Sunday, 2 July 2017

Heather: June Sewing Roundup

Welcome back sewing fans, I'm really looking forward to sharing some of my favourite makes with you from June!

I'll start with my June #dressmakingbloggerchallenge dress. The theme for the month was "Garden Party" and my parents conveniently indulged the theme with a BBQ right at the beginning of the month;  a perfect opportunity to show off this lovely B5209 dress from the Butterick Retro collection. 
Butterick 5209

The fabric is makower cotton from Fabric Corner in Lincoln and it was a super straightforward one evening make. The bodice is fully self-lined which is worth noting if you're short of fabric, as this could easily be substituted for a complementary fabric. The pattern is also true to the vintage sizing so I ended up making a 12 and grading the skirt out to get a good fit. From the pattern diagram I hadn't realised that the skirt was gathered all the way round (the illustration makes it look as though it's only gathered at the middle of each section) and if I were to make it again I would alter the panels to achieve that look instead. I'd probably also take an inch out of the bodice length at the waist but I don't think this dress suffers for it.

My next super speedy make was for an unexpected night out. A sudden flash of mid afternoon inspiration led to 1m of this gorgeous sparkle print jersey being made into the lovely Vogue 1208 bow shoulder dress. The pattern is intended for stable woven fabrics cut on the bias, so it's a bit too big. Subsequently I didn't wear it on the night out but I promise to share a better picture when I do eventually wear it! 

Last month I mentioned that I was making an effort to fill some of the gaps in my work wardrobe. I snapped up this cocktail print fabric from Fabric Godmother within minutes of them posting it online (good job, as it sold out in minutes) and made the Simple Sew Pussy Bow Blouse (minus the body darts for a floaty fit) and old favourite skirt pattern Butterick 5466 which is my new favourite work outfit!

Simple Sew Pussy Bow Blouse and Butterick Skirt 5466
Well... it was my new favourite for all of a week until I made this New Look 6471 blouse in floral cotton lawn which I didn't want to take off! I can see my wardrobe being flooded with these.
New Look 6471
Continuing the black and white theme, this McCalls 7085 dress is made from quilting cotton from The Craft Outlet at Springfields Outlet in Spalding. They have hundreds of beautiful cottons at hugely reduced prices; worth a visit if you're in the area. This is the fifth time I've made a dress from this pattern and a close contender for my favourite. I shortened it a few inches and went for a more a-line skirt than previously, for a more 60s look. I quickly drafted the collar to top the dress off, and used a visible lace zip on the back, which I promise I'll share a picture of at some point soon!

McCalls 7085
Also in the amazing fabric selection at Springfields was this lovely Dashwood Suffolk Garden cotton that Mum picked out. I had intended to make her another Butterick 4443 but I needed to reshape the pattern, and when the Nina dress by Cotton and Chalk dropped through my letterbox it was decided that this was the better option for the fabric. 

Cotton and Chalk Nina Shirt Dress
I had seen a number of reviews online that said this dress came up large, and checking the finished garment measurements I could tell that even the size XS was going to be massive on Mum. Like me she also has a sway back so I altered the shape of the back panel and cut the size XS. Cutting the pieces presented an interesting challenge because I only had 3m at 45" wide. Most of the panels are godet/triangle shaped and the print is very directional so I had to be a bit creative with the cutting. I managed to add an extra inch to the sleeve length but hadn't appreciated that the dress itself is quite short. And it was still huge even in XS! I finished the dress with mismatch pink buttons which add a fun twist. Mum was very grateful, but I don't personally think it's one of my best makes, and I don't think she'll wear it half as much as the next make...

The Sew Over It Penny Shirt Dress has taken the sewing world by storm, being released right in the middle of the #sewtogetherforsummer Shirt Dress challenge. As a PDF Club member I got my mitts on the pattern a week early and knew straight away that I had the perfect fabric. Frustratingly, I didn't actually have enough of the perfect fabric because the dress has a half circle skirt, cut as a single piece on the fold (which is totally unnecessary in my opinion). Having sourced more fabric I still needed to put an extra seam in my skirt, not that you would know, in order to get my pieces out of the fabric. I think it would be just as easy to continue the facing through the waist into the skirt seam, which I'll maybe try in future.
 It's a pretty quick make with some lovely details at the seam placket and collar. I took the dress over to show Mum, and suggested she see what the fit was like so I could perhaps make her one in the future...
Sew Over It Penny Dress
... and it just suits her so well that I decided to leave it with her! I think it's such a lovely fit and the colours are perfect for her. She tells me she might wear it to the upcoming 1940s weekend in Woodhall Spa which will be ideal.
I made myself a replacement in some soft denim and stripe which is much more casual but really comfy for a lazy day round the house.

This is a good time to mention a couple of other lazy-day makes; the Seamwork Aurora Top (pictured) and Mesa Dress, which I shortened to t-shirt length. I've had a Seamwork subscription (<- referral link) for a while but have primarily made the Colette patterns which can be purchased for 3 credits. Seeing as I had 6 credits available I cashed 2 in to buy the top patterns. I made the two side-by-side and got them both finished in 90 minutes. A good top up of wardrobe separates. The keen eyed amongst you will spot this fabric from my Sister-in-Law's dress back in March- I had just enough left for this top and great to use up remnants too.
Seamwork Aurora Top
My final two garments to share this month have rocketed straight to the top of my favourites pile. First up is the By Hand London Orsola dress, which I totally fell in love with from the line drawing, so it was destined to be a good one. I had no idea how the fit would be, having been challenged by BHL patterns in the past, and I worried that the back wrap would not provide enough coverage for my curvy bum. A toile was necessary and seeing as I had also decided that I wanted to wear the dress to Sew Up North with my comfy orange pumps (Not even joking!), I chose a piece of lovely green viscose with an orange fleck from Montreux Fabrics for my practice run. I made a size 6 bust graded to a 14 waist and hip for extra bottom wrapping security. 

 I absolutely love this dress. My fears for the back wrap were unfounded- there is plenty of coverage even for my generous bottom, and the wrap shape through the back is so flattering! I could definitely have gone for a 10 waist but I'm happy with the skirt fullness.
By Hand London Orsola Dress
As it was intended only as a wearable toile, I have a few regrets about this make. I didn't bother to stay stitch any of the curves, and the soft viscose just grew and grew throughout the day. Typically, it didn't shrink back in the wash (they never do when you want them to), and had lost a bit of shape, so I have subsequently taken the shoulders up by 2", bringing the bust dart back up to my actual bust point, and shortened the back sections at the waist by 2" too. I also did some surgery on the rushed sections and it's now destined to be worn on a bi-weekly basis until it falls to pieces I think.

And finally... the totally lovely McCalls 7534 maxi dress in this floral scuba from the NEC Sewing Shows in March. I had exactly this dress in my head when I bought the fabric, but had been waiting for the perfect pattern to make it with. Honestly, the pattern itself is not particularly amazing, but it did the job and I'm really pleased with how this turned out!

And finally, here's the July Dressmaking Blogger Challenge: At the Beach!
We want to see your beach themed makes, whether that's a swimsuit, Sarong, sunhat or something else!

As always it's a just-for-fun challenge and you can share your makes using #dressmakingbloggerchallenge on Instagram or by joining the Dressmaking Bogging Network on Facebook. 

Thanks for reading. Happy Sewing everyone!!!

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