This dress uses the basic shape of the pattern used for the Simply Red dress, but I have eliminated all the panels and cut on the bias to take full advantage of the stripes.
The fabric is a fine cotton sent to me as part of an estate sale haul by a friend who has abandoned me moved to the States. (Her busband blogs here – an online diary of his aclimatisation) I had to line the dress, this fabric was a trifle too transparent in the light – ok for a shirt, not so good for anything with a skirt!
To give it a little more interest I added some blue broiderie anglaise to the hem of the cotton lining, just enough to peek out at the bottom.
I will be making another panelled dress, I dug out another piece of fabric sent by the same friend, this time a black and blue print that will look just stunning!!
After a 24 mile round trip I have a red invisible zip, and now a completed dress! I am also definitely ordering a stock of zips from Jaycotts. I paid £3.90 for a 52cm long invisible zip! That’s madness!! Anyway, rant over, here’s the completed dress, and a happy Daughter No2 in the sunshine to show it off.
The panels work really well, tailoring the bodice to her shape. The stretch cotton has a tendence to, well, stretch. So the lining is a stretch cotton poplin, with much less movement to keep the whole thing together.
The back was kept simple. There is just one seam, I really don’t think it needed any more than that.
For some extra info, this dress was cut from the 2-piece dress block (from Winnifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting) and adapted to the sleeveless block.
Next time we’ll have more fabric to play with, and will make a fuller skirt. For now though, Daughter No2 is very happy with her new dress. Will the weather gods please let us have some sun so she can wear it??
What didn’t I plan you ask? Well, I knew what I wanted to make, knew what fabric from my overflowing stash to use, knew I had loads of thread. Assumed that in the zip box there would be a long enough red or white invisible zip. A-HA therein lies the lack of planning. I never checked said zip-box. And no-one in my little rural market town sells invisible zips!
So I have no finished red dress to show. But I do have a pinned-down-the-back red dress…. Want to see?
And the pinned back…
So the lesson is: As Husband would say, “Assume makes an ass out of you and me”. Yup. I have to get onto Jaycotts and buy zips!! Am I the only one who gets all excited about making something, only to fall at a simple hurdle, like non-existent zips?
Oh boy, I’ve not been good at updating, have I? 1 000 apologies. I even missed a milestone! This little blog was one whole year old on the 27th June! I missed it. 😦
So here’s what I’m working on for Daughter No2 at the moment. It’s not a pincushion, or a totebag. It’s a dress! YAY! We’d seen this dress on Modcloth over a year ago, and liked the panels on the bodice, so we pinned it for future reference. I managed finally to get the pattern cut last weekend, and got to make the toiles this weekend!
Here’s what the bodice section looks like in a plain fabric:
And here’s the nice stuff all cut out and ready for tailor tacking! I really hope to get it made up tomorrow, so fingers crossed there are no visitors! 😀 The fabric is a John Kaldor stretch cotton sateen print in red and white that I bought in Derby from Tatler Fabrics. I only had 1.5m, so the skirt on this dress will just be a simple A-line, rather than anything fuller. But I have a feeling I might be making more than one version of this, so stick around to see variations on the skirt.
And a close-up of all those bodice panel pieces….
So I’ll see you tomorrow with the finished garment and someone with a biiig grin on her face! Let’s just hope it isn’t raining for the photos..
Daughter no2 is doing a Diploma in Catering and Hospitality at Gloucester College alongside her normal school GCSE’s, and part of that course is an Extended Project. The students can choose anything for their topic, then they research and report. This is a big project. So, doing a catering diploma, you’d have thought she’d go for something food related. Nope. The title of her project is:
” What is the perfect prom dress for my body shape?”
So to answer that question she has researched body types, we have drawn round her and joined dots so she can recognise her shape. She has looked up all the do’s and dont’s and on top of that, looked into the colours that suit her, all to make sure she comes up with the perfect dress. She designed 10 dresses and then whittled them down to one, using the criteria she’d researched.
