Another successful pattern hack…

The top I made in my previous post was a practice run for this dress. I couldn’t be happier with the top, and was therefore very excited to get cracking with the dress version.

Its made from THE softest cotton double gauze I have ever felt. And comes from of course, Merchant and Mills. Not cheap, but then again it is quality stuff. I can’t remember if I bought 2.5m or 3m. I’m pretty sure it must’ve been 3m. This dress uses a lot of fabric!

I had intended for it to be a maxi dress, however when I tried it on at the length I thought I wanted it to  be, I was not happy. Looked like a tent!

I thought about it for a day or two and then decided to turnout up. I think I turned it up about 10cm, I doubled the hem over so I had a 5cm or so turn up. And turned it up with the inside outside. Which gives it a lovely contrast border detail.

And now I’m very happy with it.

Please excuse the dusty mirror!

And this fabric is seriously so so so soft to wear, I feel like I’m wearing a cloud. Thinking I might have to get some more…

You can definitely expect to see more of these dresses.

 

A little pattern hacking and a wearable toile…

I’ve been wanting to make a high waisted/empire line dress, top for ages. I’ve seen several patterns I quite like, but you know, I do like to stick to what I know. So decided to once again hack the Merchant and Mills, Trapeze dress pattern. I love the neckline on the Trapeze. Takes a bit of working out to keep that lovely curve on the bottom edge though, but I got there.

I used some cotton fabric that I bought from M&M a few years back. I was a bit concerned as it isn’t a very wide fabric, only 110cm, I’m more used to at least a 140cm wide fabric nowadays. And the pattern piece for the tier bit was wider than the fabric, but I just had to go with it. I thought about making the tier shorter and adding in some extra fabric, but then decided against it.

I didn’t have enough fabric to make a dress, only a top. It worked out perfectly and I am beyond happy with it.

I’ve already started on the dress version.

Couldn’t be anything other than a party dress… or two

So I had a Christmas do to go to, it was with one of my fitness groups, and it was an all day event. The specs for what to wear were: present your best self and it has to be white or silver or a combo of the two. At first I was a bit hesitant to make something for this and was quite happy to buy an outfit, but then I found the perfect fabric, from Minerva crafts.com. Its a silver Jacquard and its  gorgeous. I just knew I had to make something out of it.

I decided to make a cocowawa marshmallow dress, and include the pockets for a change. Since the first couple of these dresses I’ve made, I’ve not bothered to include the pockets. But this time I felt they would be appropriate.

So I made it, decided I wasn’t happy with it, and made another dress. This time I made a short Trapeze dress. Pretty much thought I would be wearing that, then tried them both on again, and decided  I would be wearing the Marshmallow.

First up is the Trapeze.

I don’t know it just felt that bit too short. I’m happy to wear it as a tunic with jeans.

Next up the Marshmallow

You can see the detail in the fabric quite well here.

It is super shiny, and I was quite excited to wear it. It felt like a special occasion dress to me. I know its not everyones cup of tea, but it is my style and thats that!

I wore it with a gorgeous silver sparkly headband, and silver sandals. And then changed into silver glitter Converse when my feet got tired.

 

I just love the shine on this fabric, its like real silver! It is in my mind the ultimate party dress…

Second Linden…

I’ve finally made another Linden. Used the same fabric apparently. Ordered it from the same place “Minerva Crafts”, but this one seems a little stretchier and softer. I also followed the pattern properly this time and used the right seam allowance. So this one fits better. And I used Merchant and Mills ribbing for neck band and sleeves and hem. I had to use different colours for the hem to the neck and sleeves, but I think it works quite well.

Very happy with this one, and its so comfortable to wear too.

 

Merchant and Mills sewing class…

Back in early March this year I did a sewing class at Merchant and Mills. I was already to blog about it straight after as I really enjoyed it, and found it very useful. However I wasn’t hundred percent happy with the the garment I made. The class was for the Camber dress. I have been wanting to make this pattern for a few years, but have been put off by seeing others comment about some of the fiddly bits. And I have first hand experience of M&M fiddly bits! SO when I saw they were running a class for this pattern, I jumped on it!

It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. You get a very experienced tutor , and I think the most they have in a class is 4 people, so you get some very individualised attention. the  class I did we only had 3 pupils, which was nice. Also the workshop which is above the M&M shop, is gorgeous, and you get a lovely big cutting table to work with and all the bits and pieces you need to make your garment. Oh and they provide you with a very tasty lunch on both days. Yes it is a two day course.

I really enjoyed the experience and I picked up some great tips from Chrissie, our tutor. I also realised just how many gaps there are in my sewing knowledge, being self taught, I pretty much make it up as I go along. So when you come across a professional and a perfectionist, makes one realise just how sloppy ones sewing can be!

Now I have to say that my Camber dress is THE MOST PERFECTLY made garment I have in my wardrobe! It really is. I did have some help from Chrissie at times, she had to finish a couple of the steps for me, as I got a little frustrated at times with having to keep unpicking and redoing, and things were just getting worse, so I would look at her with eyes that said “help me” and she would have it done in a flash. If I’d been at home doing this, I would have stopped and started again another day. But I wasn’t and I really wanted to have a finished garment to take home.

