The Joan Wiggle Dress (Charm Patterns Patreon) Sweetheart Neck: All Sewn Up

After the success of the slash neck version of this dress, I decided what the heck, lets try out some crushed velvet and crack on. It was, after all, nearly my 15th wedding anniversary and I needed something special to wear on my date out with my wonderful other half.

First off, the fabric I bought was perfect but did have some glitter issues (read: gets absolutely everywhere – especially when pre-washing and cutting), but it was just so perfect and sparkly that I thought it was an opportunity not to be missed.

I hadn’t ever sewn anything in stretch velvet before so that was a bit of a learning curve and there were a few new things I learnt when I was making this version of the dress:

  • Stretch lining the bodice: something I hadn’t done before. I have lined  things, yes, but not with stretch lining. I am super glad that I did as I can now be safe in the knowledge that the neck won’t stretch put of shape over time and the added security of the elastic in the neckline keeps it the dress sitting nicely on my shoulders, rather then slipping off. The tutorial video Gertie provided was absolutely perfect for me learning this. (Anyone else a visual learner? This is one of the many reasons I love the Charm Patterns Patreon).
  • Velvet is so effing slippery: l ditched the pins as much as I could and changed to clips after a very frustrating time trying to get my notches lined up.
  • I did learn from my mistake with the sizing from last time though and I made the necessary adjustment to the pattern prior to cutting my fabric, although I did still have to take a further bit off the hips due to the additional stretch in the fabric.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to wear it out as our son wasn’t well, so we didn’t make it out for our anniversary date after all (don’t worry we scoffed a lovely takeaway) but I did get some pics.

I am so pleased with how it turned out, and our night out has been rearranged so I’ll be in it soon enough but for now it’s in my wardrobe in a cover (did I mentioned the glitter getting everywhere?), and it hasn’t put me off sewing with velvet…in fact next up on my sewing table is something I am planning to match with stretch leopard print velvet…

To see my updates as they happen why not follow me on Instagram.

McCalls 6569: Anniversary Evening Dress (The Finished Dress)

If you’ve read my previous blog you’ll see how my muslin turned out.

With just a week to go I set out to sew up my dress in the lovely gold satin I’d brought back from Vegas a couple of years ago. I read prior to this that you should try and store your satin rolled rather than folded due to the crease factor. I did this but to be honest it still creased a fair amount.

I spent a whole night cutting out and marking up the pattern pieces (including the adjusted pieces – see my other blog). My, my, what a pain in the arse. It turns out satin is the most slippery material known to man (slight exaggeration, but it did feel like that at the time).

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The following day I sewed the bodice together which went very well but then it was time for the lining. I should say at this point I have never lined anything in my life but as I was sewing with satin I thought it would probably be a good idea just to bit the bullet and do it. IMG_20170127_212641_438

I decided this before I read the pattern instructions, but it turned out that there were instructions in with the pattern to line the dress. My Brain: “What does this even mean though?!”

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I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to sew the lining in, which way it went round to ensure the seams couldn’t be seen. I have to say – vintage instructions are not a dyslexic’s  friend the best of times and this was no exception. After lots of umming and ahhhing and tearing my hair out I finally figured it out and it did actually look pretty good. IMAG2530

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I spent a long night sewing the lining to the skirt pieces following this, and here was where I made one of my major mistakes. I have no idea how I marked the fabric up wrong but somehow I managed to.

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When it came to the later stage of sewing it together it meant that I had a row of stitching down the back of the skirt next to the centre seam which I then had to unpick. Unfortunately, as I was sewing in satin it did mark the fabric so my dress is not so perfect, but we make mistakes to learn from them don’t we? More on that point later! IMAG2573

With a day to go to my anniversary (and after a lengthy trip to the dentist for two fillings) I spent a full day sewing the skirt pieces together (while keeping an eye on the clock so I could be sure I wouldn’t be late picking up Ash from nursery and hoping that some semblance of feeling would return to my ridiculously numb face).

I attached the skirt to the bodice with relative ease and inserted the zip. Mistake number two: I was silly enough to not check that the fabric was taught when I basted the zip in, meaning that when I went to sew it I, again, had a big chuck of stitches to unpick which left a rather messy side zip insertion.

