Style Arc Adeline dress #2 and #3

I’m on a red dress roll. Must be Christmas!

This fabric was a souvenir from Barcelona. I fell in love with the colours and I love border prints. As a bonus it’s an overprinted jacquard. Almost certainly made from synthetic fibres but interesting and unusual.

Hand sewing on the front verandah

The base is white (as you can see above) and the looseness of the jacquard means that there are a few spots where this shows. Like below. The jacquard weave also made it very prone to fray. The overlocker was essential!

Separating red threads in the middle of the leaf showing the white base layer

Style Arc’s Adeline was just the simple dress pattern I needed to showcase the fabric. I made a size 16 (printed at 98% by mistake).

Adeline Dress Sewing Pattern – Dress Sewing Patterns – Style Arc

My souvenir fabric was a precut of 1.5 m. At least it was 150 cm wide and with a border printed on both selvedges! But there was no way I was going to be able to cut out this pattern as drafted with the longer turned up sleeves.

No centre back seam either

After some pattern and fabric Tetris and accepting that cuffed sleeves and pockets were not part of my vision for this fabric, I successfully placed the pattern pieces on with the border at the hems and just a teensy bit on the shoulder.

There were enough scraps left for the hem and neck facings, and some self drafted sleeve hem facings.

I placed the border so that the maximum width of the border was on the front. This meant that the last few cms of plain red under the border shows on the lower back hem. Perhaps I could have placed it differently? Or straightened out the hem? Would that have been better? I’ll never know!

Such a comfortable dress to wear.

On it’s first “outing” I wore it to a day event with bare legs and blue sandals and then changed to black tights and heels for an evening event.

He who Cooks thought the opaque tights were a bit heavy and needed balancing out with a chunky black necklace. He was right!

I love this pattern so much that I immediately made another one. This time with the cuffs and pockets in a turquoise silk nylon blend that’s been a long time stash dweller. The last time I sewed with this fabric was March 2011!!

It looks much less like scrubs in real life…. although these photos are starting to make me doubt…

I don’t think I’ve finished with this pattern yet.

Repeat offenders: Bella dress

I’ve being repeating patterns again.

I made another Tessuti Patterns Bella dress.

This version is sleeveless and made up in a gloriously happy silk from The Fabric Store.

And of course it has pockets.

It was hard to capture the fabric colour with these photos taken in late evening light but it’s a gloriously happy yellow with grey/mauve in a silhouette print.

I lined it with a very light weight white silk habotai.

Silk on silk. It feels like I’m wearing butterfly wings.

I love how a different fabric makes such a difference to how a pattern turns out.

I’ve made this dress pattern in wool crepe, a lightweight ponte, a polyester knit, novelty sweater knit, linen and now a lightweight silk. All of them different and lovely in their own way.

Back to this idea of repeating patterns. An excellent post by Sewing Artistry on why we sew has got me thinking. I love the way she puts it: “The very idea that I can take an abstract thought and convert it into something that I can touch, see and wear, but that becomes a useful part of my life is incredibly satisfying.

The pattern I use is only such a small part of this process, and I really shouldn’t feel I need to apologize should I?

What do you think? Of course just because I shouldn’t be apologizing doesn’t mean that it’s interesting to read about another version of the same pattern!


Silk chiffon tablecloth dress: BurdaStyle 03/2015 #121

Another awards dinner. What a social whirl wind my life is! Ha. It is. So. Not. But it did mean that another dress required.

The wonderful online sewing community* gave me courage to cut into a silk chiffon that has been in my stash for far too long

*Thanks @bimbleandpimble for hosting #bpsewvember!

This fabric was perfect for this style (Burdastyle 03/2015 #121)

Lining a silk chiffon dress would have been an excellent idea, but instead I purchased a short RTW slip in black.

The black slip ends just above the mid thigh side slits (where my fingers are in the photo below), but all the horizontal lines in the fabric mean it’s not a sharp cutoff line

The only things I did differently to last time was to omit the in-seam pockets and use self made bias rather than a facing for the neckline. The V was a bit tricky. Best not to look too close on the inside. Oh and I also used a selvedge strip to reinforce the zip opening.

I tried not to over stress about pattern matching at seams (impossible shifty fabric to cut out..), so I’m pleased that it turned out not too bad through the centre back zip

So that’s me using the same pattern again… I’m even thinking of making a third version of this dress in a knit. Apart from basics like pencil skirts, I never do that. Have I inadvertently got older and wiser? Heaven forbid!

