Centaurée the Second

IMGP4897_PEF_shotwell_modifiedAs planed I have made a second Centaurée dress.  This time I did the high-low hem and a proper SBA where I followed the instructions in the sew-along.  I made a little error when adding the seam allowances back to the pattern pieces which resulted in me having to take the center front seam in a little but with this busy print you do not see it.    IMGP4893_PEF_shotwell_modified I love the fabric, it is a very soft cotton voile, white with mint green print. I used just under 2 meters. The bodice is interlined with the same fabric and I used ready bought bias tape.  I cut a size 36 and did 3 cm SBA.   I cut a bit of the length of the skirt and even after sewing it together I reduced the center back even more since it had a weird shape.  So I made the hem more even and the fishtail hem is not as dramatic.  IMGP4899_PEF_shotwell_modifiedRecently I bought two presser foots and was able to use them both in the construction of this dress. The first is a rolled hem foot that makes 2mm hems, very narrow indeed.  I like IMGP4902_PEF_shotwell_modifiedit a lot but have trouble sometimes when I sew over seams and the fabric becomes thicker, I may have to consider hemming before sewing the pieces together (in the flat). Other than that it is easy to use and I am considering also buying a 5mm rolled hem presser foot since I think I would use it a lot.  The second presser foot is harder to use, it is an adjustable bias binder and I used it to , surprisingly, attach the bias tape (not the center front which I basted by hand before sewing).  You need a technique to use it and I am getting better and better every time.  It is designed to bind straight edges so when you have curves there is no room for mistakes because you can not stop sewing, pull the garment out of the sewing machine and then start again later.But I am getting better at using it and I have come to like it. And it definitely makes binding edges much faster.IMGP4915_PEF_shotwell_modifiedAnd I am sorry about the photos being almost all the same…

Centaurée Dress aka The Spiderman Dress

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A couple of weeks ago when Deer and Doe released there new pattern the Centaurée Dress I immediately grabbed  a copy for myself. I have been wanting to try out their patterns for a while but never got to it so this time I ordered the new dress pattern as well as the Airelle Blouse.  The patterns arrived a few days later and I was in awe of their beauty when I opened mu package.  The packaging is so pretty and I love the fact that the patterns are printed on proper paper and not thin, tear-easy tissue paper.

 

Impatient as I am I went straight to making a muslin (which is recommended because of the fit of the dress).  Based on my waist measurement I decided on a size 36. I knew I had to do a SBA  and because they usually result in narrower waists I figured it was the IMGP4828_PEF_shotwell_modifiedway to go. I took some time to figure out how to do the SBA. I know there is a sewalong starting this week where this will be tackled but I was to excited to start the dress to wait.  After some thought I figured that the upper seams on the bodice where piece 1 meets piece 2 are actually a form of princess seams which makes bust adjustments rather easy.  So what I did to get a 2cm reduction on each side was to reduce this seam by 1 cm on each piece.  And to compensate I also had to make piece 3 narrower by the corresponding amount. Not so tricky really. I drew these changes onto my pattern pieces.

 

I used Tilly’s method when tracing the pattern onto the fabric and I must say it is excellent, specially when working with patterns on real paper.  It also preserves all the sizes and there is no boring paper tracing to do.

IMGP4831_PEF_shotwell_modifiedI really love the contrast piping in the example garment and decided to go with the same idea, which I regretted on many stages of the construction of this dress.  The piping makes the seams very bulky and the need to perfectly match the seams is highly increased.

I had been eying this fabric for a while because I really love this color. I had kind of decided to make a BHL Flora dress but the Centaurée came along and changed my plan. It is a soft cotton voile and the color is so intense I love it.  It is perfect for a airy summer dress. I used almost 2 meters for the whole dress, including lining the bodice. The piping is kind of gold yellow colored satin, ready bought.  The cord inside may be a bit to thick, a finer piping would have been better but I made it work.  Like I said the construction of the bodice was time consuming and nerve wracking because of the piping.  I had to step away from it many times and look at it from a distance to decide if I liked it or not.  At one point when I had sewn the center seam but the lines did not line up exactly right I actuallyIMGP4830_PEF_shotwell_modified thought about leaving it that way ( I should have taken a picture, sorry). After sleeping on it I knew I would not be happy so I unpicked and made the seam 0.5 cm deeper which did the trick. I compensated by making the side seams 0.5 cm narrower which of course resulted in 1cm wider garment which is alright. The fit is rather good and the stiff piping makes the bust stand out a bit (like boning or a built-in-bra).

The bodice is fully lined and I sandwiched the waist seam between the two layers of bodice which means that the only exposed seams are the side seams, so the inside looks pretty neat.  The binding and the straps could look a bit more professional though, I am not perfectly happy with the finishing, for this I blame the piping again since it got bulky in sensitive places. But I can look away.