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Thankfully it’s a side zip so really no one’s going to see it unless the come up really close to have a look . I finished sewing the lining pieces together at the waist and was quite impressed with how it looked inside out.

At this point I thought I should just leave the hemming to my anniversary and cut my losses before I cried.

So the day of my 10th wedding anniversary (last Friday) I sewed right up to the last minute but I did finally finish my dress with a couple of hours to spare, and I did get all dressed up and we did go out for the first time on our own in seven months. And here I am in my dress!

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So what did I learn?

  • I learnt that sewing to a deadline when you have a young baby may not be the right amount of pressure to put on yourself when you’ve just gone back full time to work!
  • I learnt that even with nearly a year off sewing anything I’m still quite competent and I still know what I’m doing.
  • I learnt that lining something may be a pain in the arse but it’s really worth it and that there’s nothing to be scared about when it comes to what I would have previously considered tricky fabric.
  • Mostly I learnt that there’s nothing wrong with mistakes and everything can;t be perfect all of the time. I wish I didn’t have the little hole marks where I’ve unpicked the stitching but it will always be a reminder of the first time I sewed with something other than what I previously considered ‘safe’ fabrics and I certainly wont be making the same mistakes again. We’ve got to get some things wrong to learn a lesson, right?

Overall I am extremely happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

So roll on 2017….I still have some glitter speckled pink satin from Vegas in my stash…watch this space!

McCalls 6569: Anniversary Evening Dress (The Muslin)

This year I made a decision, a decision not be to scared by fabric. For a couple of years now I’ve had some gold satin I brought back from Vegas in my stash and I’ve been so scared to use it having never worked with anything like that. This year it’s my tenth (?!) wedding anniversary and I thought it would make the loveliest dress for our celebratory meal out.

I picked McCalls 6569 for the pattern; a gorgeous sixties evening dress with a matching jacket. I’m not so sure I’ll have time to make the jacket but the dress looked simple enough with my time constraints.
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The first thing I did was post in the We Sew Retro Sew & Tell facebook group to ask for tips, it’s one thing I LOVE about the sewing community, you have a wealth of experience and advice online in a group like that and people are only willing to help and wish you luck. So armed with my new found advice I bit the bullet and cracked on. As you may have noticed I don’t often make muslins of my clothes but as I was working with an unforgiving fabric I thought I probably should get it right the first time, as a seam ripper might not be the best friend it previously had been to me. I measured up, perfect in the bust but 2 inches bigger on the waist and 4 on the hips (not live I’ve had a baby in the last year or anything….). It was going to need a little adjustment.

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I used the pivot method for the hip adjustment and added extra at the waist thinking I could figure out adjusting the darts as I went.

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New pattern pieces made, I cut and marked everything out in calico, ready to sew my mock up. Well this is where everything went quiet for a week as my little one ended up being ill, so it’s meant that every night for the last week I’ve been furiously sewing to get everything completed after his bed time.

The muslin went together bit by bit and I was overall quite happy with how it turned out…. apart from ordering an open ended zip (I blame the lack of sleep) and I forwent the hemming as that can be done on the real thing later.

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The only other thing (that I am slightly concerned about) is lining the dress. There are instructions but having never lined anything before I’m hoping that it’s easy enough and wont take up too much time as I’ll probability be sewing right up until the last minute with this.

So here it is muslin complete and on to the real thing – wish me luck!

Simplicity 1360: All Sewn Up – 70s Inspired Gold Maternity Gown

For my first sew of the year I decided on adapting this new maternity pattern to make a vintage style outfit.

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That’s correct, if you don’t follow me on Instagram then you might not have seen that I’m preggo, up le duff, got a bun in the oven etc.

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I am not going to go all modern, I have picked up a few vintage patterns and my friends have loaned me some so there will be vintage maternity wear being made at some point but I thought it would be quite interesting to see how they compared against modern ones to make up.

Thinking along the lines of “if I lengthen this dress and make it glitzy it could totally look 70s disco-a-go-go” I opted for buying in a boatload of gold lame, without really thinking of the consequences.

