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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Another dress (I should have called this blog ‘another dress’ hehe). I  wanted a bright dress that would go with many different necklaces.


Fact: A pout is not such a good look on me haha

I just came back from a trip out with my mum in which we had lunch and went fabric shopping. The Remnant Warehouse has a buy-one-roll-and get-one free sale on its off-cut fabric rolls and lets just say money was spent and awesome fabric chaos ensued. Most of the fabric I got was as low as $3 per meter, SCORE!

I used Butterick 5032 again (my first Butterick 5032 dress is here), but this time rather than adding the fitted skirt it came with added a gathered dirndl skirt instead.

There comes a time in every sewists life where they are relieved to have completed a flawless invisible zipper installation.

The zip is perfectly encased/between the lining and the fashion fabric and you are ready for to try it on…then the zip gets stuck.

You gently tug a few times until the tugging becomes not-so-gentle and  of the more the anxious variety then BAM the zip goes off it’s tracks, the more you panic the worse it gets till there is a tear in the zipper so it’s back to square one.

The sheer frustration/annoyance! You look up towards sky with your arms up and if there was a camera above you it would be panning out as you scream NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Time to kill another 40+ minutes and put a new zip in just when you thought you were done.

Ah well…live and learn.

I have a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with the zip itself.

I know what you are thinking ‘a bad tradesman blames his tools’ but this was a brand I don’t normally use and it was pre-packaged (blah so pointless and wasteful) and when you take the zip out of the stupid plastic packaging there were bends/kinks in it.

Of course I was sort of lazy and blasé about the original zipper and thought ‘ironing an invisible zips is for suckers’ well lets just say I was very happy that I ironed the second zip that was also deformed due to unnecessary packaging, because it was hard to zip up and down fresh out of the plastic too!

I am not entirely happy with the fit of this dress for a number of reasons. Especially the back.

Originally I was going to remove 2cms gaping fabric the front neckline from this pattern by putting the excess fabric in the dart which I did a tutorial for here, but I ended up going with 7mm on each side but  now I wish I removed more.

The back is crazy. I thought I could use the same technique I mentioned aboce for removing gaping at the the back, which turned out to be completely ridiculous because the gave me excess fabric in the middle of my back. Why did I think that would work? Happily I don’t have breasts on my back, but that would be the only way that alteration would have worked. I ended up having to lengthen the back darts.

It I ever make this dress again I will change the darts to pannel lines (in the back of the dress) and remove 2cms from each side of the newly created panel lines.

Also its probably wise to remove the same amount from the front and back of the necklines.

You learn so much through error with this fitting business!

I really like the idea of having lots of articles of clothing in strong bright solid colours (no patterns) so I can have fun with my ever expanding collection of accessories.

I usually go above the knee on dresses and skirts put I sort of liked the more demure length. Even the boyfriend said he liked the longer skirt he mentioned that it worked because of my shorter hair. I guess I can always shorten it, but at the moment I like it.

It’s good to get an opinion from a partner. Once I made this very high-waisted skirt with a very big repeating pattern, when I tried it on I thought something was awry and he told me very tactfully that it was not a good look, yay for nice yet honest style advice!

As for the dart positioning on the front of the bodice and the fact that the bust darts are so big due to the pattern alteration…I don’t even want to think about it right now…

I wish I could move past the fit because there is a lot I like about this dress. I just have to tell myself that if I bought it RTW I would not be as fussy and that a little bit of excess fabric is not the end of the world.

I know a lot of other sewing-bloggers have touched on this topic before but it’s something I have a lot of enthusiasm for so I wanted to give you my take.

I know I say this a lot but: sewing for yourself is about just that.

All about celebrating YOU!  Tailoring things to your style, your body and your life and your way of dressing and I just love that!

I NEVER go into a RTW clothing store, try on a tailored dress and have it fit me the way I want it to, just as I almost never fit a pattern right out of the envelope, but I have so much love and respect for my body and what it can do, and when I put on a dress that I have made and it fits me properly I really feel feminine!

Almost every woman on this planet has had issues body-wise at some point in there life and it would be simplifying things to say that the fashion industry is to blame, but making things for one body type that only a small percentage of woman have is just ridiculous.

A couple of years back I started doing a fashion design course, but despite there being some lovely people doing the course with me there was that insidious narrow-minded view about what womens bodies should look like even amongst fashion students and I didn’t want to be part of that, because it even made me much more critical of my own body.

Throughout history beauty trends have come and gone, but there seems to be one constant. Whatever is near impossible for the general population to obtain gets held up as the ideal.

Perhaps one day people of another time will look at the body and beauty ideals of today much like the way we look at ones of the past and fail to understand the appeal or the lengths people go to try and obtain it. I think you would have to stay 15 forever or something.

I think I was blessed because my mother helped instill in me a very positive attitude towards my body. Being healthy was always the most important thing in our family, or at least enjoying food but also putting a priority on health. I remember as a young girl I always wanted to have curves and I was so happy when I did get them, but perhaps even that was silly.

