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Tag Archives: Dress

Every day I’m wiggling

26 May

Well not everyday, but I couldn’t get that line out of my head, so down it went.

So the big news is that I have finished my wearable muslin wiggle dress – woot! And, I love it – double woot! If you follow me on Instagram you may have caught a little sneaky peak last week. There is one slight zipper related issue that we won’t talk about, but it’s really quite minute and no-one else would ever notice it. Well that’s what I tell myself anyway.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

And as this was originally planned as a Mad Med dress for Julia’s challenge (watched that deadline fly on by) it was inspired by this Joan Holloway number.

Now you’ve seen my gussets, but there’s a still a few other things to talk about here.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Hems

Given the ‘wearable muslin’ status of this dress it was not going to be lovingly hemmed by hand. That said, straight sewn hems irk me, which made for a great opportunity to try out my blind hem foot and stitch. Again, sneaky peak last week on Instragram. However for you non-Instagrammers, here’s how it went:

Gerties wiggle dress blind hem
Not ahhhmazing, however, still pretty good I think. I was happy anyway. And, interesting fact, apparently blind hem stitch is quite good for knits because it allows for the fabric stretching. Yes, write that down.

I didn’t want to lose any length, so I attached some wide black satin ribbon to the bottom of the dress, and then blind hemmed using it. Probably breaking some sewing god law, but wot-effa.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Sleeves

Due to my bulging biceps (tuck-shop lady arms really) the sleeves were a tad tight, so they were unpicked and re-stitched with only a 1cm seam allowance. They’re much better now, but I think a smidge too loose towards the bottom. Oh well.

They’re also a bit shorter than the pattern, maybe by 5cms due to pattern matching requirements.

I did cave and do the sleeve hems by hand.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Facings

Front facing – perfect! Two back facings – not perfect. For some unknown reason my two back facing pieces were way too short. I slashed and added 3cms to the length of the pattern piece and then recut and re-interfaced. This made them a little long, but at least they reached the zipper this way and nothing a little trimming couldn’t fix.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Zipper

The zipper was lapped as per Gertie’s instructions. I haven’t done a lapped zipper in a garment before! The only time I’ve done one was back at calico square stage all those years ago during my first ever sewing classes. I again took the quick and dirty option here and machined it in as opposed to hand picking. At first, I hated how it looked, but it’s grown on me a bit now, and I can’t see my back zipper when I’m wearing it anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Overall, I must say that Gertie’s patterns really work for me. There were no other adjustments made for the wiggle dress, and it fits, like a glove! I think some of the pulling may have been avoided with underlining or a slip even, but again, wearable muslin = no underlining. Even when it’s not pulling, this beautiful polyester holds the creases from sitting etc.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Oh and I must mention this, today I found a pin in the dress. That alone = not funny. What makes it funny is that I wore the dress out a week ago for dinner and dancing, and washed it, with the pin in it. Didn’t get stabbed #ftw.

And, I’ve now cut this lovely lady out in the ‘real thing’ – a lovely royal blue wool crepe ย all ready for sewing together. I’m just starting to get into Vine and have put a little video of the pattern cutting on there – anyone else using Vine? You can find me there at ZoSews, inspiring name I know.

Until next time… keep on sewin’

Z xx

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Gertie’s gussets

11 May

Lol. I am still making my Mad Men dress. Oops.

I’m using Gertie’s wiggle dress pattern with a Spotlight satin poly I’ve had for ages ย – and I’m calling it a wearable toile (and a bit of a mother pucker to be honest – it’s pucker city here and no setting/needle etc change is helping). Next up I’ll be making the ‘real thing’ in a royal blue wool crepe. Ahhhh how I can’t wait to be back with a natural fibre.

This pattern has been relatively simple to work with, however a new technique for me was underarm gussets. Tricky little buggers. Made trickier by cutting before reading and discovering later that those lines I cut down were actually sewing lines – duh. Ah well, make it work ey! If I hadn’t been overzealous with the scissors, things would have been much easier. But anyway, here’s a light tutorial for the gussets based on my experience.

