Red RTW knockoff (aka Floralex)

inspiration dress

I wanted to recreate this gorgeous red dress I found on Pinterest. It’s being marketed as a bridesmaids dress, but it’s of course a lovely cocktail dress as well. From the way the skirt holds it shape, I think the original dress is made from a scuba-like fabric.

This is a hacked version of the Elisalex bodice paired with the Flora skirt, both patterns from By Hand London.  Originally, I was going to use the Kim dress bodice with the sweetheart neckline, but I noticed that the bodice on this dress looks more like the Elizalex bodice and I decided to challenge myself to recreate the neckline.

For the fabric, I chose a medium-weight solid red cotton. I ordered it online from herberttextil.de, so I wan’t entirely sure of what I’d get. It’s a little bit heavier than I thought it would be, but it makes the skirt drape beautifully.  The bodice is lined with black broadcloth.

How I did it:

I’d never made the Elizalex dress before, so I just traced out the size I’d used for the Kim dress and made a toile. It fit very tightly across the bust, so I did a 1cm FBA. I muslined it again and it seemed to fit much better.

To alter the neckline, I put on a bra that looked like it had the same curvature as the neckline in the picture. I put on the toile, stood in front of the mirror and traced a line that was about 1 cm away from the top of my bra line on one side of the bodice. Then I took off the bodice, folded it in half along the center and redrew the line so it went down to the center line and 1.5cm (5/8″) from the edge of the front bodice. I cut it out and tried it on again and was pleased with how it looked. I took the piece I’d cut away and laid it on the center front pattern piece and traced it onto the pattern. I then marked the seam allowance and cut out the modified pattern.

mark the seam

When I cut out the center front lining piece, I made sure to mark the seam line on the wrong side with some tracing paper because sometimes it’s tricky to know when to pivot on a sweetheart neckline.

I cut out the Flora skirt in the same size as the bodice. I also cut out two pairs of Chardon skirt pockets, because, well, dresses are just 100% better when they have pockets.

img_5923

I followed the instructions on how to attach the bodice pieces together. I only had a quick glance at the instructions, to be honest, because the technique is almost exactly the same for the Kim dress, of which I’d made two versions and two toiles. I did clip the curve of the bust and basted the bodice front pieces together because when you do a FBA, the seam becomes curvier, and I didn’t want to have to unpick it on account of puckering (which I ended up doing on one side anyway, so I’m kind of wondering if I should’ve added another millimetre to the side front bodice length).

Next, I attached the pockets to the skirt using the method in the Chardon skirt pattern, with the exception that I sewed them to the skirt at 4/8″ instead of 5/8″, which hides the pockets a little bit better, in my opinion. Then I sewed the skirt side seams.

For the pleats, I wanted them to match up with the bodice seams, so I measured each side of the princess seam, front and back, and transferred the measurements to the skirt, because the pleats marked on the pattern weren’t quite right. One measurement going from the side seam and the other from the center front/back. I then brought those ticks together and basted a vertical line about 2cm down, pressed them all into box pleats, and basted along the top to keep them in place. I prefer this method to the method used in the Flora instructions, which doesn’t have you do a vertical basting stitch. I then attached the skirt to the bodice.

I followed the rest of the instructions regarding inserting the invisible zip and hand-sewing the lining. The skirt is hemmed with self-made polkadot bias binding.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

New Website! and Bellasigma in pink linen

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new and improved weblog! I’ve been working on it for quite a while and I’m so excited to finally be launching, even though I still have a few kinks to work out like the featured images.

I’ve added a few new features, like “My Closet,” where I’ll be keeping a portfolio of my makes with a short summary of the project details. You’ll also be able to filter by type of garment. And I’ve added a de-stash shop where I’m selling stash items that are just collecting dust and I’d like to find a new home for. Let me know what you think of the new website in the comments, or try using my new contact form.


I sacrificed my ill-fitting Dahlia to make this dress, and it was totally worth it. After I made my Sigma dress, I was so pleased with how I got the bodice to fit, I immediately had to make another one and this time I decided to mix it up and attach a different skirt. One of my favourites: the Belladone skirt. (And I actually did make it immediately, it’s just taken me a year to blog about it)

I am so behind on blogging that I don’t actually remember exactly how I did it. I do remember that I had a bit of trouble getting the darts on the bodice front to match up with the pleats. I know this because I serged the bodice to the skirt and then had to unpick it near the darts. I am too inexperienced with the serger to just redo small areas, so I just zig-zagged the areas I unpicked. Which is a shame, because I’m really proud of how I finished all of my seams on this dress. I don’t know how I did without a serger before. Wait, yes I do. I just left all of my seams unfinished before. haha. I think I remember the back darts on the bodice and skirt just magically matched-up, which is awesome!

