It’s finally the #sewrecreatethelook challenge reveal day! The goal is to recreate a look that you admire from RTW, the catwalk, Pinterest, a magazine, etc and share your progress. I’ve technically had my dress finished a couple of weeks but managed to hold off on revealing it. I’ve just been enjoying wearing it in the hot hot heat! Let’s start with a reminder of my inspiration…
This is the Gal Meets Glam Chassity dress. An American influencer I follow started her own line of clothing and ultimately it got too big for her to sustain, had some production issues and she closed the brand. There were some stunning dresses in her line so planning other recreations in the future.
I decided not to use shirting and find a viscose that was similar. This ebay find was close enough. It could have been more blue but the weight and drape were gorgeous. And I quickly settled on adapting McCall’s 8090 Marina as my dress base which came with Love Sewing 95.
First up was adjusting the bodice and skirt panel lengths. Marina is drop waist so I took 9cm off the bodice and added it to the top skirt panels. Next I removed the square yoke by folding out the gathering at the centre front and taping the yoke piece directly on top of the bodice piece. Here’s what that looked like.
Switching to raglan sleeves was one thing but these were gathered ruffled raglan sleeves. First I experimented with a sleeveless bodice with a rectangular ruffle sewn on top to give the illusion of a sleeve. I also tried shirring the gathered rows. Ultimately it wasn’t right. The rectangle created a stiff ruffle and the shirring was too unforgiving on top. But I was getting excited…
Second attempt I did things properly. I drafted a proper raglan sleeve for the bodice that would be sewn into the neckband, and then slashed and spread that piece to create excess for gathering. I pinned it into place again on top of my existing toile to save cutting it up / sewing a new one. It was much better but now not long enough for my liking. See below.
Third time was the charm. I added length to my slashed and spread tissue piece then traced onto fresh paper. Then I decided I wanted more gathering so slashed and spread again. Here’s the sleeve before I finally cut it out sat alongside the version 2 tissue.
Then I could commit to the new bodice armholes. You can see below how I marked the seamline and the cutting line on the bodice and then traced a fresh version. I’m also showing you the back for reference. Raglan sleeves are super fun to sew, if you’ve never made them before. FYI I also added notches for the raglan seam points on my neckband so I knew how much to gather the sleeve in to fit!
Construction went pretty fast once I’d assembled the band and collar. All the side seams were French seamed but the gathered skirt band seams were just overlocked to avoid bulk. I did a baby hem on my sleeve pieces before attaching them.
I’m super pleased with the dress. The finished neckline is lovely and feels really polished. For that all important sleeve finish, I kept my gathering stitches in place and stitched on top of them for the appearance of thicker topstitching thread. And I love the varying directions of stripes at play!
Inside I used self fabric bias to finish the armholes, like a facing and a binding at the same time and topstitched it in place from the right side. I slipstitched the bands in place for a clean look. I do like the topstitched neckline of my toile version so might do that on a future version.
The finished dress is breezy and stylish. I have to wear a slip underneath but I’m definitely pro-slips and already had the perfect white one. I love that you can’t tell the lower band is cut in three pieces. The seams are hidden in the stripes and this let’s you get a great gather with the extra width.
Improvements for my next version will be curving the cropped waist seam up as it goes towards the hips as the straight line causes the seam to droop a touch at the sides. And to raise the underarm point as its a touch low, revealing my bra on occasion. But I already have fabric for a new version!! Thanks for reading this long if you stayed to the end.
May is upon us. And for everyone in Europe we had a bank holiday to kick things off too!
I managed four out of five days in me-mades this week. I had agreed with myself a goal of six out of seven days in each week but hey, this was a short week!
Day 1: green bias stripe top from self drafted pattern. Not blogged because its the same fabric and pattern as my bias stripe dress!
Day 2: sweetheart print truffle bodice with self drafted gathered a-line skirt. More about that later.
Day 3: one of the first ever things I made, my georgette star print top using New Look 6962.
