper under the arm which I will sew in by hand when the lining and outer layers are attached.

So far, I love this pattern and the fit is good. The only thing I will alter is the neckline which can come a little lower. Oh and the length! This dress pattern seems to have been made for an Amazon and not someone who is 5’4″ and likes wearing flats! My mannequin is curently set at a shoulder height of about 5’6” and the dress is still scrunched on the ground.

Wedding dress – completely changed my mind!

So since my last post I have completely changed my mind about the type of wedding dress I will be making.

I decided to go for something more long and sleek. Long means I can wear converse trainers with my dress!

I have gone for Butterick 5779B5779fx

Although I don’t think it will look much like that when it is finished. I am choosing the sleeveless version since our wedding is in July although I might add long draping LOTR-esque sleeves that are open to the shoulder to add more drape and flow since I don’t plan on having a long veil.

I am using the silk lining to make a toile which I will fit and then make the dress the same. I have a lovely yellow lace for the motifs.

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The main body of the gown is a lovely white silk satin which falls beautifully and is as light as a feather. I am in the process of cutting out all the pieces although I don’t have a large enough cutting table so I am having to cut on the floor. Anyway, watch this space for more wedding dress updates!

 

Exciting news and massive new project

So, First thing I want to say is sorry for the massive blackout in posts recently, I have been so busy away from my sewing machine! The big news is that I just got engaged! I’m so excited and just like any creative person would be, I am elbow deep in wedding planning already. For an avid amateur dressmaker the prospect of a wedding means something massive. It means the chance to design and make my wedding dress (I know some people say it’s bad luck but I would hate having to wear a shop bought dress on one of the biggest days of my life).

After browsing some bridal catalogues and getting an idea of what kind of dress I might like I decided that strapless and tea-length were my two key wants in the dress. I also wanted silk because it is going to be a summer wedding and I don’t want to be sweating away in a synthetic fabric dress!

Normally I stick to Vogue patterns because I prefer their fit but I just couldn’t find anything girly enough in their formal range (it was all a bit to sleek) so I am going to start with SImplicity 3878 in view D (the one in the photo).Image

The colour scheme for our wedding is yellow and purple (blueberries and custard as my mum would say!) so I am wanting to have white dress with a yellow lace overlay but I’m still looking for a good balance between quality and price in terms of lace!

If any readers have ever made a wedding dress I would love to hear their experiences in takling the nicest dress a girl ever gets to wear!

 

Geoffrey Beene jumpsuit and shirt

Now we are in the last week of August, I am packing away the poplin and the summer dress patterns and looking for something to set the tone for my autumn wardrobe. I really like clothes with plain straight lines in lovely fabrics as the weather starts to turn colder and you have to start planning what jacket to wear with everything.

I found this fantastic pattern from Geoffrey Beene for sale on Etsy (I think it is out of print now)

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I love the low back combined with the smart straight trousers on the jumpsuit and I know that the square cut shirt is sure to become a wardrobe staple of mine as I am always looking for a baggy top to throw over jeans.

I chose a suiting fabric which I got for £2.99/m online which I expected to end up looking quite flimsy but it has really beautiful drape which will be great for the pleats in the jumpsuit.

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I don’t know how well it has come out in the picture but it is actually a very fine beige and black tweed that gives an overall grey look.

So far I have just been cutting out the pieces. The jumpsuit is just two main pieces (I don’t think I have ever had to cut out such large pattern pieces).

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I can’t wait to see how it makes up! I’ll keep you posted on progress…

Pattern Review – Vogue 1248

Sorry for the lack of posts for a while I have been away from my sewing machine on holiday! I return with a review of this fabulous pattern Vogue 1248 which I made for the second time shortly before going away.

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This pattern is by Andrea Katz and is in my opinion a fabulous balance of eye catching shape and practicality.

The pattern was classified as advanced (the first time I had attempted such a pattern) but it really wasn’t too difficult at all. I made the whole outfit in black linen earlier in the year to wear to give a seminar while on a research visit and just recently I made it again in white cotton as a great summer outfit.

The hardest part of this pattern in my opinion is the collar. It has three layers on top of the base and is also quite high making it quite bulky and hard to do up if you are not a giraffe! I adjusted for this when making it for the second time and removed the interfacing in the collar sections (the thickness of the fabric is enough to keep it in place).

The long pronged snap fastenings on the shirt are a fun feature (I have never had to take a hammer to my sewing before) but they really give it a professional edge.

The skirt is the conversation piece of the outfit. The belt/sash is made to look like the sleeves of a shirt tied round the waist which adds an artistic edgy feel to the look. The way they wrap around the waist several times before tieing at the front or the back are reminiscent of a japanese kimono.

My favourite part of the skirt ar the pockets. Instead of being stitched to the outside of the skirt on completion, they are incorporated as a separate section where first a bag is made and then stitched into the opening left on the side of the skirt. It is a neat construction and leaves a polished finish.

Overall I have to say that this is one of the best patterns I have ever made up and would recommend it to anyone!