The other modification I made was a box pleat instead of a knife pleat, a decision I kind of regret. I think it’s due to my fabric choice; linen is just not stiff enough to hold its shape. But I’m ok with it, because other than that this dress fits really well. I get compliments every time I wear it. Sometimes even from the same people over and over. That’s definitely a win for me.

Tiny Chevron Sigma

This is the Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns. I got this pattern a little while back when they were having a sale. It’s a semi-close-fitting dress with some lovely little details like pockets and gathered skirt.

sigma-fr2

Last month I quickly made a muslin of this dress. I cut out my size according to the size chart. I lengthened the bodice above the dart using my shoulder to bust point measurement because that’s a standard adjustment for me. Once I’d sewn it up, I realised that I forgot to add seam allowance to the shoulder to bust point measurement, so I moved down the bust darts by 1.5cm using this tutorial, but left the bodice length as-is because the waistline hit where it was supposed to. The other thing I decided to change was the length of the skirt. Not that I didn’t think the short skirt looked cute, but mainly because I couldn’t sit down in it. I have fairly large hips and thighs, so the hem was digging into my legs and riding up in an almost ‘basic instinct’ kind of way.

sigma-si1

I kind of thought that this dress would be a super quick project, because I cut out and sewed the muslin in a matter of hours. But muslins are not an indication of how long a project will take by any means! I sewed this dress in short bursts and took about 2 weeks in total sewing an hour at a time here and there. The insides look pretty pristine if I do say so myself. I used a combination of different seam finishes. The side seams are finished with an overlocker, the waist and hems are finished with bias binding, and the back seam is pinked. That being said, I think someone who sews more often would probably have a quicker time with this dress.

sigma-fr3

I haven’t sewn sleeves in a dress for quite a long time. I figured it was about time I had a dress with sleeves. Looking through my closet, I saw that about 90% of my dresses are sleeveless. The other 10% are long-sleeved winter dresses. I think I only have 2 dresses with short sleeves. So setting in the sleeves were a little bit of a challenge for me. One of them is perfectly smooth, but the other has little puckers at the top. It doesn’t bother me enough to unpick it though.

sigma-fr4

The other thing I changed was I decided to put in an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper. I’m not a big fan of installing invisible zippers. I think mostly because I don’t have a real invisible zipper foot. I have a cheap plastic universal one that sometimes does a good job and sometimes doesn’t. I used this youtube tutorial, which explains it very well, but I kind of messed it up by the zipper stop anyway. It looks ok right now, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to withstand being washed… Stephanie from Love Teach Sew also suggested the tutorial on Megan Nielsen’s blog, so if I do it again I will try this tutorial as well.

sigma-bk1

The fabric I used is a cotton poplin with navy blue and white zig zags.  It looks kind of like a solid from far away. Up close, you can see that I didn’t take the time to match the zig zags, but I’m not torn up about it at all. I guess in that way, it helps that I chose to do an exposed zipper to break up the pattern a bit.

sigma-fr5

sigma-bk2

While I’m very happy with how this project turned out, there are a few changes I’d make on the next one. For one, I think I’d use a shorter zipper. I tried to get a 55cm zip, but it was either 50 or 60. I think that might be why it looks a bit funky on the back (but if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments). Two, I would make the pockets deeper. They aren’t really useful for, say, an iphone. And three, I’ll have to lengthen the skirt by another 1.5cm if I want to hem it normally, not with bias binding.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

A light pink linen Dahlia

dahlia-front-2

I didn’t mean to be gone so long! I think I lost a bit of momentum after making my maid of honour dress because it was such an intense project and it wasn’t something I chose to make myself. I made a few things here and there for other people, but in general I think I was battling the winter blues and loss of my sew-jo.

But Me-Made-May and the Indie pattern challenges going on over at the Monthly Stitch have inspired me again. That, and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having. It’s been rather mild and not too much rain here in Holland.

