Friday, 29 June 2012

Liberty Dress Part 1

Liberty fabrics are clearly a bit of an obsession of mine, so I decided to splurge on this one with the intention of making a dress to wear to a family wedding.

The wedding has long since passed and the dress is still not finished……

It’s based on this Burda pattern and inspired by this gorgeous version I’d seen by Madeinamandine

It has definitely been a project of firsts for me.

I started by making a mock-up of the bodice. After two attempts I realised I really needed to make my first FBA.  I then made another two mock-ups with this alteration as well as altering the armholes, deepening the front darts and lengthening the torso.

 I really didn’t like the bubble skirt so decided to go with a gathered skirt instead. I trawled the internet for advice and then drafted out 3 rectangular pieces. I also wanted it to have pockets so used the pocket pattern pieces from my Beignet skirt.

The bodice is lined with light cotton and originally so was the skirt, but when I finished constructing the dress I realised I’d attached the lining in with the zip. This meant that I then had to hem them both together rather than separately. However, when I did this it made the whole thing too bulky.

I really didn’t want to rip out the concealed zip as I’d spent so much time and effort getting it right in the first place. I decided the best thing was to cut out the lining.

I was extremely nervous about doing this, in case I (once again) cut a hole in the middle of my material. The inside of the dress is no longer as pretty as it once was, but I am still glad I did it.

After numerous attempts at hemming, the dress was finally finished.

It was good and definitely wearable but the waist was just a little baggy.  I knew I really needed to take the front darts in a bit more but to do this I’d need to take the whole thing apart. I decided that instead I’d make a sash belt with the left over material. This worked fine, but I knew it still wasn’t right.

In a moment of madness I unpicked the skirt and the lining. Fingers crossed,  I will not regret this and finally be able to post a finished dress…….


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

New Fabrics

I have fallen in love with Liberty London fabrics and the new autumn winter 2012 collection does not disappoint.

These are my current favourites.

I just wish I was a better dressmaker so I could do them justice….


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Hemming Hell

There are two things that I hate about sewing, hemming and ripping out stitches, and for me they go hand in hand.

I am nearly finished my first dress but have so far attempted to hem it 5 times and once again I’ve ripped it out.

I have tried various types of hems, and after making my Biegnet Skirt my current favourite is the blind hem.

It is a bit fidgety but it looks good and it hides my squinty lines. However, it doesn’t matter what type of hem I make I always seem to struggle. I waste hours trying to finish off my projects when it really should be a simple task. Desperate to improve my hemming skills I started looking for tips online.

I have now came to the conclusion that it’s not my hemming that is at fault but my cutting out!

Every project I’ve made so far I’ve had to shorten, and when I piece it all together there are always parts that are different lengths or not particularly straight. It’s never bothered me before as I always think well it’ll be fine when I hem it.

I really am an idiot sometimes; you would have thought I’d have made the link by now!

I will definitely be investing in a cutting mat and rotary cutter rather than always free-styling it on my kitchen table with my scissors and measuring tape. Fingers crossed this will improve my hems.


Saturday, 9 June 2012

My First Successful Project

This is the blouse that restored my faith in sewing.

I really was on the verge of giving it all up when thanks to the Sewaholic sew-along I finally managed to create this Pendrell Blouse.

My original mock-up had ruffled sleeves but because the sew-along was so easy to follow I decided to go with the pleated version for my actual blouse.

These patterns are drafted for pair shaped ladies, which I am not, so I made the top that fitted my chest size. Unfortunately this meant it was far too big at the waist and hips.

To alter it I simply increased the seam allowance at the sides. Luckily this didn't alter the middle seams too much.

It has since become a wardrobe staple.

With such success I decided to make another version, this time with the ruffled sleeves, but true to form I burnt the back and accidently snipped a whole in the front panel with my pinking shears!

Once step forward two steps back…….


Sunday, 3 June 2012

A Lesson Learned

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted here… However, in that time I have been working away and I have finally finished my Beignet skirt with Liberty buttons.

I even wore it to a Django Django gig, and after much dancing and jumping around it didn't fall apart!!!  I did take a needle, thread and extra safety pins just in case, but luckily they weren’t needed at all.

I spent a lot of time constructing it, and there was a point where I was convinced it wasn’t going to fit.  I persevered and after altering the lining and sewing on all the buttons it somehow came together.

Now, I have read on many occasions the importance of pre-washing your fabric, and I really should have learned by now not to cut corners, but as you can guess this is something that I have never bothered to do.

Surprise Surprise, the first time I washed my skirt it shrunk!!!!

This time the sewing gods must have taken pity on me, as it now fits even better than before. I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been. I will definitely pre-wash my fabric in the future.

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