Floral pussy cat bow

I like this top pattern. I couldn’t stop at one (and after all your lovely comments on my last post, I don’t think I can stop at one with that pattern either!)

And I’m a sucker for bows

Technical details

Pattern: Burdastyle 10-2010-118B

Fabric: Silk chiffon from Gay Naffine. I prewashed it (cold, wool wash detergent and wool setting on my front loader) so that I could machine wash the top rather than have to take it to the dry cleaners. I’ve been doing this with all my silks and silk/cotton blends. So far so good!

Changes I made:

I cut the tie out on the lengthwise grain rather than widthwise as instructed by Burda. I really did not have enough fabric for this pattern. I have no scraps left worth keeping. Not having enough fabric makes print placement easy- there was no choice!

I added 9 cm width to the sleeves for this version, gathering the extra in at the sleeve cap and into an arm band. Rhonda’s Sleeves on Saturday series has emboldened me to slash and spread pattern pieces.

This version got French seams too, apart from the armscye being finished with a fine zigzag.

As with my stripy version, the neck slit was less low than Burda suggested and faced with a bias strip of light grey silk cotton (left over from the ombre top in this post). I used this same fabric to interface the sleeve bands.

I sewed the tie onto the back neck around to the front where the gathering starts. This is better than last time- the stripy version version has the tie attached only to the shoulders seams, as Burda instructs. The neck is finished with a bias strip turned inside, with the tie enclosed and one end of the strip extending into a loop for the neck button. All of this is hidden by that crazy bow!

The mustard and yellow in this print are a bit of an experiment for me. Either there is enough grey, blue and green (‘my’ colours) in the print or yellow isn’t as bad on me as I thought it was.


Not so silly dress

After such positive reinforcement from you, my lovely readers, and from family and friends who saw the silly little dress peplum top without photoshop (just kidding), I had to use this pattern again.

Yes I made a dress with a mullet hem (another fashion trend appearing late in my wardrobe)


Technical details

Pattern: 08-2012-115 with cap sleeves from 08-2012-113

Also available as a downloadable pdf.

Size: 34-42, I made a 42 with my usual swayback adjustment

Fabric: Silk twill outer lined with silk habatoi.

The silk twill has been in my collection for several years. It had almost got to too-good-to-use (the stage just before looking-so-last-years-and-out-of-date- but-not-yet cool-and-retro). Earlier this summer I was going to use this fabric to make a surplice top dress with butterfly sleeves, but this pattern beckoned stronger. And I had a backup plan if the dress didn’t work: chop of the length and have another peplum top!

Changes I made:

I lengthened the skirt (I didn’t trace off the skirt pattern, just lengthened the peplum pieces by 55 cm).

Lined the bodice and cap sleeves with turquoise silk (I love this colour!) and the skirt with white silk (because I didn’t have enough turquoise).

The white silk does show a little at the back due to the mullet, when its breezy, but not much.

The Burda pattern is unlined, but Melissa from Fehr Trade has already posted great instructions on lining the top, so no need for me to repeat here! I pretty much did the same as Melissa and then attached the skirt lining to the bodice lining at the waist and hemmed the skirt 10 cm shorter than the outer.

A light weight fusible interfacing was used to reinforce the lining at the neck and down the front slit. I used the facing pattern pieces to cut the interfacing. A light knit fusible tape on the fashion fabric reinforced the zip opening.

I made baby hems on the skirt and lining. I like this technique. It gives a better finish than a rolled hem foot on my janome for bias, but it does take about three times as long.

I feel very Duchess of Cambridge in this soft floral silk dress and nude shoes. I just need a hat and a garden party.

Yellow silk and purple polka dots

The ruffled shoulder blouse reappeared as a yellow silk top. The change of fabric and lack of ruffles changed the look of this pattern, but not in a bad way!

What else did I change?

Organza was used this time instead of interfacing because the yellow silk was very light weight. You can see it here on the cuff. I love the pearlescent sheen of organza. Even though only I know about it once the garment is constructed, it still makes me happy.

I sewed the organza onto the cuff at the seam lines and then trimmed the edges as close as possible to the stitching. The cuff was doubled back so this gave a double layer of organza. I only used a single layer on the front facing and the stand collar.

French seams all around, mais bien sûr. It is gorgeous fine silk after all!

She’s pretty cute don’t you think?! And every one of those buttonholes was exactly the same… because…

I have a new sewing machine!