Today I’m sharing the Dahlia dress from Colette patterns with you today. It’s described as being a perfect wardrobe staple that will transition through the seasons. I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it in my inbox. I bought it right then and there! It just looked easy to make and has so many special gathered details that really seem to be flattering. I printed it out and traced it quite soon after I bought it, but I wasn’t sure what fabric to use at first.

dahlia-front-1

Then I had this trip coming up to visit my family in Canada (back in April) and I thought it was a perfect time to dive back into sewing. Yay! New dress! But when you’ve been out of it for a while, it can take a little bit to get back into it. I found that I was slow and clumsy and I wasn’t able to finish before I left. Mind you, I always seem to take on large projects when I want something new last-minute. Not that this dress is super-complicated to make, but it has quite a few pieces (11 in total) and a lot of little bits of gathering, so it just takes time.

dahlia-side-1

I love so many things about this dress, but I don’t think this is a great first try. When I traced the pattern, I traced the size I usually do with this brand. I also pre-emptively lengthened the bodice (by 2.5cm I think) so that the bottom of the waistband falls on my waist. These were two big mistakes on my part. First, because I didn’t really realise I had lost quite a bit of weight since I last measured myself. And second, I think that I shouldn’t have lengthened the bodice. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. What do you think? I hope to make it again, and I plan on cutting out a smaller size and leaving the bodice as-is. Oh, and I had to change one more thing, which was adding pleats to the shoulders. Otherwise, it would have been completely unwearable.

dahlia-back-1

Oh man was it ever hot today! It was 34 degrees in the shade in our yard. I have been drinking a LOT of iced tea. This dress is actually great for this weather. The fabric I chose was a dusty rose linen. The thing I love about linen is it’s a perfect summer fabric. It is so incredibly breathable. This is from my 10 year old stash (from when I was working at a fabric store). I originally earmarked it for a suit, but yeah, that was a long time ago.  Those who sew and wear linen know that it does have a downside – it wrinkles like crazy! I just chalk it up to the charm of the fabric.

dahlia-side-2

What I am most proud of is the invisible zipper I inserted. Can you see it? because I can’t! I also loved using my new bias tape maker, although linen is a little bit thick for making the small bias tape. The other thing I love about this dress is the sleeves! I didn’t really participate in me-made-may mainly for this reason. My closet is full of sleeveless summery dresses, but no dresses with sleeves. The weather wasn’t really warm enough to wear dresses like that. So I definitely have to add dresses with short sleeves to my list of things to sew. I’m thinking maybe a Sigma dress by Papercut patterns.

What is your next sewing project? Have you found a gap in your me-made wardrobe?

Thanks for stopping by!

Reveal: A Maid of Honour Dress in Pink

Yes, I know. I’ve been a bad blogger. I have many excuses, but instead of boring you all with them, I’ll just get right into the juicy stuff: my maid of honour dress reveal. It’s been more than 2 months since my sister got married, but whatever. Better late than never, amiright?

My sister and I had discussions about the bridesmaids dresses, and I have to admit I was being a spoiled brat in telling her that I did not want my dress to be orange, which is the colour she wanted for the dresses. Why was I adamant about this? 1) I don’t really like orange as a clothing colour in general, and especially for myself, 2) after researching skin tones and colours that compliment them, I discovered that it wasn’t in my head that orange doesn’t look good on me, it’s ‘scientifically’ proven!  Anyway, her colour choice started to mingle closer toward a pinky coral rather than a tangerine orange, which I was perfectly happy with! She went shopping with her other bridesmaids and found these amazingly cute dresses in the colour she wanted, so they scooped them up! We had agreed that I sew my dress, so we were messaging back and forth about colours and sewing patterns. In the end, she chose Vogue 1289, a Pamela Roland design that had the same kind of feel as the other bridesmaid dresses with draping in the front.

Then, when she was shopping at Fabricland for said pattern, she had a look at some fabric, and snatched up a pretty pink bridal satin so I could sew it up. It was lighter than the bridesmaid dresses, but she liked the idea of having a different colour and dress for me. Isn’t she the sweetest?! Giving in to my demands…

So she sent me the pattern in the mail, and the fabric came  a little bit later, when my parents came to visit at the end of april. And, as a bonus, my sister also sent some hot pink lace for me to play with (: I took one look at that satin and I was like, ooooh noooo. This is going to turn into a hot mess. I’d done enough wedding pinning to know that shiny polyester satin photographs terribly. I was only frightened for a few moments though, as I quickly decided that I would use the wrong side of the fabric.

