Sunday, 29 April 2012

MMM'12, new patterns, fabric, rotary cutter & mat.

Thank you all you guys for your advice on the rotary cutter and cutting mat!

I bought myself a 45mm OLFA rotary cutter and 24" x 36" self healing OLFA rotary mat. I really wanted to get the A0 mat from eBay as suggested by TigerGirl but the shipping option didn't suit me :( 

I also stumbled upon some gorgeous cotton sateen (surprise, surprise!) on sale! I love the print. Not sure what I will make with it yet. It will go into the stash until I find the perfect pattern. 

New fabric, rotary cutter and mat. 

I bought three new patterns this week from Club BMV, I got one from each pattern company. B5566 skirt, M5850 dress and V8603 skirt.  The skirts will be perfect for work! I have been dying to make pencil skirts for work. The M5850 was the pattern I wanted to buy months ago but they didn't have my size. I want to use the M5850 strapless bodice for my next dressmaking class project.

I missed sewing class this week, so I am behind on my Simplicity 3222. I should do some catch up sewing of the darts and bodice this weekend.

I've been lazy, I haven't done any sewing since my V8511 'retro inspired dress'. I've already worn it twice since I made it - Sunday lunch and movies (I finally got around to seeing 21 Jump Street, funniest movie I have seen in a while!) and out for Friday night drinks and dinner.  I love, love, love that dress!!  

I have also joined in MMM'12. I'm starting to notice I only wear my favourite hand-mades. With this challenge, I hope to be open to wearing my other hand-mades. I'll have to wear repeat dresses but I will make an effort to accessorize well.

I'll do a round-up post at the end of May rather than daily or weekly posts.

'I, Neeno of Sew Me Love, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear at least one item made by me each day, minimum three times a week, for the duration of May 2012'

Lots of my favourite seamstresses are doing MMM'12 and I can't wait to see everyone's outfits. Right now I feel like I have lost my sewing mojo. Promise my next post will be an update on my vintage Simplicity 3222. 

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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Finished Project: Vogue 8511, Working with Directional Fabric.

V8511, I heart you. I like that you are not complicated by darts or gathers. You have a perfect princess seamed bodice. You are 'very easy' and very perfect for me. 

I work up on Saturday morning with motivation to sew! On the way to Spotty to get a zipper and liner, I stopped for some banana milkshake goodness and a pie, then I was set for a Saturday sewing session.

There was a VIP sale at Spotty so I got 30% off the 'good' lining (sunsilky), WIN. I also checked out cutting mats and rotary cutters, and I am working that cost into my sewing budget.

I got home, and was surprised to see a KONY2012 poster on my fence!

After I texted everyone about the random KONY poster, I got started on my dress.

The inspiration dress is a dress I saw Nicole Richie wearing. Love the mustard color. I decided to use my 'floralicious' cotton sateen, since I still had so much of it, for my retro-inspired dress.

My dress.
The Inspiration.
Nicole Richie in a retro-inspired dress.
From the above picture, I could see that the dress had a princess seamed bodice, a v-slit neck and a gathered skirt. I decided that my new favorite pattern, the V8511, would be perfect. All I needed to do was replace the pleated skirt with a gathered skirt, and cut a little 'v' on the front bodice, and I would have something similar to Nicole's dress.

The fabric has flowers on it, and I believe that is called 'nap' directional fabric. I usually work with plain fabrics, and the other day in sewing class I was almost about to cut my entire dress upside down. I just don't think sometimes!

Today, I remembered to have the pattern pieces facing the right way, but I didn't read the instructions, so I didn't pin the  front bodice and side bodice next to each other. I started cutting then realised that the pieces that joined together to create the princess seam should be near each other, so when it's sewn up, it won't look ridiculous. Luckily, I had about 2.5m of fabric so I started over.

Take 2. Wasted about 1 meter of fabric.
Lesson learnt! Focus needed when working with nap directional fabric.
The pattern said 1m lining was required, so I bought 1.5m so I could also line the skirt.
I managed to fit my size 6 bodice pieces on about 0.5m of lining (sunsilky lining width is 122cm).

The dress took about 7hrs to finish. This included cutting fabric, lining, bagging, pressing, gathering, overlocking, and hemming by hand. Phew.

