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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?? 😛

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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):

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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!!

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.

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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!

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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.

Back to Black – Simplicity 2174

I’m still on a mission to increase my very miniscule work wardrobe. I plan to make a few basics and then a few more colourful and interesting dresses. This LBD is View A of Simplicity 2174, one of their Amazing Fit range.

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A princess lined dress with two neckline options, two lengths and A, B, C & D cup sizes. I love this idea of Simplicity’s to make patterns with different cup sizes. For those of us that always need to do an FBA (or presumably an SBA) these patterns are a godsend.

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There is a little pulling in this photo but that is not apparent in real life

I admit to being skeptical at first and figured it would at least be a good start and I could always adjust further from there. Not necessary. I used the D cup pattern pieces (a couple under my normal size) but found these to be more than sufficient.

The pattern pieces are also made with a 1″ side seam so you can baste it all together first to check sizing and then adjust as necessary. Genius idea. (of course one could just add a larger seam allowance any pattern but I often forget)

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I used a suiting fabric bought at Levines in LA a couple of years ago. This was fabric by the pound and so cheap – I ended up with about 5m of this fabric and used the balance to make a M6611 jacket (to be blogged soon).

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Not many adjustments were required to my size 14 due to being able to avoid an FBA. I did cut the shoulders a size smaller and shortened the bodice at the waist by about 1″, but will likely shorten it a touch more next time. I ended up taking in the sides a touch more than the 1″ allowance, particularly at the bust level where I needed to take it in another ½”. I actually wondered if perhaps I should have used the C cup pieces, but in my rashness binned them so not an option! My fabric has a little stretch to it, so this may be difficult to gauge until I use a non-stretch fabric.

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Here’s how I look at my new office “you want me to do what?!”

Likes
– pockets!
– I am really happy with the fit
– great work wear
– I think it is pretty flattering
– I love the little neck vent
– did I mention it has pockets!!!

Dislikes
– none! (and that is pretty unusual for me)

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Handbag picked by Lizzy (does she know me or what?!)

I feel like I could wear this dress a couple of times a week and no-one would notice, but wear a patterned or more statement dress and it would be pretty obvious. Whilst I build my wardrobe up, this dress is a great staple.

Lady in Red – Style Arc Jessica Dress

Big changes afoot for me shortly – I am currently working from home, but as of next week, we are moving to a proper office. As one would expect, this has good and bad aspects, but for me the most important consideration is – what will I wear?!!!

As of right now I have just seven work dresses; two winter dresses and five summer dresses, one I am not loving as a work dress (it’s a little low cut) so really only four.  Obviously I have some work to do to resolve this. Rather than go through the inevitable shopping pain, I have started on making a new work wardrobe. One of the dresses counted in the four/five is this one I made a couple of weeks ago, the Style Arc Jessica Dress.

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This was my first Style Arc experience, and I have to say I am not overly impressed. I would be even less impressed if I had bought the pattern (I borrowed it). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the pattern, I just think there are so many things that could be done better i.e. multi-sizing, instructions, fabric layout map. I am sure most people are aware of these issues with StyleArc.

I made this dress in a size 14 (pretty accurate to my measurements), but shortened it between the shoulders and bust by 1.5″, and took an inch off each side and narrowed the shoulders by about 2″, and took about 2″ off the hem. I guess this may make it a petite (short) size 12?? or even maybe a 10?

Jessica Dress

I used a crepe knit from Spotlight that I was originally going to use for a wrap dress (the wrap dress is still on the cards, just this leapt the queue, c’mon you’ve all been there!)

Construction on this was reasonably straightforward, although it is probably better to use common sense than the instructions. The twist is not as complicated as it looks, it is simply a loop made with one side of the front and then the other front fed through it. I actually twisted one side 180° as I felt that made it sit better.

Almost the whole garment thing can be made on the overlocker and I did the hemming on the cover-stitch. This make is a relatively quick make, being knit, the fit is quite forgiving, although I had to do some fiddling as the whole thing was way too big initially. Not being experienced with StyleArc patterns I can only assume their sizes run large?

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Perhaps a slip might be in order to prevent some clinginess?

Likes
– comfortable – work PJs for the win!
– reasonably easy to construct
– it’s red!
– suits a curvy figure, especially needs bewbs to fill out the top I think

Dislikes
– in my opinion the sizing is off as this needed a lot more fiddling than a knit dress would normally require
– I’m not truly sure this is my style, it feels a little clingy/revealing in the back, but I need to try with granny undies or a slip and this may fix it
– the shoulders still feel too wide for my liking

Jessica Dress

 

Like Lizzy says “it is perfect casual workdress – I don’t have to look super-corporate every day so it’s a great choice for those days at the desk when you just want to be comfortable.”

I won’t be making it again though – I want  to try a few other knit dress patterns that might be better for my shape.  V1191 is a similar pattern but has a set in sleeve. I have a couple of wrap dresses planned: V8379 and M6713 (totally going to have to do a bike pose for this post). And then, the one I am most excited about and currently top on my list V2876 – I love this dress and really hope it works well for me.