In the meantime, I had made a muslin, because, well, fancy dresses require a muslin! If you follow my instagram, you would have seen that this dress has been in the works since the beginning of May. I made the muslin out of an old bedsheet. It was a monster as it was to cut out, but when I got to the pleats, I was swearing a storm. It took me soooo long to pin those pleats, then baste them individually. I just kept telling myself that it was for a good cause.

the pleating of my nightmares

pleats

When I tried the muslin on, I breathed a sigh of relief that I had cut out the right size, because, well, we all know how it is when it comes to the big 4 pattern companies. I pretty much never go by the measurement chart. Vogue is at least pretty consistent with their sizing, so I always cut the same size. However, there was no way I could lengthen the bodice on this baby, so I opted for lengthening the straps, which actually wasn’t necessary. I sent some pictures to my sister, because I had to show my sis how things were going of course….

muslin

I got my mother in law to pin the changes that needed to be made. I was a little bit nervous about this because the muslin material is a jersey, whereas my fabric is a woven, so I told my mother in law not to stretch it while she pinned. The back was a little bit loose, so I took about 1cm out, and curved it out over my butt. I also added 1.5cm to the hem because I found it to be just the right length on my unhemmed muslin.  After sewing it and trying it on again, I made the changes to the pattern, then I cut into my precious fabric, careful to remember which side I was using as the right side.

cut-into-fabric

And then I procrastinated a little bit… I put together the top pieces before I left for Canada, but I ended up taking the pieces in my garment bag instead of a finished dress.

Not only did I get to be her maid of honour, I also got to be in Canada for 6 whole weeks! One of the only advantages of being unemployed (; (And in case you’re just tuning in, I live in Holland, while the rest of my family lives in Canada.) I arrived 3 weeks before the wedding so that I could do maid-of-honourly things, which included organising a lot of last-minute decorating things, but also included fun stuff like taking my sister on a much-needed weekend getaway with just the two of us, and organising the bridal shower/bachelorette party with my fellow bridesmaids. Crazy times.

So, I was having a wrestling match with the bodice lining pieces, as the princess seams did not want to press in a nice curve  around the bust, and the lining was pulling towards the outside despite having under stitched and pressing the shit out of it. Then I had a brilliant idea to get a bloody TAILOR’S HAM, which, honestly, every seamstress should have. However, scouring the fabric stores of Calgary yielded no results. I remembered having seen them at Fabricland when I worked there (–10 years ago–), and assumed that they were commonplace. WRONG!! Not only did they not have them, the people working at various fabric stores had no idea what they were. WTF?! Even my soon-to-be brother-in-law helped me phone some sewing places, during a planning meeting with my cousin and her bf no less. And my cousin’s boyfriend – who I decided right then and there was the sweetest! – offered to make me one once he found out that they are made out of upholstery fabric and sawdust. 😀

Fast forward a few days, and I haven’t heard anything from said boyfriend. Maybe not the sweetest…

So a week before the wedding, while I’m trying to coordinate a bridesmaids-last-minute-prep shindig, I’m in the garage stuffing a tailor’s ham (pattern here) with sawdust from my dad’s workshop. And let me tell you, A LOT OF SAWDUST FITS INTO THAT LITTLE FUCKER.  I must have been stuffing that thing, with the help of my dad, for a good half hour or 45 minutes. The people in the house thought I was shirking my duties.

So I practically run to the sewing room, turn on the iron, and start ironing away at the bodice (lining) pieces. However, it helped very little, I just had to resign to the fact that my fabric was going to be an asshole every step of the way. I finished the dress up over the next few days. I also fucked up the center back invisible zip by getting the fabric caught in the teeth, and I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another skirt. My sister just reassured me that no one would be taking photos of our backsides.

I finished the hem using a narrow hem (method 2 on this page here). And, when I was sewing the skirt lining, the final piece of the puzzle, I received that tailor’s ham from cousin’s boyfriend. Ok, he’s back to being sweet… (: When everything was finished, I then ran it through the washing machine with the basting still in the pleats because for some reason, I also kept getting black machine oil on the dress while I was sewing…

narrow-hem

mine on the right, his under the skirt lining

iron-skirt-lining-darts

And another reason I put off posting this make was because I was waiting for all the pretty pictures from the photographer. (: Here they are.

chelseanate_047 copy

me, sister, sister’s husband, best man

chelseanate_346

the gorgeous bridesmaids

chelseanate_370

chelseanate_428

speech time

chelseanate_590

Oh, and did I mention I had a wardrobe malfunction? I didn’t even know about it until the photos came out. Turns out I got a bit revealing to the congregation… And then again at the reception while sitting at the head table. :S  At least I was wearing a bra, I guess.

chelseanate_269

Linen is a strange creature indeed

Hello everyone! Dag iedereen!

