Sunday, 19 December 2010

Simplicity 3503 - the any time dress!

Looking through my stash last weekend I found a very nice piece of polyester lycra knit fabric that I had been saving to make a summer dress. But it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the animal print colouring would be pretty good for this time of the year as well.

I think it works nicely with black tights and boots. As you can see, we’re experiencing some very snowy weather here in London!

Here’s a view of the back.

As you might have guessed it took me nearly as long to cut the dress out as it did to sew it together! At first glance, close up, the print looks like random dots but as soon as I took a long look at it I realised that the zig zags were very prominent and so it needed some careful cutting to match it all and make sure that the zig zags were straight. I cut all the pieces in a single layer and, in the end, I was pretty happy with the overall effect.

This is the pattern I used

It’s not the first time I have made this pattern but my last version looked very different because then I made the sleeveless, maxi-length view (blogged about here), which turned out to be one of my favourite summer dresses and was perfect for hot weather. I kept meaning to make another one but this time I decided to give the dolman sleeve style a try and I really like it. On the pattern envelope it's the photograph at the bottom right but I didn't use a contrasting fabric for the midriff section, only for the neck band (being short I have to think carefully about cutting myself in half!). The dress is so easy and comfortable to wear and I love the flappy sleeves.

If you’re looking for a dress that can be worn very casually or dressed right up, I really do recommend this pattern. I can definitely see myself making a few more of these.

I think the next few days are going to be busy with gift wrapping and baking and festive decorating but I am hoping to get in a little bit of sewing to keep me from going Christmas crazy! I do hope your preparations for Christmas and your holiday season sewing are all coming together nicely?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Another Jalie top ...... with a little secret!

I’ve made myself yet another top from Jalie 2806, the wonderful top pattern that I like so much.

Now those of you that are familiar with this pattern must be a little puzzled because the pattern is for a variety of scoop neck tops, not a top with a draped neckline. But I’m going to reveal my secret

You see the top does have a scoop neck but in the first picture I am wearing it with a neck ring scarf, that I made from the leftover fabric. That way this basic top gets two different looks. Pretty neat, eh?

I found the instructions for making the neck ring scarf in the October issue of the Vogue/McCalls/Butterick pattern magazine – in the UK the magazine is called Sew Today but in the USA it’s still called Vogue Patterns. The neck ring is very easy to make. Basically you take a piece of leftover fabric (mine measured 60” wide by about 20” so is long enough to go round my neck twice), fold it in half lengthwise and sew the long sides right sides together but leave about 5” open at either end. Turn it right sides out. Then, also right sides together, you sew the short ends together (this is made possible because you have left the ends of the long sides open). Then hand sew the opening. Done!

Back to the top. This is actually the fourth time I have made this pattern but, guess what, this time I managed to screw up sewing the neck band on. It turned out to be horribly uneven, totally unacceptable! So I had to unpick all the serger stitching (yuk!) and cut another neck band. Fortunately the fabric of the top itself wasn’t too mangled. By taking a lot of care my second attempt at getting the band on was (almost) perfect. Which just goes to show – I should never get too complacent – it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done something, it’s still possible to make a mess of it! Do you identify with that kind of mindset – “Oh this won’t take a second, I can do this in my sleep ………. whoops, what happened there?”

I haven’t been doing much sewing in the last few weeks, Christmas preparations have been top of the agenda, but I do have plans to get at least some sewing done before Santa arrives. So, more soon …..

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...