Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Party dress - finished

The day had arrived - Christmas Party at Longrain.  Finally, added the finishing touches to my dress and am really pleased with the result.

Really love the capped sleeve - I will definitely do them again. Sewing the sleeve facing was a little tricky when it came to the corner without the piping, but I think being my first attempt, I'm happy with the result.

Capped sleeve

Another tricky bit was the center 'v' because of the piping, but managed to fluke this one too.  I'm sorry I didn't take pictures but I am determined to perfect this technique, as I'm sure I'll be using it again.  

Center 'V'

Tiff wanted to be in the picture too

Finally, bought 30 cm of Silk Georgette and 30 cm of Crepe de Chine in the same colour as the piping and made this scarf.  I placed both fabrics together and basted them in place using '4' stitch length.  I then rolled hem all around using woolly nylon and isacord embroidery thread.   This is the only thread I use when I roll hem especially on silk fabric.  Of course, removed the basting stitch, ironed and voila!!

Had a great evening - great company, amazing food and the cocktail to start the night off wasn't bad either.  Can't believe it has been a year since the last party.   As for this pattern, will definitely be making it again.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This morning received my package from "la france" - yes, my Phildar knitting mags have arrived!!!


Jess (DD) wanted me to knit her a striped cardigan - she tried one on recently while shopping, and as usual I said "I can knit that!!"

Scrolling through the Phildar website, came across the perfect patterns in their mags - so naturally I had to buy them.  Also got a bit excited when I saw Jorth's knitting in stripes - this was an omen - buy, buy!!!

Tempting little numbers, aren't they?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sneak Peak - Christmas Party Dress

Yes, it's that time of year again when scissors are drawn and the thrill of the deadline takes over.  Yep, Christmas party time again - what to wear.  This year decided to give myself plenty of time to make the dress.

Pattern:        Vogue 8755
Fabric:         100% linen from Tessuti Fabrics (no longer available)
Alterations:    Oh, just a few
Help:           I am so grateful to Mirta, who within only 2 lessons
                has taught me so much.

Help Explanation:  I enlisted the help of a sewing teacher to help me alter the pattern - have never done this before and I wanted to learn the technique properly, rather than experimenting and getting it wrong.  Fabric no longer available and party just around the corner - this was no time for experimenting.

I thought  this pattern would look good, however the front pleat turned out to be too wide which gapped quite a bit - not to my liking.  I could have eliminated it totally but decided to make it a style feature, so I sewed the pleat down, so it looks like an inverted 'v' - mirror imaging the top 'v' on the bodice.

LHS pinned to sew down

This linen fabric is quite soft and light, so a lining was definitely in order.  I was just going to line it, but Mirta showed me how to do interlining - I'd never heard of this before, but I am now totally won over by this technique.  It is basically sewing your lining with your main fabric, as one.  One advantage for me was that, because I was inserting piping of a different colour, the seam allowance would hide the piping and the white lining would only show through -  - clever!!!

Interlining - cotton voile

First alteration - the sleeves.  Wanted an elegant cap sleeve - the pattern's sleeve didn't thrill me.

The other advantage of doing your project with someone else is that they can fit you properly.  The bust dart needed to come down a bit, so was shown how to do this too - locked into the memory bank.

Extending sleeve and lowering bust dart

Second alteration - didn't like the neckline - I know I'm a bit picky.  It's too high and round, so decided to make it a 'v' which follows the design style.  Had already cut the piece out so decided to do this myself.  First try was not low enough, but the second was perfect.

LHS 'v' RHS - original neckline

Third alteration was, eliminating fabric from the front - when I tried the dress on, there was too much fabric, so cut off excess from the side to make it a true 'A' line dress.  If you look at the picture, you wouldn't think there would be so much bulk.  This is a good pattern to use as a 'block' and alter to your heart's content.

Large pleat and therefore too much bulk

Now to add the colour.  Jess, (DD and my style consultant) said that it would look cool to have a hint of colour just peeping out from the fabric.  She chose the citrus/yellow (colour which is in at the minute) - found the perfect colour in linen and decided to pipe the colour around the cap sleeves and front bodice seams.

Piping ready to go

Thought I'd see if the piping would suit the dress or if I was over doing things a bit - "less is more" so had to be careful.  Yes, I think I like this - it's staying.

Shoes from Danielles Shoes & Accessories in North Balwyn Village and OPI nail polish - hmm is that colour a bit on the daring side????? 

Okay - let's be daring!!!!!