dressmaking

a new wiksten tank

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Here are the results of my smallish dressmaking spurt - I now have a the basics of a Vignette wardrobe!

Just looking at them all hanging together makes me glad I sew.

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My latest addition is a new Wiksten Tank in the red Petal double gauze.  Again this is a pattern I've made before, so everything was ready to start cutting etc.  All of my previous versions have been made from a thicker quilting cotton.  It's great to finally have one made out of a soft and squishy substrate - so dreamy to wear.  Double gauze is perfect for this style.

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And it adds a nice pop of colour to ensemble too.

Hopefully having all these wardrobe additions will convince me to make the time to sew more wearables.

 


fen number 2

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If the Staple Dress is my favourite dress pattern then the Fen dress comes a very close second.  This easy to wear style is equally flattering and works great with sandals in summer or layered in the winter months.  I know this because I've been wearing my first version of this dress (see below) for almost a whole year now.  Although the pattern has a variety of style options (round or v neck/short or long sleeve/top or dress/shirt-tail or drop hem), I went for the exact same mix of these as I used last time.  Why mess with something that works?  Again, having the pattern all cut out was a bonus.

I also used the exact same substrate as last time - double gauze from my Vignette line for Cloud 9 but this time the teal Petal print.

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A few pattern making notes - One of the tips I got from watching The Great British Sewing Bee this year was seeing how Charlotte speeded up the cutting process by holding her pattern pieces in place with weights and then cutting around them with a rotary cutter - Genius!  I applied this tip to most of my cutting for all of the makes I've been showing lately and it is a 'duh' lightbulb moment.  Obviously being a quilter and having a rotary cutter on hand helps and safety has to be observed at all times - always cut away from your body and keep fingers out of the way.  For curved areas of the pattern where it would be tricky to use the rotary, I use my regular chalk marker and cut with scissors.

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These are the pattern weights I use, they're handmade and were gifted to me by the Cloud 9 team last fall market.  

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Here are both my Fen dresses (so far) together.  I think I might need a few more.

You can find my previous post for the first Fen dress here.


city gym shorts

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I have to confess, I'm not big on wearing shorts.  I only reach for them when the sun is shining at full throttle and I need an outfit with built in air conditioning.  I kept seeing photo's online of the City Gym shorts pattern but I was certain this style was not for me.  Then it got super hot and I decided to give them a go.  I'll admit I was completely wrong, the fit on these shorts is perfect.  They are super wearable.  

So good that I made them twice! (so far).

Both these fabrics are from my Vignette collection, the gold is quilting cotton (but has a lovely light hand, perfect for clothes making).  The navy is double gauze and in case you're wondering this substrate works perfectly for this pattern too.  I made the double gauze shorts exactly the same way, no modifications.  I just made sure to cut them right before sewing as this substrate doesn't like waiting around.  The navy pair were my daughter's idea, she said that the darker fabric would make them perfect for autumn/winter as you could wear them over tights. I tried this over the weekend and she was right. I love how she thinks ahead sartorially :)

Both pairs were edged with Robert Kaufman slub indigo chambray (I bought mine at the village haberdashery).

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One small thing, my print outs of the pattern pieces kept printing with some of the cutting lines missing.  I tried the tips in the tutorial but couldn't get them to work.  In the end I just taped my print out on to my computer screen (with the pattern image on the screen at full size) and drew in the missing lines by hand.  It was easy to do and solved the problem for me.

You can find the pattern for the shorts here.

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staple dress no. 5

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We had rocking temperatures here in the UK over the summer.  I quickly decided I didn't have enough 'hot day' options amongst my sweater laden wardrobe and spent a few days fixing that glitch. The Staple Dress was the first pattern I reached for.  I bought this pattern right after it first came out and it has quickly become my go to dress pattern, easy to make and easy to wear.  It also helps that I already have the pattern cut out and have my favourite length and waist height sussed which means fast, no stress sewing. 