Here is a picture of me in the white cotton version of the skirt whilst on holiday this year:

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All Tied Up Dress – Completion

It has been a couple of weeks since I started my “All Tied Up Dress”. I needed to have a big stash clear-out and although a little dress like this doesn’t go far to use up fabric I managed to use some of the fab pieces of fabric I have lying around particularly a great piece of vintage star wars sheets which I used for the back skirt and some of the back ties! At the front I used a red white and blue starry fabric that I bought as a remnant on Etsy a while back (I think maybe this was also from some old sheets). All the bits for which I didn’t have fancy fabrics I filled in with plain pure cotton fabrics that I had lying around (mostly because I always err on the side of caution when buying fabric for shop bought patterns and end up with metres and metres too much).

I didn’t line any of the dress apart from the tie back and front facing to keep it nice and cool for summer and I made it a slightly long mini so it is always easy to wear without tights!

Once I managed to find time to sew, it was quick to make up and I will definitely use the pattern again! The only downside to this dress is it is almost impossible (without acrobat-like flexibility) to reach to tie up all the back yourself!

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All Tied-Up Stashbusting Dress

The crochet dress is coming along nicely but I can never stray too far from my sewing machine so I have been designing a nice simple dress. I love the idea of backless dresses but often feel a bit exposed whilst wearing them. I wanted to make a dress that was almost backless to show off a bit of skin between a row of straps down the back. To make these adjustable I decided to make them fabric ties.

Like most sewing aficionados I have a rather large stash of left over and excess fabric (I always always err heavily on the side of caution when buying fabric particularly if it has a nap). I decided to make this dress completely out of things from my stash. The star (no pun intended) attraction of this dress will be the back skirt which I am making out of a leftover piece of vintage star wars fabric that I bought of Etsy months ago and have only used snippets from!

This is the back of the skirt:

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For the front of the dress I matched some Captain America-esque starry fabric and some red cotton fabric:

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This is just the cutting process, it has been in my stash box too long and is in good need of an iron! For the back bodice I extended it into long strips to form the ties:

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I wanted to go for a patchwork mish-mash look and use up fabric I had lying around. With the tie at the back of the bodice I am just going to add some elastic at the back of the waist instead of a zip opening. Now to start sewing…….

Crochet Dress – Genesis

Since the weather has been lovely here and I have been wanting to sit outside I decided to take a break from the old sewing machine and pick up my hook and start crocheting again! Previously my crocheting efforts have only extended to Granny squares and doilies (the latter when I was going through a 1950s vintage loving stage). This time I wanted to make a dress!

I started browsing the free patterns on Ravelry but didn’t come up with anything too inspiring so I decided to look on Etsy. I found this great shop called “Wonky Zebra” it has loads of lovely Vintage patterns for PDF download and the owner is super helpful with any questions you have!

I chose this pattern:

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I love the mini-mini-skirts of the 60s and I wanted a crochet pattern that would be a bit of a challenge without being impossible. It helps that this is also multi-sized so I won’t need to do too much alteration!

I decided to move away from the 1960s vibe with my choice of yarn (cotton rather than nylon!) and got 10 balls of Freedom Sincere DK from The Wooly Brew in Pittenweem. Here is a picture of the yarn, I am almost finished the bottom edging now!

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I sense this will be the beginning of a long crocheting journey……………

Cryostasis Dress

In the latest issue of Sew Today (my favourite sewing magazine). There was a lovely suggestion of an organza shift dress made from a simple tunic pattern. Immediately I thought “this is something for me”. I loved the idea of a great 1960’s space age minidress that is stiff as well as sheer with the seams forming art deco lines! Although the shift looks fabulous there is something vaguely sleepwear-ish about it (maybe thats why it seems so alluring). In my mind it would be worn by a beautiful girl travelling through the stars in a cryostasis pod.

I chose a Kwik Sew pattern to form the basis of the tunic:

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I lengthened it to minidress length and added a triangular godet down the front to add flare reminiscent of the space age of the 1960’s (think early Star Trek or the Jetsons). I chose a lovely “pewter” coloured organza and bound the seams with grey thread to reinforce the structure of the seam lines and also provide a stiff skeleton for the dress. I used the same method for the hem round the neck, sleeves and bottom as I did to edge the fabric in my “GoodGirlBadGirl” shorts.

The dress is so light it would make an excellent beach cover-up or over a slip for a smart cocktail dress, however I think it looks best over a crop top and leggings so I can show off some flesh whilst still covering up!

My boyfriend took some great photos of the dress down at the beach:

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Adventures into upcycling – GoodGirlBadGirl Shorts

Last week I posted about my 241 skirt, inspired by the concept of two people inhabiting the same body and the conflicts inside. This got by head spinning with ideas of juxtaposition of styles in one garment. I love the idea of merging casual (verging on scruffy) and formal eveningwear fabrics.  This led me to rush down to the nearest charity shop to pick up a pair of second hand jeans….

I cropped them into short-shorts by just cutting the legs off and fraying the edges and doing a slight zig-zig stitch round just to stabilise  the raw edge.

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Ripped jeans….. this is the “Bad Girl” part of the shorts.

 

The “good girl” part comes from a piece of orange/pink shimmery organza. I wanted to have a floor length overlay on the shorts that would contrast with the ripped denim but also be a cute summery cover-up!

I bound the edges of the organza by rolling and zig-zagging the hem:

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I attached the overlay to the shorts using short handstitches. I had to take care since the denim had a slight stretch to it not to make them too tight but they stand up to most wear I think!

Here are some photos of the finished shorts! They were great fun to make and are a summer staple in my opinion!

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I am going to try to make these in different sizes to sell on my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SRHJNE

I just love the summery feel of this design!