Saturday 29 December 2018

Lois Dress #1

Here's a recent make - and it's something I'm actually proud of!

This is the Lois dress by Tessuti patterns, and it's a pattern I bought relatively promptly after loving the pattern photos - but then sat on for ages. Same story for this lovely fabric from The Fabric Store - when I saw this fabric up sewn up quickly by a few social media friends (@clever_tinker for one) I rushed to Surry Hills to get some, and then brought it home and stashed it. 

Maybe for 2019 I should try a bit harder to sew the patterns and fabrics I like earlier rather than later? What a ridiculous problem to have ;o.

Here's a quick close-up for a better view of the fabric and style lines - and FYI the fabric is a slinky polyester woven with a satiny back:

The dress is quite low cut, which I think makes this more of a special occasion dress than a work or everyday dress - I've nearly finished version number 2 and have plans for a couple more, but there's nothing wrong with a wardrobe full of special occasion dresses, is there?

Hmm... after reviewing the photos I decided it was actually a tad too low cut - so I've now sewn the lowest 2cm of the v-neck together on the inside of the dress, which makes it just the right depth on me for a low cut dress with complete bra coverage, and also makes the bust fit a smidge less loose.

By virtue of a couple of silly mistakes I sewed this up a size smaller than intended. I thought I was making the size 12, my size according to the pattern instructions, but I accidentally cut a size 10 for the bodice pieces and then cut out the skirt pieces poorly, necessitating wide seam allowances that took it down a size too. Luckily this has turned out to be just the right size.  I wouldn't necessarily advise following my lead, but I would recommend basting your cut out pieces together to check the fit before sewing in your zip within the side dart / side bodice seam - if you do this you might also discover (like me, hooray!) that you don't even need the zip!

I should also mention that I have an extra CF seam in my skirt because my fabric was narrower than the recommended width and I just couldn't fit the width of the skirt front and sides across my fabric.  This hasn't particularly affected the dress apart from making the CF bust intersection a bit bulky, but it did bump up the fabric requirement for the dress.  I also lengthened the skirt pieces about 2 inches, and next time around am lengthening it a little more.

There's a step in the instructions (step 9) that asks you to ease the front skirt side seams into the back skirt side seams, but I couldn't think why you'd want to do that*, so I just sewed the seams normally and then cut off the resulting extra length in the front skirt. 

If you've sewn the Lois dress and followed this step, I would love to know how the easing step worked out - did it do something interesting to the skirt drape, or help the skirt skim over hips and butt?

Hmm and the only other change I made was to ignore the recommended steps to stabilise the neckline and waist with tearaway Vilene.

I've tried using tearaway Vilene before but haven't enjoyed using it - so instead I cut the relevant pattern pieces from a lightweight iron-in interfacing, and this worked pretty well.  Before I started sewing the dress I was concerned that the v-neckline would gape, but on top of the tearaway Vilene the pattern uses a clever binding method to stabilise the neckline, and there's absolutely no risk of it stretching out.

This dress was intended to be my Christmas Day dress, but as it turned out I didn't need a Christmas Day dress - my kids both got sick on Christmas Eve and through Christmas Day - but perhaps I can wear it for New Year's Eve instead.

Finally here's the back view, looking quite old fashioned I reckon!

Thank you very much to those of you who replied to my last blog post - it seems that YES, there are still blog readers around! I still enjoy reading blogs too, but wasn't sure how many of us there were... I suspect that there are lots of people who intend to blog but just don't get around to it very often - it's obviously much more time consuming than instagram or facebook, but if you've got verbal diarrhea (ha, that's me!) those media can be a bit frustrating.

So - I'm going to try to keep blogging, and I need to build back up my own list of blogs to read.  If you're still (or newly) blogging I would love to know where; please feel very welcome to leave your blog address in the comments :).

Thanks for reading and have a very happy new year

- Gabrielle x

Sunday 9 December 2018

Striped Linen Lacey

Does anyone write blog posts anymore? 

Does anyone read them?

I made this dress over a year ago - it's a StyleArc Lacey dress sewn up in a gorgeous striped linen from Tessuti fabrics - and it's one that gets a LOT of wear in summer.  The fabric was meant to be for a collared shirt for my son, but he doesn't ever choose to wear collared shirts, besides which he's been growing so fast that it felt crazy not to wait for all the growing to stop.

Hmmmm... come to think of it, he's now taller than me, so there may be a couple of years before the next growth spurt... (is that the way teenage boys grow? catch up to mum first, then a few years later catch up to dad?)

Whatever, we can call it selfish sewing ;).  I have a very forgiving son. He takes pretty decent photos too.

The Lacey dress is listed as being suitable for knit, jersey, rayon or silk fabric - in other words you want stretchy or drapey. If you choose linen you may end up with something a bit Scandi retro reminiscent, and a quick internet search ("sasha doll striped blue dress") will take you to the dress I think I must have accidentally copied.  I haven't become blond or doll-like, but the dress makes me feel good, so some subconscious desires have obviously now been fulfilled!

As usual, I should tell you about the pattern, right? 

It's a very easy sew and a forgiving fit (ie just check the waist measurement and if that's big enough to get your shoulders through you'll be fine). The shoulders are dropped and the sleeves are then basically cut on, and the skirt is simply gathered. Because there's a "feature" panel on the front and back bodices, this is a pattern you could go totally Beccy Home Eccy on - or mock pinafore - but hopefully not.  I only made very basic simple modifications in my version: extra length as usual in the skirt, and skipped the sleeve cuffs. 

These photos were taken at a beach not too far from Byron in January this year. Just to the right of the breakwater is an area where you can watch dolphins surf. We didn't see too many - one couple catching waves to the shore, swimming back out, then catching the waves in again and again - but even watching two dolphins was pretty cool.

 I can't wait to get back to the beach - but preferably a quiet one like this one!

I'll be back!

See you anon
- Gabrielle xx
Easy slip-on dress with an extended shoulder, square line bodice and slightly gathered skirt.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...