I used this pretty 'Poppy' print from my Vignette fabric line for Cloud 9.  Even though there are double gauze options in the collection, this print is only available as a quilting cotton.  It wasn't until I had actually cut out and started sewing the dress that I really noticed how light weight of a cotton it is, it's actually pretty well perfect for dressmaking.  I've been wearing this dress a lot over the summer but I love that the print is going to look great paired with leggings and a cardi right through winter too!

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So this is my fifth version of the staple dress pattern and I thought it might be fun to see them all together.  It's interesting that four of them are blue/navy, I guess I have a go to dress colour too!

You can see my previous posts for two of the above dresses here and here.


floret dress

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I sewed up another dress using my Vignette double gauze fabric, this time I chose the Floret print on navy.  I was so happy when I found out that Cloud 9 were doing this print on the double gauze, since I would have made this dress up in the quilting cotton anyway but making it in the gauze just makes it drape so much nicer and it's so dreamily squishy!  I am head over heels for this dress already and plan to wear it lots. I used the staple dress pattern again because it is exactly that - a wardrobe staple that works year round.

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I got my daughter to snap these pictures of me a few weeks back. She did a great job other than that she seemed to have the focus on the fence rather than the fabric in the majority of the pictures...  Which is useful if you're a fence enthusiast.

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So if you'd like to see the fabric in more detail, I snapped a quick pic of all four of the double gauze prints just for you.

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Vignette double gauze is now available in all of these super fabric shops -

USA

Fabricworm

Hawthorne Threads 

Gather Here 

Fancy Tiger Crafts

Harts Fabric

Spool

Jones And Vandermeer

Circa 15 Fabric Studio

Crafty Planet

Del Ray Fabrics

Fabric.Com

 

UK

The Village Haberdashery

M Is For Make

Simply Solids

 


fen dress

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Finally Vignette fabric is in stores! You can find stockists for the line here.  If you are a shop selling the line, please get in touch to make sure your store is added to the listing.

I just recently got around to finally making up a dress out of some of the double gauze.  I chose the Fen dress pattern and used the Floret print in pink. The pattern has options for making both dress and top versions with several variations for neckline, hem and sleeves.  I chose to make a round neck dress with a shirt tail hemline and sleeves.  There are also good instructions to shorten or lengthen the pattern. I shortened mine by 3 1/2".

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I love the boxy style of this dress!  Also pockets should be compulsory on dresses.  To accessorize I made a Figure 8 scarf out of the Petal double gauze print in the red colourway.  I followed the pattern instructions exactly except I used a 3/4" seam allowance.  The length and bulkiness is perfect.

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The fabric colours are much deeper and richer in real life.  These pictures were taken on an exceptionally bright day so they appear a little bleached out here. Both the dress and scarf have been worn multiple times since and I definitely will be making second versions of both.  


staple dress party

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Today I am kick starting a fun blog hop to celebrate the release of the print version of The Staple Dress pattern by April Rhodes.  In case you don't know April, she is a super talented, super stylish and super duper lovely lady.  The Staple Dress is her very first pattern and has been out as a PDF for a short while.

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I bought the pattern in the PDF format a few weeks back and made mine in a day,  some things I really like about this pattern are -

  • very quick and easy to make
  • suitable for beginners
  • easy to adapt to at the waist and hem to suit you
  • it has pockets!
  • choice of straight or drop hem versions
  • I could go on and on but I'll spare you
  • because we have a giveaway!!!!!

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dresses

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I've been dress making crazy these last few weeks.  I'm hoping being wardrobe ready will help speed up the arrival of some warm weather.  It hasn't happened yet but I'm ready for when it does.

This number is my first attempt at The Staple Dress pattern, made in my Ditsy fabric from Posy.  It was so easy and I would definitely recommend even dressmaking beginners to give it a try.  The pattern is by April Rhodes and I think she named it just right, I will definitely be making a few more.

My fav part of this dress is that it has pockets!!  I love me a dress with pockets, somewhere to stash those tissues and keys or sweets.  They seem to be sadly lacking in many dress patterns.

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In other exciting news, we finally got curtains!  After 3 months!  I was so ready for a little privacy around here.  I went for plain linen through the whole house and it's perfect.  

I am never going back to bare windows!