Reglisse Dress AKA 50 shades of meh dress

IMG_6380

This dress was made at the recent (hmm ok not so recent, it was June) Sewaway weekend in Melbourne. In my defence of the lateness of my post, it has been pretty cold (for me) lately and I really did want to photo this without the cardi & tights that is normally a staple at this time of year. Plus it’s too dark when I get home to take pics and the first thing I’m thinking about when I get home is dinner!!

The pattern is the Deer & Doe Reglisse.  The dress has a bias cut bodice with cap sleeves and a three quarter circle skirt.

Reglisse

The dress went together very easily and I am really happy with the fit straight out of the envelope.  I figured with the bodice being on the bias might mean I could avoid an FBA – I think I can get away with this as there is no obvious pulling. I used a supposed rayon from my stash bought a couple of years ago in London, I am pretty sure this is a cotton though, it just doesn’t have the drape that it should.

Reglisse

What to say about this pattern? Well I like it, but I don’t love it.  I feel like it is perhaps a bit boxy and like the cap sleeves make me look a little broader. I’m not fishing for compliments, believe me, just being honest.  I still wear it and of course love the polka dots, but I just don’t love the shape on me.

I’m also not the biggest fan of the elasticated waist. Normally I love an elastic waist for comfort, but the pattern calls for 1 1/16″ elastic so this is fairly wide and sits kind of loose.  I would suggest altering this otherwise a belt feels necessary all the time.

Reglisse
The waist casing sits funny, but a belt sure fixes this!

Likes:

  • bodice shape and the flared skirt
  • polka dots!!
  • easy to construct

Dislikes:

  • the width of the elastic & casing – too frumpy like
  • the ties are too short to tie in a bow like the pattern envelope indicates
  • the cap sleeves?? I might play around and see if I prefer it sleeveless
  • it would be better with pockets, cos all garments should have pockets!
Reglisse
Apparently I’m falling over in this one!

So there you go, my mediocre Reglisse dress. Have you made anything a little meh lately? You know, nothing glaringly awful, that you’re just not feeling?

V1395 – Tie-ing something new

Hello again! Finally I have chance to get back to the blog. It has been crazy busy around here lately, mostly because I went to Melbourne Frocktails last weekend and procrastinated on my dress and then decided last minute that I needed a coat too!  Yep – I am clearly quite mad!! However, job done and I will share these with you soon, just need to take some pics!

I have a shite-load of garments that I am behind on blogging, but this is my new favourite to wear so you get to see it first! I made this when procrastinating on making my Frocktails dress.

IMG_6365

It’s V1395, a sweet little pullover, elastic waist dress with waist ties (get my blog title now? insert eye roll here).  I expected this to be a comfortable dress and wasn’t sure it would be overly flattering, however I was hopeful and forged ahead in a polyester from my stash in the home of ending up with a wearable muslin.  Better than that, I have a dress that I love and now am planning more!!

IMG_6360
I’ve no idea why I am frowning so much in this pic!!

I cut a size 16, narrowing at the shoulders as is normal for me. I also raised the shoulders as I am short in this area. As it was intended to be a wearable muslin I skipped the French seams and just stitched and overlocked as is normal for me for most garments any way.

IMG_6358

I don’t like how the instructions have you attach the lining and create the casing. It is not stitched down in anyway and therefore doesn’t sit flat at the waist.  I think next time I will stitch the casing to the dress at the time of creating it. I didn’t end up with the low armholes that other bloggers have mentioned, I think because I raised the shoulders.

IMG_6361

I only shortened the waist a smidgeon at the back so be warned if you are taller. Also, this is the pattern length, again pretty short since I am only 5’2″.  I love the ties, but be aware if you make this that the reverse of your fabric will be visible.

IMG_6355

This a great versatile dress, I wear it with plain black tights and low heels to work and then with ballet flats or boots for casual. I have another one planned in a silk crepe and then another in a rayon blend – perhaps one for each day of the week! Do you think anyone would notice if I only made/wore this pattern?? 😛

Canberra Frocktails and Vintage Simplicity

I bought this fabulous cotton sateen fabric at a recent Spotlight sale. I asked my dear darling husband “do these colours suit me?”. “No” he says. So of course I ignored him and bought it anyway (what was he doing in Spotlight anyway??). I just couldn’t resist the vibrant colours with the vintage feel. It just had to be made up into a vintage dress, the only question was which one?!

