The Sweetheart Dress (oh don’t get all soppy on me)

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Last week I showed you a dress I hadn’t blogged about but it went down quite well so I here are the details.

I wanted to make the Colette Truffle bodice into my go-to dress bodice block as it was so close to being perfect on my Christmas party dress.

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I made a rub off pattern from a lace dress I love and then combined this with the Truffle pattern to make what should have been a perfect fit. It’s sooo close to perfect but not quite as the neck gapes a little, though it seems to suit Beryl.

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I also drafted an A-line gathered skirt by using the hem and drop measurements from the lace dress and after eyeballing the amount of waist gathering figured out the waist length I’d need. I like A-line gathered skirts more than dirndl because a lot of waist gathering makes me look too wide there. Plus you still get a good twirly skirt from them!

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The fabric was from Fletcher’s Fabrics in York and was a birthday present from Mr AR. It’s a popular quilting cotton which has been in stock for years and comes in a variety of colourways.

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I did my new trick of encasing the zip with bias tape and I lined the bodice in cream poly lining but didn’t line the skirt… that was my major mistake.

Unlined cotton dresses stick to your tights and I hate this. But I convinced myself otherwise! Now this dress rides up when I wear it. Even when I wear a half slip for goodness sake! I live the dress so I think I’ll retroactively fit a lining. I just need to mull over how….

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Me-Made-May 13 – week 1

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Well hello!
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!

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Day 1: green bias stripe top from self drafted pattern. Not blogged because its the same fabric and pattern as my bias stripe dress!

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Day 2: sweetheart print truffle bodice with self drafted gathered a-line skirt. More about that later.

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Day 3: one of the first ever things I made, my georgette star print top using New Look 6962.

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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!!

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Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!

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I BLOODY LOVE POLKA DOTS

Small ones, medium ones, giant ones.

So it’s not surprising I bought 5 types of polka dot fabric at the Birmingham meet up!

This is what I did with my three metres of black and white large polka dot satin fabric.

First up I wanted to make a Colette Truffle dress. I made FOUR toiles trying to get the fit right.

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I got the bodice fitted after two toiles because I used a TNT pattern to get the sizing and darts placement right.

I just could not for the life of me, get the skirt to fit. So I gave up.

I desperately wanted the flounce but settled for a gathered skirt that I drafted myself.

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I teamed the dress with gold glittery shoes and a black glitter headband.

I’m pleased with the fit in the back. I usually have a lot of gaping around the upper back but nailed it this time and my zipper is pretty neat.

There is a little bit of gaping around the neckline but think that’s because it’s a touch too low for me combined with such a drapey fabric. Also I normally love gathered waist dresses but after a few too many cakes lately I’m not sure it’s as flattering as it could have been. I’m too ashamed of my handstitching to show you inside I’m afraid.

And then because I didn’t need the extra fabric I’d bought for the flounce I made I had a metre left over!

Hello New Look 6808!

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The best bit about making another one of these tops is that I knew I could fix the sleeves. I did this in two ways. I altered my pattern pieces to lower the bottom of the armhole on both pieces but increase the armhole curve on the back piece by a few millimetres.

Then I sewed the sleeves in flat! This was a revelation!!

I knew you could sew sleeves into jersey tops/dresses in flat but I wasn’t sure about woven garments.

A quick rummage around my google reader unearthed Sunni’s confirmation that you can!

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I made the gathers a bit more pleat like on this version. Though it’s hard to see in this photo.

The top fits like a dream with room for a big fat dinner.

I’m soooo making 50 more of these.

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Truffle Progress

After the death of my plaid top I wanted to bounce back into action and work on my Colette Truffle dress.

Super exciting as it’ll be my Xmas party dress yaaay!!

I’m using a gorgeous black and white polka dot satin I got at the Birmingham meet up.

The dots are so cute and large and the satin feels great.

After 3 muslins I got the darts in the right place and think the sizing is “spot on” for the bodice.

So I’ve cut it out:

And with some kick ass purple lining:

But all my skirt muslins were atrocious. I can’t make the hip curve fit, or the darts work or match up with the bodice darts!!!

Bah humbug*

(*hey we’re almost at Christmas).

So I’ve been debating leaving the Truffle unconquered for now. Well at least the bottom half.

If I add another style of skirt on the bottom I don’t think I can call it a Truffle can I?

I’m thinking possibly a TNT gathered skirt as I have them on most my dresses. Probably from my V8723 as it’s a good length.

Or something new and exciting like a half circle skirt. Though my maths skills are a little rusty.

Neeno used this tutorial for some of her half circle skirts.

Hmmm if I’m going to change the skirt up and lose that wonderful talking-point flounce, maybe I should add some other feature?

There’s even a tutorial  from the Selfish Seamstress to help me on my way.

Though I’d have to re-cut the back bodice and move the zip to the size. Oh my gosh this is getting complicated.

Any other suggestions to jazz up the dress without crazily redesigning everything?

Maybe just lowering the back into a nice v would be enough excitement.

Eeeeep!! I’m so excited to get this dress together but know I need to make some decisions.

I’ve got until Dec 7th to sew it up but not a lot of free time before then.

Best do some long hard thinking about this!!

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