FO: L’s 1920’s Dress

So! I can finally blog about this one. I had a photo of L in the dress but I didn’t want to splash her all over the interwebs without first getting her permission to do so. Of course she said yes, and the pic I have of her is oh-so-cute so here’s the post with some juicy internal shots of the dress for good measure.

First up, my gorgeous sister in her dress (sorry for the quality, it’s off a phone – it’s the best we could get):

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So pretty right?!! And those legs, ugh I wish! πŸ˜€

Now that you’ve seen the outcome, here’s the blood, sweat and tears behind it (only half joking! ;)). As I’ve previously mentioned this is a pattern hack of the Colette Laurel. I basically cut it off at the same points on the back and the front pattern (after a bit of trial and error), created a waistband, then widened the skirt section to allow enough fabric to gather.

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As the lace was see-through (obviously!) I underlined it with a similar colour lining. Oh the hours of hand-basting those layers together. I did initially try to sew it by machine and that was an EPIC fail so out came the unpicker and some bright thread (for contrast so I could remove it all when finished) and needle. Once the two layers of each piece were joined as one, I then sewed everything together.

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I was originally going to sew it all with French seams but found it was just far to bulky so I reverted to normal seams and finished them on the overlocker. My overlocker was not playing Mr. Nice-guy so the finishing doesn’t look too nice unfortunately. I have since put the overlocker in for a service; hopefully that will help. But what did look nice was my hand-picked zipper and hand sewn bias edging! πŸ™‚

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Now, be gentle on me. All these stitches were done by hand and I have never done this before! Having said that, I think I did an awesome job and was really pleased with how it turned out. Having never done a hand-picked zipper before, it took a little wrangling for me to get the hand positions and the garment laying the right way before I got the hang of it. After doing it once, I don’t think I ever want to install a zipper any other way! πŸ™‚ I used Tasia from Sewaholic’s wonderful tutorial, it can be found here. It’s just so much easier to make sure the zip is straight and in place when you are going slowly by hand. Obviously on the bags I make, I will still machine sew the zipper because you usually don’t have much fabric to deal with and it’s a straight line to sew but for clothing, I think hand-picked is the only way to go.

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I especially wanted to do all this sewing by hand so that I could attach the zipper and the bias edging only to the lining and the stitches wouldn’t be visible on the outside of the lace. The thread I chose was a perfect match for the lace colour so you can’t even see the little stitches on the lining through the lace unless you look really hard. It blends wonderfully.

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After all the stress, tears and long hours making this dress, I think it was all worth it as L was so happy with it and I think it’s the most adventurous thing I’ve made to date! Me? Doing a pattern hack?!! πŸ˜‰ Just to see how happy my sister was with this dress made it more than worth it and I think she looked AMAZING!

So, what do we think? πŸ™‚

WIP Wednesday

So, my WIPs this week have mainly consisted with working on my sister’s dress for her AGM on Saturday and some knitting and crochet.

Here’s L’s dress so far:

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You may remember that I was doing a pattern hack on the Colette Patterns Laurel. After being very despondent about this ever being finished and actually being good, I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out. πŸ™‚Β All I need to do now is hem and apply bias binding to the neck and armholes. Unfortunately due to my overlocker being a douche, the outside looks WAAAAAYYY better than the inside. I think perhaps I need my overlocker serviced or maybe a new one as Mr. MyMuddlings suggested. Love him. ❀

The lace on this dress is so pretty. Everyone who saw the lace when I was buying commented how lovely it was. We initially were going for a different lace that was a little more gypsy-esque but I saw this one and suggested it instead and I definitely think we made the right choice. πŸ™‚

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On top of working on this dress I have also been working on some crochet and knitting.

The crochet I’ve been working on is Freshstitches‘ Blair the Ghost Bunny amigurumi. She’s just adorable! You can find my project page on Ravelry here. All I have left is the little ghost costume to do. I’m about halfway through this.

In regards to knitting, I’ve mostly been working on my Ishbel shawl by Ysolda Teague (I think you’ll only be able to see this link if you’re a Ravelry member). I’m making it from some lovely soft and drapey viscose fingering weight yarn I picked up cheap at Spotlight. They’ve had tons of great yarns on special lately and I’ve been stocking up. I got a few different colours of the viscose yarn and also quite a few balls (one colour enough to make a sweater!) of some superwash wool from Panda. Love sales at Spotlight! πŸ™‚ You can see my Ravelry project page for Ishbel here.