I settled on Vintage Simplicity 3316 which Wikia says is from late 1950s/early 1960s. I was particularly drawn to the kimono sleeves and the coat (which I have a plan for soon).

IMG_2217

I did a muslin of the bodice and it fitted really well and so with no adjustments I cut into my fabulous fabric. I sewed the majority up on the Sewaway weekend in Melbourne, but it was too cold to constantly try it on so I left the finishing for home. I ended up taking 1¼” off the shoulders as I had some fabric pooling under the arms, but apart from that, no adjustments. No FBA!!

IMG_6330

Of course this fabulous dress needed a fabulous event and Canberra Frocktails was it! Those girls sure know how to organize a fun shindig! Blimey there was a lot of champagne, so much for the two glasses included, more like 5 or 6. I must have had a dodgy canapé though as I was talking to the porcelain telephone later that night 😉 Oops!

IMG_6331

IMG_6343

Can you guess who took my photos? The fact I can’t stop laughing might give it away.

3316Oh dear, the pics are getting blurry now – always the sign of a good night!! 😀

raptorPictures taken by the wonderful lady that is Amanda – this girl is so warm and genuine and of course an all round sewing wizard with rad raptor poses! And blimey she can rock a tulle skirt!!

PS – that’s the second of my Vintage Pledge dresses complete – one to go!!

Dress Up Party – M6713

I love to wear dresses and when Sara invited me to be part of her Dress Up Party, I decided to make and share McCalls 6713.

M6713

It’s a great little faux wrap knit dress with a pleated drape to really give the look of being a real wrap dress but without the security issues!  I opted to skip making a muslin and boldly went ahead with cutting into my fashion fabric. I figured being a knit it would be a little more forgiving.

I used an ITY knit from my local Spotlight store, and made View A with the fuller skirt. The fabric is a little slippery to sew, but using loads of pins soon sorts that out.

M6713

Instead of doing an FBA like I would do in a woven, I used the cheat technique of cutting a larger size in the front than the back to allow room for my lady curves! This worked a treat and the sizing is perfect.

M6713

I shortened the waist slightly, a normal adjustment as I am 5″2″. Other than that, the dress is made up exactly as per the pattern.

M6713

Despite being pretty low cut, it feels secure and I have worn this to work a few times and haven’t had any wardrobe incidents or accidents!! If you were not comfortable with how low cut the neckline is, you could always wear a tank or insert a modest panel.

M6713

I did think the draped skirt section would be really annoying and flap around, but it is attached into the skirt panel and does not flap around at all.

I am super happy with this dress and will definitely be making it again.

Check it out dress

I am loving some of the graphic style prints that I am seeing in the stores recently. Not normally one to follow trends, this grid or checked pattern is one I can get on board with. For work wear, I have been loosely trying to stick to a bit of a palette of black, white and red for work, perhaps once my wardrobe grows more colours will enter. This fabric certainly fits the brief and makes me feel a bit on trend and edgy 🙂

V8766 Raglan Hack

The pattern is a hack of my favourite 4 dart bodice, V8766 paired with the skirt of the Belladone. I love the diagonal pockets of the Belladone and I thought they would complement the shoulder detail.

V8766 Raglan Hack

This time I hacked the bodice slightly, I wanted to play on the grid pattern and also wanted to incorporate a complimentary bias trim. I modified the bodice to have a raglan shoulder detail and cut the shoulder pieces on the bias to emphasize the design lines.

IMG_6190a

To do this I eyeballed where I wanted the seam lines to be and marked these on my pattern pieces. I then matched the front and back pieces at the seams (omitting the seam allowances) and traced a new pattern piece for the raglan insert (including seam allowances on the new piece). Perhaps a diagram showing the end result is easier (you can see my fold lines on the pattern pieces including seam allowances, the dashed lines are the seam lines):

IMG_6251a

Now that I have my personal alterations sorted for this bodice it all went together super quickly. I used 25mm bias to further emphasize the raglan seams, pockets, to bind the neck and armholes.

V8766 Raglan Hack

I love how this raglan feature just adds a small point of difference. I would like to do something similar on a ponte dress with a pleather or quilted raglan piece.

V8766 Raglan Hack

These pics were taken a couple of weeks ago, since then the temperature has dropped considerably and I’ve been wearing this with tights and a cardi. Admittedly for most people it hasn’t been that cold, about 20-25C, but I am well known as a complete wuss when it comes to the cold!