This bodice is so quick to put together because there are no darts, no sleeves, no bust gathering. It's a godsend.

I had the most relaxing time making this dress, mostly because I knew the fabric I was using was bought on sale for $3/m, so if I made a mistake, meh, I'll start over.

I found a weird discrepancy with the pattern... I saw it last time too when making the red version, but thought that it of my cutting. When matching the notches on the shoulder, the seams from the side and front/back bodice don't meet. Strange. I swear I was cutting properly today!

I decided that the seams should line up, so I ignored the notches.

Weird notches: when notches match, the seams don't!
I chose to fully line the dress. I am addicted to lining. Even though I own an overlocker now, I still can't resist lining my dresses.

I bagged the bodice, the technique is very easy. Sometimes the pattern instructions tell you to do it another way. I first learnt this 'clean machine finish' technique from The Slapdash Sewist then again at sewing class. My tutor said to ignore pattern instructions, because this way is easier, and no hand sewing required! Clean machine finish!!

I encourage everyone to try it, you won't go back to facings, talking to you Sue :) I took some photos today when I was bagging my bodice, maybe during the week, I'll post up the photos of me bagging my bodice.

For the skirt, I didn't want to make it as full as my previous gathered skirts like the 'peter pan' and 'high tea' dress. I made the skirt with one piece of fabric, cut at the fold. The skirt is as wide as the fabric, 122cm. The length was 19". This included seam allowance and hem. I wanted the skirt to be short. 

Gathering my skirt. I sew 3 lines of gathering stitches. Gathers better me thinks.
BF came over to watch football, got him to take photo for me :P
Lately, all the dresses I have been making are long to the knee. Though they look very nice and lady-like, sometimes I need a short skirt. Have to admit, I felt naked today when I was trying it on! 

The 'v' slit thingo on the front bodice came out OK, it's a bit wider than Nicole's dress though. I am happy with the princess seams matching up with not too much dramatic change in the floral pattern. 

I am extremely happy with the effort I put into it. All the seams are aligned, the zipper is awesome, the back seams are perfect. I'm really rapt with this dress because the red version of V8511 wasn't 100%, and the dress I made before that, the Vintage Simplicity 3222, wasn't technically great either. I also mustered up the courage to change my overlocker threads to black so I could serge the raw edges. I handstitched the hem. You know I love a dress when I choose to handstitch!

Pattern Review: V8511 (bodice only)

Size: Size 6
Fabric: 1.0m cotton sateen (floral), 1.0m lining (black).
Notions: Invisible zipper (black) 22", Gutermann thread (000).
    • replaced skirt with full gathered skirt, cut 19" length (SA and hem incl),
    • 'v' neck detail.
Time: 7 hours.
Cost: $14 (fabric, lining, zip), pattern and thread from my stash. Fabric was on sale for $3/m, lining was on sale $7/m, zipper $4.

TIPS for next time: 
    • FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS when working with nap directional fabric, lucky I had heaps of this fabric otherwise I would've been devastated for cutting into it incorrectly, and it would been such a hassle to go buy more fabric.
New techniques learned: 
    • Used my own overlocker to finish raw edges, 
    • I didn't break the machine when I changed threads :)
Front and back of lining.
Close ups!

Luckily I like where the flowers sit on the bodice, I didn't think about picking some nice parts of the fabric for the centre of the bodice, I just pinned and cut and then thought about it afterwards and panicked. The back of the dress looks really good. I cut the back bodice centre and back skirt centre at roughly the same spot. NAP! Directional print! I'm getting used to you!

I have about 0.5m left of this fabric. I was speaking to my girlfriend this morning. She let me borrow a top to go to a music festival couple of weeks ago, it was a midriff top with 'cups' detailing the bust, floral print, so cute. It was perfect to wear with a high waisted skirt. We tried looking for it in the stores, but they sold out. She even checked her hometown. Nothing. Then she said "Why don't you sew one..?". Ding! Of course! I don't know why I didn't think of that! So now I'm on the hunt for a pattern to make that top, then I'll make it with this fabric.

I have been mentally compiling a list of things I want to sew:

  • strapless bustier bodice dress
  • midriff top
  • pencil skirts
  • semi fitted dresses for work, in colors such as black, grey, mustard.
  • a birthday dress
Any suggestions for what I should make for my birthday dress? I drool over Lladybird's birthday dress from last year, and the one she's making this year looks like it will also be amazing. My birthday is in August...

I also need help with choosing a rotary cutter, I saw  few brands at the store. for the size, I'll get the largest one, 60mm, but with the brand, is Clover the best? What brand should I get?

Hope you all had a great weekend, thank you for reading.

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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Weekly Dressmaking & Cows.

It took about a month, but I finally feel like I am almost back to 100% health! I no longer have a sexy-husky-man-voice, no longer break into coughing fits in an elevator full of strangers, no longer look "tired" everyday. I'm back!

I feel like it has been a long time since my last post... so much has been happening!

Last weekend, I spent time at my cousin's holiday house. It was nice to be around family, good food and cows. I really love cows, I have a fascination with black and white cows. Unfortunately the cows that we out the back were black and brown cows. I was still excited though!! I flooded Instagram with photos of #cows.

No one was more excited than me to see cows!!!!

I was assigned the task of BBQing! Check out the cows coming closer!

A walk to the beach at twilight.
Australia, the land occupied by the ten most venomous snakes in the world. Lovely.

So beautiful.

After my relaxing weekend, I went back to work after my Easter break and started my new role as a Building Industry Co-Ordinator. Three words: I LOVE IT. My colleagues are wonderful and I feel like I have been part of the team since forever! I'm actually a little sad that there is a public holiday next week because I will miss going to work, haha.

Oh, is anyone watching The Voice (Australia)?? It is so good!!!!! Watched my first episode on Monday night and I was bawling my eyes out. All the coaches are cool, my favourite is Seal and his fluro yellow nails, and Keith Urban... and Joel Madden... and Delta. I love them all!

Tuesday, I resumed my weekly sewing class. I switched to Tuesday night class. The new class is awesome, there's 8 students and they are all sewing different things, one lady was finishing an LBD, another girl was making pajamas, another girl was taking up all her jeans. It is so interesting to see everyone doing different things, very motivating and inspiring.  Here's what I got up to on Tuesday night...

My fabric's so floralicious! I have 4m of it!

Come at me cummerband! 

Whisperweft interfacing for my facings.

I figured out why the skirt and the bodice side seams didn't align on my first Simplicity 3222, it was because I didn't finish cutting the pattern properly after I added the extra centimetre for my waist. Duh.

I also shortened the skirt in the middle of the pattern piece instead of at the hem (like my hot pink version) so this version will have more of a pencil skirt. 

I am also making the cummerband, the first time I will be using boning. Funny thing, I was looking for boning at the craft store, the SA, about 15 years old walked by, I stopped her and said "Excuse me, where can I find boning?" The look on her face was priceless!! She had no idea what boning was and reacted as if I was some pervert looking for... boning.

I have so much fabric left over, I think I will make another dress with is, maybe the V8511 but with a short, full gathered skirt and that neck slit thing. I am inspired by this mustard dress that Nicole Ritchie is wearing.

Like, like, like, like. Wow, Rihanna's legs.

Cute dress huh? I also want to make a mustard version. I get so overwhelmed, I don't know what I should make. When I first started sewing, I wanted to sewing impractical dresses in crazy colours, then I obsessed over full skirts, then realised I couldn't wear them daily so I started planning dresses for work, now I want to go back to bright colours and shorter hemlines. I have decided that the next project I will work on at sewing class will be a strapless bustier style dress. I will have the opportunity to use more boning and be more challenged because I think strapless dresses are harder to fit?

Last night, one of my best-girlfriends came over for wine and Gossip Girl (we never got around to watching Gossip Girl because we were too busy gossiping, ha) and she told me she had a proposition for me! She works in the PR industry and is surrounded by social media gurus, popular bloggers and all those other cool people. Apparently some of her friends, a make up artist, a photographer and a blogger asked if I sell my dresses! They also asked if I would consider letting them feature my dresses on their blog or in their magazine. Of course I said yes to the feature. I wouldn't sell my dresses, they are my babies and I can't put a dollar value on them. Plus, they aren't perfect and I have seen far prettier dresses in blog-world, but I am very flattered that they asked.

If this goes ahead, it will either happen in a couple of weeks, if not it will be in the Spring/Summer time, which would give me time to sew up more dresses! I am very excited at the thought of a model wearing my dresses and striking poses. How fricking exciting?!

