Thursday, 27 February 2014

Butterick 5699 See & Sew dress - Liberty and wool

Another week, another dress. Or two - this dressmaking thing is addictive I'm finding. I'm getting a bit worried about what I do with my already crammed wardrobe! I've had this particular pattern for a while, and was attracted by the wide waist yoke. I made it up first out of a Liberty Tana Lawn map print. The finishing isn't perfect. I was meant to topstitch everywhere, but after attempting the yoke, I gave up any more as my top stitching is a little wonky. Fortunately it doesn't really show on this too badly.

I tried to insert a zip - still not brilliant at this, but I sort of like the visible approach on this one.
But overall, it was a fun one to do.

I then decided to make it up out of a length of wool I've had for a long, long time.

There was just enough. I lined it with a purple, which looks read, but is purple!

And I think I prefer it in the wool:

It makes the fabulous design stand out far more.

I also used binding for the neckline to give a bit of contrast. So that's the latest in my dressmaking adventures.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Colette Peony - 2nd attempt! Dancing novelty retro fabric

This was my second attempt at the Colette Peony dress pattern, as I did love it, despite the fitting problems I mentioned. I fell in love with the fabric and bought it as a remnant. I decided this had to be a summer dress, so would leave the sleeves off. I'd fiddled endlessly with the muslin for my first Peony - I even cut a horizontal band, which is probably not the right way to do it, but I'm making it up a little as I get more comfortable with dressmaking. You can see what I mean about a horizontal band in this picture of my muslin for my first Peony.

This second dress came together very quickly, and I'm really pleased.

 I added the ricrac detail to the neckline:

And I'm still wondering whether to add a line above the hem.

I'll probably make another at some point, as the fit on this one, without sleeves, is much more comfortable. It is a lovely pattern, and very easy to follow.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Colette Peony - my attempt! Bodice fitting problems!

I was looking forward to trying this one, as I'd seen so many versions of it, and I'm pleased with the finished dress (shown here not hemmed and on my daughter), but I really struggled with it. I cut a muslin and fiddled with the bodice fit a lot. I hadn't a clue really how to do this, but I removed fabric here and there until it felt better, then I used the muslin to cut the fabric. I'd bought this fabric really cheaply, in the form of a pair of vintage curtains. It looks and feels like a Sanderson fabric to me - a kind of cotton duck, and it's been wonderful to work with. Here's the lining and outer bodice being lined up for the neckline, which I lowered a couple of centimetres - the pattern's version sits very high and I would have felt throttled.

It all went together beautifully. The Colette instructions were clear and easy to follow, and it's not a complicated dress to follow for a beginner dressmaker like me. Here's the sleeves being lined up:

And then in place...

The sleeve roll I made came in so usefully for ironing these awkward bits:

But my problem is the bodice still isn't right. I've added a couple of pretend darts, for want of a better term, either side of the proper darts, and that's removed a lot of the excess fabric. I know this isn't the right way to approach it, but I can't bear to unpick the whole dress. I think Colette dresses are made for far bustier women than me, from reading several reviews.

It's certainly a huge learning curve, this dressmaking! But I'm having a lot of fun with it!

Friday, 7 February 2014

First steps in dressmaking - first dress!

I finally finished my first dress (some time ago, but wanted to keep a record on my blog) - Simplicity 2886. I'm really pleased with it, but it was a bit of an ordeal, and not the right choice for a beginner to dressmaking. But I got there - it took around a year!

I love the fact it has a hidden side zip, and pockets. I also love the neckline.