Sunday, 31 July 2016

True And Tested

Both, fabric and the pattern. Actually, there is nothing new sewing-wise on this top, but the combination just works perfectly.

The fabric is a rest of eyelet cotton I used for this dress, underlined with lightweight silk. The pattern is Simplicity 6808, again already used here and here.

I was planning to sew a top from this eyelet for a long time, I just needed some underlining, as I did not have much left from the original dress (and anyhow, the dress underlining was ecru, not perfectly white).

Again I used my special underlining method (at least I have not heard about it elsewhere) where I sew the fabric and underlining together on all seams with the tiny seam allowance put inside. I do this on all direct seams, of course, the armscyes or hems are left apart or simply sewn together. Here is an example of a prepared piece before construction.

Of course, this technique requires a tested pattern and no fitting issues as there simply is no possibility for that. Once your pattern pieces are ready, you sew them up and do not ask many questions anymore. I think it gives nicer finish and less bulk on the seams than hongkong finish or any other seam binding.
I could use a decorative zip on the side and did bias binding on all hems.

So this is the final result, clearly, a white top was missing in my wardrobe and I like this one a lot.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

When Things Just Get Together Perfectly

I own a summer RTW dress which I consider quite cute and extremely comfortable, but anytime I wear it, I realize how stupid the dress is. It is a dress supposed to be worn in hot summer, but is made from polyester-viscose blend (I cut off the etiquette, but from the feeling of the fabric I am just guessing). It does not wrinkle, but I am always too hot in it and have the feeling of not being able to breathe.

Fortunately, I can copy it and throw it away when I get completely fed up with it. And fortunately again, last year July Burda featured exactly the same dress.
The Burda one has pockets, large skirt and fabric waistband, but that's it. They somehow recommend cotton satin which I am afraid would not be as flowy as the dress in the magazine, but who am I to follow everything Burda says?

I also had a meter of this cute silk crepe I used in winter for this top. Quick decisions tend to work quite well for me at the moment. And Euro 2016 gave me a lot of sewing time :o) I cut this dress on Sunday evening during the finals and finished it on Thursday during the 14th July defilés.
In the busy fabric it is difficult to tell the difference between the front and the back.

My skirt is probably something between the RTW and the Burda version - remember, I was working with limited amount of fabric. I did not do the pockets, as it does not work well in the flowy fabrics and used biais binding instead of facings.

I used French seams everywhere and biais binding on the armscyes. The sleeves are cut in double, so all seams are covered with them. I still cannot believe how easily this came out together, because it is Thursday evening and I already took pictures of the dress and posted on the blog :o)

The dress will be just perfect for hot days at work (if we have a chance to have any this year), so I am just sooo tempted to make another one!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Back to the Basics

Even though I love sewing colored and fun dresses, I have to admit that I tend to wear a lot of basics. And when talking basics I always think of a black cotton shift dress with 3/4 sleeves I bought maybe 3 years ago which I can wear all year round: with a few jewels in summer, with colored sweaters in winter. The fit of this dress is not perfect, but quite OK for an RTW dress. The only think which really bothers me, are the sleeves which get often stuck under other sleeves (be it a jacket or a cardigan).

So, on a coup de tête, when I was looking for my next cool summer dress, I found a piece of simple black cotton in my stash and decided to sew a simple shift dress.

I used NewLook 6145 which I had already sewn before, but I made some  modifications to adjust the shoulder area. Obviously, I have very narrow shoulders. I paid special attention to stabilizing all curved seams (thank you blog-reading, for teaching me valuable lessons).

This dress is also a proof that you can make mistakes on very simple patterns.

I have totally no idea why, but I cut the back in 2 pieces so as to put in the invisible zip. Only afterwards, I realized that it will be large enough to pull it over, too late for re-cutting the back as a one piece. So the back will have to stay like this.

I hesitated for a long time whether to make pockets. As a note, my RTW dress has them and it is a nice idea. The point is that I have fallen out of love with the fabric during sewing, as I had thought it to be more luxurious. Yes, this is what happens when you spend your time sewing silks and wool!

Anyhow, I decided to just push through, omit the pockets and finish the dress. I used bias binding to finish the curved seams made from small scraps of a very fine silk, so that it does not add too much bulk. This gives the dress a little detail only I will know about, but it helps me feel special about this make.

Of course, in the end, I regret not having pockets, as it would have been quite practical. But I will just live with it like that. The dress is cute enough, versatile and goes with everything. I am sure it will get a lot of wear.
Not talking about the costs, a mere 10 eur

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Flowery Dress

I must say I am being quite proud of myself and my stash-busting efforts. Since May 2015 I oblige myself to keep track of all ins and outs of my stash and even though since this date I am still in the red numbers (more bought than sewn), I believe it helps me to buy less and look for fabric in my stash.
Yes, there are still big purchases at the beginning of the tracking and then, during my Asian vacation. But since, I have remain on track. Also, half of my purchases in April 2016 were linings which enable me to sew more from my stash.
The positive news is that I also used some fabrics which I thought a complete misses when bought and finally, I really love the garments:
Example in case: this mid-season dress which got a lot wear since it has been sewn.

I also realized that I am more motivated to sew when I slide and buy too much fabric in order to at least minimize the final impact.

All this does not mean that I will stop buy fabric completely, but I like seeing that I am making some progress. And I still have a secret dream of reducing my stash by one third (I currently have 3 containers, and would like to only have two).

As for the sewing, I can see I am currently in my busiest period - kicked off by Me-Made-May, I must admit that sewing summer dresses is the most fun for me, so I usually sew the most between May and July. August is vacation and September too crazy work-wise.

So this brings me to my newest dress. The pattern is a combination of Anna By Hand London top and Kay Unger skirt as sewn here (could have been ANY pencil skirt, though).

I guess it looks better in real life than on the dummy :

The fabric is a silk-cotton of fabulous touch bought last year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am not 100% sure about the pink and orange on myself, I was afraid it was too busy, but kind of like it on the final dress.

The dress is fully lined with black silk (see, I needed to do some purchases in April), invisible zip is a must :o)

There is only a small hic on the front fit of the skirt, but honestly, with the busy and quite fine fabric, I might be the only person to see that.

Time to Complete: not remember, probably a week
Total Cost: 32 EUR