Adventures in Couture Dressmaking

There has been so much good, this summer. If you follow me on Instagram* , you probably already know that I’ve eaten a lot of good food, spent a lot of time with some really amazing friends, smooched my hubby, watched my children grow, play and be generally awesome, drooled over stunning couture and then started my very own adventure in couture dressmaking.

I was beyond excited about my cousin getting married and thus providing me with a reason to sew formal wear! After some time spent looking for the perfect fabric/pattern match, in my stash and beyond, I settled on this one:

An out of character animal print from Mood and Advance 9290.

The initial fit was mostly OK. I added inches to the bodice length, they’re always too short for me, and the side seams right off. That didn’t work. It was too big around the chest and upper back and tight around the gut. I went back to the original upper circumference, added a bit more to the bottom one and added another half inch or so to the length.

After a couple tries, I ended up with this:

Adventures in Couture Dressmaking

Not too bad!! Here’s a peak at the inside. The outermost seam line is the original princess seam line. Needed less boob room.

Adventures in Couture DressmakingI skipped making another muslin and resolved to make my seam allowance a bit larger to get rid of that teeny bit of extra room at the side.

I used the muslin to draft new pattern pieces and went straight to actual construction. I made up three bodice layers: powernet, organza and fashion fabric. I sandwiched the first two together and sewed in channels for boning, then attached the sandwiched layers together with the self fabric and facings.

Here is the finished bodice! I was so proud of it!

The dress ended up with so many special touches: the lining and powernet came from my grandma, the zipper was given to me by my sister, the boning was my late grandma’s and I used a needle from a packet inherited from her to do all the hand stitching (the lining to the bodice and the hem).

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.01.33 AMThe strapless bodice was the star, here. I added a simple, slightly pegged, pencil skirt and called her done. Here’s a close up of the finished dress.

IMG_0566 My weight fluctuated all through the making of this dress. And the fashion fabric had a bit of stretch that, well, stretched over time (this was taken at about 11pm when I got home). BUT! It worked out in the end and mostly held up well!

 I was having too much fun to get any great shots of me (alone) in the dress at the wedding. I might take some time to get all dressed in it again for some blog pics. You know what, maybe not.

How about some
Warhol-ed because-they-were-taken-late-at-night-and-are-therefore-super-dark
pics instead?

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 1.10.25 AM Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.08.08 AM   Now! Onward to new projects!

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*What Instagram can’t show you are all the times I was too busy enjoying myself to take photos or those too special and personal to diminish by pausing for social media documentation.

Sewing Indie Month, Coming to a Close

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 You’ve got one more day to get those Indie Sewing Month projects entered!

To do so, go to THIS post, and click the little image at the bottom of the post.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.16.00 PM Good luck!!! Those are some excellent prizes!!

As for me, I suffered a little bit of inspiration overload! Sorry if I overwhelmed you with all of those awesome options ;)

Despite that, I’ve been a busy sewing bee, but I think I will be turning in early, tonight.

Mixed, Matched, Modded & Mashed Up

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Nettie + Raven Shorts

8961dfdb5e5685085d1514e92a6fc3b2Summer Concert Tee + Nettie Skirt

6a43d1567be44313aa96e1d27797e01cJust a Tank + Starter Skirt

f43b4045c4d14d02e95b97b848cdb4e3FREE Yellow Tail Cami + PB Jam Leggings

aa3544e5b9e6b48b5490caf26c6a270cCoco Tee + Paula Pleat Skirt

d2bdba97d64f265cf5b86e2558a99152Nettie + Starter Skirt

a9ed44230a0d1519808acb27233c9512Coco + Raven Shorts

61c1cd3ebbdfe1ef29aad60b5d563faeCami Dress + Giselle Dress

d936b43ca134395641fa4cc39168023cDerby Dress + Winnie

a23b866afbc2521fc123f2fa08e20c2dVictoria Blazer + Birgitte Tee

d4165c1be42e248b092495d1b958ce47Birgitte Tee + Giselle Dress

b12f465fd21b15e42e7c069e2118b78eEmpire Waist Blouse + Giselle Dress

9fccc4cc4d0c3bf17445d637ec5d4d5aDandelion Top + Starter Skirt

8df160110253a814d111b22e524bd63fVictoria Blazer + Starter Skirt

I really love these combos!! BUT I am most excited that I figured out an easy way to get that denim jumpsuit!! I’m in vacation sewing mode and that soooo needs to be in my weekender bag!

Don’t forget, you to add your Indie Love entries to THIS post!!

Maravilloso Malvarosa

This one was a nail biter….
Would I like that chic drop waist look on me?