On another note – how slow is this week going?  For me it is absolutely crawling, I can’t believe I am only half way through! Roll on the weekend!!

Vintage Pledge – V2876

Hellooooo again!  Soooo…I signed up for the Vintage Pledge..yep it’s out there in the Blogosphere so I’d better do it huh? I have loads of vintage patterns, mostly from the 40s and 50s. I love the artwork and the interesting details not often seen on patterns nowadays. I also have a number of the reproduction vintage patterns and have been meaning to make them for a while now. I thought the pledge might be the motivator I need to actually sew them instead of just stare wistfully at them. I have started small and have pledged to sew three patterns this year.

Vogue 2876

This is the first, Vogue 2876, a vintage reproduction.  The pattern is for knits and wovens apparently, I chose an ITY knit to give a dress in the Leona Edmiston style that I adore.

PSA: This pattern has EIGHTY steps!!  Don’t let this put you off, this is not as complicated as it sounds. A lot of the instructions are super basic and in my case, I felt some were completely unnecessary e.g. I omitted the shoulder pads so that eliminated 7 steps, and I left off the side opening and zip as it neither were required with the knit fabric eliminating a further 16 steps.

Vogue 2876

The insertion of the diamond was the most tricky part as it is done via top-stitching it on rather than a back to back construction approach.

The bodice is also supposed to be attached to the skirt by top-stitching but this was not really possible with the slippery knit fabric. Instead I placed the bodice and skirt back to back and stitched most of it together this way except for the wrap section which I pinned extensively and top-stitched.

Vogue 2876

Changes to the pattern:
– As usual I shortened the bodice, this time by 2″.
– I took the pleats out of the sleeve and made them 3/4 length
– narrowed the shoulders by 1.5″
– 3″ off the length of the skirt

Vogue 2876
Look – faux wrap!

 

What I like:
– the front diamond and bodice gathering
– love the style
– it’s dressy enough for work
– it feels amazing to wear

What I would change for next time:
– nothing and there will be a next time for sure, I’d love to make it in a plain fabric to show off the details more

PRO TIP – Don’t try to do clever things like play pattern tetris and flip your pattern pieces. Doesn’t work with an asymmetrical pattern if you only flip some, you just may end up with two right fronts – ask me how I know 😦

Vogue 2876

Are you participating in the #vintagepledge? How are you going so far? If I make two of these does it count towards the pledge??

JLV Felicity Dress

Recently I was privileged to have the opportunity to test the latest Jennifer Lauren Vintage Felicity dress. I love the aesthetic of JLV, the nod to vintage designs with great details but very wearable and not at all costume-y.

JLV Felicity Dress

The Felicity dress is no exception, it has no bodice darts, instead it has lovely gathering that sits above the bust and I think at a flattering level, rather than right on the bust (which just adds unnecessary bulk). Jennifer drafts for a D cup and so has really given the design a lot of thought for the more busty of us!

The neck and armholes are finished with bias binding which I love as it creates a tidy finish inside and out.  I chose to make my own as I wanted the matchy look – I used my cheat method of a metal ruler with my rotary cutter. My ruler is the exact width of bias strips so this is a super fast way to do it as I only cut what I need and seldom require a join.

JLV Felicity Dress

It does have small back neck darts though which you hardly ever see on modern patterns these days. I find these really help the fit of the back and prevent any gaping around the back zipper. Speaking of the zipper, I did have some issues with mine. My fabric seems to want to stretch a little and it was almost like the zip is too heavy for the fabric and so it wanted to stick out all horribly. I fixed this by taking the back in a little and lengthening the back darts to take out the excess fabric. FYI – my muslin I did first in a cotton did not have this issue at all, so I 100% blame my fabric, which still feels amazing so I am not bearing a grudge!

JLV Felicity Dress

I made the dress in a very light, floral, floaty rayon (bought at Darn Cheap Fabrics in Melbourne last year) and whilst it is a bit creasy, it is amazing to wear.

Whilst this is a PDF and I know not everyone is keen on these, JLV really thinks through the process and has the pattern laid out so you print the bare minimum of pages for your view option. There is no layering of the pieces, so tracing is not required. It was a million times better organized than my recent Tessuti debacle.

JLV Felicity Dress

I chose the three quarter skirt option instead of the gathered option. Perhaps not the easiest option with my fabric as it dropped a lot at the sides and despite hanging it for several days before hemming, still doesn’t look perfect. It is straight, but depending on how I stand, really affects how it looks. I hemmed with the narrowest rolled hem that I could.

