As 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. 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. Recently 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 it 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.And I am sorry about the photos being almost all the same…
Often when I see clothes that I really like in stores, worn by other people, on TV or the internet I think of making them for myself and how I could change them to make them better. When I was in the States recently I bought a very cute, pale pink jersey dress. It is super easy to wear and so girly, I love it. However it is a bit special, the fabric is nice and should be hand washed and the color is not one I can wear all the time. So I figured I could make a new dress better suited for everyday wear.
I used a bodice pattern from Ottobre magazine which I also used for my sweatshirt dress. I compared it to the dress I was trying to copy and made changes according to my wishes. Then based on the waist measurement and my desired length I drafted a skirt which is actually one third of a circle, hence the name. I think it has just the right flair. I used campan stripes jersey from my stash. The fabric is super soft cotton with 3% elastane and it feels really good and of high quality. I highly recommend it. I then sewed the whole thing on my serger except the hem and edges where I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine and I also used clear elastic for the armholes and neckline. It feels great to wear.
The day after I finished my dress, the Closet Case Files released their Nettie pattern and I think there is some resemblance. I surely got ideas to improve my pattern, I love the super low back neckline which I will definitely try. I already have a pattern for sleeves and lengthening the bodice to make a one piece should not be that difficult. You see, I constantly get new ideas!
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 way 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.
I 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 actually 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.
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.
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. The 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.
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).
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.But overall I love this dress, it is so playful and easy to wear. And it goes very nicely with my new Fieldwork Cardigan.
A couple of days ago we had one of those autumn days where it is sunny, bright and oh so beautiful but with crisp air and cold wind. When I was walking to the library to study trying to keep warm since the sun had tricked me to think it was warmer outside I got the idea for this dress. I wanted a dress that was warm, comfy and stylish. I decided to use sweatshirt fabric since it is thick and made of cotton and also it is a stable knit fabric which I thought would make a comfy dress.
I decided to use black so I could wear it with colorful tights which conveniently are available in thick cotton and wool blends.
The pattern is a mixture. The bodice is from an Ottobre Woman t-shirt pattern but I changed the neckline. I lowered it and added a neckline band. The sleeves are from another Ottobre Woman pattern, since the ones for the bodice were short.
The skirt however is my own make. I’m not gonna go as far as calling it my own design since it is only two rectangles sewn together at the sides and then pleated to fit the bodice. I am really happy with the front of the skirt. The back of the skirt is another story. I guess I learned that you should not place a pleat like that in a thick fabric like this at center back. It really stretches out and if you look at it from the side it really stands out, making my behind look huge and simply strange. Maybe it’s also because I accidentally cut the skirt to short so the weight isn’t pulling it down or something, but I think this is not the most flattering look:
It was relatively quick to make since I used my serger for almost every seam. I hemmed the sleeves and skirt using the zig-zag stitch since I haven’t been happy with the twin needle result. The seams never turn out stretchy enough and the threads always break. I also read this post on Sewaholic about seaming in knit clothing. I really agree with her on what see says about the zig-zag stitch and I’m going to use it more from now on.
Apart from the skirt issues I am really happy with this dress and I know I will wear it a lot even though it has those flaws. An those flaws only give me an excuse to make another one of those dresses which is never a bad thing, right?