Namely that lame is a bitch to sew.

While I was waiting for it to arrive I finally managed to clear out my lovely little sewing space in our dining room and started to read through the instructions (I also put a load of my spare vintage patterns on ebay if you fancy a look).

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Which made no sense. How confusing is this? (or at least how confusing does my dyslexic brain want it to be).

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I put my faith in the pattern and hoped when I cut the pieces out it would make more sense.

When the lame arrived I fell in LOVE, It is sooooo beautiful and undeterred I set about lengthening the pattern and cutting the extension pieces out (excuse the slippers).

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I ran a few pieces through the machine to see what the fabric was like to sew. This did not go well. Now, I have always been told to use a zig zag stitch for stretch fabrics (I don’t own an overlocker) but this didn’t work.

After a stressful and annoying night I managed to get the front of the dress completed but only after a lot of turning the air blue and wondering why in the hell it wouldn’t sew like it was meant to.

Truth is, I’m still not sure – is it because the weight of the fabric is too heavy, so it’s not your typical stretch? (If anyone does know please tell me!).

The front knot part actually was pretty easy after I had the pieces in front of me – funny, it’s never the thing that you think is going to cause trouble that does, is it?

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I sewed up the two back pieces and put the neck facing in and by this point I had opted to go for a straight stitch as it appeared to be working much better than zig zag and wasn’t making me want to cry. Damn the consequences.

What was the worst that couple happen? I could spend hours unpicking it when it didn’t hang or stretch properly? (yes….yes that is what could happen).

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The sleeves, I decided, would be sewn in the cheat’s way as the fabric was so tricky.

Rather than sew them up then set them in, I sewed them into the arm holes without the sleeve seam sewn up, then sewed the seam of the sleeve at the same time as the side seams of the dress (try saying that quickly!).

I have to say, when they were in, it looked pretty good.

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I tried it on. It looked good, it actually stretched the way it was meant to (thank the sewing Gods) so I could fit it over my ever expanding bosom and tum.

Now all I had to do was hem the sleeves and the dress, which turned out to be not that challenging, With the aid of clips (and pegs) I managed to get the length more or less right the first time. I only needed to adjust it slightly and once sewn up I was ready to go.

So here I am in all my shiny gold disco glory, pretty happy with how it’s turned out, even if I do look like a preggo space babe from the future.

Gold Maternity Dress
Gold Maternity Dress
Gold Maternity Dress

Simplicity 7702: All Sewn Up – 60s Shift Dress

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

My first sew of 2015. A few weeks ago I put a blog up for advice, after I scored some gorgeous vintage style fabric from John Lewis in the sale, asking what your opinions were on the pattern to pick.

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In the end the simplicity won out. I wanted to try something different, something with a sixties silhouette different from the more tailored sews I’d done previously. The fabric seemed more suited to that. I decided to sew up a toile with some left over cotton that I had as I am a 34 in the bust but I have junk in my trunk, way more than is allowed for on the pattern.

I am so, so glad that I decided to do this because the toile was far too tight on the hips and it was throwing everything off shape wise. So I got out the Swedish tracing paper, made some adjustments and came up with a much more pleasing and better fitting toile.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

I used this to cut the fabric and with gritted teeth marked it all out to ensure that I matched the pattern at the back of the dress, which turned out very well even if I do say so myself, first time almost perfect, I decided to leave it at that. It was only a tiny bit out of sync and I wasn’t about to tempt fate by taking the zip out again and seeing it all back in only for it to not match at all.

simplicty 7702 www.staceystitch.com

This is the first time that I’ve ever sewn up a pattern putting the zip in the back before sewing the sides in. Easier x one million. I don’t even know why I haven’t considered doing it before. I think I’m just a stickler for the instructions. I must do what they say. I might remedy that in the future.

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I tried the bodice on and had a bit of a worry when the centre back wasn’t lying flat against my skin, until I realised I was wearing the shoulders a little high and they should have been sat a little further down.

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I then had the sleeve quandary. Knowing how much I dread setting in sleeves I considered the flat method for a while BUT I decided just to knuckle down and get on with it in the end and sewed the side seams before setting in the sleeves traditionally.