Good news too that after having my birthday a couple weeks ago, I was given a Spotlight voucher and also some cash so these have been put towards purchasing fabric to make up some of the items I blogged about for my Summer Wardrobe a few weeks back. From what I have purchased I will be able to make two Renfrew tops (in black and green), Tania culottes, Cascade skirt and a bonus item of a Colette Patterns Zinnia skirt. I will be making version 1 of the Zinnia in a black rayon shirting. Can’t wait to get started on these items! πŸ™‚

P.S. I’ve finally put some of my handmade things up on Etsy. You can check them out here. I’ll have more up next week when I’ve finished the dress!

Laurel Top!

Okay, so I got some pictures. Not very good, no natural light, it’s late, I’m not wearing makeup and had been up since 4am so don’t judge me!!! lol

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI look a bit high don’t I?

I’m pretty pleased with this top. I made a straight size 14 working off my high bust measurement but did an FBA of 1 inch (2 inches overall). It was my first attempt at setting in sleeves and overall it wasn’t too bad of an experience.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHard to see, but this is my sleeve cap. There’s a couple puckers.

I had a couple issues inserting the sleeve but this mainly came down to the fact that I have large arms (well, let’s face it I have large everything lol) and I realised that the size 14 sleeves probably weren’t going to be wide enough for my arms so I reduced the seam allowance but then this meant I had to ease a larger circumference into the same arm hole size. Well, actually, a slightly smaller armhole size than the pattern due to the FBA. I did pretty well. I managed to get them in with only a couple puckers along the very top in the same spot so it looks intentional. πŸ˜‰ Kinda like a small puffed sleeve. πŸ™‚

Overall very happy. Easy to follow pattern, as most Colette patterns are and I’ve worn this at least twice a week since I made it.

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Sorry for the creases!

I just managed to scrape this one in for the Laurel contest. Not that I’m even slightly convinced I’ll get anywhere but you gotta be in it to win it right?!! Besides I’ve seen so many gorgeous Laurels in the flickr group but my favourite so far has been House of Pinheiro’s Laurel. This girl really pulled out all the stops to create something unique. Good luck to all the entrants and I can’t wait to see who they’ve picked as winners!

My first Laurel!

Okay, so I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front. I’ve been consistently unwell since the honeymoon (a cold, not anything else!) and just haven’t been motivated to blog. I have still been sewing though. πŸ™‚

I finally made the Laurel. Actually, I’ve made two; one dress, one top. I’ve also made another Sorbetto top with cap sleeves. At this stage I only have pictures of the dress so I’ll share. πŸ™‚


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This dress was the first pattern I’d done a full bust adjustment on. I did quite a bit of pattern adjustment on this; not all positive. Read on… πŸ˜‰

Initially, I graded the pattern from a size 12 at the bodice (from my high bust measurement) to an 18 at the skirt. I lowered the neckline by 2 inches as usually (as I’m big busted) high necks don’t look so hot. Then I did the FBA, adding 2 inches. I was concerned about the arm hole after doing the FBA as it seemed to get smaller and sharper at the front edge of the armscye. Anyone else have this problem?

After putting everything together with French seams, I tried on the dress. As suspected, the arm holes were really high and quite tight. The back was also a little tight, probably should have done a size 14. I also sewed the zip in and when I did it, I didn’t catch the seam allowances so there were holes between the zip and the dress. I also had HEAPS of fabric pooling at my sides. I guess a two size grading + FBA isn’t a good recipe.

So to fix it, I just sewed up the centre back (I could still get it on without the zip) and sewed up the sides until it fit a bit better. Unfortunately this destroyed most of my pretty French seams but now I get a better fit. I also deepened the arm holes. I still have heaps of fabric at the front and the arm holes cut a little but I’ve learned a lot of lessons from this make and I still love the dress so I’ve worn it twice since I completed it last weekend. It’s also made out of fabric I thrifted on my honeymoon so there’s happy memories attached to it too. The dress is quite comfortable (apart from the slight cutting at the front of the arm holes) so I’ll definitely wear it tons more. I might cinch with a belt though to alleviate the bloaty look of the extra fabric. Pity it’s moving towards winter here in Oz so I’ll need to pop it away for next summer soon. 😦

So here’s me wearing it, along with my new post-wedding hair. You have no idea how much a relief it is to have A LOT less hair. Will need to invest in some scarves for winter though! πŸ˜‰

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