Day 4: strappy top made from the skirt of a topshop sundress using Butterick 5653.
I had an awesome weekend. I saw my little brother on Saturday and went to Abakhans where I bought chevron print fabric for an unbelievably good price. Saw friends and ate good food on Sunday. And larked about around the canal and docks before having a bbq yesterday! Plus I watched three good films and snuck in a smidge of sewing!!
Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!
I’ve written this blog post about five times now.
I’m both scared and excited to think about what 2013 will bring and my brain is racing at a mile a minute.
Unavoidable changes are heading my way and I’m trying to figure out how to roll with them.
I’m not going to start waffling on about all of that because it’s been a long day and this is still a sewing blog right?!
THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS
Regardless of any drama the new year has brought, I’ve also done a smidgen of sewing!
I eased myself back in slowly. I put an elastic waist in a B5653 strappy floral top UFO that’s been lingering around since Summer.
This Butterick top is sort of a refashion and a muslin.
I salvaged the fabric from an old Topshop dress and wanted to try out the strappy view of the top before investing other fabric in it.
I’m already plotting many more versions of this is.
And I think it’d look lovely extended into a sundress. Yes yes I know we’re expecting snow this weekend.
Then I hemmed the striped NL 6808 I started before xmas.
Tweet peeps are sure to be sick of seeing this top. I’ve posted pics of it in every stage of construction.
Check out the bitching stripe matching on it though! On the sides and on the sleeves (this damn near killed me).
I also added an exposed zip to the back.
Roisin suggested a tutorial post which I’m eager to supply.
I will not be showing you the insides of this bad boy but will instead draft up something neater for show and tell.
I wore this one today and wasn’t most impressed with how I looked but think that’s just because I’m full of cold at the minute and in my mind I look I have bats nesting in my hair and the pallor of a jaundiced gremlin.
And on that delightful note I shall leave you for now.
I will return shortly with organised thoughts rather than the deranged stream of consciousness I’ve been trying to fight back…
This post starts and ends with Burda.
First I want to shout “I bought a Burda Magazine”!! I finally got the courage up to buy one. I know it’s only £4.75 but I’ve never seen more than one pattern in there to make it worth buying and the lack of seam allowance/crap instructions scared me off. But this one is chock full of patterns I’m eager to make!
All to be picked up AFTER a couple of current projects.
I’m trying a new zen approach to sewing. I do a little bit at a time and stop when I start to get irate or stressed!
So my fishy dress is progressing slowly and surely.
I tried to put pleats in the front. I swear I did. But they just would not go in straight or neat or even sized or anything. Blerrrrgh. So I ditched them.
I’ve also been deliberating the best way to attach my collar and performing little trials is helping me learn.
All this work and NO photos. Well I put a sneak peek on Instagram the other day but I want a big reveal!! I was a bit gutted my reveal wasn’t yesterday to coincide with Oona’s promaballoona. But I’d rather reveal it next weekend instead than have it be out in the world too early.
It’s my precious and I’ll reveal it when I want to!!
Have you seen the subject of this year’s Tessuti Awards? I only saw it thanks to Julia Bobbin but in a way I wish I hadn’t! This is like my dream competition!! A spots and/or stripes dress contest with an unbelievable cash prize that I could use to get back to Oz!! I love Australia and want to go back desperately.
The thing that is getting to me (and it’s a perfectly reasonable thing for Tessuti to ask) is that you can only use Tessuti fabric. But it’ll take 10 days to deliver worldwide and cost $30 just to ship the fabric!
With the deadline of Sept 19th and me going away the 7th – 14th of Sept, I’ll end up with no time to sew if I have to wait 10 days for delivery!
OH WHY DIDN’T I SPOT THIS EARLIER!?!?
(even the pun hasn’t perked me up)
Finally a bit more Burda….
I’ve been downloading the free Friday patterns from Burda Style. Rather impressed a major company like them would give away patterns, though obviously it’s not every Friday. Is there a pattern to their giveaways? No pun intended, the word I need is ” pattern”!
