Hello everyone. I’m currently sat intermittently knitting in front of the telly and thinking about sewing plans.
I’ve been playing around with some beautiful pleated fabric and dabbling with ladder trim insertion. Two projects with no deadline and a real desire to make considered choices before getting started. This means pinterest boards, testing machine settings and doodling designs.
In other news I shared a new video for my Sew North Soiree gown plans. I’m making a minty organza dress using a gorgeous sketchy floral with mint satin underneath. Check out the video here for more.
This leads me nicely onto today’s topic! Often a fabric would be amazing as a fancy party frock and sometimes it’s fun to make a great everyday dress instead. I picked up this cupid/cherub print twill fabric from Ditto fabrics after squealing at the sight of it. I was very torn between this and the mustard colourway and while I think made the wrong decision, it is still a stunning fabric.
Its a medium weight cotton twill which means it has that visible weave pattern and a lovely floaty drape. It shoots a touch redder than it is in real life. Twill is very prone to fraying and snagging plus standard slippery fabric rules apply. I used fine sharp pins and a size 70 needle.
I decided to choose a pattern I’d get a lot of wear from… enter the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress with my previous hacks to remove the buttons. See that version here. It’s the perfect dress if your weight fluctuates as the drawstring means you can cinch the perfect amount. I love that feature!!
At the minute my measurements are 36A:32:45 but know my first version still fits so I cut the straight size 12 and lengthened the skirt by 2″. It shrunk a tiny bit in the wash which makes it fit even better actually. My first version was polyester but the twill is slightly stretchy so a tiny bit of shrinkage counteracted this perfectly.
The drawstring is made in self fabric with the seam allowance rolled inside to make it very round almost like roulueau but not cut on the bias. If I’d had any I would have added cord inside. And instead of using eyelets like last time, I sewed buttonholes for the openings.
Proving it can still be dressed up I’ve worn the dress to a) my work leaving do, b) my dad’s 65th birthday dinner and c) the New Craft House Galentines party. The latter was extra special as my #sewingwife Marie of A Stitching Odyssey and I had a lovely weekend in London together seeing the Mary Quant exhibition, having dinner with our friend Allie and then winning the #sewingwife bingo at the party!
Dressing in the same fabric pushed us over the edge into winning I think. Marie’s dress is the Solina by Named with extra long waist ties. She hasn’t blogged it yet but watch this space. The prize was fabric vouchers for the NCH shop and we both ended up buying the same fabric!
I don’t think I’m done with this pattern yet as it’s a great showcase for prints as well as being endlessly comfy to wear. I have some solid chartreuse/mustard twill that could be good and a couple of viscose florals that would work well. Maybe just one or two more versions then…
Sorry it’s been a while but I’m back with a cheeky festive party dress.
This is my last Minerva Blogger make of the year and I’ll be taking a break for a while so I can focus on sewing from my ever growing stash!
This is the Flora dress from By Hand London. I’m really pleased Minerva have started stocking BHL patterns.
I wanted to take on the Flora dress but make it my own, so I decided it needed scallops!
My indecision over the pattern was over the high-lo hem. I’m really not sure that trend and I will ever be friends.
But when I saw this wine coloured stretch cotton fabric I had an instant idea for some scalloped goodness.
It’s pretty much like cotton sateen but with a duller shine. It feels and looks richer than its price tag but gosh does it attract fluff.
So I made a few adjustments to the pattern, I rotated out the front bust darts into the waist and in the end I decided a gathered skirt would be easier to scallop rather than the circle skirt.
I used the adjustable scallop stitch on my machine along with lots and lots of measuring to achieve the right number along the bodice front and back, plus I self-lined the bodice and used a hem facing to make the scallops as clean as possible.
The dress was worn to my work Christmas party with matching satin shoes, gold jewellry and big curly hair. It went down a treat!
The perfect party dress.