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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Yes! It’s time for more chevron action!  Before I post the images let me say that I am painfully aware of the fact that the only place the stripes match up is at the center front seam….I am pretty much OK with that. I am doing away with the sewing perfectionist inside and I am OK with all the miss-matched stripes!

Sorry in advance if this post hurts your eyeballs. I am a lover of Bridget Riley and Opp-Art stuff so crazy dresses are fine by me! Click images to enlarge them

Now lets get on with it 🙂

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I am not really loving the fit…

Gone are the days when I want my dresses to fit like a second skin but I have taken it a step further and decided to stop bothering with muslins, because, you know…I have HUNDREDS of patterns and lots fabric I want to use!

I used to feel fabulous in fit-and-flare dresses, but recently my figure (and hair) has changed. I find myself gravitating more towards skirts, jeans with tees and simple shift dresses.

I don’t know if I want to fuss with as many fitted dresses anymore, so perhaps some skirts and looser styles are on the sewing horizon!

Material notes:

I choose simplicity 1803 because I have a good history with project runway patterns fitting well. I loved the neckline and the cap sleeves. The style of dress struck me as something my mum would have worn in her early 20s (with short beehive hair). My mum is my hero and style icon 😉

I got the fabric at lincraft when they had 40% off everything, so it worked out to be around $5 a meter. I have to confess my love for this kind of poly/cotton blend… It washes so well and it SO easy to work with!

I am digging stripes right now. Let it be known that black and white is my favorite combination!

$1 invisible zip from my favorite place: The Remnant Warehouse!

Construction notes:

I left out the weird front-of-the-crotch pockets that the skirt had! I also stuck the front and side front pattern pieces together before cutting and treated them as one piece.

I forgot how annoying it is to ease in sleeves! I could have done a better job, but I am already thinking of the next thing I am going to make, and it will most likely have raglan sleeves 😉

I made a size 8 but sewed the side seams an extra 5mm in (2cm seam allowance) but I think it should have been taken in at the center back and panel lines too. I have no patience for multiple fittings anymore…

Note to self: over-lock EVERYTHING before sewing together with the exception of neckline, inner facings and princess seams.

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In the spirit of my obsession with 60s shift dresses I finished another one during the weekend.

Would you believe that it’s so hot where I live that this 60s mini dress is too hot to wear today?

I’ll have to wait till it cools down. Sydney weather in a small apartment means I can only wear singlets and shorts.

Fabric and pattern: I was doing some sewing with my niece some weeks ago and we were using Burda 7056 to make a shift dress, it was turning out so cute, I had to make one for myself. I cut a size 8.

This pattern has much looser relaxed fit than the previous shift I made.

The fabric used is one I was not too precious about because when I’m sewing a pattern I haven’t tried before I tend use the fabric that I’m not madly in love with.

I must have bought this fabric a couple of years ago from the clearance table when I worked at a fabric shop. I think its a stretch sateen, it has a nice weight to it. Looks like it could have been used for cushions or home decor, but I think its dress/fashion fabric because it has a light sheen too it and a little bit of stretch.

When I worked at the fabric shop I just bought meters and meters of a fabric if it was cute and very cheap ($5 or under). I am so glad I did because don’t think you can get much at that price anymore.

I get all my zippers from the remnant warehouse because you pay $1 per zip, rather than the $4-5 they usually cost. Isant that mad? longer zips (over 45cms)  in Australia are usually $5 each or more!

Changes made: Initially I changed the armholes (on the pattern and fabric, extending them) in order to make the dress bra-friendly, but it ruined the whole look, so I ended up cutting out the armholes the way they were intended to be.

I ended up shortening the hem considerably. With such a loose fit, I feel like it works better to make it shorter, but I shortened it so many times that I lost count of home much I shortened it by (I hemmed it twice which was rather annoying).

I also changed the neckline, I lowered it considerably because It was one of those necklines that was so high that the original cut was quite uncomfortable (which meant I also had to redraft the front facing BORING but essential).

While we are on the subject of facings: These facings are tedious! I almost think that its probably quicker to sew an entire lining than getting these facings to behave, but I guess I am getting better at them, good practice I suppose!

Thoughts on the project good/bad:

When I tried the completed project on for the first time I felt like it needed something, but now I think the opposite, best to keep everything (except makeup) minimal when wearing this dress. I like how streamlined it is!

My one issue is that the darts are a touch high on me, also whilst the back does not pucker at all, I wish I took some time to select how the print/dots would fall on the back

I was worried that the massive dots would look too clown-like, and perhaps they do look a bit clown-like, but I think its kind of cool. I do really love the mod look so I guess this fits the bill.

My hair is pinned back and I think that it suits the dress more. I have had a fringe/bangs for over 7 years but I am growing my fringe out, because I want to get a twiggy-esque haircut where the hair is longer at the front a super short at the back.

A hairdresser once told be that I would not be able to pull off very short hair, but I feel as if I should forget what he said and give it a try. What do you think?

I have been on such a sewing kick lately. Much more to come!

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I finally finished the dress I made using simplicity 1609. I have wanted a dress made from this sewing pattern and I was never going to be able to resist a 1960s reproduction pattern!

I’m going to say upfront that I am not so happy with the fit of this dress, but that’s OK because I did not attempt to alter the fit at all (this is how the pattern fit out of the envelope). These days I don’t seem to bother modifying the fit of a new pattern, I just make it in some less than special fabric, to see what the fit of the pattern is like. Is it worth fussing with the fit and making another? I’m not too sure. Perhaps it’s OK that its looser at the waist.

I kind of like not worrying about fit so much, because I have a lifetime supply of fabric and patterns to try anyway. When I worked at a fabric shop I would always buy up big when fabric was twice reduced in price, so I often managed to score fabric that was $5 a meter or less.

I love the 60s silhouette. The bagginess at the waist of my version is not so great (could have taken it in at the curved darts). Admiring other versions of this dress (made by other sewing bloggers) I noticed that often they made the dress either very fitted or a much looser shape. Perhaps I should trying increasing the seam allowances or removing the center front seam on my next version!

I was happy when I thought of using this fabric to create a chevron effect, because I love that kind of thing, and the fabric was pretty boring on its own.

The back of the dress is a puckering horrendous mess, but for the sake of being honest I am showing it to you. Perhaps the tension was off (on my machine), or perhaps it has to do with the fit. All I know is I just wanted this dress finished. I am a grown woman and I rush and swear at my sewing projects, it’s rather silly!

Done is better than perfect my friends!

After sewing so many dresses with lining I realized how much I hate sewing facings. Anyone got any tips about sewing facings, that don’t involve hand sewing?

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