Thursday, 29 April 2010

Ponderings on flattery

I've been making clothes for my girls and I think its my turn now, as I said previously I have a family party coming up and I thought it would be nice to make something new for myself for the party. Its a 90th b'day party so it won't be anything too racy or smart but I thought a pretty dress would be in order.  Rooting through some stuff I inherited from my mum I came across this pattern......

I was thinking of making view B which is the second on the right, but my concern is: will it be flattering to me?  I'm a curvy girl, ample but not too large chest, small waist, pot belly, huge hips, saddlebags & thighs.  Classic British pear!  I'm currently wearing size 14 clothes (not that the number means anything!) and have read what Gok and others advise for curvy girls and what flatters them but I do find it difficult to recognise those features in designs.  So I thought I would ask you guys, do you think this would be a flattering dress?  have you got a killer pattern for the pears amongst us?  Advice gratefully received!

a close-up


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Halterneck Dress

So I made another dress for Miss M from pattern New Look 6821.  This time I made a halterneck dress using the same size as the previous dress unfortunately this produced a bodice that was way too big at the back. 

(btw - Doesn't the watermark look like a tattoo - I hope that's the closest Miss M gets to having a tattoo!)

The front looked ok but the back was ridiculous as you can see here.  The problem was that I had constructed the whole thing (zip and all) before I was able to try it on her to see.  This meant I had to deconstruct the whole bodice section to bring the side seams in 1/2 " on each side and then to do the same to the skirt.  I had done my usual french seams on the skirt but by reducing the skirt I had to forgo the french seams, now there are 2 lines of stitching and then a raw edge.  No where near as neat as I would like but in the circumstance not to bad, as least any fraying won't go too far!  I also ended up with the bodice seams and the skirt seam mis-matched.  This was the case when I originally put the dress together but once the seams were re-done it was more pronounced, as they are under the arm and not so noticeable I thinking, tough! 

(Not too bad now!)

I also realised that when I made the first dress I sewed the tucks on the bodice on the inside whereas the instructions state to sew them on the outside.  I'm not sure it looks better, which do you think?

Overall I think it looks pretty good but I don't think a halterneck dress is the best for a 7 year old but at least I've tried it and it is wearable and she likes it.

I also put one of my new labels in sewn nicely by machine so I can show you.  What do you think, pretentious or cute?

I keep looking at other patterns to see what else I can make her, although I'm going to make a top from this pattern before I get anything else.  I'm also tempted to make something for myself, I have a family party coming up and it would be nice to have a lovely day dress, maybe a wrap dress or a neat tea dress to wear to that but I haven't found anything I like yet.  What's your favourite pattern?


Show and Tell Green



Sunday, 18 April 2010

A summer dress from a pattern

I sorted out a load of clothes from Miss M wardrobe recently, moving loads into Miss C wardrobe (benefits of having 2 girls!) which left great gaping holes in her wardrobe. I bought some t-shirts as she was seriously lacking in that department and looked around the blogosphere looking for some patterns and tutorials for dresses and tops. Unfortunately there don't seem to be many tutorials for Miss M age range (age 7-8), there are loads for toddler girls and pre-schoolers but get to school age and there are thin pickings! I've always been a bit reluctant to buy patterns for the girls as they grow so quickly and they aren't very cheap at least in the UK. I've been working through my Design It Yourself book so I don't buy patterns for myself either but I'm nowhere near confident to start drafting for children!

Anyway I decided I would have to bite the bullet and off we popped to the fabric shop and I found this New Look pattern which had a number of basic shapes that you could mix and match. This is what appealed to me the most as I thought it would be very versatile and it cost £5.25 (I think) so it wasn't too expensive. Miss M measured as size 7 on the chart which meant there was one extra size to go and Miss C would fit into the range quite happily but as I mentioned she has so many clothes it’s ridiculous. I traced off size 7 rather than cut it, something I've never done before but I wanted to preserve the pattern for other sizes. It all worked very well, I decided to use bodice B with Skirt F adding on bows to the shoulder straps which is an option on bodice B. I'm really pleased with the way it came out, the size is great, generous in fact as you are never quite sure if it’s gonna be ok until it’s made! Miss M thinks it’s great and wanted to wear it straight away!

I did a blind hem and also used a french seam on the side seams to make it neater, I love french seams

Look how well the bodice front, back and skirt front and back matched up!  Really chuffed with my sewing skills on this one!

Love the bows for extra detail

The front and back have 6 1/4" tucks to take in the fullness, worked well at skimming over Miss Ms pot belly!

I put in an invisible zip as I feel they are a lot neater and not as difficult as you might think!

I also made some labels!  Using this tutorial involving iron-on transfer paper I made twill labels.  They are 1/2" wide and look pretty cool.  Unfortunately I made them after the dress so I had to sew them in by hand which I won't show you as my hand stitching is dreadful!  I'll show you the next one that gets machined stitched in! 

So what do you think?  Pretty good I think.  I've already decided on a halterneck dress and a frilled sleeve tunic as next on the list.  I've been really impressed with this pattern so I might try some more especially if I get more mix and match patterns so I can make different clothes rather than churning out the same dress in different fabrics!


The Girl Creative

BWS tips button


Show and Tell Green

Roots And Wings Co


make it wear it




Saturday, 17 April 2010

Shirred Sundress

Sorry been slacking on the posting front, but have been sewing instead!  Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!
Made Miss C a shirred sundress yesterday, there are loads of tutes around the blogosphere for this including Prudent Baby and of course Ruffles and Stuff so its fairly straight forward, I just find I have to be brave to just sew it and hope it turns out ok..... which I think it did!  I did make one of these for both of my girls last summer but for some reason Miss C's was ridiculously too small so I had to make amends this year.  She loves it!

In case you weren't sure Miss C loves modelling her new clothes!!

I have some other things that I've either finished and haven't got round to photographing yet or just about to finish, so watch this space........

P.S. If you want to see some seriously gorgeous stuff over the next couple of weeks make sure you check out Dana and Disney, who are teaming up for a project called Celebrating the Mom as its coming up to Mother's Day in the US.  These two gals write my favourite blogs so the idea that they are teaming up is beyond belief.  Just have a quick browse through their blogs and you will see what I mean.  I know its a bit late for Mother's Day in the UK but its a good excuse to make stuff for ourselves anyway!!