Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another dress copy and another A-Frame!

Hello chums! It's getting cold in London, and my part of the building is heating-less for the next three weeks, boo! What better warming activity could there be than sewing, and standing next to a hot iron!

So here is another attempt at copying my old jersey dress. My first go has been a useful item and has already had quite a bit of wear, but there were some corrections I wanted to make.

My pattern turned out a little looser in the bodice than the original dress, so I took in the front and back sides by about 5/8". It fits better now, but resulted in a much baggier neckline... I wonder if the neckline was baggy before, but this didn't show as the whole feel was looser? So this time once I'd sewn the bodice, I took about 1.5" out of the shoulders - it was a bit of a bodge fit, but hopefully I can apply that to the paper pattern and get a better fit next time. I also narrowed the skirt so it's less A line this time round, which I think suits it better.

Uh oh, that back hem looks a bit uneven now I'm seeing the pic... It's hard to see from these photos, but I also made the sleeve heads wider and used Tilly's tutorial for making a pleated sleeve cap, which looks sweet and has the added bonus of letting me avoid dreaded gathering - a job that's in an ongoing contest with hemming as my most dreaded step!

The fabric was a bit thin for this dress I think, it's a weird slightly denim-looking jersey from A-One Fabrics on Goldhawk Road. The buttons are nice fabric covered ones, a pressie from a friend. I have some leopard print buttons I'd been thinking of for this, but combined with the cheap fabric, the overall effect was naff, and not in the good-naff, Married to the Mob way I was after.

I'm almost really happy with this dress! It's a better fit and a worse fit than last time - the neckline still bags a bit, and the thinness of the fabric makes it feel less resilient than I'd like... Let's hope for THIRD TIME LUCKY on this guy.

Next up is another A-Frame skirt from Blueprints for Sewing. I made this version up in a really pretty cotton from The Cloth House - but, another lesson, I think this fabric is too thin for a slightly fitted skirt... It just feels fragile as a garment - and thinking about it as I type, perhaps the answer would've been to line it - especially as it grabs onto my tights wherever it can! 

I like this pattern, but I rushed this project and didn't make good choices. I should've used a contrast fabric to show off the excellent pocket lines... the result is that I feel pretty indifferent towards this skirt. Poor old skirt!

My second lapped zipper, a decent effort I think! And a pop button at the top.

The reason for the rush was that this was the first project I could get under the needles of my new SERGER -  and I was keen to get cracking! I bought a Juki MO-645DE at the Knitting and Stitching Show, and I LOVE it - even managed to thread it myself and kept relatively calm during... I feel like it's already made a difference to the level of finish of the things I can make... O bring me some more edges to serge!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Grey rub off dress

Not long after I started sewing again, just over a year now, I did a course at Ray Stitch called Recreate Your Favourite Garment, with Alice Prier. I had a first success(ish) with the dress I'd taken along (I blogged about that here) although all subsequent attempts have been slightly demoralising failures - I think I didn't really have the experience to get good results with the fit. 

But I had a go this weekend with a favourite dress I have from Beyond Retro, and I'm pretty happy with the results. I used the technique Alice taught us to copy the bodice and facing (which were fairly simple shapes), and then my old trusted skirt pattern. The sleeves are from Tilly's Matilde Blouse, as I figured they'd do well to copy the original's bell sleeves.

All in all I'm happy with the result. I think because this is a jersey pattern, it was a lot more forgiving of drafting errors. 

The fabric, a nice slub cotton from Girl Charlee UK, has the slightly unfortunate effect of making this dress look a bit nightie-like. And next time I think I'll take a wedge out of the back, and perhaps the shoulders too - the neckline bags a little. Also I was a lazy so-and-so and just sewed the buttons straight on, sans buttonholes. NAUGHTY - I was rushing to make this a wearable toile!

But nothing too foul! In terms of what I'd imagined, this guy is pretty close. I think with a slightly thicker, maybe striped jersey, this could be a really fun dress!

I'm heading to the Knitting and Stitching Show this week, and I can't wait! It feels like a scant year since I was last there, and I'm looking forward to going back with a little more experience and knowledge under my (handsewn) belt.