Sunday, 26 March 2017

2016 X-mas Dress

Apparently, my sewing tradition for my x-mas dress is always the same:
- I have plenty of time to do that (like: almost one week sewcation before the day D),
- I finish it on that last minute (like 1 hour before leaving home)
- and I blog about it late (like in summer next year).

2016 was not different. The thing is I did not want to sew a special dress for this occasion this year, I have enough dresses to choose from, I wanted to concentrate my sewcation on other stuff. But then somehow, I came across the rest of this black wool crepe and thought that I could make a simple dress from it. It is actually inspired by an old RTW dress which was made of polyester crepe and which I liked the idea but it was always difficult to wear: it looked great with boots in winter but I was totally freezing in it.

So there we go: the pattern is vaguely based on Burda 115-07/2015 and the RTW dress which I threw away, it has not longer any reason to stay in my wardrobe.

The only problem when sewing the dress was the fact that the crepe is quite see-through. I decided to line the dress body properly with some silk, but left the sleeves as such. The original dress did not have any waist definition, I always wore it with a belt, for my version I encased some elastic between the fabric and the lining. The inside might not be 100% kosher, but the outside is OK so I an live with it.
I did stabilize the shoulder seams and the neckline with silk organza and it really worked magic.

As for the sleeves' finishes, I was hesitating between elastic and little cuffs. In the end, I just created two folds and it looks like a very clean finish.

This dress is definitely a winner, it is extremely comfy and yet, ensures a polished look. I might even be considering sewing another one in a different colour.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Geisha Dress

Dress totally inspired by the fabric. I bought this fabric sometime last year when I was trying NOT to buy fabric and I promised myself that this one was so cute I would sew something from it immediately. Well, that did not work very well and 9 month later this fabric was still in my stash, even worse: becoming deeper stash. Something had to be done - a dress just imposed itself.

Originally I wanted a dress with little seams, as the geisha pattern needs to be aligned as much as possible. But when looking for a pattern to use, I found the Butterick B5603, something totally out of the initial requirements, but I decided I would go for that, even though I might get crazy with the pattern matching.

I used the yellow version, without the little band under the chest and the little bows, of course, as that would be just too much for the busy geishas. Also, I added pockets, just because it might be practical.

The fit was almost perfect from the beginning, I just did a slight adjustment for narrow shoulders, though when seeing the pictures, I might have done more. And I also took in about an inch in the waist area to make it more adjusted. The fabric is a rather stiff cotton which gives the dress quite some volume.

I did not line the dress, just bias bound all the seams, used again the fine cotton-silk.

I got very proud of my pattern matching in the end - I only managed it on the top, but on the rest of the dress the fabric is more busy.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

New Anna dress

What do you do when the end of winter seems particularly long and the only thing you are craving is summer and its vacation.
First, you start planning the vacation, you book your flights and enjoy detailing the itinerary.
Second, you sew yourself a summer dress, or two. Or three, if that is what you need.

Actually, I do not think I really need a new colorful summer dress, I am more missing simple work-day dresses, but this is planned as well. However, I just needed this to kick start my sewing year.

Back in 2015 I discovered the Anna By Hand London pattern and sewn 3 of them, all quite different. I rarely sew from Indie designers, as I like that I take Burda of Big4 and instantly know what adjustments need to be done. Also, I often feel that Indie patterns try to be very original, while I tend to sew more classical or practical pieces. Nevertheless, the Anna dress is just an amazing pattern, and I still have the long version to try.

My first Anna dress was made of simple blue cotton, of a mediocre quality, but it became my "jogging" dress, the one you wear with Birkenstocks or sneakers, the one you wear wherever you go without being afraid of damaging it or staining it. And yet, it still is a dress so you look rather polished. It survived a few vacations, some tropical sun and many wash machine cycles. The cotton not being of a great quality I ended up throwing it away and regretting it almost instantly. So I just HAD to recreate it again.

There is not much to say about it, just that with these heels the dress seems quite short, but I can assure you it will never be worn like that, so no worries.

I used the same cotton, so the life of this dress will not be 10 years either, but I am really happy to have it back in my wardrobe.

And yes, I am starting to really love biais binding of all seams. I used a very sheer cotton-silk which worked magic here.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

WInter-vacation dress

Soooo, I just realized that I am seriously behind blogging my sewing. There are even some projects from my super-productive December which still have not made it to the blog. Not talking about some 2017 makes. I took a few pictures today, so hopefully, I will catch up little bit.

Today, I am sharing a dress which was made specially for our x-mas vacation in Florence/Venice, Italy. We spent a week there, mostly visiting the cities, so I knew we were going to be cold and I needed a comfy and warm dress for that.

Fortunately, I still had some of the bordeaux wool I bought in my early sewing days. Back then I sewed this dress which saved me during some really cold days. The dress shrank too much in the end (I wash all my dresses in a machine, so this just happens from time to time), so I had to throw the dress away.

This time, I went for a simple shift dress and I cut it out large, in order to count with some shrinking in the future :o) Now, the dress seems little bit bigger, but not shocking and it feels like a pyjama when being worn.
I used a bit of the reverse colour on the hem, just to add something different to the simple shift.
The lining is some bright red silk which is the little fun only I know. I am trying to use up some colourful silks from my stash instead of constantly buying black lining, so this is a win.

The dress has pockets, but on the sewing side, this is pretty much it.

Sometimes you just need a quick and simple project which ends up a cosy and comfortable dress.