I was the last to finish, but thats okay, it wasn’t a race.

As I said, the dress is the most perfectly made garment I have ever made, but once home and I tried it on, I really wasn’t sure I liked it on me! I decided it was too long as it was, it came to just below my knees. So I took off a couple of inches I believe, can’t really remember now it was a while ago. And I felt a little happier with it.

Here it is, worn with jeans after shortening.

I wore it once like that, but still wasn’t really happy with it. So I recently took it up a bit more. However I hadn’t worn it since that first time.

We went on holiday last month and I decided to take it with me, as I knew it was going to be hot and I wanted to take as many dresses with me as possible. I did wear it on one of the days, and I loved it. Felt really good to be wearing such a well made garment too. I was quite proud of it. And the Husband liked it too. Which is a nice, he doesn’t always like the style of the clothes I make.

Here I am wearing it on holiday

As I now feel happy with it, I thought it was time I blogged about it. I don’t have any pics of the details on the dress, as it was really tricky to take good photos of them. which is a shame, because this dress is deceptive. It looks like a simple shift type dress, which it is, but there are lots of exquisite little details that elevate it to a different level.

I will make another, not sure when. But I will.

 

Gone back to the beginning…

When short of fabric but you want to make something, make a simple rectangle top. I used the fabric that was left over from the maxi navy and white spot dress, but used the wrong side of the fabric as the right side. I really liked the way it looks, looks a bit like a faded denim.

No pattern required, just over two hours start to finish. And that includes ironing before cutting out.

Job done!

New dress for holiday…

Going on holiday soon and I wanted another dress. So happy that I can make what I want and not have to go trawling the shops for something.

Think I’ve finally discovered the perfect fabric for this dress. Its a viscose of some sort I believe, anyway its a lovely soft fabric which drapes beautifully.

This is another Trapeze/Marshmallow hack. Love it.

Nice and long.

Love it from side angle too. Can’t wait to wear it on holiday.

Best dress ever part II…

So remember this dress

Last year I called it the best dress ever. So I tried it on a few days ago, and decided it was now just that bit too short. I think having made the Maxi dress, this one feels short, and I like the way a longer dress looks now.

I still had about 2m left of this fabric, so I made the decision to add another tier.

Its a slightly different colour, as it fades with washing, and the dress has been washed quite a bit already. I think it works though. I also did the sewing of the seams with wrong sides together again so the seam is on the outside. I like the extra detail it gives.

Very happy with it and have worn it already. I felt good in it. I love that I can alter garments to make them suit me, as I change my mind about things.

A maxi dress…

I love this dress, and have been planning it in my head for ages. I’ve just been too nervous to actually make it after my recent disappointments. The fabric I’ve had since August, its a beautiful cotton poplin from Fabric Godmother. And I’ve been looking at it and wondering what to make. And when this idea popped into my head I just knew that I had to make it. after the alteration to my Trapeze dress I made last week I decided I was ready for this.

I got 3metres of this fabric, now normally I try to get 2 garments out of this much fabric. Thinking it makes more economical sense, but this time I just thought F*^@k it! Use it all on one garment.

So this is a Trapeze/marshmallow combination. Trapeze on the top with a marshmallow bottom. Oh and an extra tier for length. Very happy with it, really really am.

Lots of pics to follow…

Lovely neck line.

Sewed the tiers wrong sides together, to get the ruffle detail.

I can’t wait to wear this in the warmer weather! If we get any…  Feels amazing on.

A small detail…

Really can make all the difference.

I made another Trapeze dress back in March. Having made so many already I just assumed I would love it. The fabric was gorgeous, I’d used some previously for this top

The fabric feels wonderful against the skin, and is lovely to work with. And I was excited to make it up in a Trapeze dress.

So I was really bummed when I finished it, tried it on and was oh so underwhelmed. I did not like it. Couldn’t for the life of me work out why? At first  I thought it might be the sleeve length, I’d made short sleeves, but thought perhaps they could be shorter. So I shortened them by about 2cm. Hmmm was a little better, but still did’t want to wear it.

I left it in the wardrobe for a while.  Then thought I might be mistaken, tried it on again, fully prepared to wear it. But NO! It just looked plain and frumpy.

I put it back on Gertie so I could sit and look at it and decide what I might do, if anything. Contemplated shortening it into a top, or maybe just taking a few inches off to make into more of a tunic.

And then it hit me! I’d turn it up, but not cut anything off and make a sort of hem detail. Have done it once before by mistake, which I ended up loving, here…

I had nothing to lose, didn’t like the dress as it was. And if didn’t work I could unpick or cut it off anyway.

Happily it worked out perfectly and I now love it! Just this one small detail has made so much difference. I can’t believe it.

Unfortunately I was so uninspired by the original version that I didn’t take any pics for comparison, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I’m so happy I was able to resolve this. I loved the fabric and was upset that I might have wasted it. And it also really affected my confidence. I kept looking at my lovely fabric stash and feeling so nervous about making anything, in case I didn’t like it. On the same day I did this alteration, I started on a new project. And thats for another post…