I changed the placement of the straps a bit since I like it better this way.IMGP4833_PEF_shotwell_modifiedIMGP4837_PEF_shotwell_modified

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I put the dress on my three year old son told me that it is a pretty dress but it is a Spider Man dress, apparently the “star” reminds him of a spider web. He has a wonderful imagination.  Maybe I should get a spider pin to put on the bodice.

Hawthorn Dress

Hello, I have a finished dress to show today.  This is my new Hawthorn dress from Colette patterns. The pattern is beautiful and has clear instructions with some additional help in the sewalong, which I highly recommend.IMGP4790_PEF_shotwell_modified IMGP4788_PEF_shotwell_modifiedThe fabric is a cotton/viscose shirting fabric which looks a lot like chambray. I got it at Mood when I was in NYC last month and I used about two meters of full width fabric (60”).  It’s a beautiful fabric, presses and irons well and it’s light and flowy, great for a spring/summer dress.

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I cut a size 2, based on my waist measurement but made some alterations to the pattern. First of all I did a SBA, since I am rather small in that area.  In the sewalong there are some instructions to do this but I found that they were not complete.  They are very clear if you want to do a FBA but I was a bit unsure how to overlap the pattern pieces to get the correct amount of reduction.  Anyhow, since I will probably need to make more SBAs in the future I am planing on studying them thoroughly and maybe even post my findings here. FBAs seem to be much more common than SBAs so obviously they get more attention on the web.  When I did the SBA the front bodice piece was shortened by 2cm so I also made that adjustment to the back piece. Then I also tightened the dress by 1cm on each side seam so overall the bodice fits me well enough. Its a bit baggy under my chest, maybe I need to make the darts a bit deeper, and I would also like to narrow the shoulders a bit.  My final adjustment was to cut 8cm of the length of the skirt(pretty standard for me).IMGP4806_PEF_shotwell_modifiedIMGP4805_PEF_shotwell_modified

The dress is not hard to sew, of course you have to pay some attention to detail when constructing the collar and making the buttonholes.  The hem is sewn by hand as instructed and I am quite happy with it.  It took a long time though because the skirt is a half circle and therefore the hem is soooo long. I have one complaint about this pattern though. When attaching the collar and and facings there is only 1/4 inch seam allowance which I find a bit small and it means that there is really no room for mistake. And if you are sewing with a fabric that frays and you have to unpick you might end up having real difficulty when sewing the pieces back together.  Also when the seam allowance is so narrow I feel you are in more danger of the presser foot falling of the fabric specially when you have to pivot to make sharp corners like on this dress. You have to be very precise when basting and sewing the collar and facings. Maybe this is just me but I will have this in mind next time I make a Hawthorn. Because I am planing more dresses since I only need a few more tweaks to make this pattern fit me perfectly.  I would love a winter version with the long sleeves in cotton flanell or some pretty wool.IMGP4801_PEF_shotwell_modifiedBut overall I love this dress, it is so playful and easy to wear. And it goes very nicely with my new Fieldwork Cardigan.

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Cozy Flannel Shirt

I have wanted to make this shirt since I saw it in the Ottobre magazine last autumn.

IMGP4585_modifiedLately there have been lots of shirts popping up on the sewing blogs, many Tylers from Named and also Archers from Grainline Studio and that made me look even more often at the pattern I had at hand.  The other day when I was at my fabric store I saw this checked flannel in soft creamy colors with a beautiful burgundy. I touched it and fell in love.  It was so super soft and dreamy, exactly like I imagined for the perfect autumn/winter shirt.IMGP4595_modified  I didn’t buy the fabric in this trip but kept thinking about it so a few days later I went back to the store.  I didn’t find the bolt at first and got a bit anxious that my dreamy fabric was all gone but in the end I found it and bought the whole thing.  There was only a meter and half left which was just enough for the shirt.  When I came home I washed the fabric (as I always do) and hung it in the bathroom to dry.  When my husband came home and saw it in the bathroom, he asked if I was gonna make some dishcloths for the kitchen…IMGP4593_modifiedAnyhow, I made the shirt and I happy with it.  It is just like I wanted it to be.  I did my best to match up all the plaids and it looks right I think.  The collar and collar stand are definitely not perfect. Somehow the under collar became the upper collar (oops) and the collar stand does not match perfectly in the front.  I shortened the sleeves by 3cm but I think that 5 cm would be better. I also shortened the bodice by 5 cm, which I think is a fine length.IMGP4597_modifiedAlso I made a mistake with the cuffs, they are both the same (i.e  not mirror images of each other) meaning that on one side the buttons and buttonholes should change place. I blame this on me being in to much of a hurry to check twice.  I guess you don’t notice unless you are really looking and thinking about shirt construction.  I noticed this too late to have the patient to fix it.   I could also blame the instructions in the magazine a little, they are very brief, not as brief as Burda but still very brief.  IMGP4599_modifiedI think the shirt looks really good with skinny jeans trousers and I also like it with my freshly made  mini skirt.IMGP4556_modifiedAnd I guess I’ll have to make another one of these shirts soon to remind myself of the mistakes I made and to improve my shirt making skills. They can only get better 🙂

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