The smile says

HELL YES!!!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso MalvarosaI really, really love this dress!!!! It’s so comfy I’m still wearing it while writing this. And I hate wearing outside clothes, inside my home! I’m so pleased with the fit. I tried sewing this shape before, using a vintage pattern in my stash. It was a disaster! I forced myself to size up from what I would have normally gravitated to, with the thought (from the last experience) that loose would definitely be better than tight. I traced size 36 and made it up exactly as is.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

I did struggle with the facings, which I ALWAYS DO. SIGH. I was hesitant to switch to bias bindings, which I have more success with, as I was unsure of how it would work with the unique (and SOOOOO cool) sleeve shaping. Plus, I think the slight bulk of the facings gives the sleeves structure that binding wouldn’t. I did leave off the pockets. I never put things in dress pockets and I hate when they sit open.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Full disclosure: I also worried about things lining up properly with all that gathering. I really suck at even gathers. But I rocked it this time!! This is the perfect amount of fullness. I don’t feel swamped, just flow-y!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

I serged all of the seams and the edges of the facings and along the hem which I handstiched. I just couldn’t put any top stitching on this beautiful blank, linen canvas! I think this is the first time I’ve sewn with it and it most definitely won’t be the last.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso MalvarosaWorking with it has been a real lesson in fabric selection. This is heavier than what I would have chosen if I saw it in person. It was gifted to me by the folks at Britex, so I only saw it online. It was also very stiff prior to pre washing it. That wrinkly, post wash texture was so pleasant, though. And, as you can see, it sewed up perfectly!

Great pattern. Great color. Great drape. Great dress!!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Obligatory swishy shot ;)
Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa>

And the winner is….

NETTIE-Closet Case Patterns

Rachel!! From the blog, A Study in Stitching!!

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.14 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.59 PM

There were 40 comments on the blog post, but both Heather’s of Sonja’s comments were not counted.

Thank you all for entering!!

I can’t wait to see what everyone makes! I have a couple more inspiration posts, planned. Look for more Indie Love mash ups, including more freebies and tutorials!

I’m going to continue to bask in the afterglow of a stupendously awesome day (at work, where a project I worked REALLY hard on went so, SO well), an awesome time at drinks afterwards and then the grande finale at Jen’s superb party (where I got squeeze all of my NYC best girls and met some for the first time!)!!

It was a day that won’t be topped for a long while!!

 

 

Sewing Indie Month

Let’s get ready to SEEEEEEEEEEEWW!

Cause it’s

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A whole heap of super fantastic peeps are on tap for this!

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Some are new to me. And one in particular is dear to my heart (My Heather!)! This month of indie sewing love requires a level of coordination I don’t possess. I’m always so impressed when these kinds of events pop up in the blogisphere. The kick ass buttons alone surpass my skill level.

What I am there for (and which requires much less effort from me) is showing talented entrepreneurs some love. The skill and time required to make these patterns available to the sewing masses is not lost on me. I know how long people like Mari and Heather plan and work on their efforts. It must have been months and months ago that Heather first mentioned a bodysuit pattern to me.

Anyway, enough of my lovin’. You’d want to know the rules. So you can win the prizes, of course ;)

sewing indie month sewalong rules

You can submit your entries forindieloveaffair_banner_SIM_2014here, at Sown Brooklyn.
For this category, you must combine patterns from 2 or more companies into one garment or outfit. Awesome! My wallet will feel it from all of the new companies this has introduced me to!

Visit these ladies to enter the other categories:

The winner of an Indie Love Affair category will win these great prizes:

1 year subscription to Sew News Magazine

1 year subscription to Sew News Magazine

2013 Threads Archive DVD from Threads Magazine

2013 Threads Archive DVD from Threads Magazine

1 class of your choice from Pattern Review

1 class of your choice from Pattern Review

Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class by Sewing Indie Month designer Christine Haynes

Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class by Sewing Indie Month designer Christine Haynes

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Stepalica Patterns; PDF Nettie Dress & Bodysuit by Closet Case Files; PDF Twisty Top Pattern by Soma Patterns; paper pattern of your choice from Tilly and the Buttons
Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Stepalica Patterns; PDF Nettie Dress & Bodysuit by Closet Case Files; PDF Twisty Top Pattern by Soma Patterns; paper pattern of your choice from Tilly and the Buttons

Look at the prizes!! You all are lucky!! None  for me!! LOL I was lucky enough to receive a lovely pattern that I had just nearly purchased, some great fabric is on its way to me to make it up and I received the ultimate gift, the Nettie pattern, which you will see even more of during Sewing Indie Month.

Bonus Winner!

A Bonus Winner randomly drawn from all the sewalong participants will win the following prizes:

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1 year subscription to Sew News Magazine

Britex-logo

$75 gift certificate from Britex Fabrics

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1 year Friends of PR membership from Pattern Review

Love at First Stitch signed book by Sewing Indie Month designer Tilly and the Buttons

Love at First Stitch signed book by Sewing Indie Month designer Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Waffle Patterns; PDF Wardrobe Builder Pack by Thready Theory; paper pattern of your choice from Kate & Rose, Sew Chic

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Waffle Patterns; PDF Wardrobe Builder Pack by Thready Theory; paper pattern of your choice from Kate & Rose, Sew Chic

Grab a button in the sidebar!

And check back on Monday RIGHT BELOW for the goods on linking your project!!

Good luck everyone!!

UPDATE! ENTER BELOW!

BONUS- Using the “Scraps”

This is a bonus project. You know, when that one cut of fabric yields more than one garment?

BONUS!

This skirt, which coordinates nicely with the houndstooth, was made with the same neon dream fabric as this top (there’s still some left). At about the same time, too. I just didn’t have a proper camera to capture it! I took those pictures at work ;)

Black : White : Houndstooth & Sexy

I could fill my wardrobe with tons more things:

Black and White and Neon and Bright.

A spring theme!