• Dresses

    Spot on

    You won’t believe how long I’ve been waiting for August 2014.

    almond rock new look 6886 viscose

    It’s a month of two major events – first, it’s my 30th birthday. (Today in fact) Huzzah! And second, I’m moving to my new home and getting a sewing room.

    I am VERY excited. I hope you can sense a bottled up giddiness in my photos; take a look and see if you can catch the twinkle in my eye.

    So for my August Minerva make I wanted to make a strappy sundress; I mean can you blame me given the weather we were having?

    almond rock new look 6886 viscose

    I used an amazing spot viscose from Minerva that I can honestly say is like my absolute ideal fabric –

    • the print is small but noticeable;
    • it has brilliant drape;
    • it’s cool and soft to the touch; and
    • there are so many good colours in their I can wear a wild variety of coordinating clothes and accessories.

    I’ve even used this fabric before on a dress, that’s how much I love it. I have TWO dresses in my wardrobe in it now.

    almond rock new look 6886 viscose

    The dress pattern used is New Look 6886 which is a great staple sundress pattern with several cute variations. I was very tempted to use gathers around the bust but in the end went plain and simple with view D.

    The bodice is self-lined, and I inserted a lapped zipper (as I’m done with my invisible zipper obsession now) plus as an interesting touch I used a slider set to make the straps adjustable.

    almond rock new look 6886 viscose

    This is something I’ve always loved about ready to wear clothes because I have one shoulder lower than the other and even though I try so hard, fitting straps on myself isn’t 100% fool-proof. These nifty sliders are cheap to buy and come in packs of 10, in black/white/transparent.

    Doing this will mean a couple of changes from the pattern pieces and a little extra effort – first you’ll extend your strap piece to  cut a much longer strap, then you’ll make a very short strap about 3 – 4 inches long. You should bring out a bra to sit next to you as you sew to compare how the straps feed through the loops.

    I absolutely adore this finished dress and feel wonderful in it. It’s been worn every week since I finished it.

    almond rock new look 6886 viscose

  • Dresses

    … and the sea cucumber turns to the mollusk and says, “With fronds like these, who needs anemones?”

    Aaaah another weekend over!

    It’s been a good one in my books. I saw Wolf of Wall Street, had a long lie-in, did some sewing machine window-shopping, had a delicious paneer curry and went car booting with my parents!

    The other nice thing is that I can share this ace dress I made for the Sew Dolly Clackett competition!
    almond rock sew dolly clackett

    Errr I didn’t stand on that daffodil, promise.

    Yes yes this dress is exactly the same at my last, but I was maximising my throughput. I cut both out in one go, my machine could stay threaded up with white cotton throughout and I was really efficient with sewing these up in parallel!almond rock sew dolly clackett

    Another non-Hazel dress. Imagine how good those synchronised swimmers would have looked on the hazel bodice!

    almond rock sew dolly clackett

    So this is the infamous swimming ladies fabric. Roisin used this for her first Anna dress. It’s also cropped up on House of Pinheiro, The Amazing Adventures of Taracat, and The Cinnamon Slipper to name just a few. almond rock sew dolly clackett

    The only things I did differently with this version of the dress related to print placement. I made sure my swimmers were nicely framed below the neckline and on either side of the zipper. Plus I lined up the lady in blue with the orange cap so she peeks at you on the start of the straps heehee!

    Obligatory Roisin door shot coming up!

    almond rock sew dolly clackettHope you like this dress. It makes me really happy to wear.

    Have you seen the retro swimming ladies crop up anywhere else? Leave me a comment if so, or if YOU’VE made something from it. I’d love to see.

  • Dresses

    Maybe Lil Sebastian got upset because he tried to share his true feelings with someone and they didn’t reciprocate!

    Happy Spring everyone! Wait, did no one tell the weather?

    The daffodils are out and the sun is shining but it’s still very cold. How unfair.

    Almond Rock Butterick 5351

    I decided to make a sundress for my May MBN make even if the weather isn’t quite up to it yet and picked this fun striped poly-cotton from Minerva.

    This post could also be called “The Hazel dress that wasn’t”. Let’s just say I’m not sure I’ll try a Colette pattern again as I can’t take the emotional roller coaster of trying to fit them.

    Almond Rock Butterick 5351

    This dress pattern is instead Butterick 5351. It really is an easy dress pattern to make up; I’d definitely recommend this for a beginner looking to try something a little more involved – lots of darts and a zipper basically.

    This is actually the first dress pattern I EVER TRIED!

    “Hey, Amy from 2010, good choice.”

    Almond Rock Butterick 5351

    I used vertical stripes on the bodice and skirt, and horizontal stripes for the straps. I really like how the darts make arrows pointing to my waist. I added a row of topstitched bias-binding around the bottom of the skirt to bring in another horizontal line (as with the straps) to balance the dress out.

    If you compare to the line art you’ll see I removed the top band and added a gathered skirt.

    Almond Rock Butterick 5351

    The dress doesn’t have a drafted lining but we know that’s simply a matter of making a duplicate of the dress in lining fabric and sewing the two together along the neckline. The cotton is stiff enough to not need interfacing along the top edge.

    I’m on a real invisible/concealed zipper kick right now. I love fully enclosing an invisible zip in the lining as it gives a professional finish inside. This anti-static lining gives a nice crisp finish inside that won’t get caught in the zipper teeth either. My invisible zipper foot has definitely paid for itself ten times over and it was only a £1.50 plastic one from eBay.

    Almond Rock Butterick 5351

    All this stripe fun and my original plan for a Hazel was to make a candy cane interpretation of Roisin’s green striped Hazel. But after three practice bodices to correct the fit I realised I didn’t even like how the v shaped seams looked on me! Sorry Roisin this is as close as I get.

    I have one more Sew Dolly Clackett dress to share that I’ve entered. I’m excited to see who wins as there were some seriously great entries! Very inspiring!

    I get a bit teary thinking about how amazing this contest is. Roisin is wonderful. I adore how she embraces colour and joy in her sewing. She really makes you feel welcome and interesting when you meet or talk to her. She’s so unaffected and honest too. I think she knows how much I love hanging out with her so I won’t make a fuss. I’ll just raise a fancy gin cocktail to her. Cheers!