The Honeymoon Dress

Last time I posted my anniversary dress, but this week I’ll backtrack a little bit and show you my honeymoon dress. This was one of those last minute projects that I picked up while I was in the middle of so many other projects. I didn’t make a mock up, I just cut into my pattern and into my fabric as soon as I could. Sometimes the sewing daimon just gets you like that and you can’t resist.

McCalls M6070 Body

I used the same OOP McCalls M6070 that I blogged about in my very first post (blogged here) and a very slinky and easy to sew poly-knit fabric. The pattern was a breeze,  although I modified the way the waistband was sewn together. I wore this on my honeymoon and the dress was very much admired by my husband and other city folk. It is the easiest thing to wear and it’s very flattering. The ruching on the sleeves make it look very feminine, while the tie in the back ensures the shoulders don’t slip off inadvertently. As you can tell, I’m still learning how to play around with this nicer camera.

McCalls M6070 Front

McCalls M6070 Back

In other news, have you seen Liberty’s new collection? It’s inspired by one of my all time favorite poems by William Morris, “This Earthly Paradise” (you can read it here), the opening lines of which always leaves me in tears. The fabric collection however, fortunately (from a  mental health point of view) or unfortunately, (from a money point of view) does not.

Have a wonderful day!

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Liberty Sureau Anniversary Dress

I haven’t forgotten sewing or my blog or your blogs, I’ve just been out and about but now I’m back.

I made my first Deer and Doe Sureau dress with some of the Liberty Tana Lawn I bought in London. I think Deer and Doe is fast becoming my favorite sewing pattern company because I just love everything about this dress (and their blog!). I used Anna from Paunnet’s Sureau Sew-Along (which was very helpful). I didn’t have to make any adjustments to size, but the neckline was a little too deep and slightly gaping. So I used Anna’s trick, and also took a tuck out of the neckline as well. I made two bodice muslins before I cut into my Tana Lawn. I didn’t line this dress because I don’t like so many layers in summer. I finished this dress at midnight just 6 hours before we had to head to the airport. Here’s are some (headless) pictures of the dress in action (it is a little wrinkly in the pictures) on the Hollywood walk of fame! I got compliments on the dress and the print! I left out the buttons but I may add them later on.

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If you want to adjust the neckline, you can do what I did. In addition to straightening out the shoulder line (be mindful of seam allowances please!) as Anna posted, I took a small tuck from the neckline that eventually tapered into a point, a tiny dart from the front bodice.

Sureau Bodice Front

From the back I did the corresponding shoulder adjustment, and also shaded in the area that I would need to cut out for the neckline (see red circle) as it had to match up with the front bodice shoulder line. As usual, I had to redraft my facings with the new adjustments but that’s easy.

Sureau Bodice Back

For the next few days I’ll be catching up on all my favorite sewing blogs and seeing what you guys were doing!

 

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 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?

Dressing like a Celebrity: Oscar Top Ten

It’s time for the obligatory Oscar style post.

I mostly watch the Oscars for the clothing (but I think I watched most of the movies nominated this year! I’m addicted to the movies) and I think this year was the best dressed Oscars in a long time! Most years I can’t really relate to the dresses out there, they’re too revealing (or just plain wacky) but this year was different! There were dresses I could actually see myself wearing (if I could afford them and/or sew them myself). Here’s my top ten:

1.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy with her Oscar!

So stunning!

Guys, this was my all time favorite outfit, I just loved it, the color, the embroidery/applique, her shoes (oh I just love Sharmeen’s shoes). I’d probably do without the jewels on the arms and add sleeves but I just went ga-ga over this. I want it (and I don’t know who the designer is).

2.

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

I love the semi-cowl neck and cap sleeves on this dress, such easy elegance! I’ve never really liked the dropped waist look on myself so I’d probably want the bodice to sit higher at the natural waist.

3.

Louise Roe in Black Halo, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

I really really love this little suit-skirt outfit, it has a very 1940’s feel to it, the belt and matching clutch finish it off so nicely. I’ve got to sew something like this one day!

4.

Berenice Bejo in Elie Saab, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

I have to admit, I didn’t really think much of this dress on Oscar night, but when I saw it in the pictures the next morning I was blown away. It’s such a modern gown with just a touch of  the 1930’s silhouette.

5.

Shailene Woodley in Valentino Couture, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

Ooooh maxi dress! I love it, it’s like a futuristic tribute to the 1970’s (make sense? doesn’t matter, maxi dresses always win).

6.

Melissa McCarthy in Marina Rinaldi, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

So very Grecian! I just love this dress and the floaty pink chiffon colour is so dreamy, imagine walking around in that all day. I think I’d shorten the sleeves just a bit though.

7.

Maya Rudolph in Johanna Johnson, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

I LOVE the color and the cap sleeves. The embellished back bodice would be such a pretty sari blouse.

8.

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

I can’t really see myself in this but Michelle Williams looked so elegant that I just had to include her in this post. I love everything this woman wears.

9.

Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

Octavia Spencer looked stunning, I just loved everything about her outfit. The dress is so flattering and her accessories were so balanced. She was the best dressed celebrity!

10.

Meryl Streep in Lanvin, courtesy of StyleBistro.com

This dress I loved, not so much for the color but for the style. Why?

Because I have a similar sewing pattern in my collection! It’s a  Retro Butterick (B5152) reproduction of an original pattern from 1948, see?!

Who knew?! Meryl and I have similar tastes!

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!

First blog post and two completed dresses!

I’m so excited to be posting my first entry! To celebrate I thought I’d share two projects I recently completed for a client of mine who is also the model for my pictures. She has a total hourglass figure and sewing for her was such a pleasure as the finished dresses drape so beautifully on her! As always, I followed the steps in sewing patterns and they were easy as pie. This was also my first time sewing with polyester knit fabric, I’ve always been wary of knits because I don’t have a serger yet but I’m not afraid anymore! Hemming was kind of tricky because polyester knit’s aren’t easy to press and they keep rolling around under the presser foot, so I used fusible hem tape  before finishing the hems and I highly recommend it to others.

The first one is McCalls M6070. I made this for her to wear to her niece’s baptism. I made minor changes by using a single piece of  2 inch elastic in the midriff waistband casing instead of two 1/4 inch pieces at the top and bottom of the band like the pattern called for.

Don’t you just love the way the design details on her shoes match perfectly with the print? It really complements her dress!

And the second one was for the same client, I used New Look 6936 and a polyster knit print (so easy to sew!) You can’t see it but I added a satin ribbon casing on the inside of the waistband for added comfort.

All images property of Beautifully Sewn, 2011

Her pose reminds me of a 1950’s model, so classic!

And there you have it, my first foray into beautiful sewing with knit polyester fabric!

Stay tuned for more projects, tips, and tutorials (there is one currently underway). I know its a bit bare at the moment but I’ll add some more stuff in the coming days. Thanks for stopping by!

Please don’t distribute my images without acknowledging me and my blog. I don’t mind if you like my work and want to show others but  just credit me and link back to the original post, please and thank you.