Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Lacy Dress

I would have never believed I would sew this kind of dress. On the other hand, I bought the white eyelet in stock, so I must have had an idea for it, back then.

It is true that I got out of my comfort zone here and that I am not particularly sure I will have a lot of opportunities to wear this dress, but let's see.

The idea came out of a sudden, I was just browsing Burda's website in search of another dress when I saw 117-06/2017 and actually liked the idea. It is rather different from my usual go-to dress pattern and I have to admit the styling was quite cute.

I am not sure I completely understood all steps in the construction of this dress, but at some point of time I was no longer reading the instructions and was just doing what I wanted. There was a lot of shirring to do, and fortunately the eyelet was quite forgiving on the hem finishing - I just did a little zigzag, turned inside and topstitched. In this fabric, the topstitching is rather invisible so yay for a quick finish.

Of course, eyelet fabric means lining. I used a small piece of white silk on the dress body, leaving the sleeves as is. It adds a piece of luxury to this dress because is sooo soft on the inside.

And I do not think I have much to add to this, the dress was really simple and quick to make and just perfect for this year's extremely long indian summer(long gone now :o)

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Ponte - My New Love

Ok, this might seem obvious for many sewers, but I only discovered the beauty of sewing with ponte this year and honestly, I am in love!

I sewed most of the tango outfits for my sister with ponte, then made 2 Nettie dresses for myself and just thinking about what I could make again. I bought another meter of so of antracite ponte, thinking I would definitely find a nice structured pattern to make and, worst case scenario, I can still sew another Nettie :o) And you know, grey is such a great neutral I will always wear.

It is funny I am saying that: for years I did not own a single grey item because I learned I was an "autumn type" and thought grey was not for myself. Later on, I saw some great pics of red-headed models in grey clothing and just loved the contrast and I figured out it is all about the right shade of grey, so today I am a big fan; I can even make it the whole week wearing grey to work.

After some research, I re-discovered the NewLook 6000 which I sewed a few years back in a non-stretch wool suiting (never made to the blog because I did not line the dress and the fabric was too fine and showed basically all the bumps, so well, I never really wore that dress).
But in ponte, that was another story: I adjusted the pattern to make up for the stretch of the ponte (basically did a cross between the NewLook and the Nettie) and then whipped up the dress in no time.

The dress is less hip-hugging than my netties, so more work-friendly, it is extremely comfy, kind of a secret pyjama and still looks great with jackets. It is a wardrobe basic with a little twist (or pleats) so a big winner because i know I will wear such a dress a lot.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

My First Coat

Ok I must admit that 2018 has been a year of new sewing skills' learning. A lot! Shirt dress: check, jersey: check, more jersey: check, new jackets: check. And nooooow: A COAT!

Yes, it is true, I have sewed a coat for myself and it did not even hurt. I started thinking about coat sewing last year when I made my cape which made me realize that coat wools are actually a great pleasure to sew and that a coat might probably not be such a hurdle. I bought some black thick wool which I am still squirrelling for a new winter coat, but I also found this aubergine wool blend last year during the 50% off days at Marché St. Pierre. The main reason this coupon was there is that there was only 1.5m of fabric, so probably not enough for most people. Not me though: I figured that could work if I go for some simple pattern and I was totally right.

In addition, I have this old blue coat bought years ago at Mango, mostly polyester, the wrong colour and way too large for me which I was keeping for one simple reason, I did not have anything to replace it. Now, I am soo happy that now I can donate it because I have just created a great the replacement.

My main inspiration were these two coats worn by Kate Middleton.

In particular, the bordeaux one ;o) Of course, it does not make much sense for me to have a coat as adjusted as Kate, contrary to her, I may wear thick sweaters or jackets under it and also, I do not have her slim figure either. But I loved the simplicity and the collar, oh yes, the collar!

I could not find any pattern which would be an exact copy, but quite liked Burda 109-09/2016, so I fugerd out I could just extend the collar, sew a muslin and just go for it. And it worked perfectly.

The sewing itself took some time for several reasons:
- I took time to interface all the pieces, including the sleeves; I also made sleeve heads and inserted the shoulder pads and I certainly do not regret this effort
- I was totally stressed by the one-side welt pockets, as I did not have any fabric left once everything was cut out, so no space for errors. Once again, teh sewing community came to the rescue, I read like 4 different tutos, sewed one practice welt pocket to make sure I understood everything, then just took a deep breath and sewed both pockets at once. Nailed it!

- originally I wanted to use some black silk as lining, but once I saw how good the coat looked, I wanted to make the effort and have something different. So the coat waited for a week till I had time to go fabric shopping and bought this lining.

- since the welt pockets were a success, I decided I wanted all the details which were not planned initially: piping between the shell and the lining and an etiquette embroidered with my name in Japanese; something most people will never see but I just love them

Anyhow, this is becoming a rather long story, so for a short summary, the coat cost me around 45 euros and 18 hours of work.
I love the result and the fun I had sewing it. Had I not have an order for a special x-mas present, I would probably be sewing a second one already.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Ginkgo Dress

You know the moment when you find an amazing fabric and you just need to have something made from it! I am not a big fan of fabric internet shopping, but this year I made two rather big orders at Bennytex and I was very positively surprised by the quality of the fabric and its resemblance to the pictures. Not talking about the speed of delivery, because each of the times, the delivery took maybe only 2-3 days. They also have a lot of information about the fabrics, including weight and the pictures are really good.