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They went in like a dream. I pinned and pinned and I ensured I sewed in slowly and carefully easing them in as I went and sewing from inside the sleeve side rather than the bodice side if that makes sense. After a good old pressing they looked great.

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I took three inches off the bottom for the hem allowance rather than the two and three quarter as specified on the pattern, and voila I was done.

So here I am in my new dress.

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Simplicity 7702

There are a couple of things to consider:

I have started going running. A lot. Which means my hips are now smaller than they were, hopefully I don’t look like I’m wearing a tent.

I love that it’s not fitted because I feel free! I love wearing more structured garments but there is something so gloriously comfortable about this shift dress while still looking super smart.

What do you think? Have you made anything similar? I;d love to see your version – link me up!

Simplicity 2602: The Christmas Edition

Christmas eve is almost upon us and here I have a festive feast for your eyes.

The Simplicity 2602 all made up and worn for my work Christmas party (and soon to be seen on Christmas Day!).

Christmas dress and fabric 2015

I know I’ve been a bit slack on the stitching over the recent months but I have fantastic news to share, I’ve been making changes to my life and will be starting a new post in my current job in the new year. It’s the perfect way to round of what has been a wonderful year.

That’s the main reason for the lack of updates and besides that I decided to literally work my butt off after I  found myself in a position where I couldn’t fit into my beautiful pink boned dress that I made back in June. I’ve been working out day and night and haven’t been in this good shape for years, but enough of that, lets get on with this fantastically festive frock!

I have to confess that I made the choice based on something quick to whip up (relatively speaking) and the lack of messing about with sleeves when I knew how busy I’d be in the weeks running up to the date I needed to finish by.

I picked a medium weight cotton from Benartex (Let It Snow) available from Plush Addict. I went for a good 4 metres and I was very happy in the end that I did.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned out the pattern and up came a quandary, mainly that the pattern doesn’t repeat itself often enough.

It meant a lot of pinning and re-pinning before cutting and I had to deal with the sides seams not matching (I decided the back was much more important due to the side closure and the split).

So after holding my breath and cutting while crossing my fingers and every available part of me (I don’t often sewing with patterned fabric!) it was done.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned the darts and pinned to my dressform and was already very happy before I even started to sew it up. Sewing was relatively easy apart from the back, which I had managed to get a tiny bit out of sync.

Yet again my seam ripper became my best friend and I opted to sewing on the fold down the back rather than try (for the umpteenth time) to match the seam.

I don’t think you could obviously see it due to the pattern but decided even if you could I’d give myself a break and not give too much of a monkeys.

So on I went, and the rest was relatively easy, the split was a breeze and the side zip went in with ease. It seems that a break away for a while has done me some good. Eight and a half hours later and I was done, pressed and ready to go.

I wore at the office party, looking way more dressed up than everyone there BUT it’s Christmas and if you can’t wear a lovely sparkly dress for a party what can you wear it for? Here it is in all it’as glory!

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Better photos to follow after Christmas day – wait until you see my hand embroidered napkins and table cloth!

Wishing you all a fantastic festive season, a wonderful Christmas Day and much love and happiness with your friends and family. I’m off to ice my ridiculously boozy cake!

Merry Christmas!

Craftsy: Sew Retro – The Gertie Bombshell Dress Complete

Three days before I got Vegas, finally finished my dress this afternoon. Yikes!

Sometimes I think I am either incredibly lucky when I get things done so quickly, or incredibly silly for procrastinating in the first place!

Last week a gave an update of how this dress was going, which I’d started after signing up my my first craftsy course when I was looking for something an extra special to take off to Vegas as I would be out there celebrating my (gulp) 34th birthday.

I’ll pick up where I left off.

The bodice made, I started with the skirt, which is a faux sarong (which doesn’t have the extra flap underneath). It was relatively easy to put together with a lot of gathering to one side to give it the sarong look.

After sewing up the sides  I pinned it to the bodice to see how it would look and I was so happy to see it looking gorgeous.

I have to say this is always my favourite part of sewing, when I can finally look at what the garment will become.

