Help Wanted

Twill weave silk

I’m a little stuck.  I have 1.9m of this gorgeous lime and turquoise fabric, and I just cannot decide what to make with it.  It was the end of the roll in the shop, so I couldn’t leave it there, it was just too beautiful.

So I need help.  I had thought of a cowl neck dress – or a kimono sleeve top – or an empire line – or a skirt of some sort…   I don’t want to cut it on the bias though.   I just don’t want it to join the rest of the silks in the cupboard, waiting for me to decide what to make with them.  You know the feeling – you buy something because it is beautiful, and then cannot bring yourself to cut it up and make something just in case it isn’t quite right, and then it’s all been for nothing.

So I await your comments….  🙂

Lime and turquoise silk

Liberty Dress

Another project done!  😀  I have finished putting together the Liberty Dress, at long last!  Many things conspired against me this week, but there you go, that’s life!

Inspiration picture - dress from Anthropologie
Reception Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the exact same pattern as the Reception Dress, see how the different weight fabrics affect the hang of the skirt – as well as not having the copious amounts of tulle underneath! All three fabrics are Liberty Tana Lawn, the dress is lined with a white cotton lawn.  I interfaced the upper sections with Gill Arnold‘s polyester fine sheer fusible for strength, but again like the Reception Dress, I didn’t bone the bodice.

So here are the shots of the finished garment, I’d love to hear what you think…

Liberty Dress
Liberty Dress
Liberty Dress

Quick Missoni Dress-Top

A piece of fabric practically jumped into my hands a little while ago while all I was supposed to be getting was a zip…  On the remnants table at Fred Winter was this 60cm piece of ex-Missoni knit fabric.  I couldn’t leave it there, could I??

Missoni knit fabric

You can just make out the cutting lines in this picture, I halved daughter no 2’s measurements and took 10% off the bust.  As this is a stretch knit we didn’t want anything to fall down!  Then I added to the hip measurement so the top/dress would flare out nicely toward the hem.  Next I cut along the fold and overlocked the sides together.  The top edge was overlocked too and then I turned under a casing for the elastic.  This I used a twin needle to do, not having mastered the coverstitch on my overlocker just yet…  Then I cut the straps off an old bra that had a matching colour to the stripes and sewed them on, daughter no 2 didn’t fancy any wardrobe malfunctions!  I used the zigzag selvage for the hem, it just needed some tidying up, but I think it looks great!

The Selvage as Hem

And this is the finished product!

Missoni Knit Dress
Missoni Knit Dress

Reception Dress

What a hectic week it’s been!  Summer holidays are here and between that and getting our house ready to put on the market I have been away from my sewing machine far too much!  Daughter no 1 needed a dress to wear to a wedding reception this weekend.  We had planned to alter a dress she already had, but I did a foolish thing.

I made the toile of the dress pattern based on this dress, and she fell in love with the shape.  “This would look great in that fabric with the brown roses….. Can I have that for the reception??”  Needless to say there was much fluttering of eyelashes going on and puppy-dog eyes.  Of course I gave in!

Reception Dress

The fabric is a decent weight cotton with a very slight stretch.  I used a cotton poplin for the lining of the bodice, and an acetate for the skirt as I wanted it to be light and not stick to stockings, if she wore them.  We wanted more of a 50’s silhouette to go with the pattern on the fabric, so I added width to the skirt and gathered more.  The lining skirt is much fuller, with a layer of fine tulle to hold the outer skirt out.

From the Back

The pattern itself was quick to adapt.  I started with a fitted bodice block and converted it to the lingerie block.  I drew on the lines for the midriff and skirt and cut these off.  I closed the darts and blended the upper and lower seamlines.  For the skirt I lengthened it first, then added side flare from the hem to the hip.  Then I divided each skirt into 3 and cut and spread on these lines.  The straps were rectangles that I double turned on the sides and pleated at the ends to make them prettier.

Strap Detail

I have cut out the Liberty fabric this dress was going to be in first, so that will be the next finished project, and you can compare the two finished items.