 

In the midst of my busy May month, I put together this dress. It’s quite lovely, no? I started cutting the fabric before I left for Italy to meet up with my parents, actually wanting to make it before I left, but I of course had to choose a dress with a million pieces, so yeah, that did not happen.

In het midden van een drukke mei vakantie, ik heb deze jurk genaaid. Het is heel mooi, vindt je niet? Ik begon met uitsnijden voordat ik vertrok naar Italië om mijn ouders te ontmoeten. Eigenlijk wou ik hem naaien voordat ik vertrok, maar ik moest natuurlijk een ​​jurk kiezen met een miljoen stuks, dus ja, het is niet gebeurd.

Colette Parfait Dress

I had made a wearable muslin last year, but never blogged about it because I didn’t think it was too spectacular. I made it from white and black fabric, therefore see-through, so instead of using the facing, which is how the pattern is designed, I decided to make a lining. I just cut out all of the pieces in both fabric and lining, then attached it like you would a facing. It turned out pretty well. The bodice had a little bit gaping on the sides and back, but nothing too noticeable. I made sure to take 1cm out of the sides for this make.

Ik had een proef jurk vorig jaar gemaakt, maar nooit geblogd omdat het niet erg spectaculair is. Ik heb het gemaakt van wit en zwart stof, dus een beetje doorzichtig. In plaats van het gebruik van de facing, dat is hoe het patroon is ontworpen, heb ik besloten om een voering te maken. Ik knipte alle stukken in zowel stof als voering, en heb de voering als facing latten inzetten. Het ging vrij goed. Het bovenlijf zit een beetje los aan de zijkanten en achterkant, maar niets te opvallend. Ik zorgde ervoor dat ik 1 cm uit de zijkanten van dit jurk had uitgeknipt.

Colette Parfait Dress

For this one, I followed all instructions. My only regret is that I used a regular zipper instead of an invisible zipper. However, this dress was made completely from items in my stash, which I’m quite proud of. I am also not completely crazy about the fit. Despite the gaping, I feel like the muslin fits better. This one still gapes in the back a bit, but I also find the bodice front looks a bit ‘droopy’ across my bust. I’ve seen a lot of versions of this dress and in all of them, the bust fits quite tightly. I’m just going to attribute it to the fabric, as linen is a strange creature indeed.

Ik heb netjes alle instructies gevolgd. Mijn enige spijt is dat ik een normale rits in plaats van een onzichtbare rits heb gebruikt. Echter, werd deze jurk volledig gemaakt van items in mijn stash, waar ik best trots op ben. Ik ben ook niet helemaal gek over de pasvorm. Ik voel wel een beetje dat de muslin beter past. Deze jurk gaapt ook in de rug een klein beetje, en ik vind ook de voorkant ziet er een beetje ‘hangende’ over mijn borsten. Ik heb heel wat versies van deze jurk gezien en in alle van hen, paste de voorkant mooi strak. Ik ga gewoon aan het toeschrijven aan de stof, zoals linnen is inderdaad een vreemd wezen.

Colette Parfait Dress

This was my first time working with linen. I can’t help but think it’s a strange material to work with. It’s kind of flowy like chiffon, but doesn’t slip while you sew. It’s also a bugger to cut out because it doesn’t want to lay straight on-grain.

Dit was mijn eerste keer werken met linnen. Ik vind het een heel vreemd materiaal om mee te werken. Het is bijna chiffon-achtig, maar niet wegglijdt terwijl u naait. Het is ook een donder uit te snijden, omdat het niet aan de rechtdoor-graan wil leggen.

Colette Parfait Dress

You would think with all of my moaning about the fit that I don’t like this dress, but I really do like it. Besides it being comfortable and light for summer, I really love the print! The colours are just perfect for my complexion. I’m just a tiny bit sad that the colours bled so much when I did the pre-wash. The light purple parts used to be white, btw. But it’s so important to pre-wash linen because it shrinks like crazy. Both ways! And I don’t like to risk pre-washing my fabrics in cold water in case they accidentally end up in a warm or hot wash in the future, you know.