When I look at the things all my fellow sewing bloggers make I am astounded and inspired! There are so many beautiful women of every shape and size looking fabulous in clothing that accentuates every gorgeous part of who they are!

Saying only one type of body is the attractive, to me would be like saying only one flavor of ice-cream tastes good or only one genre of music is worth listening to. It’s completely crazy.

Do I have things I would like to change about my body? of course I do! But that is so far down the list of personal grievances it doesn’t even rate a mention.

My biggest insecurity has always been my lack of intelligence and that is one thing I can work towards doing something about.

I am a real girly girl because I absolutely love clothing and getting dressed up, but for me it is all about about personal style rather than fashion. I always aspire to be a stylish, interesting woman that has her own sense of aesthetics. That to me is fun!

Loving yourself is not always easy, but sewing make it a lot easier because you have all the control!

You get to make your own mold rather than trying to fit a limiting one that does not make you happy.

I know not everyone has the luxury of time to sew for themselves but it really changes your attitude towards your body.

Has sewing changed your attitude towards your body?

Edit: I just wanted to say that the lovely comments I received on this post completely made my day!

I was telling my boyfriend ‘I love how supportive everyone is of each other’ and his words were ‘supportive? on the Internet?’ He was surprised. Yes believe it or not it does happen! Perhaps it’s just this great sewing community.

I follow a lot of sewing blogs but I don’t always comment. Sometimes out of shyness or just because there are so many people making cute things, but from now on I will really make an effort too, because I know how happy it makes me when people I admire comment on the things I make.


I used Simplicity 2588. This is my first time using this pattern. I wanted to try it because I liked the little raglan sleeves.

I lined the bodice but for some reason did not line the sleeves. It was pretty silly of me.

The dress is already in the wash for the first time. I just came back from lunch and I already spilled very hot ramen soup on it (Yum! …but I am such a grub). So it will be interesting to see how it fares in the wash.

Here is a dirty sewing confession: I don’t pre-wash my fabric. I know, I know I am playing with fire! Interesting to see if will come out unscathed.

There is an invisible zip in the center back of the dress. I am pretty proud of just how invisible it is!

The fabric is predominately cotton with a fine weave. It has a slight stretch to it (spandex perhaps), which is perfect for a form fitting dress!

When cutting out in this fabric I was pretty deliberate. I used parts of the print where it looked scattered and there was some white space. I wanted to break up the flowers a little so it wasn’t completely covered in flowers. I don’t know how well it works.

Perhaps it may have been better to just cut out the printed fabric economically and let the sewing gods decide the fate of the print…but then you could end up with two flowers smack bang in the middle of two awkward places.

Part of me really likes this dress, but part of me thinks it’s too fussy. These days I feel myself leaning towards a more mod look (especially with the shorter hair). I want to introduce more solid colour dresses to my wardrobe and use prints that more clean and geometric.

Anyway we shall see.

Fitting notes: I have had a lot of success with project runway patterns fit-wize. They seem to be well drafted for busty ladies that aren’t super hippy. I find that most patterns these days seem to best fit the pear shaped ladies, so if you are more hour glass give the project runway patterns a try.

There was minor gaping around the neckline (but I know this is the case with most patterns for me).

I had remove excess fabric at the back of the skirt due to my lack of a bum by moving the center back seam in (sorry for the over-sharing). Unfortunately this made the side seams move closer towards the back.

I wish I knew how remove excess from the back of a fitted skirt without distorting the side seams! Does anyone know how to do this?

I took a little out just below the bust to give a more fitted shape. I love princess panel seams because they are so easy to adjust! I made a few other minor alterations, but I can’t remember every one.

I shortened the waist my 1.5cm so it hits slightly above the waist.

Because the dress had a fussy floral, I felt as if I had to go shorter on the hem than I ordinarily would, to avoid the dress looking too matronly.

I’m just so happy to be sewing again!

I have had some difficult times recently but I just wanted to say I will be posting again very soon!

Why did I stop sewing? Two reasons.

Firstly I had one of those annoying sewing projects where I thought I did everything right: removing excess to create a better fit AND altering the pattern accordingly. But somehow the project ended up too small. Its funny how sometimes I just ‘wing it’ and the fit ends up being perfect, but sometimes when I really take care it goes awry.

Secondly I have too many clothes as it is and I thought it was time to focus on non-sewing related creative projects. I live in a small apartment and I LOVE it, but I don’t have space for any more clothes.

I recently helped someone else with a project, but they had serious time constraints and needed my help getting it finished. The stress stopped me enjoying the process.

Who am I kidding? I need to sew for myself for the sake of my own sanity! I’m sure many people would relate to that.

It’s that inner girl in me that feels like a new dress is never a bad thing. I recently cut my hair into a short bob, with the shorter hair I wear dresses even more.

Sometimes sewing is so frustrating and it can incite rage in even the most patient person.

BUT there is nothing like the feeling of trying on a dress you made, to fit your body and to suit your own personal style. I have to sew to stay happy.

It’s sewing time again 🙂