Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter madness...or how I sewed my way through the first week of the school holidays.

I have been procrastinating.
When I procrastinate, I sew.
I'm not even going to talk about what I should've been doing, but I will talk about the sewing.

This week I made
4 dresses and finished off one jacket.

Dress number 1 - I made a dress from my own self drafted Vivienne Westwood inspired pattern. I used a floral scuba fabric and virtually sewed it all on the overlocker. I do still need to do the hem. pictures to follow when it's finally finished.

Late Feb my hubby bought me Gertie's latest dress pattern - all the way from America. I planned, plotted and decided which fabrics from my stash would make the best dresses.

Dress number 2 - Butterick B6453 view B for my daughter. I had just over 1m left of this fab shot fabric that my sister bought for me at Christmas and that I used to make this dress in January.

I made her bodice in size 8 and skirt graded to 12 at the hip. I did make the mistake of taking the side seams in before adding the facings which meant the top is a little tighter than I would like it to be.

Dress number 3 - The same view for myself - using up some cotton from my stash. There was barely a metre of this and so i had the sew the facings in a different fabric. I cut a size 10 bodice and graded the skirt out to a 14 at the hip.

When I made my muslin the 10 bodice seemed really snug at the waist so I added a couple of mm at the side seams. I wish I hadn't as in both dresses I made I ended up taking the sides in a bit and they could still be a bit tighter. I did pinch out excess at the armscye and under the bust to improve shaping. I ended up having to increase the curve in the front armcye for comfort and also pinched out about 5mm under the bust on the princess seams to help the shaping.

I made fixed straps, as I don't really see the need for sliders on a dress. I know I won't use them. I also sewed the vent at the back like the one from Gertie's pencil skirt from her first book. I also used an invisible zipper as I had one the right size and colour in my stash.

Dress number 4 - Butterick B6453 view A. I sewed this up in a very light weight cotton I picked up in a market in China last summer. It's my last decent sized piece of fabric in my stash. As the fabric was so light I used cotton muslin fabric to underline the bodice pieces. I was going to add it to the skirt too, but thought it would add too much weight and I didn't want to add any strain to the waist seams.

The same adjutsments were made to the bodice as for dress 3. I didn't cut the skirt pieces from the pattern. I just used the full width of the the fabric for the front and the same for the back, adding a CB seam. I also omitted the pockets due to the lightweight nature of the fabric.

I sewed the lapped zip, following Gertie's instructions on the sew along. The finish was great, but I feel like it sticks out a little. I need to work on getting it to sit a little more flush to the dress. Maybe my interfacing was too firm!

I wore this dress today with a petticoat, tights and my favourite black shoes. paired with my red cardy. It was a bit to cold to wear on it's own as it was only about 7 degrees this morning! It will be a fab dress in the hotter days of summer and I'm sure I'll wear it loads on holiday.

The final make of this week was a refashioned wool jacket. Motorbike style, made from a long purple wool coat. I'd been working on this for some time as a gift for my friend Alli. It was her birthday this week, so I had to get it finished. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos so Alli said she'd take some and let me have them later.

Next up - repairs to the curtains. the dog has managed to catch and undo the hem - they are currently in the wash, then will be stitched again.

After that - My Hubby's suit jacket muslin. I've made myslef a jacket, but I'm not too hot on the tailoring techniques I need to use - Back to Gertie's first book! I also need to get on with my next piece of art - experiemental work at the moment.


  1. Wow! So much sewing - and it's all gorgeous!

  2. Gorgeous dresses! I especially like dress #3, the fabric is beautiful!


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