Sunday, 20 March 2016

Circa 1930 - McCall's 7154

My copy of Sew Today magazine arrived yesterday.
There's actually two new Vogue patterns I like!
And a double page spread showing McCall's 7154.

It is a beautiful 1930's evening dress with great details.  Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to wear exquisite gowns to and I'm not sure how flattering the skirt would be on me.  I didn't want this to stop me so before Christmas I set about making the bodice into a top to wear with jeans.
Here's how it turned out...

I think this is a way of making the design much more wearable but as usual I didn't really leave myself enough time.  I'll get it over with and show the unfinished insides of shame now.

I used a wine coloured silk crepe de chine which was lovely to sew with.  I don't think I've made anything with real silk before and was surprised at how tough it was to cut and iron - I couldn't get some of the creases out no matter how hard I tried.  The back seam wouldn't press flat at all.

I cut the over-bodice wider and longer and the under-bodice slightly wider at the back.  I couldn't figure out quite how to eliminate the zip in the original, I think if I was going to try this again I might cut the over-bodice back on the fold.

I really love the pleats at the shoulder and the cut outs look really beautiful but you have to sew very accurately and clip to the corners fearlessly.

I didn't quite manage to get the bands attached smoothly at the front which I am blaming McCall's for as nowhere in the pattern does it tell you how to do this!  Honestly.  Step 22 tells you to leave the ends free.  Step 54 sort of tells you what to do with the back band edges but its really unclear and I wasn't putting in the zip anyway. No step tells you how to attach the front bands.  Do they proof read their pattern instructions at all?


So as long as you don't look to closely this is a really lovely top and I'm now on the look out for other great 1930s gown patterns to convert.
What period details do you love?  How do you incorporate them into your wardrobe?

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sister of the Bride - Simplicity 2253

I briefly mentioned in my last post the dress I made to wear to my sister's wedding so I thought I'd write about that in more detail today.


My original plan was to make Vogue 2509, a vintage Sybil Conolly design, but I was struggling with the fit and then couldn't see past the hideous duvet cover I was making the toile out of (note to self: use plain fabric for toiles in future).  I really struggle to find good quality fabrics nearby and didn't have the time for a weekend away fabric shopping.  So I decided on buying a dress and spent a day in York trying on what seemed like a thousand dresses that didn't fit.  By this point there was only a month to go and I was getting a bit worried as I still hadn't been able to finish the bridesmaid dress either.
So I decided to by some navy cotton sateen and make a dress that I had made before.  I wasn't going to be the dress of my dreams but it would do.  So I tried on a couple of old dresses and decided on Simplicity 2253.

Image result for SImplicity 2253

My previous version, pre-blog, was made of a teal polyester dupion fabric.  I remembered that it went together surprisingly easily and it still fit so I could just go straight ahead and cut it out.

The only thing I didn't like was the skirt, it's cut straight but almost looks A-line so I pegged the hem and added a back vent.  I also finished the hem with Liberty tana lawn bias binding to make it a bit more special. And accidentally put the zip in the wrong side of the dress which is the kind of thing only my mother notices.

And I was really pleased with the result, it fit really well and I was able to wear it to two weddings in quick succession.

I colleague of Mr B's said, when looking at photos, that she would have thought it came from Coast.  She buys a lot of dresses from Coast.  I'm taking it as a great compliment.

Obviously since the weddings I've seen lots of beautiful fabrics and patterns, its always the way.
What do you do if you are planning an outfit for an event?  Do you buy the pattern or the fabric first?