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!

 

The Seam Method of Pattern Alteration

I had originally planned for a final post on items I’d made in 2012 but my husband was playing around with the camera and accidentally deleted the pictures so I will have to save that for a later date (I know, it’s nearly 5 months into 2013 and I’m still talking about 2012 clothes).

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I’ve been in a sewing rut lately, It’s not so unproductive as I’ve been quilting and needlepointing while I figure out my next few garment makes. I had originally planned to start the Colette Violet blouse (I traced my pattern out and prepped my muslin fabric) but I’m wary of all the alterations I need to do on it as I don’t like the boxy fit and it runs a little large and short I hear. In the meantime I’ve been researching and writing down all the possible alterations I may need to do for it.

Fablous Fit
A few months ago I picked up this book at the local library sale for 50 cents. Fabulous Fit by Judith Rasband is all about the Seam Method of Pattern Alteration. The premise of the book is that the slash and spread and pivot methods cause distortions in the pattern that create many more problems, so Judith shows us (with many interesting illustrations) how to make precise changes to the seamline of the pattern. If you want more information, check out this article from the Threads magazine website.  The book is a little dated in it’s advice on body shapes and types and I don’t  necessarily agree with the generalizations about body type, but it does have great advice for common fitting problems and I like the illustrations.

I can’t say if this fitting method is better or worse than other methods because I don’t often have to do pattern alterations other than a sway back adjustment or transitioning between different sizes, but I do have broad shoulders and as this garment has sleeves and is not a knit pattern I may have to make some adjustments.

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Here is the adjustment advised by the book. My only concern is that is appears to have shortened the armscye in the front (I don’t know if you can see it but the zigzag lines indicate pattern overlap, whereas white spaces indicate spreading), which may create another set of problems as I set in my sleeves. I could try the method Sunni demonstrates and see where that takes me.

To fix the boxy fit of the top I will likely add  double pointed darts, this is my mother’s favorite way of fitting a garment.

What do you guys advise?  Do you have a preferred alteration method and why?

Liberty and Minoru

It’s been a little quiet here lately because we went to London and Paris for a little break, and it was absolutely lovely. It was my first time in London and it truly is such a wonderful place to visit. Each big city has it’s own culture and vibrancy and I love feeling like I’m part of it, even if only for a little while. Only 2 days back and I miss hearing “mind the gap” or “doors will open on the right/left hand side” – Londoners, you guys have an amazing public transportation system! I can’t wait to visit again!

I also made the expected pilgrimage for any sewist visiting London – to Liberty of London on Regent Street and came back with some lovely treats! Tana Lawn (well actually I bought this from the infamous Shaukats – they’re licensed to sell Liberty prints at slightly cheaper price) and an adorable little cross stitch kit by Jane Greenoff with a pattern for the Liberty of London building (a befitting souvenir for a stitcher – this was from Liberty though!). I really love that place (esp the 3rd floor!), I saw the most amazing sewing and crafting things (case in point have you seen Felicity Hall’s DIY handbag kits? On my wishlist!), it was like a little slice of crafting paradise! Back to the fabric, I admire my tana lawn daily, a little creepy I know but it’s so buttery soft and I love the prints! William Morris’ “Strawberry Thief” is one of my favorite classic textile prints.

Liberty treats!

The city of Paris is just so beautiful, and filled with such effortlessly fashionable people. It was chilly there so I was able to admire all the different styles of coats that I saw. I kept thinking “Oh I have to make that for myself!”, so while I didn’t do any fabric shopping in Paris I did get inspired! That’s not to say Londoners aren’t fashionable, they’re very fashionable and I loved reading the fashion magazines there,  but the weather was just too cold and unpredictable (snowstorms, wind, hail, and sunshine all in one day) to actually do as much detailed people watching as I did in Paris.

Before I left for Europe, I went into a last minute sewing frenzy to finish up what I started a year ago – my Minoru jacket! Well it’s complete and I can finally share it with you. I took the pics with a nicer camera (well, my husband took them) and I think they turned out so much nicer. I still have much to learn about proper photo styling though.

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The fabric was a durable poly cotton stretch twill, I really love it and I lined it in a red rayon lining. I followed Tasia’s Sew-Along and the instructions were very straightforward. I just love the little details, like the hidden collar hood zipper, the ruffled cuffs, the gathered collar and the elastic waist. I followed Amy from Sew Well’s instruction’s on adding side seam pockets (see the little sliver of red on the hip?), and lined the hood in my own way (I wasn’t happy with the look of sewing it right sides together and turning it inside out). FYI, I found that an 18 inch zipper was too small for the collar zipper, so I got a bigger one and shortened it myself.

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I also added the inside pockets but skipped adding velcro closures because I wasn’t sure if the lining could handle it. It probably could but I didn’t want to risk it. I love rayon lining, I’m not sure if its bemberg because it was super cheap and it seems a little lower quality but it still feels so great on my skin!

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I also used a little decorative stitching on the little hanging loop, It’s one of my favorite details! Ignore the horrible “stitch in the ditch” – for some reason my  fabric and lining collars and placket’s weren’t lining up so I had to cut some off the top of the lining and that is probably why I couldn’t actually find “the ditch”.

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I feel so productive!

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!

Jungle January – Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee

Alas I’ve succumbed to the madness that is Jungle January. After seeing animal print upon animal print over at Pretty Grievances, I knew that I too had to kick off 2013 with animal print. I had less than a yard of inexpensive poly knit fabric, just enough for the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee (another free and awesome pattern). This was going to be a wearable muslin because…

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…have any of you seen a print as hilariously ridiculous as this? There are leopard (cheetah?) spots, flaming paisleys and if that’s not enough for you, a light dusting of crocheted doilies. I must admit though, after wearing this “wearable muslin”, I actually liked it. I tried it on and was like “hey, it’s not so bad”. This is what Jungle January does to people.

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!