Saturday, 4 February 2012

Squiggle, squiggle, squiggle, squiggle, squiggle yeah! And a quick zipper tutorial!

I sing that in the tune of LMFAO's song Sexy and I Know It when I look at this fabric... cos the fabric is 'magenta squiggle'. Naming this dress the "3am Squiggle" dress.

A skill that I learnt recently and have used on this dress is inserting an invisible zipper between the dress fabric and the lining, like how the zippers look on RTW. I have been taught that lining can be hand sewed to the dress fabric... but I do it by machine! Clean machine finish :D

My attempt at a tutorial... 

How to insert zipper in a fully lined dress!

Time to insert the invisible zipper
between the fabric and the lining.
Pin the zipper at seam allowance.
2.5cm seam allowance at the back for me.
I have a small back.
Separate the lining and the dress.
Baste zipper on the dress fabric only
(like you would on unlined dress).
Sew zipper with invisible zipper foot.
Repeat on the reverse side.
Flip the lining over so the right sides
of fabric/lining are facing eachother, pin.
Tuck the top bit of the zipper inside so you can sew it in.
Sew lining and dress fabric together close to the zip.
This is how it looks inside out.
Reverse it and voila!
Zipper is between the lining and the fabric.

Now... the finished dress and pattern review!

Do the squiggle, yeah.

I used the fabric I got from Spotlight yesterday and sunsilky lining** that I got for 1/2 price today from Lincraft.

Took 2 hours to cut, 5 hours to sew up the dress, lining, zipper and hem.

**Sunsilky lining: 100% Polyester. Permanently anti-static, treated to breath like a natural fibre.

"Techniques" (which might be normal practice for most seamstresses) that I used on this dress, which I must remember to use all the time cos I love the result so much:

  • PFF (press flat first)
  • Stay stitch - I always forget to do this!! I will make a mental note to remember
  • Zipper inserted between the lining and dress fabric
  • Twin needle hem

I'm proud to say that I did not unpick any of my seams! I made zero mistakes with this dress. This is a first! Usually when I sew late at night, I end up having to unpick at some stage, but not tonight. I started sewing at 9pm tonight and finished at 2am. I'm very nocturnal.

I'm also very happy that my front darts, side seams, and zipper all matched perfectly! The back darts were a little off, but that's ok .

Perfectly lined up darts.
M5845 front bodice.
Darts unaligned but the waist matches at the zipper.
M5845 back bodice.

The only modification I made to the pattern was lower the neck by 2" (5cm) and raise the back by 2" (5cm).

Oooh, and I added in-seam pockets!

Drafted my own in-seam pocket pattern.

Pattern Review... 

Pattern: McCall's 5845
Size: Size 6 bodice, graded to size 8 waist, size 6 skirt.
Fabric: 1.2m cotton sateen, 1m sunsilky lining
Notions: Invisible zipper (black) 16", Gutermann thread (000) 
    • Lowered neck by 2"
    • Raised back by 2"
    • Skirt pieces shortened to 18.5" (3cm hem)
    • Added pockets
    • Regular (1.5cm) back seam allowance
    • Invisible zipper instead of dress zipper
    • No vent
    • Darts on the inside not outside (damn! I said I would put them outside next time I make this dress, oops).
Time: about 7 hours
Total cost: $14 (fabric, lining and zip), pattern and thread from my stash.

Here are some photos of the inside of the dress.

McCall's 5845
Finished the hems on the machine using the twin needles.
McCall's 5845

I wasn't very keen on the fabric when I saw it, but it was $5/m, so what the heck, I bought it, but I really like it now. At first glance, I thought it looked like a leopard print, but at closer inspection, it looks like blobs of spilt paint, lol. I really like it. Even if it does look like skanky leopard print, the high neck balances it out, haha.

I know I say this about every single dress after I finish making it, but I really love this one. I sewed with a lot of patience and applied techniques that I have learnt at sewing class and by reading online blogs. I guess it shows that I am improving if every new dress tops the last one.

I really like this dress cos it is fitted. It is very rare for me to fit "fitted" RTW dresses... if they fit at the bust and hips then it doesn't zip up at the waist. If it fits the waist, then its loose and yucky at the hips and bust. So glad I can customised my dress to fit my body.

McCall's 5845 (back)
McCall's 5845 (back)
McCall's 5845 with pockets.

Alrighty, off to bed for me :)


  1. Absolutely fabulous. The fabric is so eye catching. Great job. Left a comment on PR as I thought it was a peplum dress lol. Going back to edit.

    1. Thanks Tina! Peplums are cute, but I've tried some RTW peplum dresses/skirts and its not flattering on me :(

  2. I'm so jealous at how fast you sewed that up! I absolutely love that fabric. I'm loving random spilt paint/watercolor fabrics right now. I pinned that Michael Kors dress on Pinterest too, I would love to make a version. Hot pink and all!

  3. This dress is REALLY adorable! I recently started learning to sew (mostly for decor) but I keep finding inspiration like this for sewing clothes, too. Check out my new blog if you're interested. I started it so I can document my journey in sewing, too. It's Now I must keep looking at your other dresses :)

  4. Thanks so much for the zipper tutorial. The last dress I made required quite a bit of hand sewing and I was thinking I need to try to experiment with sewing the lining by machine. I was trying to figure out how I would get the lining close to the invisible zipper with it being sandwiched between the two layers of fabric but this helped me realize it doesn't need to be invisible from the inside. Duh! Thanks again for a great tutorial. Your dress looks nice and it fits great!

    P.S. I found your blog via Pattern Review.

    ~M. Inez

  5. If you are using your technique for lining a sleeveless dress, would you do the zip before or afterwards?

    1. Hi, I have used these tutorials to line 2 sleeveless dresses. I did the "bagging" first then put the zip in to the dress fabric (the 3rd pic on this page shows the lining is attached and pulled up and then the zip is then inserted into the dress fabric - or at least that's how I interpreted it). I've found these tutorials really helpful!

  6. Thank you so much for this and your bagging tutorial. I hadn't tried lining a dress before mostly because I got headaches trying to work out the best way to do it, but thanks to your tutorials I now have lined two dresses! Thanks again :)

    Any tips for dresses with sleeves?


Powered by Blogger.

© 2011-2014 Sew Me Love, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena