Thursday, 17 September 2009

TIME TO PARTY WITH KWIK SEW

I think I’m having a dress thing at the moment because I've made myself another dress -

It’s made from Kwik Sew 3521 and it's what I call a real party dress - a classic shape with a fitted bodice, scoop neck and full skirt.

I made it up in a beautiful silk charmeuse bought from Gorgeous Fabrics. I love the big ‘flower garden’ print and because it has a black background I’m thinking that this could take me through the winter party season as well as summer: an all seasons dress. Now, silk charmeuse might seem like delicate stuff, and it's a bit slippy to sew, but it turns out that it’s quite resilient – this dress has already had a glass of wine spilt down the front (well, I did say it was a party dress) and it came out of the washing machine, on the silk programme, none the worse for wear.

I rather like Kwik Sew patterns – their instructions and illustrations are nice and clear and they sometimes do things a bit differently from the Big 4 which is interesting to try. With this pattern the bodice has what I think is called an edge to edge lining, which I rather like because it saves fiddling around with facings and has a nice clean look inside. If you are using a lightweight fabric, like this silk, they tell you to stabilize it by fusing some interfacing, cut 1” wide, around the wrong side of the neckline and armholes of the lining pieces.

I did, however, make some changes. I lined the skirt as well as the bodice to give it some fullness. I used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one and I sewed quarter inch twill tape to the seam allowances at the waist to stop it stretching out. I also used a technique for sewing sleeveless dresses that I’ve never actually seen in pattern instructions but I learnt from Connie Long’s great book Easy Guide to Sewing Linings. You trim an eighth of an inch from the lining fabric around the shoulder, blending to the original line near the underarm. When you sew the lining to the fashion fabric you keep the raw edges together and then the outer fabric rolls in slightly and stops the lining showing on the outside.

So, I’m all set to party and would be checking the post for invitations but our local post office workers keep going on strike – I had a big grumble at them on Tuesday because I was waiting for several things to arrive and they told me triumphantly that they had a backlog of millions of things to sort through – I'm hoping that at least one of them is a party invitation for me!

10 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dress and great fabric. Thanks for sharing the tips and techniques you used when making this dress.

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  2. What a beautiful dress! The stitching is beautiful!

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  3. It's very pretty! I'm very intrigued by your sleeveless dress armhole/neckline technique and plan to try it the next time I make a sleeveless something. Sorry about the postal workers! Those jobs pay really well over here so nobody ever goes on strike (that I know of.)

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  4. Eugena, You are making some exquisite garments. I really love the dress, the fabric is very elegant.

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  5. Very pretty. You do have a dress thing going on. All are very pretty and nice fitting.

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  6. Yes, you are ready to party in this fun and vivaciously beautiful dress! I like the sleeveless look on you, showcasing your fine arms. The colors of the dress also emphasize your gorgeous golden tresses.

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  7. What a great dress. I love the gathering at the waist. I can even see it as a work dress with opaque black tights and a cardi. So cute!

    I love dresses, too. I gravitate towards them, and have to force myself to make something other than dresses. But I say, keep 'em coming - yours are fabulous.

    I saw "Easy Guide to Sewing Linings" on Ebay for $200, and it's even $30+ used on Amazon. This makes me think that it's a fabulous book? Would it be money well-spent?

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  8. Hi to A Sewn Wardrobe. Thanks so much for your nice comments. With regard to Easy Guide to Sewing Linings - I bought mine from Amazon in the UK when they were selling from their stock at the cover price - it was £14.95 and it has been well worth that price but I have seen that it is no longer available and can only be purchased second-hand. Today the cheapest you can get it in the UK, used, is £43.68 so $30, which is a lot less than that, is a bargain - but it is still quite a lot of money. I love the book because it seems to be the only one out there that really focuses on linings and it covers all kinds of garments - skirts, dresses, jackets, coats, pants. So many commercial patterns don't include lining pieces/instructions for garments that really do need a lining and if you're a relative beginner, like me, it's very helpful to have some clear instructions and illustrations. Perhaps we should lobby the publishers, Taunton Books, to reprint it!

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  9. Anywhere you go in this dress will be a party! You look gorgeous, and it is finished so nicely.

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  10. Oh thanks so much for this tip on lining, as well stabilizing fabric. It's amazing how we learn something new everyday.

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