Sunday, 27 October 2013

Black Lace Ava

It would seem that I am in love with Victory Patterns at the moment ... first it was Lola, then Chloe 1 and Chloe 2 and now Ava.
Black Ava
My daughter loves wearing dresses (yay!) and had worn the death out of a dress we had bought for Christmas last year.   Ava is a very similar style and suits her hourglass figure like a glove.  However, teenagers are so fickle that choosing the right fabric was real marathon but after a trip to The Fabric Warehouse we walked out with a medium weight polytester which had a really nice drape to it.  The lace we had left over from a top I'd made for her back in May and that had already got the tick of approval.


I made up a muslin first to check fit, cutting out a size 12.  A small list of adjustments were required, but nothing major:
  • Lengthened bodice by 1.5". 
  • Moved shoulder seam back by 6/8" at neckline and 3/8" at shoulder seam. 
  • Removed 1/2" from each side seam under the arm and tapered to the existing side seam at waist.
It was important for her that the dress bodice be body hugging.  Once the fashion fabric was cut and sewn I double checked fit before closing side seams and putting in the zipper.  Just as well because the fashion fabric had more ease than the muslin which required another 1/2" to be removed from the side seams.

The dress is not lined, which is okay by her.  The sweetheart neckline where the base fabric meets the lace is bound, as recommended by the pattern - that shit was fiddly, but I got there!

Black Ava Sep13


Black Ava Sep13

I underlined the sleeve caps with black chiffon from the stash, to provide them with a bit of stability.  I basted the sleeve caps in before binding the sleeve opening.  I bought some black cotton poplin and made my own bias binding for neck/sleeve openings and bound seems.  The polyester was just too heavy for that purpose.

The side zipper was inserted by hand using a pick stitch. Oh how I love it!

Black Ava Sep13

Overall the dress is her all time new fav and got her first official outing to the Beyonce concert recently.

A few more photos on my Flickr -->

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cotton Chloe

Cotton Chloe comes very hot on the heals of my first make

Cotton Chloe

I wasn't intending to make another Chloe so quickly but .... I was in the Fabric Warehouse getting some cotton lining for my super cool geek fabric and spotted this cotton black/purple/cream fabric and just couldn't put it down.  I had very good intentions of only walking out with what I had come for - but my will power just wasn't that great.

Cotton Chloe

Before I even got out of the shop I knew that this fabric would be sewn up into another Chloe.  I didn't make any changes to the dress itself.  The sleeves on the other hand I thought I would remove the excess fabric from the underarm seam.  On the first dress I took out 5/8" from the front side panel and back side panel but didn't remove the equivalent from the sleeve seam.

Cotton Chloe

But that was a complete fail and the sleeves were too tight.  This was a real shit because I had already hand sewn the lining to the dress around the sleeve seam.  On the bright side I hadn't overlocked the raw edge of the sleeve seam, because I had tucked it into the dress before attaching the lining.  Just as well I had plenty of the black cotton fabric in my stash, although I hate having to redo things!  I should so have learnt my lesson with sleeves by now - obviously Not!

Oh I just about forgot, I also lengthen the hem of the dress 2" more than the pattern.   Two reasons:
1.  I wanted a deeper hem on this dress than my first which was only 1"
2.  I wanted the dress to be about 1" longer than my first.

Cotton Chloe

Yay for a deeper hem but I'm not sure that I really like the length, perhaps just a bit too long for the style?  OR maybe it just seem like a lot of print?

Too finish I put wee studs on the pocket tabs.  I didn't put any up near the neckline as the pattern suggests as I think they are too small and will get lost against the pattern and I think a nice necklace will be better.
Cotton Chloe

I'm sure this won't be the last Chloe I make either.  With summer coming on I think a sleeveless version in a nice light fabric might be in order!

More photos on my Flickr -->

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Geektastic marries Vogue

I have been hanging out to make this dress for what seems like ages.  I purchased the pattern early this year but put it away thinking that when summer arrives I will get it out again.  Then I discovered Spoonflower!


I can't remember what month but this fabric was the winner of the geek contest on Spoonflower.  The colour was amazing and it just spoke to me.  Now ...  I don't usually go for novelty prints but this, well I just had to have it.


At the first sign of Spring this dress just had to jump the que and be first onto the sewing table for Frocktober.

I put together a muslin first and just as well cause the waist was just too small, so a bit of math later and I'd worked out that each pleat, and there are 10 of them, had to loose 0.7cm which would give me the extra 7cm in circumference that I needed.  I also had a hell of a time with the princess seams in the bodice - they weren't true princess seams because the pattern also has a bust dart.  Anyway after much faffing it all came together.


I got some cotton batiste (well that's what I think it is anyway) from The Fabric Warehouse to line the dress, so it would feel wonderful against my skin in the summer heat, without sticking to me.


The dress provided for a hem facing.  This is the first time I've done one of these - very easy I must say.  I couldn't really workout why a facing and not just a hem, but as soon as I put the dress on I immediately knew why - it helps give the skirt some fooff and helps maintain the overall shape of the dress when worn - very cleaver if you ask me!


Look at the shape of the dress - isn't that so pretty?


My invisible zipper went in like a dream.   No pattern matching here, as you can tell!


More Photo on my Flickr -->

Sunday, 6 October 2013

My Little Black Jacket

I am super excited about my next sew-along.  This is being hosted by A Sewing Challenge and thewallinna with mentor Susan Khalje.  The Chanel inspired little french jacket!


This wee 2 minute video was produced by Chanel in 2012 and shows an overview of the making a "Little Black Jacket".  It is so inspiring.

Susan Khalje's Couture Dress Class was the first Craftsy class I ever signed up for and it remains my most watched.  I refer back to it all the time - there are an enormous amount of techniques and valuable information in every lesson.  That class was like a revolution for my sewing. So when Inna announced she had done Susan's Chanel Jacket class (in person with Susan!) and would be hosting this sew-along - it was like all my dreams came true.

LBJ Pink tones

I had already purchased some wool boucle from The Fabric Store and had a pattern all lined up.  But first there were a few other projects I just had to get out of my system (appearing on the blog soon) before I felt that I could immerse myself in making a jacket.

I have since decided that this fabric won't be my first jacket but probably my second once I've got the couture jacket sew-along done.  So I've been and purchased a new pattern V7975, because of it's simple lines and classic style and black cotton boucle from The Fabric Store.


The lining is a black and white silk (blend I think) that I picked up at The Fabric Warehouse sale earlier this week.  I just have to decide on the trim and buttons.

Fabric & Lining

Anyway - super excited about this sew-along which starts 7 October.