1. Attaching organzaย 

Organza pieces are attached to the right side of your fashion fabric. I used huge pieces that were trimmed later. If you look closely you can see that the outer fabric (under the organza) has already been cut – don’t do that! Refer aforementioned overzealous cutting. Mark your sewing and cutting lines too – you can just see mine in pink.

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2. Sew along sewing lines

Sew along the sewing lines – but still don’t cut!ย 

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3. Now cut!

Get your scissors out folks! Now is the time to cut up the cutting line – that you of course had previously marked on the fabric.ย 

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4. Turn and press

Turn your organza through to the other side (i.e. the wrong side of your fashion fabric) and press press press.ย 

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This is what it looks like from the right side.

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5. Attach the gusset piece

Because of my early cutting incident. This was trickier. However, I pushed and prodded the fabric and got the piece attached ok. Just ok, not brilliantly. As you’ll see below. It’s a toile – whatever (crosses arms and sticks out bottom lip).ย Then edge stitch to reinforce. You’ll see that my corners/points aren’t that pointy, another ramification of me getting scissor happy.ย 
ย Image

6. Stitch her up

When you attach your back dress pieces to the front you’ll be joining up your gussets – paying careful attention to matching up the seams. Then, they’ll look like this. Hopefully even better!

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There you have it, Gertie’s gussets! You’ll be able to see these in action once the dress is finished. Don’t hold your breath ๐Ÿ˜‰

Z xx

PS – Gertie has her very own tutorialย too. I’d recommend reading it before you make the gussets. Not after. Like me. That was silly. Let’s be honest, I still haven’t read it…

ย 

Lonsdale & Gertie party dress mash up

1 Dec

You may have seen on my Instagramย feed (@ZoSews, how original) a few weeks ago a sneaky peek at a hand picked zipper. This was the zipper for a dress I was planning on wearing for my (gasp) 30th birthday soiree.

This dress started last year, in my mind. I saw Sarai’s tweaked floral Lonsdale dress, and I fell in love. I wanted that one! This seemed the perfect opportunity to make it!

My birthday party consisted of cocktails at a Seamstress bar (how appropriate), delish dumplings in Chinatown and then the crescendo, hours of karaoke!

Unfortunately, I was having WAY too much fun to take any photos. Yep, that’s right, I didn’t take ONE photo lol… Luckily I was able to scrounge around and get a few from other partygoers. They all look something like this, so I won’t be repetitive and will just give you one. Don’t look at those creases, I’d been sitting down for a couple of hours before this was taken.

Lonsdale Gertie mash up

Dress details

  • This number combines the bodice of Sewaholic’s Lonsdale, and the pencil skirt (minus the high waistband) fromย Gertie’s book.
  • Amazingly, I didn’t have to make one change to the bodice! I made one size bigger in the skirt though to account for ease required due to no stretch in the fabric.ย 
  • Enlarged the front waist darts because it was puffing out away from the body.
  • Due to the long straps of the bodice, this chewed up a lot of fabric – just a note.
  • I made the dress out of a ‘vintage’ print cotton, and lined the bodice with a blue rayon, both from Spotlight. This lining is what started my love affair with rayon.
  • I hand picked the zipper – a new love, inspired by Neeno and her scandalous zipper porn ๐Ÿ™‚ I followed a mix of Gertie’s instructions from the book,with Tasia’s.

If I had my time again I’d add a kick pleat to the skirt, there’s a lot of stress put on one little join at the moment and its already starting to show after only one wear. I only realised this would happen after cutting the skirt out – too late!

I am very happy with this dress! I love the shape, so I may even make it again.

I want to write a review for Pattern Reviewย on this dress, but I’m not sure whether to list this as Lonsdale, Gertie’s skirt, or both (do a review for each). What do you think?

Here’s a few extra birthday pics, just for fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I cropped others out to be polite because I am so unorganised I didn’t get around to asking anyone if they minded being put on the interwebs before writing this post.

Lol. I was surprised with a cake with my face on it - scary! (yet delicious)

Lol. I was surprised with a cake with my face on it – scary! (yet delicious)

We wore party hats!

We wore party hats!

That’s it!

Z xx

Winner winner chicken dinner!

