Showing posts with label dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dress. Show all posts

Monday, 9 September 2019

Vogue 1501 - Rachel Comey Pleated Dress.

 This is one of my favourite projects of the year . The dress has a very clever design with the top of the dress only attached to the front skirt , lots of  pleats in the top and the skirt  and that the skirt tapers down easing some of the fullness . The back of the dress has the top hanging out and the skirt is plain .

The fabric used was given to me by my ex neighbour , a slightly shiny dove grey with blue and mauve daisies.  100% polyester  and I reckon it was bought in the 90s . I was a bit meh about it but as the dress takes almost three metres and I don`t have many fabrics of this length I was limited for choice ( I am trying really hard to stash bust here ) . In the end I really love this dress AND  the fabric used . BTW I only had 2.75 metres and it was enough for me to make the  dress with the size 14 skirt and size 12 top.

 I read a few reviews as I usually do before I made the dress ( and it is a popular pattern ) . A few people mentioned about the instructions for  lining  the bodice and I started over thinking this. However, in the end I went with what the pattern stated and it turned out really well , a very neat way of lining  with no seams showing . I was also a bit worried about all the pleats in the skirt pouching out with my fluffy stomach but they actually conceal it so big win there.

I`m not sure if this pattern is still currently available ( dated 2016 ) but  I would highly recommend it and as KS Sews says it also makes a great stand alone skirt . I really want to make this again one day even though it is quite distinctive.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Voir la Vie en Rose ( To See the Life in Pink ) *


 My eldest daughter travelled all around the world in 2018 and brought me home several sewing magazines from Europe . This is my first project from them - specifically Patrones No. 386.

I made the dress on the left which has a  round neck , sleeveless bodice gathered at the waist , waist band and gathered maxi skirt . The main difference is my dress is knee length ( not enough fabric ) but my version turned out with a much higher neckline . Also there was too much fabric at the front armscye  but this was easy to cut away.

I used an embroidered pale pink linen which is not my favourite but  was good to test out a new pattern from a relatively new pattern company ( I have made one previous Patrones pattern , a skirt , which I adore -just wore it last night for a Christmas party ) . I love the embellished look of the original dress and I was lucky enough to find some matching pink lace in my stash  which I applied to the waistband.

This photo shows exactly why it was good to do a ` wearable ` muslin . The back is tightish ( but wearable ) but look at all that fabric pooling in my lumbar region . This has not happened with my other sewing ever !
With the back adjusted I  think this will  make a terrific dress , I do really love the magazines version but mine is a bit meh. I will wear it  and  give a go though .  I just also wanted to include a photo of  the Patrones pattern sheet - much clearer than Burda`s and Ottobre`s as well.

For my next project I can truly say I am tickled pink .

I used the very very popular blouse pattern 115  from Burda April 2014 . Heaps of people have made this one and I can now see why. It was easy to make, very comfortable to wear  and is just a bit different to your usual top. The only  change I made was to lengthen the blouse by 5cms . I used another pale pink embroidered fabric - cotton voile this time - which is a bit sheer . I realised this pattern with the double crossed  over front would be a perfect match for the sheer fabric.

I highly recommend this pattern . I hope everyone has a good Christmas. I am certainly looking forward to getting 6 days off , eating some good food and spending time with my precious family.

* means to look on the bright side of life.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

New Look 6000 and Vogue 2101 Combo Sweater Dress .

After my previous sweater knit sewing disaster I got back on the sewing seat so to speak and made up another one . Ahh, much much better this time . This sweater knit was a delight to sew - it didn`t stretch out , it didn`t unravel and was easy to stitch . This fabric came from the same internet seller as the awful ( but pretty ) sweater knit  but was accidentally sent instead of another order . I contacted her about the mistake and she sent the correct fabric and said I could keep this one ! Bonus !

I used a combination of the Vogue wardrobe pattern 2101 and New Look 6000.
I used the Vogue pattern for the main  body of the dress and added the fabulous asymmetrical collar detail from  New Look .This is now the second time this year I have used the Vogue pattern  after having it in my stash unused for probably close to a decade. I love the fit and it has been easy to adapt for different neckline looks . Who knows I might even get to use the original pattern as is one day. There is something to be said about not destashing or decluttering !

I love the collar detail .  New Look 6000 has been a very popular dress patter  but I only discovered  it after it become  OOP . I was lucky to pick up the pattern from an op shop but it was not complete. No matter the collar pieces were intact . I am loving accessorising this dress with the handful of brooches that I own. This one is a vintage silver and paua shell butterfly . I am not sure if brooches are considered a bit old hat but I love them and this one came from a special friend .