Well, that's all I have to report for this week, not much sewing, but plenty of cutting! I am saving up for a cutting mat and rotary as suggested by Zoeope.

SHOUT OUT: Before I get comfortable with my chocolate bunny and a glass riesling to catch up on Gossip Girl, Modern Family and REVENGE (omgomgomgomg I am so excited that it has finally returned after a million years)... um, yes, back to what I was saying - I'd like to share a couple of posts that I have read recently that I really related to. Sue of Sewin' Steady blogged about wearing her own creations and how she reacts when people compliment her. I was nodding to myself when reading this post and all the comments. I used to think I was the only person that shuffled awkwardly when people talk about my blog and handmades. Another post is The Real Cost of Sewing by Tilly. I keep receipts of all sewing notions and fabric, it will be interesting when I add them up at the end of the year. Last year, I spent almost $1000 in 5 months, so I wonder how much I will spend this year!

What about you guys, have you read any interest posts recently or found any new exciting blogs I should follow?

Have a great weekend all, "you know you love me, xoxo" -haha!

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Finished Project & Pattern Review: Vogue 8511 with Self-Drafted Asymmetrical Collars.

I have realised something. I hate cutting. I really, really hate the cutting process... pinning, measuring the grain line, folding the selvedge together... it is so tedious!! I just want to get straight to sewing!

Today I thought to myself "Just Do It" and I finished the V8511 with collars, asymmetrical collars inspired by a RTW dress I saw at the shops.

This dress is made using some sort of polyester blend that feels very much like the fabric of the inspiration dress. I'm happy to call my fabric polyester/viscose/elastane since I don't know what it really is. The lining is half sunsilky polyester, half acetate. I went shopping for lining and only got enough lining for the bodice, I didn't realise the pattern only had a lined bodice. Luckily I had red sunsilky lining leftover from my other red dress with the peter pan collars so there was no "grr" moments.

For the first time, I shortened the skirt at the "lengthen or shorten here" lines on the pattern. Usually I hack off length at the hem, but this skirt is a tulip style skirt and shortening at the hem will change the shape of the skirt.

I'm not sure if I did it correctly, because when I joined the front and back skirt pieces together, the front piece was about an inch longer. Not sure what happened there! I trimmed off the excess on the serger. Naughty. I should've looked into why that happened... ahh next time.

When I tried the dress on, there was a strange V shaped wrinkle on my butt. Very unflattering. It looked like I was wearing a giant, lumpy thong!! :(

I checked my "Complete Sewing Guide" book I bought the other day, and the book said that my butt was too big. Completely possible, I have been making very bad food choices this week... I blame Easter and being sick. Cough cough.

It was too late to cut a bigger skirt (I cut a size 6 for he whole dress, even the waist!) and it was too late to let out the darts (book said to do that), so instead I extended the darts closest to the centre by 2 inches. It did the trick. I'm happy that the ugly V wrinkle is gone, but not happy that my butt has gotten bigger. Have to get back into doing squats!

I really like this pattern, the princess seamed bodice is so quick and easy, it really surprised me. The tulip skirt with the pleats is adorable, and different to my usual gathered and fitted skirts.

This is how I will look at work. In the photos, I am wearing a thick black belt so I can look like the girl on the pattern envelope, hehe. I wear belts with all my dresses though, I feel naked without a belt. I am also wearing small heels because I don't wear stilettos at work. I think this dress is very office appropriate, I like it a lot.

I was going to put my dress on the dress form to take photos of the lining, but I thought I would do something different... good idea at the time, but I had serious trouble trying to unzip myself.

Can you see the two different linings? Hahaha, they're supposed to be both red. I guess red polyester and red acetate look different... color blocking?

In the second photo of the lining, you can see that V wrinkle I was talking about earlier (I didn't fix the darts on the lining) it's not as bad on the lining, but you can see what I am talking about.

Pattern Review: V8511, drafted own collars.

Size: Size 6
Fabric: 1.5m polyester/viscose/elastane blend (red), 1.5m lining (red).
Notions: Invisible zipper (hot red) 22", Gutermann thread (156).
    • added collars,
    • shortened skirt pattern pieces by 9cm.
Time: About 6 hours, over 2 days.
Cost: $10 (fabric, lining, zip), pattern ($15) and thread from my stash.