20 May

At the start of the month I was lucky enough to be a winner of a lucky dip over at Kestrel Finds and Makes. And this week, my winner’s package arrived – all the way from Glasgow! Thanks Kestrel!

There was Simplicity 7780 with a range of shirts, from 1968, and Butterick 4225 with a lovely dress and jacket (can’t see a date on this one, but to my untrained eye it looks maybe 1970s). How exciting!

The dress in particular struck me, and made me think of the black and white bird fabric I’d seen over at Bimble and Pimble… may just have to get my butt down to Spotlight to pick some up – I think it would work! The neckline of this dress also reminds me of the new Colette patterns, Hazel and Lily.

Lucky dip patterns - kestrel finds and makes - simplicity 7780 butterick 4225

You may have read also that I was the winner of a brooch from JuliaBobbin / RueMiraldi. With all these prizes coming my way, I think I should be buying a lottery ticket! But anyway, here’s a picture of the brooch – isn’t it lovely!

Vintage brooch - Julia Bobbin

And finally, I spent the afternoon at Love Vintage yesterday with two lovely ladies from my sewing class. Where I picked up these patterns…

Love Vintage Melbourne patterns - simplicity 7239 style 1980 home journal pattern 11541

The blouse on the right is my favourite ๐Ÿ™‚ It seems I did have a blonde moment when purchasing these unfortunately (nothing against blondes – I was one for many many years)… See the middle pattern, yep, the one with the lovely pussy bow blouse? Yep. Right. Well it’s actually a pattern for the skirts not the blouse. Doh! Not that I hate the skirts or anything, but I really did only buy it for the blouse! Dammit! I only realised when I got home…

I also got these magnificent Alexis Kirk earrings that I am completely in love with. Now I just need to find somewhere to wear them…

Alexis Kirk earrings

And I’m still chugging along with my Beignet… not long to go now, here’s a sneak peak…

Beignet sneak peakHow was your weekend? Did you get much sewing done?

Zxx

New Vogue patterns coming my way!

26 Apr

Yeah yeah, another Vogue $3.99 pattern sale. They’re popping up all the time. But this one had a twist. A new pattern release twist that is! Woo hoo!

Thanks to a timely alert from Gertie I jumped at the chance to get the new patterns at a little baby price. For us folks in Aus, the best way is to buy seven patterns at a time – due to the exorbitant $25 postage charge for one envelope package (and that’s one envelope with a stamped postage charge of under $12 mind you, but no need for ranting lol). The thing is, you have to pay $25 postage for anywhere up to seven patterns, so at $3.99 you might as well get the seven. If you get more than seven it’s $50 postage! Woah! The alternative is to pay retail prices here, which can be up to $30 per pattern – woah again!

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about my order, and wanted to share what’s coming my way ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the first one I had to have, and set me off to choose another six. I’d been on the hunt for Claire Shaeffer’s previous ‘Chanel-like’ jacket that is now OOP, and when I saw this v8804, I got all ‘must buy now!!!’

v8804

v8804

Next one – v8810. I’ve been dreaming of a shirt dress recently, and this one offered so many options that of course I had to have it ๐Ÿ™‚

v8810

v8810

This is delightful (v1310), I love the skirt, not sure when I’d wear it, but I figure the top could be a winner.

V1310

V1310

Next was v1304 – just because it’s fabulous ๐Ÿ™‚

V1304

V1304

Then I filled the final three spots with v1283, v2961 and v8789 – not new, but lovely nonetheless.

v1283

v1283

V2961

V2961

V8789

V8789

That’s it! Looking forward to my package arriving ๐Ÿ™‚ And then off to the ever growing ‘to make’ queue they go.

Did you get your hands on any of these? What do you think of the new range?

Z xx

My Floral Franken-dress

4 Mar

Soooo, my brother got married last weekend – pretty exciting, I know. I knew this day was coming for quite some time, so I decided to use the occasion as an excuse to make a fancy dress. And why not!

Fabric

It all started with almost 5 metres of fabulous floral Balenciaga silk chiffon I picked up at a D’Italia sale – from $90 p/m down to $10 p/m! Score, I know! I was originally going to go with a yellow silk lining, but then opted to go with a smashing watermelon silk from Darn Cheap Fabrics as it made the colours on the fashion fabric really pop. The bodice fashion fabric pieces were all underlined with the watermelon silk (hand basted), and then the bodice was lined with a red satin silk, also from Darn Cheap Fabrics. There were also a couple of layers of heavy, boned, interfacing in the middle as a foundation.