I don’t know why but it always does surprise me that I have managed to actually make something that looks like it’s meant to. You would have thought that almost a year in I’d be over it, but apparently not.

That’s the joy of making your own clothes though, isn’t it?

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After this it was time to sew it in. Now, I know it was going to be a bit of a struggle with that amount of gathering to one side but armed with my seam ripper I knew that it might be a case of taking it apart and putting it back together again.

Which I did have to, as I got half way round (after holding my breath and hoping for the best) the doorbell went and local campaigners were asking if I have voted (which I had – at 7.30 that morning).

I look flustered, they apologised and I went back to the skirt, finished it then realised I’d not sewing in the sarong part properly and had to start over again.

Which I did and when I had finished (round 2) it looked a little like this.

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I’m not sure it even does it justice, there is a lot of material in that side gather!

It was then time to insert the zip. Now Gertie shows you how to do a lapped zip, something which I have done before but much to my own dismay it didn’t work out as neat as it could have done, so it was nice to go through this stage step by step.

Half the Zip in – success! When I went to sew the other side in however I nearly had a little cry. Zip woes!

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I tried twice to do it by machine but I just could not get it right, and to be honest, I really prefer the hand picked technique for this, so in the end this is what I did. I think it just gives the outside a much better look that the row of stitching.

The next morning I had a little try on as I was super excited to see what it looks like, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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We were told at the beginning of this class that it would fit like a glove and it really, really does. So if anyone is about to embark on this class please make sure you measure it correctly.

The boning and lining was still to go on but I was so happy that I made the cups that little bit bigger because I was sure at this point that I would have been boobs out!

So on with the internal structure, lining and boning.

I normally don’t line my dresses, I don’t really know why, maybe laziness or more because when I have picked up vintage dresses many of them haven’t been lined, so all of this was new to me.

I went for a cotton lawn for the lining in a light blue with white polka dots. I cut out my pieces and spent an evening sewing them all together.

I have to say this was mildly frustrating as the cotton is so light I found it a bit tricky when it came to sewing the cups in.

They aren’t as perfect as I’d like them to be but I was tight on time by this point. A few hours later the lining was complete.

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The next step was to add the boning. I was, by this stage, watching bits of the tutorial and stopping to do a bit of work, going back and pressing play.

I would say for anyone who would be taking this class to watch it through once at this stage and then go back from the start and sew along, as the instructions are a tiny bit higgeldy piggeldy and there are things you could do with knowing (or things it would make it easier to know) if you watched it all the way through to begin with.

Anyhoo, the boning channels were pinned and sewn in.

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Then it was time to cut the boning down to size. I had chosen a variety of thickness and I thought I might need a little extra support around the bust area and I was glad that I did, but I did have a job cutting the larger pieces down to size (the chance of you getting any more than a couple of pieces pre-cut to the correct size is slim!).

This is fun, I thought when I first started snipping with much struggle with the wire cutters. I actually had to get Tim come and help me with the thicker bits I was no where near strong enough to get those bad boys done. Oh, and I didn’t purchase any extra end covers but I did manage to remove the ones already on the bits I had clipped and re-used them so all was not lost.

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Boning clipped and in it was time to pin the lining into the bodice.

I was careful when I did pin it in not to pin right through the bodice (learnt my lesson from a long time of steaming and pressing out the puncture marks on the top of the bodice when I was making that up!) and ensured that everything lined up.

It this point Gertie mentioned using a piece of grosgrain ribbon for a zipper guard, which is a welcome finishing touch to the dress but I would have liked to know earlier that I would need an extra piece of ribbon which is double the size of that which I have for the waist stay.

I improvised and did the best I could with what I had and it did work out well.

This is a little bone of contention for this course.

There are times when things are not mentioned in the materials (such as this) or times when little tips are mentioned after the event.

Maybe it’s my ordered ind which getting a bit miffed when these things occur but as I am planning on making another couple of dresses based on this pattern then it is useful to add little notes at these stages reminding yourself of tips that would have been handier to know earlier.

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I hand picked the zipper guard as I had done with the zip, being careful not to go through to the outside of the dress.

