2nd Secret Santa – Squared

I decided it was easiest to give my Secret Santa recipients  a slip dress each. That way I could tailor it to their tastes so that hopefully they were really unique gifts. This is my second dress – made for my brother’s girlfriend, Steph.

My Mum showed me this top, basically a square with some arm holes and a neck hole. Simplest style I have ever seen! I traced a quick pattern, with a few alterations and cut the fabric out, a lovely light fabric with mini hearts all over it which I got from Centrepoint Fabrics in Auckland.

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Again I didn’t know what size my SS recipient was so I made the pattern quite big and added ties at the back so it could be worn tight around the waist, for a more fitted look. Or alternatively loose and draping.

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This was honestly the quickest and easiest pattern I have ever sewn. The hardest part was sewing the facing around the collar. And the best part, it doesn’t actually look like a square sack once it’s on the figure.

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Has anyone else sewn one of these square dresses or tops before? Or a pattern of equal simplicity?

I am very keen to keep making this pattern. I can churn new outfits out in 2 hours tops (including the trip to the fabric store)!!

 

 

 

Secret Santa

I made this pattern for a simple shift dress for secret santa at my work. IMG_2672

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does anyone else make their own patterns?

I had to guess what size my boss was. It would have been pretty obvious if I started measuring her up during morning tea! She tried it on straight away and it fit! Phew. Here is the outcome.

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The fabric was what really made this dress. A cotton/silk blend from The Fabric Shop. I think the most important thing to consider when making something is what fabric to use. As my pattern making skills are not amazing, the beautiful fabric covered up all the indiscrepancies. I have definitely chosen the wrong fabric for a garment many times before. Luckily this time it worked out.

Pattern Runway 1302

A little while ago I posted about this dress. That’s because I thought I had finished it – How wrong I was!

Let me start by saying I did not make this project easy for myself.

I decided that I wanted to make this dress out of a sheer material. This meant that I would need to line my dress, (I bought some black sheer to do this with). My master plan was to simply cut two of everything, sew the matching pieces together and then sew the dress together as usual.

However I soon discovered that my carefully cut pieces were in fact mega crooked.

But I decided to plough on and sew the pieces together anyway as I figured the dress would be loose and probably wouldn’t matter too much.

I got the dress together and was doing the finishing touches and giving the hem a final press when the electricity shorted, the iron got really hot and burnt a hole in the skirt!

*Sigh* So I removed the elastic, unpicked the skirt, cut a new skirt, sewed the sides together, attached it at the waist, attached new elastic, hemmed it and pressed it again.

And finally it’s done!

 

 

 

With this pattern I found that the top is quite loose and the skirt to be quite tight (despite having the measurements for a size S). If I was to make this again I would definately add about 3-4 inches to the width of the skirt so make it loose fitting all round and less bunchy on the bum:

 

I added a hook and eye at the top of the neck instead of a button.

Overall: I think I made it a lot more difficult for myself by choosing a sheer fabric that needed lining. However once I make the adjustment of adding a couple of inches to the width of the skirt I’ll definately be making this skirt again.

Sewing Room: Part III

A little while ago I blogged about my new sewing room (also here). Unsurprisingly, yet saddeningly, my graduation bouquet did not live forever *mega sad face*.

So I bought this little pot plant to bighten up my room:

My dad brought me the little Nessy from Loch Ness, Scotland. I put them together so they can live together and have some company.

I’m still on quite a Florence and the Machine buzz so here’s a video of my first favourite Florence song:

Velvet Dress Finished!

As I mentioned yesterday I finished my velvet dress. It’s first outing was to Florence and the Machine. Whilst the dress is not perfect, nothing in life ever is, so I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Here are some pictures:

    

I wore it with this necklace that I bought from Tiger Eye Beads in Wellington (check them out – they’re pretty cool).

In order to get the dress finished on time for Florence, I had a mad rush of sewing the zipper in and slip stitching the facings down. I did a slack version of a lapped zipper where I just lined the zipper up off to one side of the centre. If you want a tutorial on how to do it properly Gerty has written a great one or here’s my slack one:

Somewhere along the line I forgot that my Sewing Class tutor had suggested that I only put in half the darts as there were eight in total. Whilst this seemed a good idea at the time, it meant that my dress was MILES too big for me!

I was in quite a hurry by this stage, so I decided, that rather than doing it properly and sewing the other FOUR darts in I would take it in on the sides and whack off the excess from the sides (I know, I know – slacker!).

I’m very pleased with how the dress turned out and will post photos of me wearing it soon. For now here’s one of me and my Lovely at the concert:

Sewing Class: Week Four

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to sewing class on Monday. But I did had a lovely dinner with my flat mate Christine instead (home made spaghetti bolognaise in case you were wondering).

However I can tell you about one of the projects I have on the go right now. It’s another dress from the Vogue 1102 pattern. I say ‘another’ because I’ve made it once before (click here to read the post). Here’s how it turned out last time:

What I loved about this pattern was how the open back made it nice and cool as a summer dress. However when I looked at the pattern I thought it would make a great formal dress (ie for going to army dinners with my Lovely. Because of this I had made it out of a delicious wool crepe which undid all the great work of it being a summer dress.

So my plan this time is to make it in a light cotton. I chose this pink and yellow floral/ stripy print at designer textiles ($6/m) and thought I’d give it a whirl.

So far I’ve sewn the lining and the bodice and attached the two together.

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Here’s the finished bodice:

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So now I’m up to attaching the skirt to the bodice.

How’s your sewing project going?

Velvet Inspiration: Pattern Suggestions Please?

So I haven’t exactly finished my current velvet dress project but I’m already onto thinking about the next one. I saw this amazing dress in an etsy shop but unfortunately it is a touch too small in the waist (damn you 1950s sizing!) Also, I feel like I’ve seen a couple of sewing patterns for this type of dress and was wondering if anyone had any pattern suggestions to make this?

VELVET HOURGLASS Dress – 90s does 50s – Handmade – xs

But it got me thinking more about velvet and velveteen dresses and how they are both classy and super warm – which is important as we are heading into winter down here in the Southern Hemisphere. So here are some velvet dresses for inspiration.

Velvet A-Line Dress
ASOS Velvet Puff Sleeve Dress
Velvet Halter Dress – Looks Lovely in Plum Too
Little Velvet Dress – Red Dress

And my personal favourite – unfortunately no link *cries*

What ‘s your winter fashion fix?

Sewing Class: Week Three

Monday was my thrid week my sewing class where I’m making this dress. During the week I had already finished putting the darts in, joining the facings together at the sides and over-casting the lower edge of the facings by hand. (Here’s how to do it)

My (not very neat) version of an overcast stitch:

Attaching the facings using my Grasshopper

So when I got to class I carried on making the sleeves:

I sewed 5/8″ edge down

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Trimed the excess:

 Matched the front and back shoulder seams and machine sewed them together following the folded down edge as a guide. The facings sat nicely together so I then I hand sewed the facings together. 

 

Here is the finished sleeve – voila!

How’s your sewing project going?