I think she likes it…  :p

Ready for the Party

Sweet Disposition

Liberty Knot Dress

Here we go, the Knot Dress has a new image!  Imagine the difference there would be if this were made in a plain linen…  Perhaps that’s the next job.  So, here it is – made up in the Liberty Tana Lawn I bought yesterday at Fred Winter in Stratford.  What do we think??

Happy Customer

I used French seams throughout, there is an invisible zip in the centre back seam and I bound the neck and armhole edges with self-bias.   I turned in 5mm on the hem before turning up 3cm, and machine stitched.  It was actually easier making this version than the toile, simply because the fabric was so much less bulky. I like the little tucks in the back. There are two 5cm long tucks to catch in the bulk of the fabric and stop it from being too tent-like.  I am glad I removed the extra fullness in the centre front, it definitely wasn’t needed.

Bow and Knot Detail

I encourage you to give it a go if you are so inclined, the pattern wasn’t hard to draft.  There are lots of little things to do on it, so just keep focus otherwise you will lose your place!  Overall, I am really pleased, as is daughter no 2!

Knot Dress

Hello, my name is Anne, and I am a fabric addict

So there I was, waiting for the sewing repair man to open, and I thought I’d check out a little fabric shop in Kenilworth.  Linda Harper’s is on the High St (opposite Sainsbury’s), nothing to shout about from the outside.  I hadn’t been there in years, and wasn’t even sure if it was still there.  Once inside I realised I had made a terrible mistake!  There was no way I was getting out without buying something!!  They have their cotton fabrics all grouped in colour order, then the linens, then the silks, you get where I am going…  Wool and fleeces are in a different room.  The temptation was ENORMOUS!!

So this is what I absolutely had to have before leaving.  I was still looking for something for the Knot Dress, wouldn’t you know it, but nothing in my stash was right.  I am not going to use any of these for the dress either, but I know they will come in handy one day!  I figure they will make perfect vintage garments, they have that vibe.

Vintage feel cotton fabrics

Fixed sewing machine and overlocker in the boot, I head home, via Stratford.  I have run out of calico, so headed to Fred Winter.  Once again, a very dangerous maneuver!  I added to the calico some vibrant red batik, which will be perfect for a 60’s dress pattern I got from Etsy last month, and a rather interesting Liberty print – which I think is the fabric for the Knot Dress.

Liberty Tana Lawn and Red Cotton Batik

What do you think??

Playing with paper

Pattern Magic - Tying a Bow

I have finally got the bodice blocks drafted and adjusted.  This morning, with the damp and dreary conditions outside, I decided would be the day – the Magic day!  I have adapted bodice blocks drafted from Winnifred Aldrich to the style of the block in Pattern Magic.  Now I am having a brilliant an interesting time playing with the adaptations.  I really want to get the toile finished by school pick up time!!  Here are some pics of the patternwork in progress today.

Front bodice adaptations - tying a knot

Front is marked up with the pleat and the slash lines, just needs the skirt for the dress.

Slashing the front open

Skirt added, lines slashed and armhole dart closed.  There is an 8cm gap between all the slash points.

Dress front complete

Just look at the size of that monster!  I recon this is going to take quite a bit of calico.

Back bodice adaptation - tying a knot

The back is much simpler.

On the subject, I notice Amazon UK have another book by Nakamichi Tomoko, Pattern Magic:  Cut and Sewn.  I wonder how long it will be until this is available in English??

So now I just need to figure out how it all goes together.  Hopefully the toile plays ball  and there will be more photos later.

***   UPDATE   ***

Toile - Knot Dress

Toile complete!  I altered the pattern slightly, leaving off the pleat in the front, and adding a 6cm flare instead.  I think I might just leave this off too, as the front is wide enough!

Toile - Knot Dress

Daughter no 2 likes the style, but wants it more fitted in this weight fabric.  So I was thinking of making it in linen…  I will have to make it more fitted to the waist if I do it in linen, but apparently it won’t “be so bad” if I use a floaty fabric. I just may have something in my stash.

Toile - Knot Dress

I guess I am off to source some suitable fabric now!