I then sewed the lining into the bodice and voila it was almost complete. Just the waist stay and hemming to go.

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Doesn’t it look pretty! I did at this point stop for the day as my wonderfully patient husband had been waiting to hang out with me as he’s off to do newt based stuff on Monday so we won’t see each other until I get back from Vegas.

Now the structure is inside the dress I could see how much better it was going to fit and support me. Before this point I had had some serious misgivings about whether or not my juicy chest fruit would be particularly supported but now I had no qualms.

Next was inserting the waist stay and attaching buttons for the detachable halter strap. The strap is completely optional and this dress does hold up beatifully without it but if, like me, you plan on using this dress for other occasions where it might be better to add a little for more of a day wear look then straps are a perfect option. I do plan on wearing this dress to a wedding this year too, so a halter seemed a good way to go.

Unfortunately my buttons didn’t exactly match, I went for the thinnest ones I had due to the dress being so close to my skin so I had to go for these clear yellow ones – they will be replaced at some point.

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All that was left to do after this was the hemming and finishing the skirt vent.

The instructions were relatively easy but I would have liked to know that I could finish the seams a little earlier where the zip is concerned as this caused me a lot of fiddling about.

The hem was finished with seam binding and then sewing on the back for an invisible finish.

I found some matching the light blue of my lining and waist stay in a box that my Nana had gifted to me, and I have to say the finish does   look very pretty.

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After this, there it was, my lovely dress, all complete.

There’s no final photo in this post as I plan on doing a few posts from Vegas so you’ll have to see the complete outfit post then, I don’t want to ruin everything, and me at the end of a two day sewing marathon to get this finished, in my scruffs, with my hair all pinned back would not have done it justice!

 


 

So in summary, I have really enjoyed this craftsy course and I am hooked!

I will definitely be taking more classes, there aren’t so many local ones around my neck of the woods so I’m really looking forward to bettering my skills and making this dress in different variations again soon.

If anyone is considering it I’d say go for it, you can do it, and I’d really like to see what you make!

Craftsy: Sew Retro – The Gertie Bombshell Dress So Far

I thought I’d give a little update on my Sewing for Vegas Sew Retro bombshell dress and my experience of using Craftsy for the first time.

I signed up for this course with a little trepidation, boning? yikes! But you never get anywhere unless you push yourself do you? And in some respects I have all too easily become used to doing what I can do and sticking with the “safe” stuff.

So first things first:

When I found out about craftsy I thought it would be marvellous for me. As you may know I am dyslexic, so looking at instructions in the written word are usually quite confusing.

Add with that mild dyspraxia and you have a whole heap of confusion when it comes to things such as left and right.

I learn so well when people show me physically how to do something rather than from reading instructions, hence the idea of video classes which I can access at any point seemed perfect.

So sign up I did.

I downloaded the course materials and pattern (easy enough) ensuring that the test square was the right size and then ordered everything I needed to make up the dress (apart from the boning – you really need to measure your bodice pieces for that).

I decided on a cerise medium weight cotton for the main fabric with the lining in a lightweight light blue and white polka dot.

I cracked on with making up the pattern.

Now, I know this should have been easy and it was up to a certain point but honestly, being told that it’s “fun, like doing a puzzle” doesn’t actually make it any more fun and less fiddly.

Oh, and if you’re like me and don’t have a table big enough, prepare for some backache.

This was however soothed by watching the amazingly trashy cultness of Showgirls while I was doing it.


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Next up was marking the pattern pieces on calico for the toile of the bodice.

When I first discovered that the pattern had no seam allowance I was struck by a little bit of fear, I completely didn’t understand how beneficial this actually would be and how easy it would make the whole process. Thread tracing is a new one on me but I feel like it’s something that might change my sewing life!

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After a short time I had my cups made and decided it was time to leave it for the night.

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The next day I began stitching the rest of the pieces together. It took me about 40 minutes of not understanding why the cups weren’t fitting into the bodice sections before I realised I’d sewn them on the wrong way round (dylexia-dyspraxia strikes again!). Once they were un-picked and re-sewn I had a bodice which looked pretty fantastic.