TIPS for next time: 
    • Find out why the front skirt piece is longer,
    • More care when cutting fabric.
New techniques learned: 
    • The shape of the collars was drawn free hand, but the I learnt how to draft my own collars by following Gertie's online tutorial (part 1part 2part 3).
I am very, very pleased with how the collars turned out, I like these collars even more than the peter pan collars because they don't look too 'school girl'.

I cannot wait to wear this dress on Monday on my first day back at work! My weekly sewing class also starts again this week. Guess what I am up to? Cutting the fabric. Grrrrrrrr!!!

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend! 

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WIP: V8511 with Self-Drafted Asymmetrical Collars.

V8511, Very Easy Vogue. Very easy indeed!

I forced myself to sew today because all this week I have spent it watching re-runs of Modern Family, using the excuse that I am sick so I can sleep till noon and spend the whole day on the couch under my blanky. Watching Modern Family :D

I actually am sick though, maybe not as sick as I think, but I am very cough-ey and tired. Today I went out and got my hair cut and eyebrows threaded and made a stop by the fabric store to buy a zipper and lining for my V8511.

I could have finished this dress tonight, but I really didn't have the energy to keep going. I spent three hours on this dress (cutting and sewing) and all I have left is to cut the skirt lining, pleat the skirt, zipper, hem. I just don't have anymore energy, which is unfortunate because the dress is turning out quite nicely.

The version is basically a wearable muslin, to test out the pattern and the asymmetrical collars. The cutting wasn't the best and I was working in very dim light - forgot to replace the bulb in my floor lamp.

This is the first time I am sewing a pattern with princess seams, and I was surprised at how easy it is, I thought that joining the curves together would be hard -based on my first experience with the V8469 sleeves, took me 6 hours to join the sleeves to the bodice.

After I sewed up the bodice, I drafted the asymmetrical collars. Free handed!

Self drafted asymmetrical collars.

I quickly cut and sewed the lining and bagged the whole thing. It is so hard to iron without proper lighting... I'm not sure but I think I scorched some parts of the dress! I really wanted to pack up for the night, but I trooped on and finished the skirt and sewed the whole thing together. I really like the pleats and the tulip shaped skirt. Tomorrow night or sometime in the near future I will cut the skirt lining and finish the dress.

V8511, Princess seamed bodice.
V8511, Pleated skirt.

The fabric I used is some poly-cotton blend, I got it for $4/m months ago. It looks like linen, but it's not... I didn't really like the fabric, that's why I used it for a muslin, but after sewing everything up, it actually looks good! It's a deep red, but the camera doesn't capture it :(

V8511, work in progress.

I haven't tried the dress on yet, so I don't know if I will like the style of the skirt. I might need to stitch the skirt  to the bodice again because there's a weird bump... 

I decided to use the V8511 (instead of the M6201) for my 50s Work Dress because it has the princess seamed bodice... but it doesn't have sleeves... can't have it all hey, but I think I did a pretty good copy-cat with the collars YAY! 

Inspiration dress & V8511 with self drafted asymmetrical collars.
For version 2, I might replace the pleated skirt with a fitted skirt to replicate my inspiration dress. 
When I finish the dress I'l take proper photos. I'm off to watch more Modern Family now :) 

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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

50s Work Dress, M6201 or V8511?

When my friend was down from Queensland over the weekend, we spent one of our days at the shopping centre. This was the first time in months since I have stayed inside a shopping centre for longer than 10 minutes. Usually I step in to use buy a smoothie while on my way to the fabric store which is outside of the centre. I could never stand shopping centres, even before I started sewing. The bright lights and masses of slow moving people and prams... drives me nuts. If I have something to shop for, I am in and out within the hour, or I shop during my work lunch break. Then I discovered online shopping, and my trips to the shopping centre became less and less frequent... then I started sewing... and here we are.

I didn't find much I wanted to buy on our shopping trip, most dresses I saw, I could try and make myself. I even saw a red dress that looked exactly like my red dress but without the collars. I ended up only buying a stripey button up cardigan (buttons looked like they needed to be redone), two burnt orange blouses with exposed zipper at the back (one for me, one for mum - so we can match, hehe), and a sewing book.