Je zou denken dat met al mijn klachten over de pasvorm dat ik niet van deze jurk hou, maar ik vind het heel leuk eigenlijk. Naast het feit dat het comfortabel en licht voor de zomer is, ik hou echt van de print! De kleuren zijn gewoon perfect voor mijn huidkleur. Ik vind het een klein beetje jammer dat de kleuren bloedde zo veel als ik de voorwas deed. De lichtpaarse onderdelen waren eerst wit. Maar het is zo belangrijk om linnen voor te wassen omdat het krimpt als een gek. Van beide kanten! En ik neem de risico niet om mijn stoffen in koud water te wassen voor het geval dat ze per ongeluk in een warme of hete wassen in de toekomst komen, weet je wel.

Colette Parfait Dress

I entered this dress into a competition over at The Monthly Stitch, so if you have a moment, please drop by and vote for my dress “Simply Parfait.” Thank you!

Ik doe mee aan een wedstrijd over bij The Monthly Stitch, dus als je een moment hebt, kom langs en ​​stem voor mijn jurk “Simply Parfait.” Alvast bedankt!

 

And finally, I shall leave you with one of the silliest outtakes from this photoshoot, which was done by Mr. Livana. (Believe me, there were more than just this one…)

IMG_0900

Reveal: #SewDollyClackett entry

sewdollyclackett11
If you haven’t heard already,  Roisin of Dolly Clackett is getting married. To get the online sewing community involved in the celebration, Rhinestones and Telephones is hosting a competition, aptly named #sewdollyclackett. The rules are simple:

The contest will run from February 23, 2014, and close on April 23, 2014.  Roisin will be our illustrious judge and award our generously donated prizes.  Contestants will sew a dress (it must be a dress as Roisin is the Queen of Dresses) that emulates her style.

Als je nog niet hebt gehoord, Roisin van Dolly Clackett gaat trouwen. Om de online naaien gemeenschap bij te betrekken, Rhinestones and Telephones heeft een wedstrijd bedacht, met de toepasselijke naam #sewdollyclackett. De regels zijn simpel:

De wedstrijd loopt van 23 februari 2014 en sluit op 23 april 2014. Roisin zal onze illustere rechter zijn en gunnen ons gedoneerd prijzen. Deelnemers zullen een jurk naaien (het moet een jurk als Roisin is de koningin van Dresses) dat haar stijl emuleert.

sewdollyclackett2

I just had to jump on board. I am a sucker for a pretty dress, and I live in them in warmer weather. Roisin is known for her off-beat fabric choices, so once the contest was announced I knew exactly which fabric I would choose. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know which one I chose.

Ik MOEST mee doen. Ik ben een sucker voor een mooie jurk, en ik draag altijd jurken met warm weer. Roisin is bekend van haar unique stof keuzes, dus zodra de wedstrijd werd aangekondigd wist ik precies welke stof ik zou kiezen. Als je me op Instagram volgt, weet je al welke ik koos.

sewdollyclackett3

My only problem was, I haven’t sewn any one of Roisin’s favourite dress patterns! I did, however, go for an indie pattern – the Belladone by Deer and Doe, which I think she would approve of. This is my third attempt at this dress (see attempt 1 and 2). And I think I’ve finally figured it out! The darts are in the right place and the back doesn’t gape. WIN!

Mijn enige probleem was, heb ik niet een van de Roisin’s favoriete jurk patronen ooit genaaid! Ik dacht, ik ga dan voor een indie patroon – de Belladone door Deer and Doe, waarvan ik denk dat ze zou goedkeuren. Dit is mijn derde poging om deze jurk (zie poging 1 en 2). En ik denk dat ik het eindelijk snap! De darts zijn op de juiste plaats en de rug zit niet losjes. WIN!

sewdollyclackett4

I finally figured out how to fix my fitting problem with this dress. Instead of trying to add length to the bodice and then moving the dart down, I added length above the dart (let me know if you’d like a little tutorial on how I did this). For the back, I used this tutorial over at Lladybird’s blog to reduce the gaping at the top of the bodice back, and I also pinched out a centimeter on either side of the zipper to make the lower bodice fit. Also, I finished the edges on the back bodice pieces using bias tape, so hopefully it won’t stretch out over time.