This is my third warm cosy winter dress I have made this season but I will stop there now .
I am reaching saturation point in my wardrobe but want to keep on creating so I am now sewing up replacement items of  older items that are had it or I am entirely sick of. Such an enjoyable ( but first world ) dilemma.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Casual , Comfy , Cozy Dresses.


First thing I do when  I get home from work is get straight out of my good clothes . It protects them from me but also gets me out of the being at work mental  zone  . During winter my favourite down time uniform is a pair of trackies .You just can not beat trackies for comfort and feeling relaxed and dagginess ! My last pair had bagged out so badly at the bum and knees that even Saggy Baggy Elephant would have felt sorry for them so they are in the gardening clothes pile now. With no trackies  left this was an opportunity to significantly up my casual clothes style. 

Pattern combo for the purple stripe /spot dress. 

Both fabric pieces came from Clear It bought at the end of last year . I used Butterick 6883 for the blue and grey argyle knit dress . This is a really fantastic pattern that also comes with pants , a sleeveless vest and the dress shortened into a top. The pants are definitely a contender for upmarket trackies too ! I love the front angled seams with pockets , the curved neckline with an interesting collar and dropped sleeves . Even the upper back has a curved inset piece. This makes for a very comfy dress with lots of design possibilities. I sewed this dress during a very busy period . Sometimes I only had time to sew up one seam at a time but over a couple of weeks I managed to complete it so it is a relatively easy pattern as well. The only changes I made were to lengthen the dress and I added piping to the neckline . The piping is woven  so the neckline is a little bit tighter but luckily I can still get it over my head easily enough. 

 The pockets bag out a little bit  but the pros of having them greatly outweigh that factor and after all these are just trackie replacements so I am not fussed by that. 

The purpley striped and dotty knit dress was made using a collaboration between a Kwik Sew 2900 top , Vogue 2101 dress  and a pocket from an old Burda WOF mag. Although I have made KS 2900 many times it has been a few years now but it was always my go to pattern for T shirts . I like the shaping of the vogue dress being slightly pegged  and knee length. I did double the width of the KS collar piece so it was a rollover collar rather than just a turtle neck. This was also a very easy make although attempting stripe matching required a bit more care. 

I used some of the dark purple stripe knit to bind the pocket edges and make it just a bit more interesting. 

I am pretty happy with my new dresses ( now just have to wait for the cool weather ) . Such a step up my usual casual outfits . I won`t be embarrassed answering the door now to unexpected visitors ! 

Friday, 12 January 2018

It`s A Wrap - BurdaStyle 09/2017 Wrap Dress 113.


Finally finished my first project of the year -yay.  My youngest daughter picked out this very pretty fabric from Darn Cheap last year when we were going material shopping for her big sister. Fair enough - no favouritism in our house - all three daughters are equally my favourites.
She then showed me some pictures of what she had in mind and they were all wrap dresses. Would you believe I  basically had  no patterns for a wrap dress!  Well, there was an old Burda magazine pattern  for knit fabrics and a 70s one for a large shawl collar version but that was it. I went to Spotlight and checked out the Big 4  patterns but nothing was quite right.

So when I went down to my local very small newsagent to get a new myki  travel card I could not believe my eyes to see they had the latest ( for Australia ) Burda and that there was a wrap dress just like she wanted ! If anything was ever meant to be this was it . I am so happy to see Burda magazines becoming so readily available now - hopefully this is a sign of a sewing resurgence.

                                                   Image result for burda 09/2017 dress 113

The pattern is for petite sizes and my daughter is taller than  the 160 cm it is designed for . I did not lengthen the bodice and she is happy with where the waist sits . There is a waist band  with ties . The left tie inserts through a gap left in the waist band and wraps around the back.  The skirt and sleeve pieces are cut on the bias creating that lovely fluid fall of cloth . My daughter actually wanted short sleeves but she also wanted the wear the dress tonight for a date so to save time I just hemmed them as is . We can revisit the sleeve length another time. She also wanted the dress quite a bit shorter . She requested about 15 cm off the skirt length. That didn`t quite get Mum approval so I only removed 10 cm but shh don`t tell her.
We are both very happy with the end result . A slow but great sewing start to the year.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Choosing Prints Dilemma . How Do You Decide ?

