I have poured months and months into this cost and it is finally done! It felt like it would never end. I was worried that I wouldn’t finish before winter ended.
To be honest, this isn’t the coat that I wanted to make. I pictured a sweet baby blue wool and even selected the lining first, in anticipation of a light colour. I mean how could I possibly pass up pink geese? But for the main fabric I had enough difficulty finding wool (let alone in my budget) and did not find any light colours. People of Melbourne are known for their love of black so I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising.
I wasn’t willing to spend a fortune on wool when the colour range was not what I wanted so I shifted my search to other materials. Again, there was a lack in colour range. I despaired. I purchased fabric online (something I haven’t done before) then decided it wasn’t right for this coat. I began to lose hope. In the end I went with a gorgeous suiting with blue and brown threads, creating a more interesting look than a solid colour. And I used the wrong side to make the buttons, which I think it’s a nice, subtle detail.
The toile went smoothly with no alterations needed. (I used calico but quickly ran out do I cut out some old tablecloths my mum use to use for her market stall. Hence the odd look). That was back in April.
The coat itself did not go as well as the toile. I fucked up my seam allowances at the beginning (see this post) so my pockets don’t look as nice as I would like. Things then went smoothly until I got to the buttonholes. Do not talk to me about buttonholes. Urg.
Now my goal is to finish a dress for my overseas holiday in October. Will I finish it on time? Given my track record this year I’m guessing no but let’s find out.
OK wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted. Where has the time gone? Didn’t 2018 just start a moment ago?
I have been making a coat for a very long time and it is driving me crazy. I made this shirt as a distraction. I actually worked on multiple things but between burning material in an obvious place and making something that is too “meh” to bother finishing, this is the only thing worth showing.
The pattern is Butterick B6217 by Gertie. I got it after seeing a blogger show off their creation but now I can’t for the life of me find the original post! Regardless, I love the tulip sleeves. This is also the first time that I’ve sewn buttons. Do not talk to me about buttons. I hate sewing buttons.
I made this shirt with a neat little gadget. I got myself a seam guide and I love it! My lines are so much better now. Except I had a brain fart and put it in the wrong spot and didn’t realize that I had added an extra 0.5cm to all seams until I was up to hemming! Thankfully I also chose the wrong size pattern and had to take in the seams anyway…but I’ve also been sewing my coat so…fuck…
I made this a while ago but when I had daylight and time to take photos the weather decided to become rainy and windy. Nope, staying inside. I can’t do indoor photos. My attempts over the years have almost always been grainy pieces of shit. I’d rather wait than post those photos.
I have mixed feelings about this dress. I really like the style and it is so fun to play around with the direction of stripes. The combination of pattern and fabric should be a win. But the armholes are a bit of a fail and I’m not entirely happy with the side seams. I’m not sure if this is due to my resizing the dress or if the pattern isn’t as good as the packet drawing would suggest.
Butterick decided not to list the finished garment size on the tissue, which meant that I had to take a stab in the dark selecting my size. I went with a 14. The resulting dress was too big and I think I was more of a 12. With the size adjustments I had to trim the edges of the fabric to even them out (my new dress form really came in handy. I’m so glad I purchased it!). This resulted in a low armscye, revealing my bra. Not happy! It also looked wonky around the princess seam and I had to take the seam in to make it look less stupid. I probably need to take it in slightly more but I’ve run out of thread and I’m sick of this dress. I can hide it underneath a cardigan. And it cost under $10 to make so whatever.
I have had this gorgeous bird fabric sitting in my stash for almost a year but had a lot of difficulty finding the right pattern for it. I thought I had things figured out and ready to go New Year’s eve but as I laid the pattern pieces on the fabric I realised that the dress actually runs on the bias. Not good for those birds! Fortunately, my mum gave me New Look 6447 for christmas and I thought it was a good match for the fabric.
The fabric is transparent so I tried underlining the bodice and could not make darts that that didn’t look shit (I also burnt a hole in the underling. Whoops!). Black iron interfacing solved that issue but I didn’t have enough and it took a while before I was able to get some more. I really wanted this finished before the warm weather ended but it just wasn’t to be.
I had read that some people had trouble understanding the instructions but I had no issue with it. Perhaps because the last dress I made had similar instructions. What I did struggle with was lining up the waistband, as I did construct the dress pieces differently to the instructions (in case I needed to adjust the side seams, which I did).
My unofficial (and vague) New Year’s resolution was to “do better” with my dressmaking. No more cutting corners. Layer seams that are meant to be layered etc. So far so good. The extra effort paid off with the neckline and I’m really pleased with it (the back is another story…). I even went to the effect of doing some herringbone and prick stitching. Hand-stitching is something that I’ve avoided until now but watching a couture class on Craftsy has inspired me (and intimidated me! It will be a long while before I dare to make a couture dress). I was home with a cold and it took me days to complete. Would I have been faster if I was well? Not sure on that one but I do think it was worth the effort so I will be doing more hand-stitching in the future.