Ik heb eindelijk bedacht hoe ik deze jurk passend kon maken. In plaats van te proberen om de lengte toe te voegen aan het lijfje en dan het verplaatsen van de dart naar beneden, voegde ik lengte boven de dart (laat me weten als je wilt een uitleg over hoe ik dit deed). Voor de rug, gebruikte ik deze tutorial op de blog van Lladybird over vermindering van het vergapen aan de bovenkant.  Ik kneep ook een centimeter uit op beide kanten van de rits.. Ik heb ook de randen aan de achterkant netjes afgemaakt met behulp van biaisband, dus hopelijk zal het niet uitstrekken.

sewdollyclackett5

Now that I have it all figured out, I am excited to try different variations of this dress, like adding a pleated skirt or narrowing the shoulders or lowering the neckline. I’m wondering if the chardon skirt can be attached to this dress…

Nu dat deze patroon heel goed past, vind ik het boeiend om verschillende varianten van deze jurk te proberen, zoals het toevoegen van een geplooide rok of verkleinen van de schouders of het verlagen van de halslijn. Ik ben benieuwd of de Chardon rok past op deze jurk …

sewdollyclackett8

But before that, I must start on my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding. Starting with a muslin, because that’s just the right thing to do…

Maar eerst moet ik mijn jurk maken voor mijn zusje’s bruiloft. Ik ga beginnen met een muslin, want dat moet je gewoon doen…

sewdollyclackett10

Congratulations to Roisin! And good luck to the other contestants!

The deets:

Pattern/Patroon: Belladone by Deer and Doe

Size/Maat: 40/42

Fabric/Stof: 100% cotton/katoen from the stash

Notions/Fournituren: thread, biastape, zipper, all from the stash.

Cardigan/Vest: Zara

Shoes/Schoenen: Irregular Choice (of course I had to wear my irregular choice shoes for this shoot!)

Copycat Challenge Completed!

Inspiration

I first blogged about my copycat inspiriation here. But if you missed it, here’s a brief recap.

Click image for link

Basically I wanted the top with the lace applique with a plaid tulip skirt similar to the second photo. Angels Never Die is one of my favourite brands. Whenever I see a sale on Vente-Exclusive, I always buy at least one thing (but it often puts me in the red and then I promptly send it back…:(

I love that they mix fabric prints, textures, and weaves.  They often mix knits with wovens and they always have interesting draping, designs, and appliques.

Making the dress

To make my dress, I used the skirt from this Burda 09/2011 Dress pattern. The top part is a refashioned basic knit top I’ve had since last year, from the Hema. It matched the brown plaid I had in mind from my stash, so I went with it.

I cut out the skirt from the plaid fabric.  I had to do some creative cutting because I had only 1m of it and those front panels eat up a shitload of fabric. So some of the seam allowances were cut on the selvage but that’s ok. I ended up cutting the waistband on the lengthwise grain (if that’s even a term?!). Also, none of the plaid matches, but I’m ok with that because it’s not too noticeable. I did not use the instructions except to check how much to gather the top of the skirt to.

The skirt has pleats AND gathers.  And the pleats are gathered! It’s a lot of fabric sitting right there on my pouch, but I like to think it doesn’t make me look too huge because the back of the skirt is such a nice shape, kind of like the Elizalex dress. The hem is finished with bias tape. The inside seams are finished with bias tape on the waistband and with a zigzag stitch for the side seams.  I would have liked to do french seams, but I figured it would get too bulky.
I purchased some of the lace trim from the most recent fabric fair in Leeuwarden and some from my local fabric shop, Jan Sikkes. I attached the trim to the top using a zigzag stitch to help keep it from getting wavy. I folded the trims over at the top and slipstitched it in place.

Styling

I paired it with leggings because a) it’s getting cold out there, b) it’s not lined, and c) it’s a good thing I did because riding my bike to the photoshoot place made the dress open up pretty much right to my crotch. I might have to add a snap or tack it down.

In some of the pictures I’m also wearing an actual Angels Never Die jacket, which I love love LOVE (there would have been an exclamation point if the jacket had pockets, but it doesn’t so boo hoo). My boots are Dr Martens and are already like 3 or 4 years old.

I accessorized with a fake pearl necklace I inherited from my grandma because I thought it matched the lace on the top quite nicely.

I even did my makeup, which you can’t even see in the pictures 🙁  I did cat eyes with brown eyeliner to match my dress!