I did find a dress that I want to replicate. A 50s Work dress. I am in love with Megan from Mad Men. She is so pretty and she rocks them shift dresses! Especially at work, so when I saw this dress at the shopping centre, it caught my attention and reminded me of Megan.

Look at the cute collars!

Ahh Megan. So pretty. When I saw her in Don's office telling him she wanted to be a copywriter and she smiled, I was immediately attracted to her teeth, they make her so adorable! I was a bit surprised that Don proposed to her, but I am so happy they are together because they make such a stunning couple, much better than Don and Betty. Don better not cheat on her!!!

Alright, so with the dress that I am hoping to replicate, it has princess seams, cap sleeves and collars.
I can draft the collars, might be challenging because they are not symmetrical but I don't imagine them being too hard to figure out.

I have two patterns in mind: the M6201 (View A) or the V8511 (View A)

M6201 or V8511  = Inspiration dress?

The M6201 is very shift-like, has cap sleeves and bodice darts. Skirt looks fairly fitted.
The V8511 has princess seamed bodice, but it is sleeveless and the skirt looks has pleats. Both necklines look similar.

I really wanted to make a dress that has a princess seamed bodice, but I think I might be leaning towards the M6201 because it has the cap sleeves.

What do you think?

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Sunday, 8 April 2012

My Sunshine Award.

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with their loved ones.

Thank you to the very lovely Marie from A Sewing Odyssey for awarding me the Sunshine Award. 

I haven't had a chance to blog this week since I have been so busy! After two weeks of fighting cold symptoms, my body gave up last Sunday night (after I finished my Simplicity 3222) and I was struck down with the cold. I had Tuesday off work, spent all day in bed. Wednesday night, one of my best friends flew down to Melbourne to spend Easter with me. Thursday night we went to Cosmic Gate and Saturday night we went to karaoke. Now I have no voice. Such a fun weekend though! Thankfully I have all next week off work to recuperate before I start my new position. Woo hoo! 

On to the blog award! I always feel so honored when I am nominated for an award - I am glad that there are people out there enjoying my blog and that all my late nights sewing, blogging and countless self-timer photos are appreciated xox

Here are my answers to the random questions :D

Favourite colour: Hot pink and emerald green.
Favourite animal: Squirrels and Staffordshire doggies.
Favourite number: 9 and 4. When buying loose mushrooms, I always buy 4 or 9, or double/triple those numbers if I need more mushrooms. 
Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Avocado smoothie from my local Vietnamese restaurant... delicious!
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter!!! I love Twitter and all my followers. 
My passion: Shoes and handbags.
Getting or giving presents: Giving! Because I get to go shopping!
Favourite Pattern: McCalls 5845.. but I am new to sewing so no doubt I will have a new favorite soon.
Favourite day of the week: Apart from the weekends, I love Thursday... a teaser for the weekend!
Favourite flower: I don't have a favorite flower... I like the look of them, but don't like them enough to find out what kind they are. I like 'lucky bamboo' plants, if that counts.
Favourite celebrity role model: I don't have one... but I like Miranda Kerr because she is so naturally beautiful and Rachel McAdams.

I would like to pass the Sunshine Award on to:

I love too many blogs so it is extremely hard to choose, so I have chosen the last ten blogs that I have read this weekend. Ooh and here are the rules...  

1. Thank the person(s) who gave you the award. check thumb The Sunshine Award
2.  Answer 10 questions. check thumb1 The Sunshine Award
3.  Pass the award on to 10-12ish sunshine-worthy bloggers. check thumb2 The Sunshine Award

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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Finished Project & Pattern Review: Vintage Simplicity 3222, Hot Pink Party Dress.

Happy April Fools Day!

Today was an awesome day, firstly today was the day of Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Challenge reveal!! Secondly, it was the end of daylights savings in Victoria so I got an extra hours sleep. Lastly, I tested out my new overlocker (serger)!

I get bored practicing with calico so I used my already cut vintage Simplicity 3222 pattern and made a practice dress! I cut the pattern traced and cut the pattern in my dressmaking class, it's the dress I'll be working on this term. Today I made the blue one, but without the cummerband. The dress I make in class will have the cummerband.