Pattern

I knew what I wanted as a final output, but it was a matter of finding it in pattern format! I spent hours trawling the Internet, but to no avail. So, a ‘franken-dress’ it would have to be. I ended up using the skirt from the now OOP v7521 and I based the bodice on the Cynthia Steffe v1174.

Alterations

This one went ‘off the plan’ from quite early on, but here are the key changes made:

  • Added ruching to the the bodice – I traced off, slashed, and reconstructed pattern pieces for the outer upper and middle bodice to create the ruching across the bust.
  • Shaped lower front bodice pieces for a closer fit in the lower bodice area.
  • Used the outer bodice pattern pieces to create the foundation rather than the foundation pattern pieces.
  • Pinched out some of the volume in the skirt pattern.

More fun facts:

  • There’s a total of six, yes six, layers of fabric in bodice!
  • The skirt was constructed using french seams for a neater finish.
  • I hand beaded the ruched area of the bodice with bronze and yellow seed beads, and also three purple teardrop shaped pearls at centre front. Not only was this pretty ๐Ÿ™‚ , but it was a great way to keep the ruching sitting how I liked it.
  • I had a belt made at Buttonmania out of the same fabric as the bodice lining – red satin silk.
  • Sizing of the bodice was generous – at least – I cut to my size and then went down by two at toile stage.
  • Ruched pattern pieces were cut out on the cross to allow for more flexibility and a better final look.
  • The invisible zip was attached the bodice at centre back, but only attached to the lining of the skirt. This way the fashion fabric was loose over the top, so small facings were created for the open section, and a clear plastic press stud added to close the fashion fabric and cover the lower part of the zip. It was done this way so that the zip was hidden and didn’t interfere with the fashion fabric’s drape.
  • Both layers of the skirt have rolled hems.
  • Extra pieces of boning were added to the bodice for more structure.

I’m not going to lie, this was a HUGE project, and by the time I’d finished it, I never wanted to look at the dress EVER again! However, on the day, I was so happy with the result, I think it was worth all the effort ๐Ÿ™‚

This has definitely been my biggest sewing project – what’s been your biggest?

Z xx

Pear and Apple Dress

19 Feb

The first dress I made was V1102, an AKO number. I did love the look of it in black as it was on the pattern envelope, but for something a little more casual and fun, I decided to go ahead with this one in a lovely fruity Kokka fabric purchased from Amitie.

V1102 AKO dress pattern

V1102

(The model on this envelope really reminds me of someone… can’t put my finger on it though. What do you think?)

Here’s my finished product –

v1102

Alterations:

  • The bodice of this dress is lined, but rather than self-line it as per the pattern directions, I lined it with a kind of stone coloured cotton – avoiding the pear and apple pattern showing through from the wrong side.
  • I also used the lining fabric to bag out the bow at the back – rather than the edges being narrowly double hemmed. It gave a nicer finish I thought ๐Ÿ™‚
  • The straps at the back of the bodice were shortened by about 1cm – wouldn’t want my top falling down would I!?
  • A bust adjustment, going up a about a size.
  • Narrowing centre back to avoid gaping around the zip – a snug fit is much nicer ๐Ÿ™‚

v1102

Turning the bodice through a narrow shoulder strap was a patience and hand strength testing exercise – but I got there in the end!

Regarding the bow at the back, I have heard of someone who made it detachable. I think this is a great idea because if it’s slightly chilly you can’t wear the dress because you can’t wear a cardigan over the giant bow (hello hunchback). Another issue with the bow is that you need someone to ‘do you up’, or you have to do the bow up prior to putting it on and then wiggle into it. That said, the bow is one of the features I love.

I have actually sneaked this dress onto TV before too! Just in the background on the 7PM project – but still TV coverage ๐Ÿ™‚

v1102

So there you have it – my Pear and Apple Dress! I think it’s quirky and fun – what do you think?

Zx