And now, for picture overload!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

zoelivana-logo1

The not-so-retro dress

This retro-inspired dress jumped out at me immediately when I saw it in the Knipmode magazine in April. I wanted to make a dress for my Grandparents’ anniversary party in May, and I knew I wanted to make this one (and you can make one too from this PDF pattern). It has deep pleats in the skirt and the top has kimono sleeves. There is also a side zip that you can’t see because it’s invisible. I mean, really invisible!

day25

I made this dress while I was in Canada in May because I of course procrastinated, but with good reason, because I was working on my thesis all day everyday up until I left. You may recall I also finished off this dress while I was in Canada. But this one I had to make from scratch.  And I was going to do it right! Muslin and everything. I bought my fabric online before I left and took it with me. However, I had to get a few supplies from the local fabric shop, which I found out got WAY more expensive from the last time I went there. Since the muslin fabric was going for $15-$20/m, I settled on some plain cotton from the bargain basement, which was still $5/m. I just got 1m to muslin the top of the dress.

So I just sewed up the top from the pattern as-is. And it was clear that I needed to make adjustments! It barely came below my chest! And not having bought very much fabric, I had to improvise big time. I think I ended up slashing across the bust and underbust and adding 2cm at each slash. I moved down the front pleats and tightened the back pleats with the help of my mom. It was great to have someone to help because I’ve never done for-real adjustments on a muslin before! It was a really good experience and I wish I’d taken some pictures to show you all, but instead we’ll have to make due with the finished photos.

So I finished the muslin in about one evening. Then the next day, when I went to cut out my super awesome printed cotton fabric, the pattern didn’t fit!!! I was freaking out a little bit, but that quickly subsided because it meant that I got to go fabric shopping again (with my sister’s discount card, no less). I chose this beautiful printed cotton (cotton lawn? not sure) and got some bias tape to match (because I did not have time to mess around with making my own). After pre-washing and drying, I got down to business. Cut out the pattern and started sewing.

My friend, who also took these fabulous photos, helped me make it because it was just a few days before the party and I needed to get it done fast. So I sewed and she pressed. And everything went well until I had to attach the skirt. I thought I correctly adjusted for the new pleats, because the waistband attached easily to the top, but I was WRONG. And after a few hours of sewing, I was not in the mood to do any maths to try and attach the skirt to the waistband. The next day, I was able to fix it. No biggie. I attached the invisible zip using a universal invisible zip foot from Unique brand. And it worked perfectly! You can’t see that zip at all! *jumping up and down* I finished off the dress the morning of the party by hemming the skirt by hand using a herringbone stitch, my new favourite hand stitch by the way.

Uncomfortable model pose

And best of all, it fits. It really fits. I couldn’t be happier. The only thing is, I forgot that my grandmother does not like purple (it’s mostly green, right?).

A big thank-you to my friend for taking the photos and letting me borrow the props (parasol, pipe, hat, hair flowers). And those sexy Guess shoes I got from my cousin.

zoelivana-logo1

Polkadots, pipes and paraplus.

I started this dress at the beginning of May but didn’t finish it in time to go to Canada. So, I took it with me. I more or less finished the bodice and attached the bias tape to the right side of the fabric. In the plane, I hand stitched the bias tape in place. I didn’t want to do it with the machine because I had purple thread and the bias tape is green. My bias tape topstitching skills leave something to be desired, so I figured it was better to just sew it by hand. So I had my little sewing kit on the plane – sans scissors of course – and whipped it right up within one episode of Hemlock Grove.

Some of you might recognize the dress pattern as the sensational Belladone from Deer and Doe. My previous attempt looked a bit too much like a babydoll dress. And since I love this dress so much, I figured it warranted a repeat.

This time, I added 3.5cm to the bodice and moved the bust darts down 1cm. It could have been more like 2, but I guess I’ll save that for the next version. I shall also try a scoop-neck version next time instead of the boat neck, which looks a little bit floopy on me.  I also added green piping to the waistband! I love it!

My best friend took these pictures of me at Elliston Park. And no, it was not deserted. Unfortunately. She got me to do some pretty crazy poses, and I think we got some sideways glances from parents, but it was fun anyway.

She has the greatest props, don’t you think? A pipe, an umbrella, and even a Diana camera! She just got it and I can’t wait to see how the photos turn out! It takes lomo pictures. You know we’re so Gen-Y that we didn’t even remember how to put film in a camera?! Oh, those flowers in my hair are hers as well. 😀

The back turned out a little bit loose again, so I can’t blame the stretch in the fabric like I did with the first one. But I don’t care- I love it!

I’m only laughing because my friend is singing a song. I’m actually getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Thanks for stopping by!

zoelivana-logo1