Have you ever made something and immediately thought “I’m probably never going to wear this”? This is how I feel about this dress.
We all know I lost my sewing mojo a few months ago. So after my marvellous cushion covers I decided to crack on with a project that I had been thinking on for a long time. And although this idea had stuck in my mind for several months I hadn’t been able to bring myself to cut into the fabric. I should have trusted my instincts.
I finished the dress in record time and rushed to try it on. My first thought was erghhh and my second was this is a very stuffy dress. I was pretty under-wowed with my creation.
My biggest issue with this whole look is that I fell into the vintage-pattern-trap — an affliction that causes me to see all the potential of a vintage pattern without considering how how dated and therefore costume-like it might look in today’s context. In particular, I fell for the A line skirt and the high (almost) Nehru collar. The worst part is that I chose a psychedelic orange fabric with floral details that amplified the costume-i-ness.
On the plus side I really enjoyed the process of sewing this dress. It was very quick to put together – something I put down to all the straight lines – the linen was very easy to work with and most of all. I’m back in the habit of seeing. Like all the time. At the moment I making a Davie dress. What’s your biggest sewing fail? Please share!
2015 has been a busy year. It’s been difficult to find time to sew anything worth blogging about and I’ve been lacking my usual impulsiveness with my pattern-fabric choices. So I went to social media and asked how to get my sewjo back. The most common piece of advice I got was to make something simple, a tried a true pattern. Something that I could make quickly, and not to agonise over it. I took this one step further and completely omitted the pattern. I made cushion covers. These are made from a heavyweight linen from Martha’s Fabrics in Newmarket.
It’s safe to say the sewjo is back because after I made these I whipped up an easy Belcarra blouse (below) and then cracked on with my psychedelic orange mod dress. Needless to say – there’s plenty more blogging to come!
What do you do to find your sewjo?
We’re averaging a high of 27* in Auckland this week and I am loving it! Best of all, my new dress is perfect for the warm weather – a By Hand London Georgia dress. I was gifted this crazy multicoloured print by a friend. I think it is linen and it’s so loud that it is perfect for summer!
I have made this dress before (including two muslins) so I knew how the sizing would work on me. I mean, this is a very fitted dress. I used the amended bodice pieces that I had created for my previous Georgia but decided to cut a bigger size than my usual for the skirt because this fabric has absolutely no stretch. In the end I did take the skirt sides in a bit but after my vanity sizing disaster with my Alder I wasn’t willing to risk it.
My previous Georgia is the wide strap v-neck version. It’s a great little evening dress with a twist. But this version, I feel, is more versatile. The sweetheart neckline is traditional, pretty flattering on a lot of body types and certainly easier to pull off. It’s also a lot cooler in summer.
Because this dress is super fitted I made several adjustments so the pattern. I had intended to make the longer version that finishes below the knees but being the five foot two gal that I am this looked really frumpy. I lobbed off 10cm and voilà. I also shortened the straps by 6cm, and used my amended bodice pieces. I’m not sure if this is an accepted bodice adjustment but it has worked well for my body shape. That’s all that matters right?
Have you made the Georgia dress?
I would like to take a moment to welcome summer to New Zealand. We got off to a good start in early December, then things were a bit rocky for a while there but now we are in the full swing of it – beaches, barbecues and a little bit of sunburn. And I know have a new top to add to my summer wardrobe – the Sandpoint Top by Grayday Patterns. As you may remember Helena of Gray All Day blog was the winner of Project Indie, a collaboration between myself and the lovely co-ordinators of the Monthly Stitch blog.
The Sandpoint top is a causual summer-y blouse with a cowl neck back. It is designed to be sewn in knit fabrics, but I’m a bit of a rule breaker so I made mine in a silk crepe de chine that has a fair bit of one-way stretch. I’d always envisioned this pattern as a slinky evening top. Next time I’m thinking more slinking. Black sequins anyone?
I made a couple of alterations to the pattern including omitting the neck band and the waist band to fit with my evening look.
Have you made this pattern yet? I’d love to see yours – send me a link in the comments below 🙂
I feel most comfortable when I’m wearing a dress. Trousers can bulge awkwardly, blouses need ironing, skirts and tops can be hard to match perfectly so dresses, for me, are a great, choice for a job interview. So here is my newest edition of an old favourite, a tried and true pattern – McCalls 6201, rated easy.
I made this dress in a wool blend houndstooth that I acquired many moons ago from, of course, The Fabric Store. It’s a nice lightweight fabric, with the right amount of body and drape. It’s also got a tiny bit of stretch for extra comfort.
I made a couple of alterations to the sizing and construction of this dress, including adding an additional 1.5cm to the side edges. It turns out that the 2011 edition of Penny guessed that she was a size 10. Little did she know that RTW sizing has no bearing on McCall’s take on sizing. Silly 2011 Penny. I also decided to finish the neckline with some store bought bias binding. The pattern had suggested a full lining but there was no way that was going to fly with us Southern Hemispherians heading into summer! I decided to compromise by making a facing to attach instead. I cut and interfaced this facing before remembering that I abhor facings, hence the bias binding.