I got the Sadie pattern and thought ooh this looks simply and sweet and a great trial into the world of Burda. I also smiled because I have a friend called Sadie.
I’d not been very successful with jersey in the past. I tried to reproduce this Modcloth dress months ago by mis-aligning the stripes and using red top-stitching. Lets just say my finished product was super sloppy.
It was my first attempt though and the jersey was £1 a metre from my favourite place that I’m sure you’re all sick of me mentioning.
I hacked up my efforts for Sadie but kept the misalignment of stripes and top-stitching down the centre front and back.
I used the same jersey to make sleeve binding but attached it a) in the wrong order and b) with the wrong technique so it sticks out a bit more than anticipated.
I kind of like it though. It’s like I rolled up the sleeves when I put it on.
I attached my neck facing correctly thank goodness.
I then realised it was rather short for my tastes hence the weird regular stripes at the bottom that creates that big black wedge on one side and the top-stitching stops abruptly.
I’m proud of the top-stitching though. And I’m not going to be afraid of jersey in the future (Sergei the serger handled it well). Plus I’m going to make a Sadie again but definitely add a few inches to the bottom of the pattern.
Is it worth uploading to My Projects on Burda style though? I think not.
Maybe when I make my awesome red cape I’ll upload that instead!!
When I first started sewing I thought it would be the perfect way to indulge my addiction to dresses. Somewhere along the way I ended up making a lot of tops, a few dresses and not much else! So where did all the dresses go? And all the other plans I had?!
This revelation struck me as I was ironing my nice white fabric with red polka dots ready to make another top. Firstly, I stopped because it seemed the washing machine hadn’t gotten it very clean… hmm where are these dirty marks from?! And secondly, once I had stopped I did some thinking about skirts.
It’s nearly summer and I don’t have many skirts. Very few for work especially. So how about a polka dot skirt? I have a prima pattern for an A-line skirt saved up for the task and from what I hear they’re simple enough to make. So I’ve re-washed my fabric ready to start this very soon.
I also made a promise to myself to figure out why I have a lot of fabric, and a lot of dress patterns, but very few FINISHED dresses! “Finished” is the core issue as I have FOUR partially completed lying in my sewing corner and plenty more that I’ve plotted but not started.
One of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) is a lovely pale green dress using a quilting fabric from The Skep – Knitting and Quilting shop in Farsley and a pattern from the book Famous Frocks by Sara Alm and Hannah McDevitt.
I’m so close with this dress. I just need to power on. The pockets need refitting before I can sew the skirt to the top. Then I can wear it to work!
Another is made from Anna Maria Horner fabric, the “Shattered” voile from the Innocent Crush line.
I bought the fabric very early on in my sewing career and immediately started sewing a Butterick 4443. WHY?! I should have held onto this fabric until I knew what I was doing and made something better than 4443 out of it?! Chuh. Now I look at it and think is there a way to turn this into a different dress?! I don’t think there is but I keep looking.
I should just finish it and hope I like the outcome.
Third there is a green striped number which I finished poorly and it started to unravel before I’d even worn it! So I unpicked it to redo the waist seam using my overlocker. But then I never actually rebuilt it!
The reason is that it has an elastic waist casing and I doing HATE elastic casings even though they fit me great. I always make them about 1mm too small and work up a sweat trying to thread the stupid safety pin through. But I do love this fabric and the dress would be so easy to wear to work or during relaxing times so I should get my butt into gear and finish it!
Finally I have my Vogue 8723 Ikea dress to finish. It’s mocking me even now while pinned to my mannequin. But something is throwing me off. I can’t tell if the fit is off or is it the slightly too dark lining fabric or possibly the fact I didn’t understitch the seams properly? Well whatever it is I want to get back into this dress soon!!
All very shameful I know. I need to remedy this problem asap. I have so many other things I want to sew I’m getting so tormented about what to work on!! I need some organisation in my sewing life and to stop being seduced by new projects.