JLV Felicity Dress
I love the pockets! In my opinion all good dresses have pockets.

The JLV instructions are very clear and well illustrated and to further support this, a sewalong starts tomorrow! I am definitely making another Felicity dress, in fact my fabric is pre-washed and ready to go!

Disclaimer – I was given this pattern to test. Jennifer asked that I blog the dress if I wanted to and to offer my real opinion. Those that know me, know that I’m not one for mincing words or sugar coating things. If I like something, I say so, if I don’t I’m not one for keeping quiet either 🙂

Colour Block Mash Up

Happy Monday all!

I’m still getting used to the idea of working in an office again. It seems to be going alright so far, although really not used to having my time monitored. I’m more of the philosophy that it doesn’t matter as long as the work is done. Oh well, I’ll get used to it I am sure. More importantly…it’s all about what I’m wearing!

Here is another Simplicity 2174, although this time View C, sans sleeves.

Simplicity 2174

View C has a modernised subtle sweetheart style neckline which is high enough to still be decent for the office. I found the fit to be very much the same as View A so it was nice to make the same alterations. This time I omitted the facing and instead cut the pieces again in a cotton voile to line the bodice. Being a cotton, this has a good cooling effect too as my fashion fabric has a high poly content.

Simplicity 2174

Initially I was going to add an A-line skirt but it just looked odd with the colour blocking of the bodice, so I recut using the skirt pieces of McCalls 4829, an OOP sundress pattern with a paneled skirt option.

I cut the panels with nice big seam allowances so I could make sure the seam lines were nicely lined up and I am really pleased with the result.

Simplicity 2174

This is such a different silhouette for me, normally I’m all about the fit and flare. I have been branching out lately with some art teacher chic and now I’m trying the shiftdress. I actually like the shape and find that I feel a bit profesh. Whilst the shift is definitely great stylish work wear, I have to remember I am a “lady” and to crouch properly and sit nicely, you really have to move differently in this style!

S2174

For the side panels I used a gorgeous quilted fabric that I believe to be a Cue remnant. The centre panels are also supposed to be Cue remnants. Both bought from Pitt Trading and mailed to me from Sydney (excellent service there!). Cue is a clothing store in Australia and New Zealand that specializes in office wear. For me, the opportunity to buy their remnants was too good to be missed and I bought enough for four garments!

Simplicity 2174

Likes
– I am pretty happy with the fit
– great work wear
– the fabric is on trend
– the high poly content means less creasing and therefore perfect for my desk job!

Changes for next time
– perhaps shorten the bodice a touch

PS – I have Revenge on the telly at the moment – what great inspiration for stylish office wear! (terrible show though). Also really loving Annalise Keating’s outfits on How to Get Away with Murder.

Pia in Polka Dots

Howdy all! Taking a small hiatus from workwear, I’m back with another Tessuti Pia Dress.

Pia in Polka Dots

My previous one is getting so much wear, it is the perfect weekend dress, especially for slouching around, ducking out to the shops and eating big lunches! It’s also great to wear when sewing garments that need lots of trying on, with no fastenings it just pops over the head, much more convenient and saves sewing in some stage of undress (my usual attire!).

I have fast become a convert to this silhouette and of course had to make another stat!

Pia in Polka Dots

Nothing new on the construction from before, although I did omit the Vilene tearaway facing and just stay-stitched the neck and armholes. I have never had an issue with stretching out and felt the Vilene was overkill. Having now worn this dress several times I can attest that I still have no issues with stretching out.

Pia in Polka Dots
Pocket close up – intentionally slouchy

The fabric is a chambray bought here in Brisbane at Sewco, unlike others I have read about online, this chambray had no issues with fraying and the stitching is holding well, just like any other cotton fabric.

Pia in Polka Dots

This is a pretty good quick make, especially as it was my second time. There is no darts and no fitting to worry about. I find it nice that I can sit and sew from start to finish without having to get up and down to try it on. I have plans to make the Eva Dress soon, I just have to work out a good time to print it off. (I wonder how receptive the new place will be with me pilfering work resources, or will I have to use stealth mode?!) Am I the only one to print PDFs at work?

PS – Just how casual is “casual Friday”? Could I wear this to the office? I’m not sure it feels city/weekday appropriate.