Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Miss Bossy finally speaks

2014_03_badgeWay back in March, the lovely girls at The Monthly Stitch came up with the Miss Bossy challenge. What a great idea. Post three patterns with accompanying fabric up on your blog and get readers to vote on which you should make. Here's the results of my poll.

Vogue 8728
  17 (27%)
By Hand London Elisalex
  17 (27%)
Gather The Mortmain
  27 (44%)

Mm, something makes me think Gather The Mortmain won! Miss Bossy has spoken...

I muslined the bodice first. Good job I did.

The darts on the right of this pic are the darts as per the pattern, those
on the left are approximately where I decided to stitch the darts. As usual, the pattern had them far too high and also slightly to the outside. The bodice was also short, so that was lengthened by half an inch.

I went with the sleeved version. Very few of the sleeved version have been made, most of those out there are the sleeveless version. It's coming up to winter here in NZ and I wanted something bright and cheerful to wear for winter.

The great thing about this dress is the waistband, not that you can really see it with this fabric; but the waistband adds great definition to this dress. The skirt is pleated onto the waistband, which is always a big win with me, I much prefer pleated skirts to gathers.

The sleeves have a cute little opening, but either I transferred the position incorrectly or they are just placed slightly in a strange place. They ended up practically on the inside of my arm.

They are a really nice touch though, corded elastic is used as a button loop and this works well, giving the sleeve the stretch it needs when moving your arm about. The slight gripe is that they don't lay particularly flat, this could be the placing of the opening or my placing of the elastic/buttons.

I had fabric spare and so inserted an inseam pocket in each side seam. Well a girl needs pockets, even in a dress :-)

Oh and I nearly forgot la piece de la resistance...

Oh yes, we have an exposed zip! This is the first time I've inserted an exposed zip and the instructions from the ladies at Gather were fantastic. They were so clear and easy to follow. The zip is stitched close to the teeth first, then again down the edge of the tape once the seam allowance has been trimmed.

I used a new double-sided zipper foot from one of my good friends in the WSBN, me like, thanks Sandra. As you can probably see in the image above, I took in more than 5/8" on the back. Although the front fitted, as soon as I put the zip in the back, it seemed enormous. I think I ended up taking 1.25"!

I am happy though and the fit is now great.

The inside seams are all finished using pinking shears. One thing I did in addition was to stitch a duplicate waistband to the inside. I felt the seams top and bottom of the waistband weren't tidy and needed to finish them more neatly. It certainly looks better on the inside.

The sleeve armholes aren't perfect on the back. They seem to be cut in too far on the armscye on the back bodice. I've definitely cut this to the pattern, so this is possibly something which needs looking at.

And so the details...

Fabric: Stretch cotton sateen from the Arthur Toye sale in Wellington, December 2012 (can't remember the cost) Stashbusting!
Notions:   Thread, an exposed zip, two buttons, interfacing for the neck facing and a wee bit of corded elastic for the button loops.
Pattern:  Gather Kits The Mortmain - the one with the cute drawings on the envelope :-)

This pattern has beautiful packaging. Caroline and Sandra at Gather Kits have really taken their time over this. The line drawing on the front is so cute. The tissue is a really nice thick tissue which doesn't tear easily. The instructions are really clear and easy to follow in a booklet. I love it.
First worn:  To frocktails with the WSBN at the beginning of May. These photos taken last Sunday by the lovely Kat up by the National War Memorial in Wellington before going to high tea at Logan Brown with Kat and Mel (well it's hungry work taking photos don't you know)! Worn with some shoes I bought from Marks and Spencer in the UK, not long before we left the country.
Changes made:  Shifted the darts slightly, lengthened the bodice by half inch and lined the waistband.
Another one?  This is a great pattern and I love the shape and fit, so I'm tempted, sorely tempted to make up a sleeveless version. It may happen yet...

At least when someone else takes the photos, you get lots, even outtakes :-)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Autumnal Butterick

Well it's a while since my last post. I've actually been sewing up a storm, the problem is that now autumn is here and we're into daylight savings, I can't seem to find time to get photos. I also seem to have lost my blog-jo. The sew-jo is quite happily going along, but the blogging isn't. I've even got hundreds of unread blog posts in my Feedly roll. So apologies for all those who've missed my comments on their posts.

But here is one make and it's made in time for another TMS challenge - woot, woot! This month the TMS challenge is for knits and yes, that sewer who a year ago shied away from knit fabrics is now happily pushing out knitwear with so much more confidence. I never realised how much quicker knit garments went together. This dress was no different.

Current Challenge: May 

This is Butterick 5523 and it's a great pattern, perfect for something which you want to throw together quickly.


The fabric is a rust coloured merino bought from what used to be Global Fabrics in Wellington back in 2012, not long after we arrived in NZ.

This pattern is perfect for newbies to knits. The cowl neck means there's no facing to worry about for the neck, just a rectangle folded in half and stitched to the neck of the bodice. The pleated skirt makes the whole dress so much more elegant. These pleats worked like a dream. I had no problem attaching the skirt to the bodice.

I like the way the sleeves are attached at the shoulder with a tiny pleat. It's a really nice finish. I haven't got a photo unfortunately, but it's a nice touch. The sleeve hems are just finished with a double row of stitching using a double needle. I also used this to hem to skirt too.

The waist is stabilised by creating a tube with the seam allowance and threading elastic through. The pattern suggests clear elastic for some reason, I didn't use that, I just used standard elastic. It certainly helps the waist keep it's shape and not sag.

The tab on the back is attached to the dress when you sew the buttons on. This tab was probably the worst part, the fabric stretched a wee bit while I was sewing the layers together. I managed to recover it, but I had visions of it not working at all.

The buttons I got from a sewing shop in Kerikeri when we were away at Easter. Kerikeri is in the far north of NZ and is one of the main centres up there. I managed to convince Mr N to let me have a ten minute look inside :-) Anyway, the buttons are black with a grey pattern on which reminds me of the patterns I used to draw with my Spirograph when I was little!

The details...

Fabric:  Rust coloured merino knit from Global that was (Fabric Store), Wellington, June 2012
Notions:   Thread, elastic, interfacing for the tab and buttons from The Sewing Shop, Kerikeri, Northland.
Pattern:  Butterick 5523, view A
First worn:  To work at the beginning of May, worn here at a WSBN trip up to Levin on 3 May, with boots from Overland. These photos were taken by the lovely Sadie von Scrumptious who wielded my big girls' camera in Mama Gypsy's garden between the showers!
Another one?  This is so easy to make and so easy to wear. It is very tempting to make another version. It's so good when something looks exactly like it does on the pattern envelope! :-)