Here’s another one of me taking a picture in the shiny facade of building. What must the people inside think?!
In Other Exciting News there are two things to watch out for this week! Firstly, I will be teaching a class at Sew Love sewing lounge at St Kevin’s Arcade this Saturday! We will be CHRISTMAS APRONS! I’m really looking forward to it! Second, the Auckland Sewists’ Collective is having our first ever sewalong! The theme is nice and easy – “summer dresses”. If you live in Auckland and would like to be part of the Sewalong and blog tour you can request to join our Facebook group.
Hi lovely readers! It was a hot and windy day here in Auckland yesterday and guess what?! I finished a Saltspring dress by Sewaholic Patterns! I had to make it in a hurry because I really wanted to wear it to my friends’ engagement party. Luckily I finished just in time! (OK, we were a bit late…)
I made this dress out of a silk remnant I picked up at the mid-year sale at the Fabric Store, Newton. It’s a lovely slinky fabric that has a nice one-way stretch, shiny on one side, matte on the other. I love how the feel of this fabric and the style of the pattern work so well together. I reckon I could wear this dress for work with a bold coloured cropped blazer or casually with a denim jacket. I think it’s my new fave!
I made a few alterations to the pattern and construction of the dress. For starters, I shortened the bodice front and back so they were less “blousy”. We all know how I feel about that volume right? I also assembled the waist slightly differently to the suggested method. I simply attached the bodice and skirt, overlocked the edge, sewed the ends of the elastic together, marked it in quarters and stretched it out along the waistline. Much quicker than creating a channel for it, but perhaps not as pretty and neat! I also omitted the zipper from the centre back. I had read a tonne of your blogs saying that it wasn’t necessary and I trust you guys 🙂 Oh, and I just made one shoulder strap and cut it in half for the straps.
I made this in a size 8 bodice / 4 skirt. I think the sizing is mostly fine. Only ‘mostly’ because I feel like the straps sit a bit wide on my shoulders. I think for my next Saltspring I will take some fabric out of the centre front and centre back bodice pieces to help move them in. The straps could also be shorter perhaps.
I had a wee bit of trouble with aligning the straps as I was zipping along joining the bodice to the lining. I think with the next Saltspring (I’ve said it twice so I’m going to have do do it now right?) I’ll be taking this a bit slower and doing it in stages so that I can check to see how I’m going.
Have you made a Saltspring dress? Share your link with me! I’d love to see yours and get some inspiration for my next one!
I’ve been thinking – isn’t it sad that as soon as my life gets busy I stop doing the things I really enjoy? Let me tell you this – I have been BUSY! It’s important to get the essential things done but the fun things make life better – so here is a Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic Patterns.
I’m currently on uni holidays so I’ve seized the moment and got sewing. I made this top, as well as cut out Muse Patterns’ Jenna Cardi and Grainline Studio’s Alder Shirtdress which I secretly think will go really nicely together! I tried taking some photos outside but it was SO SUNNY that I ended up with watering eyes. This is my level of commitment team! At least I know it’s nearly summer.
I made this blouse out of a silk-viscose blend. And as I was sewing it I wondered if it were meant to used for lining? Isn’t viscous normally a lining material, I wondered? Of course it was already too late by this stage as I had cut the fabric into a t-shirt, but even as I wear it now I’m still wondering… Anyway it feels lovely to wear and has a lovely loose drape so I’m not too bothered about it. Also, as 99% of the western world buys RTW clothes they wouldn’t recognise the print anyway so it will be our secret ok?
Side note – these are my favourite trousers-and-shoes combination at the moment. They’re both quite out of the box for me! The trousers are wet-look, super-skinny, super-stretchy jean-type-things. The shoes are black leather with chunky wooden heals. I’m quite fond of both of these pieces.
Notes for future Belcarras:
- In this version I did not top stitch the cuffs. I think in the next edition this would be a nice detail.
- I kept the sizing and shape as is (we all know Sewaholic Patterns are pear-shaped right?) I think I’ll keep my next on this way as I really like the having lots of ease on the waist. I think the shape looks nice. Length is also great for me.
- This top is crying out for contrasting shoulder/ sleeve panels. I currently have some white crepe sitting lonesome in the fabric bookcase and I’m thinking of pairing it with golden shoulders. Too much? Try stop me!
- Neck bias binding isn’t amazing but only ok-ish (very scientific categorising). This is an area for improvement…
- Pattern placement: I gave the front and back panels a lot of thought and ensured the fabric design was centred. Bizarrely didn’t consider this at all when it came to matching at the sides. This happened with my Charlotte Skirt too. Alas, I think I need to slow down a bit and make sure to check these things next time. Having said that it’s only fellow sewists who notice these things or care! AMIRITE?
One more thing. Is it just me or does the neckline look really wide on this top? When I first tried it on I was like woah that is gonna slip and slide every where! But actually it’s fine. I haven’t had any issues and it frames my clavicles nicely!
Have you made the Belcarra yet? What did you think?