Some people have a real skill at choosing prints and making them into something incredible. I dont`t have that knack of seeing the bigger picture so I almost didn`t buy this fabric . But now it is sewn up I really like it . I often favour smaller prints in more muted colours but this can translate into a bland , faded even frumpy   look from a distance even if the print itself is beautiful .
The fabric is a rayon type with birds in solids and outlines on a black background. I`m not sure if they are swallows or swifts.
I really wanted to make the Rebecca Taylor Vogue Pattern 1395 but it wasn`t available but my brain slowly ticked over and I realised I could get the look combining a couple of patterns I already owned.

Image result for kwik sew 3620
I combined a Butterick See and Sew  dress pattern 5975  with the front ties from  Kwik Sew 3620 . Not exactly the same but  similar look to the Rebecca Taylor Vogue 1395 as below. I got a bit over confident and didn`t follow the pattern instructions for the dress as I was trying to do the burrito method for the yoke construction . I realised too late it would not work for the dress so I had to fudge things and add bias binding strips for the arm holes and then applied them the wrong way so they show on the outer side . I applied them neatly so it looks OK and since I sewed the dress a couple of weeks ago my mistakes already do not bother me. Apart from my own self induced errors  the construction was straight forward but I am not quite sure that the pattern is as simple as See and Sew implies.
Image result for rebecca taylor vogue 1395
I have included this photo as proof of the ties existence and a closer shot of the print ( BTW I just learnt today that vogel is the German word for birds - just trying to reinforce my learning ! ) The dress is very comfy with an elastic waist but the ties conceal this at the front so I won`t need to add a belt . The top is a blouson style and the skirt is gently gathered. I was worried that the dress would be huge going by the finished measurements so I cut a size 10 instead of my usual 12 .
This dress has got me rethinking my print choices and also that I should probably have a bit of a dress clean out.The dress started as a UFO from several months ago and now it is finished my sewing corner is all sorted. I can hardly believe it but my dress form is clear , my dresser top is empty and my little sewing basket has only one project in it which is a WIP purse which is being slowly made at a sporadic sewing group I attend so no hurries there. I am now considering finally making a patchwork table runner for the coffee table and perhaps even an entire patchwork quilt with garments in between. 
Does anyone have any hints on how they successfully chose prints ? 
Happy Sewing and here`s to completed UFOs and fresh starts. 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

McCalls 7116 - A Modern Pattern for a Vintage Style Tea Dress ( Top) .

I really enjoy re-using my sometimes very old patterns again and again but  I have to remind myself to stay a bit up to date so I don`t end up looking like a Kath from Kath and Kim ( when I watching that show I realised that I had the exact same earrings as Kath and immediately went and got rid of them ! they were large tropical fish dangle earrings so yeah very dubious taste ) .
So the irony is that I have sewn up a current pattern with a vintage look.

The pattern is McCalls 7116 which came with a magazine I bought last year . It also included Kwik Sew 4140 for a jacket and I loved both patterns so bought the magazine .
I adore  those 30`s looking tea dresses and this pattern looks very much that style .I have some rust coloured rayon with a small cream floral which I thought would suit but the fabric was given to me from my daughter who bought it in Japan so it is precious . So I made up a muslin with some blue / pink shot fabric given to me by my neighbour but only had enough for a top.

 I had some concerns about the pattern . I obviously chose the version with the gathered cross over front with gathered and pleated short sleeves.  McCalls rates this as  easy but the bottom is cut on the bias and since when has inserting a side zip on the bias been easy. I should have taken a photo but on the pattern cover and in the magazine you can see some serious rippling effect where the zip  is so if the professionals can`t get this right what hope do I have ! Also I am not that busty and have learnt that gathered  below bust fronts can look ridiculous on me .
I read a review where the zip was eliminated and the dress could still be put on and taken off easily enough so I basted the side seams and sure enough I was able to get the top on quite easily and it came off without resorting to contortionist yoga positions and just a little wriggling so that was one concern dealt with.
As predicted the below bust gathers were a bit too much so I made a couple of adjustments by pulling the excess fabric of the upper top down and across and this helped too.
Now some of you may realise the headless photos are not me.
My middle daughter was home from Queensland and I showed her my top and she absolutely loved it .
She tried it on and although it is  looser on her than me , as is the way with younger and slimmer people it looked good and well she loved it and she has less clothes than me so I gave to her  . Sigh . Hopefully I get some brownie points for this.