The hem of the under skirt was very uneven so I asked my boyfriend to help me level it against the other hem. At first he pinned the two skirts while I was wearing it and I took the dress off and cut the hem. It was still slightly out in places so I then asked my boyfriend to trim it while I was wearing it. Big mistake. It cut through the hem of my main fabric. Twice. Why did I trust him with scissors?!The very next day I went out and got myself a dress model. I still need to make adjustments to get the size right but so far I’m loving it. For the first time I can clearly see the back of my dress…and all the flaws. The back is ugly so I’m just going to pretend that I didn’t see it…
This isn’t a fabric that I would choose for myself. It was a birthday present. The design is Yuendamu Bush Tomato by Aboriginal artist Audrey Napanangka.
I thought the print would look best as a shapeless dress, again not something I would normally choose but no other pattern felt right to me so I figured that I might as well try it and see what would happen. There wasn’t enough fabric for the dress so I had to add a band of different fabric across the bottom. It was very difficult to find something that suited. I also picked out a dark peach zip, which I think went very nicely with the fabric. I went to the effort of attaching it before deciding that actually, this dress doesn’t need a zip. So I unpicked it.
Despite being marked as easy, I found the pattern instructions a little confusing and had to carefully re-read multiple times before I grasped it. I haven’t really lined dresses before so the process was foreign to me. But it seems to have worked out.
For the lining I chose some flimsy pink fabric that I had used for a Fail Skirt way back in my first year of sewing. It is awful material to work with and I had decided to never use it again. But I didn’t really want to buy some more lining and the colour went well with the fabric so I decided to try it and if it failed then I would get something better. Using gelatine to stabilise the fabric helped a lot but it was still horrible to work with.
Despite not being something I would choose for myself, I actually like this dress.
I had three family christmas parties in as many days so making this dress between events kept me from going crazy. I’ve been waiting for some grey tights to arrive before taking photos. My standard black tights just don’t cut it for this dress.
I’m not entirely happy with the bust. I’m just not busty enough for the pattern. I attempted my very first small bust adjustment with my very toile and my calculations came to only 0.5cm adjustment on each side. I was very skeptical about so small an adjustment but the toile looked good. Unfortunately the real thing did not work so well. I didn’t try for any further corrections to the garment as I had no fabric left in case I stuffed it up beyond repair. Regardless, this brief venture in toiles has convinced me to stop being lazy and make 2018 the Year of the Toile. Or perhaps the Year of Getting My Shit Together And Stop Taking Shortcuts.
The invisible zip also gave me grief. I have sewn one successful invisible zip (during sewing class when I used the teacher’s invisible zipper foot) and have had a string of disasters since then. Generally I’ve avoided them but I really couldn’t with this dress. I’ve long suspected that the main issue was that I have a crap invisible zipper foot and this time I paid close attention and discovered that one side of the foot is fine. The other side doesn’t sew close to the zip, resulting in a very visible zip. Urg! I’ve drawn a little X on that side so I know to never use it again. Using the good side of the zipper foot I was able to sew an acceptable zip. It isn’t completely invisible and there is a slight bulge in the fabric that I can’t figure out but given my years of bad zips, I’m calling this a win. Now that I’ve figured out the problem with the foot I can focus on improving my invisible zip skills.
My goal this summer is to make plenty of dresses. Long ago I didn’t wear skirts and dresses, partially due to low self-esteem but mainly because I have difficulty finding nice shoes that don’t make my feet bleed after only a few minutes of walking. Nowadays I have a few nice pairs of shoes but still a small dress collection and I’m getting sick of wearing the same ones over and over. Except my first dress is too heavy for a blazing Australian summer so I’m not being very logical with my sewing plans…
My boyfriend picked out the fabric from the reduced section. The fabric is meant to be for active wear but I’m as active as a potato on a couch. Anyway, he found the fabric and then patiently waited while I flipped through the pattern catalogs, finding the right right dress pattern for the fabric. I chose McCall’s M7160 and am very happy with it. It was very easy to sew and I love how the skirt drapes. There is meant to be elastic in the waistband but I omitted it as it doesn’t seem necessary. And of course I ran out of thread whilst sewing the final hem. Why is it always the final hem?
The fabric does have tiny holes in it so I underlined it with a light grey knit. I also made the pockets grey because I first thought it would be weird using holey fabric. Now I think the teal would have been fine but I kind of like that the pockets are little hidden contrasts. And they are really well concealed.
Next I will definitely make a summer dress and it will be finished before summer ends!