What I made in 2012 – Colette Chantilly Dress

It’s finally done! I started this dress in the spring of 2012, put it all together in the summer of 2012 and hemmed the bottom of the skirt in…2013. Last week actually, but still the majority of it was made in 2012 (I wish my pictures weren’t so fuzzy, if you click on them they’re clearer).

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I used Anna Maria Horner’s Diamond Mine Voile in Citrus Crush. Something about this fabric said “make me in a Chantilly Dress“. I’m really proud of this dress, it’s my first fully lined dress and I’m pleased with the way the top stitching and gathers turned out.

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I used a very lightweight loosely woven cotton that I bought at an ethnic Indian fabric store in the Toronto area. You may notice that some Indian men wear turbans as part of their faith, and the fabric that they use is a very lightweight cotton known as malmal/mulmul. It’s also used as lining for sari blouses. It’s very inexpensive (2-3$ a yard/meter) and breathable. I use the stuff all the time take a look:

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A fair warning though – this fabric really frays and the loose weave of the fabric also means that when gathered with the top fabric it creates volume, but this is something you might want depending on the type of skirt your dress has. In this case it makes my dress very lovely and floaty.

I’m so glad it’s all done!

What I made in 2012 – Colette Sorbetto Top

Here is the next installment of my 2012 project: It’s the infamous Colette Sorbetto top. So many reasons to love this pattern – It’s free, it’s quick, it’s easy and it uses minimal fabric.

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The fabric was a scrap (poly) piece my mother had left over from many years ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if this fabric is older than I am. I think I used less fabric than the recommended amount, that’s how great this pattern is.

All the inside seams were sewn as french seams, and I made the bias binding out of some leftover purple poly scraps – a real pain because the bias strips were slipping all over the place.

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This top’s gotten a decent amount of wear – it’s great with cardigans and it’s a perfect beginners project. I’m planning on making a few more for 2013.

Till next time!

What I made in 2012 – Colette Patterns Crepe Dress

I just came to the realization that in the hustle and bustle of 2012, I’ve barely shared anything I’ve made for myself on this blog so for the next few weeks I’ll be posting hand-made additions to my wardrobe.

Here’s one of my favorites, the Colette Patterns Crepe dress, I just love everything about it!

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This was the fourth dress I ever made and it was a confidence booster. I made two bodice muslins and ended up cutting a size 8. I followed along with Gertie’s Crepe Sew-Along and used her instructions to do a horizontal tuck¬† on the pattern to remove excess fabric from the bodice because it was too long for me. Sewing it up was a dream, the pattern instructions were great and the fabric (gauzy linen/rayon blend) was very easy to work with.

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I cut the facings out of a peach-ish cotton (so it wouldn’t show through on the other side) and catch-stitched them all by hand. The instructions call for simple tacks but I am not a fan of flappy facings.

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The dress is unlined so I finished my inside seams with rayon seam binding, I really love this stuff – so soft and smooth.

I love the pattern, I can’t wait to make it again with the sweetheart neckline in a solid fabric. You like it?

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After I sent these off in the mail to Teresa, I got some goodies of my own!

I bought the Carry Me book, some of you might remember I reviewed it a while ago. It really is the best bag making book I’ve come across and I’d like to make some more from it. I also purchased the newly released Stylish Dress Book, it has some pretty cute casual designs. I can’t wait to make my Juniper pants, I’m a pants (especially wide-leg!) girl so imagine my delight when they released this pattern! The thread is from Pick Your Plum, I paid 10$ for all those spools (each has over 300 m of thread). I can’t really attest to its quality since I haven’t used it but if anything it’ll do for hand-basting and muslin-sewing.

I’m not done yet…


Look at my sweet new stash! I’ve some lovely black featherwale courduroy (yes, Juniper pants!), a Valori Wells cotton spandex knit, yellow t-shirt knit, striped rayon ponti de roma knit and some coral jersey!

It’s going to be a busy sewing season this fall!

Transferring Dart Markings from Pattern to Fabric – Tutorial

I mentioned last time that I was working on Colette’s Crepe pattern, and so far it’s coming along all thanks to Gertie’s Sew-Along posts! I’ll have more construction details later but I thought I’d share a tip about how I transfer my pattern dart markings to paper because I’m really not a fan of thread tracing (but I will do it if I have to) and I don’t always feel like using tailor’s tacks and I haven’t used a tracing wheel/carbon paper yet so this has been working for me so far! Before I begin, let me just highlight that I always work from a tracing of the original patterns, and you may wish to as well if you’re using this method and don’t want to damage the original pattern. Let’s begin:

Here is my traced copy of the bodice pattern and you can see it has bust and under bust darts.

I snip one side of the dart marking, usually the right side, all the way up to the tip and stop there.

Then I lift the flap that I’ve just created and fold it to the left.

I repeat the process with the bust dart and I’m ready to trace onto the fabric.

Wanna see it in action? Alright, let’s do it again!

Here’s the traced pattern with the cut fabric pinned underneath (ignore the other markings – I make a mess of my patterns, just focus on the dart)

Snip n’ fold!

Trace it! (preferably with a Halloween themed pencil, lol)

and….voila!

I can’t emphasize how important it is to keep your fabric pinned to your pattern while you’re doing this, it keeps everything in place so you don’t end up with a wonky marking. Pattern weights (or your preferred substitute) are great for keeping the dart flap firmly on one side as you trace. Feel free to share your tips and tricks for transferring pattern markings!