I have included the hanger shots to get a better idea of the details and also to show the lovely shot effect . The last two photos show the pink side more accurately . It really is quite a  bright shiny fuschia colour and the other side is a dark royal blue . I obviously used the blue since I generally don`t wear very bright and shiny colours. Although I really love this style I think I won`t be making up my Japanese rayon with this pattern and will keep on searching for something else. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Plenty of Pleats -Burdastyle 10-2012 Dress 108. .


I finished sewing this dress earlier this month and unfortunately I am a bit disappointed.
It is a knee length dress with several inverted pleats starting at the boat  neckline  and which end at the waist line creating a gentle fullness .

I`m not sure if it is the fabric or the actual pattern that is a bit meh for me . The dress takes quite a bit of fabric  so I used some op shop fabric that was in my cupboard . It is a soft rayon fabric and feels lovely but I think the print is quite 90s . In fact I had a dress made out of similar fabric in the early 90s.
The dress also took a while to make because of the multitude of pleats which are in the back as well as the front . I thread traced the pleat markings , then carefully pinned and basted the pleats. After trying on the dress to determine they were a good length etc I did the final stitching.

I have tried to include close ups to show the pleat construction but of course my photography skills are pretty dodgy.
Once the pleats were made the dress was quite simple to construct  . I sewed a lapped zipper and then the side seams. I inserted the sleeves in the round and then there was just the facings and hems to do . It did come together really well as per Burda`s great drafting skills.
However the dress was much larger than I expected . It looks quite fitted ( and beautiful !)  in the magazine pictures. Perhaps the rayon fabric stretched but I took in the side seams by several centimetres and there is still quite a bit of ease.

I have tried to style the dress up by adding a belt and my knee length boots which usually make my outfits look better but I still feel meh about it . However there has been too much time investment in this dress for me to just get rid of it so I`ll give it a go ( and I don`t have that many everyday winter dresses ) and perhaps I will get to like it better.
After sewing this dress I still had over 2 metres  of fabric left but  luckily my friend loved it  so win win for both of us ( and she has darker colouring so I think it will suit her better ) .
I think this is my first real meh sewing for the year . It is one of the difficulties of sewing that we can`t just try on things like in shops and say that works or not so every time we sew something new we are taking a risk time and fabric wise . However even though the dress is not a complete success I still really enjoyed sewing it and that is always a winner in my books.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Burdastyle 04/2014 - Love of ( Modified ) Detail Dress .

My sewing and stash busting mojo is on a roll .  I spent a leisurely few hours choosing patterns from my unused sewing magazines and matching them to fabrics from my collection . Burdastyle April 2014 is a fantastic issue - there are heaps of things I would love to make from it . When I first bought the magazine ( 2 1/2 years ago ) I was really keen to make up a very stylish slim fitting dress 117 but all the reviews were that it was quite difficult to fit and the instructions were baffling - this coming from very experienced seamstresses so the magazine languished in my pattern piles.
I also liked the extremely popular top with a front overlay but none of my fabrics were right so I went with dress 123 described as Love of Detail - Smart Peter Pan collar and a tie band for a shapely waist - all the ingredients you need for an uncomplicated summer dress. Further pretty details are the puff sleeves and a wraparound effect yoke.

Before I sew up a pattern I usually check the internet for reviews . I like to see what the patterns look like in ` real life ` . I love to check out the Russian Burda site - boy can those Russian women sew . I am gradually learning to search and navigate the site with no knowledge of Russian. I also look at the Burda Addicts webpage as well as Pattern Review. There were plenty of dresses ( and tops ) made from this pattern and I generally liked what I saw so I went ahead with cutting out some of my ` precious` Japanese fabric ( I think it is rayon ) which my eldest daughter gave me in 2013 after her 5 month visit there. I really liked how Burda used a contrasting fabric for the collar so I blatantly copied their idea and used some left over dotted cotton voile here.
I followed the pattern pretty much as is except I did not add any elastic / ties to the sleeves ( and I forgot to add hem allowances there too )The neckline is very wide so I  added extra buttons on the top yoke instead of the two little ones they had. I made buttonholes but I could have just sewn the buttons straight on as it is very easy to get the dress over your head.

  The collar pulls the front yoke down a little but the neckline is finished nicely with self made bias binding so  it still  looks OK . However I will be very wary of bending over in this dress. The dress has an inner casing and fabric ties attached to elastic are threaded through to give the dress shape. Otherwise it would be quite shapeless as you can see below.

The blue rose / spotty fabric is very soft which is important to create the blouson effect .

My daughters were not overly enthusiastic about the dress but I like the end result.
Now I have about 15 projects lined up to do , the theory is that will keep me out of fabric shops .
Happy Sewing Janine.