These two sketches had the main things she liked, the fishtail, the floaty draped fabric and the one shoulder.
Here is the final sketch, not the one for the project, this was done quickly by her at the fabric shop, because in our wisdom we’d left the “real” one at home that day… The proper one is in her sketch book, safe and sound!
Once she was happy with her design, I set about making the pattern. Using the one piece dress block I adapted it to the lingerie block to get rid of excess ease. We went for a panelled dress so we could add as much volume to the hemline as possible. The fullness comes from the knee. After the first toile there were only minor alterations to do, one was for a sway-back. Also the dress needed to be tighter from the hip to the knee. There was a certain amount of excess in the top edge which needed to be removed too.
This is the final toile. I made it up in a navy and black shot polyester taffeta so she’d get a real sense of how the final dress would look. I put her in some proper shoes and got her to prance around the garden in her pinned-together dress!
The final dress will be in a crepe backed satin, in a teal or blue/green sort of colour, possibly with a purple chiffon or georgette drape from the shoulder to waist, caught in a belt and flowing to the floor. The crepe backed satin will have some body so it will hold the shape of the skirt well, and I might need to re-inforce it with some horse-hair braid. You’ll have to look again next June to see the final outcome! 😀
Here we are, “P-Day”!! I got all garments finished last night, and all have been well received! So here they are, in no particular order…
Daughter No 2:
I used a turquoise and white floral print cotton and some vintage white lace with a heart design for the shorts, pattern cut from the trouser block. I used Ann Hagar this time, as I hadn’t used a block form her book yet. It was interesting… I have drafted so many trouser blocks from Winnifred Aldrich, and Ms Hagar does hers so completely differently! The top is drafted from the close-fitting bodice block, fullness added at the centre front and back and darts left un-sewn, naturally. The fabric is white cotton poplin, again with the vintage lace. To identify the fronts and back, I sewed on a small length of white ribbon to the front of the shorts to tie in a little bow. The top has a grouping of sequins and beads.
Daughter no 2 is presently re-re-re-reading the Twilight series, and is halfway through Breaking Dawn. The whole series has been very popular with her and her sister.
Daughter no 1:
For these pyjamas I used black cotton jersey for the top, with a length of black crochet trim from my ribbon box. The pattern was drafted from the close fitting bodice block again, with pleats added to the front neckline at 2cm intervals to add fullness. On reflection, I could make these wider than the 2cm I used, bit for now they’re fine. This top took a while to get right, as the trim needed much manipulation to take the various curves!! She is so pleased with it she’d like more – to wear out! In public! 😀
The shorts are made from a black, white and red cotton print left over from lining a handbag… The black lace with little circles matched the print quite nicely, and is also from my stash, and is a piece of vintage stuff I got from the Ironbridge Victorian Village a few years ago. Leave it to me to find the teeny tiny sewing shop!!
Daughter isn’t reading fiction at the moment. It’s crunch time for finishing A-level coursework and projects, so her reading material is for her Art coursework and her Extended Project Qualification.
And me…. I used a black and white paisley print cotton I liberated from a student at a fabric swap we had at our Sewing Sunday at the beginning of April for the trousers, and black cotton jersey for the top. I haven’t added any lace or other trims. The trousers were adapted from the trouser block from Winnie Aldrich, but for the top I had to use a Burda pattern. Just not enough time! I used Style no 113/4 from Burda 12/2008.
The top has pleats on the curved front neckline and raglan sleeves. Because I had no trim I used the overlock stitch on my sewing machine to make a little “picot” edge on all the jersey hems.
The pleats on the top make it really comfortable, and not too full. 10/10! Thanks Burda!
Natalie Bray is on the list because I want a new jacket pattern and I fancy a Kimono sleeve. She has the best instructions! Paper, Metal & Stitch is just to get some creative juices flowing.. I never have any time to actually play with this stuff! Hope you all have a fabulous pyjama party, and thanks to Karen for being such a great hostess!!