Sooo, the ginkgo fabric is honestly my new love. It falls perfectly to the category of "black with something", yet, no flowers, the ginkgo leaves are rather subtle and pleasant for the eye. It is a viscose peach-skin, so extremely soft and it behaved rather correctly when sewing.

The only default of Bennytex is that you cannot order by half meter, so I had to take 2m of this beauty. In addition, they are rather generous on cutting, so you end up with more than that :o)

I was convinced I absolutely wanted an autumn dress which I pictured in my head but could not find anything like that on Pinterest. But Burda saved me again this year. I found the dress 110-08/2018 this summer and thought that it was exactly what I wanted to make from the fabric. There are two similar models of flowy shirt-dresses in the September issue as well, so I suppose it is the current trend and for once I do follow ;o)

I sewed up and modified a muslin, because I did not want to ruin my precious fabric and I was afraid of the wrap style being too low. Then everything went rather smoothly.

I was in an intense sewing period after my vacation and I think I sewed this up in just a few days (while still going to work, training for a marathon etc). I made to sure to stabilize the collar part, used burrito method on the shirt yoke and I must say I love this dress.

It fits right, changes from my standard silhouette, the wrap is there but not opening at any point and it is just a secret pyjama. Of course, it looks better with heels, otherwise I would just feel like actually wearing PJs.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Revenge on the Wrap Dress Story

Wrap dress - an unattainable graal? After many attempt, I managed to sew one, rather OK. But I am still not convinced it is the best make I have ever done.
So I thought, maybe a wrap dress is really only doable in stretch jersey and maybe I just should do like everybody else, brace up and sew with jersey :o)

When ordering fabric for the tango sewing madness, I put in the cart a few knits for me as well. Especially this black cotton jersey, which was in the end one of the most stretchy ones. Also, black can always be used, right?

Then one day, it occurred to me: I should go back to the Burda 107-09/ 2015 model which I attempted 2 years ago from a non-stretch material.
Of course, it was a complete disaster back then, the dress is designed with negative ease, so I could not even put it on. But now - things have changed, let's try it again.

And so I tried it again and it worked pretty well. Well, I must admit that I almost completely redrafted the shoulder area to match it to the Nettie dress and shortened the sleeves and I was right to do it. The fit is much better like this. I struggled little bit with the facing because it was rolling up and outside constantly, so I had to attach it on several places.
It looks strange on the dress form, but fits much better on me. IMHO, there are too many seams for such a stretchy fabric, as they tend to pop up little bit.

Apart from that, I finally have a cute false wrap dress to wear which looks almost the same as the model in Burda :o)

Saturday, 13 October 2018

My First Shirt Dress

This is one of the great exemples of why I am sewing and wear what I sew: in my whole life I have found one, maybe two RTW shirts which were actually my size, i.e. fitting in the shoulder area, with breast space around my breast and waist line on my waist. My biggest fitting issue are always too large shoulders (and believe me, I do NOT have extremely narrow shoulders, I am just small in general) and a short torso, mainly between shoulders and breasts.

So having a shirt dress was just a wish, I could not even dream of becoming reality :o)

Throw in Butterick 6333, some fabric and some of my time and here we go, I have a perfectly fitting shirt dress which I love! I have bought this pattern some time ago already, but somehow did not get to sewing it, what a pity...

 Of all the shirt dress patterns, I chose this one because of the princess seams (aka easy fitting) and the fact that it is supposed to come in petite sizes as well.

Well, that one was a disappointment. There are actually no special petite adjustments on the pattern, apart from the skirt length. It is even missing the usual "shorten/lengthen here" lines. Therefore I did my usual adjustments on the length and everything worked ok.

I used a remnant of some stripy wool blend and I had just enough of the fabric to cut this dress, while being careful on stripe "matching". I even cut out the cuffs, but did not use them in the end, I prefer the look of the simple sleeves.

The wool is not so soft on the inside and I was afraid it was not stiff enough, so I interfaced it with a black coton-silk voile which worked magic, as usual; thisis really my secret weapon. It has added just the right amount of body for the skirt. The insides are probably not so perfect as I am used to, actually, I did not want to put in a lining (not sure if it is something to do with a shirtdress) and I was not quite sure on the seam finishing, knowing that there were 2 layers of fabric.

The dress has pockets which is always a nice feature and has this serious/cute vibe.

Seriously, I cannot understand why I have not sewn it earlier, I was probably scared by the shirt/collar thing, maybe the number of buttonholes. Whatever. When checking the pics, I am just thinking I need another one!

Friday, 5 October 2018

Yet Another Nettie

Ok, so not only I am late to this party but also I am totally in love with this pattern. And I totally do not care that I have just created a complete copy of my black Nettie dress. Honestly, this is just such a great pattern in its simplicity and rapidity of sewing. I am just amazed how such a basic dress fits so perfectly to my wardrobe. It works with everything and you can just accessorize it, as necessary. And yes, my favourite season (autumn) has just started with all the scarves, hats, coats etc.

So I wanted to create my 2nd Nettie in this lila ponte. I originally bought it for my sister and sewed this skirt from it and when ordering I added one meter for myself. Once I have tested the black Nettie dress, I was pretty sure that I would make another one.

For this version I undid the modifications on the first one, meaning I came back to the original pattern and actually it fits just right no, so a big win! The ponte is stretchy but quite stable, so I can feel the fit issues of the black one when I put it on.

Well, I do not think I have much to add now: the colour is amazing, the fit is great and I just love the result!!!

Just wondering how many Netties I can have in my wardrobe before anyone remarks I am constantly wearing the same dress ?