I just made a few adjustments to the height of the cups (these would make me blush in their original form, and I’m not shy by any means) which Gertie talks you through every step of the way, There’s also a section on a full bust adjustment, which I didn’t use but I did watch and it was very thorough. It will be a great reference if I make something for someone in the future who is bustier than me.

I added a little height to the back of the bodice too, in line with the height I’d added to the cups and then I graded this down towards the closure section where the zip will be inserted.

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After this I made the changes to my pattern pieces to incorporate the extra material and I cut more calico for the interlining, marked it up and used these pieces as a pattern for the main bodice material, which I then cut and tacked together.

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Then I made up the bodice as instructed, step by step, including inserting a bit of padding to the cups and a few other tailoring techniques as shown (I don’t want to give everything away).

This where I’m up to, an almost complete bodice. I am so happy with how it looks.

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My thoughts on the class and on craftsy:

I am really loving doing something new and more challenging with guidance from others who have completed the course and from the instructor. I would definitely recommend this type of learning to anyone who is talking up sewing. The instructions are clear and concise and it is invaluable to be able to see in motion what you can only read about in other respects. The little tailoring and hand sewing techniques and finishes and shared experiences from Gertie are well worth signing up for, never mind the fact you’ll have a gorgeous dress at the end of it.

I fully intend to carry on doing more craftsy courses after I have finished this one. What I have learned so far is so much more than I thought I would, and it’s great to find out little tips and tricks so that if (like me) you’re learning as you go, and on your own, you find speedier and more accurate ways to make garments.

 


 

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME

8 DAYS TO GO AND EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

NVAs

 

If you liked this blog please vote for me in the NVAs as I’ve been nominated under the Best Vintage Fashion/Lifestyle Blog category. Voting is open throughout May and it’s a simple click to select Stacey Stitch and then enter your email address to confirm the vote (you wont be spammed). Clicking on the photo or links above should take you straight to the website.

I need to be in the top 3 and I’m currently in 4th place. Only the top 3 go through to the judges panel. Help a fellow vintage sewing enthusiast out?

It’ll only take a few minutes of your time if you have it spare! Thank you!

Simplicity 3877: All Sewn Up (The Christmas Edition)

I’ve had this gorgeous pattern since July and have been looking for the perfect excuse to make it and what better than a Christmas party at work? The scene is set, there will be a brass quintet and nibbles and drinks in the Atrium of our building, now all I need to do is make an entrance in something very festive.

Simplicity 3877

I bought this gorgeous fabric by for the skirt part and some matching Christmas tree green for the bodice and got to cutting and sewing.

Christmas dress fabric
Now, I didn’t really give myself the easiest time when I was making this. In between visiting family, a weekend away. tying up my last 6 modelling appearances (I have officially now finished – see me below as a Christmas tree), making and wrapping gift, buying and decorating the tress, icing two Christmas cakes,  and a million more things……..I had about three nights to do this and finished up the last night half cut after a Prof took me and the team for dinner.
Chrostmas tree - wayland thor badger dr sketchy birmingham

Thanks to A J Pilkington of Manicks Productions & Dr Sketchy Birmingham for this pic!

I did (again) struggle with the sleeves – which were, again, meant to be set in…but it seems we do not get on very well, so I did my best, tried not to cry (after sewing a sleeve in inside out and having to get the trust seam ripper out again) and took a deep breath. They didn’t turn out too badly BUT I have made it an aim for 2014 to master set in sleeves!

christmas dress

The light isn’t great in this pic so I’ve added the one below as I think it gives a better impression (and it was too cold to be outside!)

Christmas dress

My dress was complete. So what else but make a reindeer decoration to pin to your head? Add to this some sparkly shoes, festive nails, a lovely Narnia based lamppost necklace and a lot of glitter and I was the most dressed up person at the office Christmas do, but then again when else can you get away with wearing a sparkly reindeer on your head?

Christmas nails

Narnia necklace

So on that note; I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, thank you so much for following my blog and reading my posts over the last six months or so and have a wonderful Christmas! I’ll be back soon (unless I cannot reach the laptop from my eggnog and chocolate coma) xx