Simplicity 3222 
This is the first dress in a long time that is not lined. I really wanted to line it, but that would defeat the purpose of serging, so I followed the pattern and made facings. I spent the morning cutting out my fabric - stretch poplin (poly-spandex), $10 for 2.5m on the remnants table at GJ's Fabrics. 

Bodice front. Only four darts. Yay!
Oh, and two more on the back bodice... and four on the skirt.
I was happily sewing my bodice together, using the muslin I made in class as a guide, then all of a sudden the electricity went out! I thought I had tripped the switch because I had too many things on, turned out someone had smashed into a power pole and electricity was out for 2.5 hours... I left the house and bought zippers and boning for class, then met my sister and mum for lunch. Nom.

Raglan sleeves.
After lunch, electricity came back on, phew. I love the color of this dress, I am mad fan of hot pink. Some modifications were made for my thick waist, and I think possibly because of that (with the help of my sometimes rushed cutting) some things (darts and side seams) don't line up on my dress. I ended up taking it in heaps at the back anyway so I will trace the origin pattern again, the original measurements will definitely fit, and hopefully everything will line up perfectly.

Such a cute neck line! 

Even though the side seams on the bodice and skirt don't match up, I don't mind the dress. Making this dress gave me the opportunity to brush up on making facings, and I got to use my serger! I love it! The sewing process is so much quicker!! I no longer have to zig-zag stitch my edges!! Saves on thread too, hehe. I used white overlocking thread because it was already threaded, and I am not prepared to change the threads yet... I know how to, I just want to take it one step at a time.

The bodice fits but a little big in the bust, I should have got the 30" pattern, but I didn't realise at the time. I love the little detail on the neckline and the raglan sleeves. The skirt had some interesting soft pleats, which took me a while to figure out!! Thankfully, these vintage patterns are very detailed and had arrows pointing at this-and-that which was helpful. I took the back bodice in 4cm, then graded to 2.5cm at the waist and skirt. 

Vintage Simplicity 3222 (front)
Finished the sleeve on the machine, twin needles.
Skirt has soft pleats at the front.
Vintage Simplicity 3222 (back)

Even though the side seams weren't aligned and some of the darts didn't match up, I am so glad the waist line matched up at the zip. The zipper is the thing that I am completely OCD about. I can hide the dodgy darts with a belt :) 

Sorry, the shiny pink fabric was very hard to capture on iphone.

Now for an inside look of my unlined dress!!! 

Vintage Simplicity 3222 (inside, front)
Vintage Simplicity 3222 (inside, back)
I trimmed off the excess fabric next to the zipper by overlocking it after I had stitched the skirt back.
I was planning on hand sewing the sleeves and hem, but because of the electricity outage, I lost 3 hours so I finished them on the machine with twin needles.

Pattern Review: Vintage Simplicity 3222, purchased from Etsy.

Size: Size 12, Bust 32".
Fabric: 1.4m Stretch Poplin (poly spandex).
Notions: Invisible zipper (american beauty) 20", Gutermann thread (733).
    • zipper at the back instead of the side, added SA to back bodice,
    • added 4cm to waist,
    • took the back seams in 4cm at the back and 2.5cm at the waist and skirt,
    • shortened skirt pattern by 26cm,
    • 5cm hem.
Time: 8 hours.
Total cost: $35 ish:
    • Pattern $20
    • Fabric $10 for 2.5m... so $5 cos I only used half
    • Zipper $4
    • Thread $4
    • Whisperweft - from stash
TIPS for next time: 
    • Revert back to original pattern measurements, should fit,
    • More care with darts on the bust, didn't sew to a straight point, and they look odd. I'll probably unpick and fix later on.
New techniques learned: 
    • Used my overlocker,
    • Refreshed my facing making,
    • Raglan sleeves
Even though this dress isn't technically perfect, I love it. I have gotten over feeling naked in an unlined dress and I think I will make more so I can play around with the overlocker. I'm a kinestetic learner, and this is the only way I will achieve perfection :) 

This is my first time sewing with an original vintage pattern, and I think it went well. Now I know what size I am: 30" bust!! Or less... Here I come Etsy!

Next time, I'll finish the hem by hand. I really love the wiggle skirt, and the soft pleats at the front. I look forward to making this dress again in my floral cotton sateen with the cummerband! 

Goodnight seamstresses!

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