Monthly Archives: April 2015

Vogue 8781

Howdy, after realising that there is only two weeks left before our holiday and I haven’t managed to do nearly as much sewing as I expected, I’m panicking slightly, so I thought I would just make a couple of dresses that I knew fit, and worry about the new patterns after the holiday. so I picked Vogue 8781 and Butterick 7240, I love both of these dresses, the Butterick one so much that I also bought the version with the proper sleeves (set in rather than kimono) the version I am making is the kimono sleeved one.
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First mistake, the vogue one is 32 bust and as it is a little bit tight I thought I would extend it a bit, it is now too big. The bodice detailing a beautiful on this dress so I thought I would share some photos before I take it apart and try again.

the bodice instructions

the bodice instructions

If you look closely you can see the pattern markings

If you look closely you can see the pattern markings

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if you look closely in the circle you can see the small triangle stitched in

small  triangle cut out

small triangle cut out

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Here it is turned the right way out the next thing to do is to stitch it over, then you have a lovely detail/bust shaping.

Hopefully more later…..

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Sewing Table

Hello, Easter weekend and Simon has decided that the first thing he want to do (get out of the way)is my new Cutting table, as I remarked in one of my previous posts we had all the bits they just needed to be screwed together.

We didn’t actually have all the bits, but a quick drive to B&Q fixed that. We bought the base, castors and fixing blocks.

I had already put together the Kallax units, Simon just went round and tightened up all the joints so they were all flush with the top.

He set the units up on a spare peice of wood that we had so he had a firm base to work with as the end unit wasn’t quite as wide as the two units together he centered the one on the end, now he says he wishes he had lined it up with the front, his original thought was to make it reversable.

after some careful measuring he screwed the base on so that all the units were held together by 1/2 inch board.

Then we had a discussion as to whether we should screw the wheels on first or just turn it over, he decided to put the wheels on first we decided on 6.

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Simon enjoying a cup of tea before continuing the build

Simon enjoying a cup of tea before continuing the build

After turning the unit over onto it’s wheels, Simon straped the two pieces of the top together

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As Simon had decided to use corner brackets to attach the table to the base units he decided that this could hold them together. He had initially thought to use another bit of board to hold the structure together but looking at it on its wheels he thought it would make it too high.

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Simon added a couple of white fixing blocks to give the top added stability and there my new table was all lovely and screwed together.

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I can pull the table out when I want to walk all the was round, it’s a bit hard to start but once it gets moving it is all right, the only thing we aren’t sure about is if I’ll be able to use my sewing machine on it. The table is great for standing at and cutting out patterns which is what I wanted it for, I was fed up with kneeling on the floor, but might be too high for sitting at, but as I pointed out to Simon there is plenty of room at what is now my new computer desk (old sewing table) for me to put my sewing machine on if I find it is too high to be comfortable.

Vogue 7966

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I promised you more stitching and here it is, well sort of, I have cut out a new dress, the fabric is a nice cotton, purple with white polka dots, bought from Kayes Textiles here in sunny Southend (technically it might be Westcliff but wet Westcliff doesn’t sound as good a Sunny Southend)

I haven’t made this pattern before, I got it as part of a job lot on ebay, it is a bit weird though, I am missing a pattern piece (the gusset) but I have a left front pattern piece extra. of course it wasn’t until I cut out the skirt pieces that I realise that there was a bit missing, when I looked at the bits I checked for the skirt pieces, the bodice and the facings, check, check and check. it wasn’t until I was cutting out the bodice that I realised there was an ominous slit under the arm.

I’m going to try the print enlarging technique from last year, failing that as long as I can work out how long the under sleeve part is hopefully I can work my way back to getting a shape, I think if it had been a long sleeved dress it would have been easier, because you have all the variables, but with a pentagon you are a little bit stuffed.
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This Pattern is actually a size too small for me a 32 rather that 34 which I usually use, but as I am small busted I can sometime get away with it, to combat the missing 2 inches I’ve added roughly 2/8 inch on the sides of the patterns and will hope for the best.
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I actually wrote this post last week, since then I have recreated the gusset peice and attempted to fit it, needless to say, it didn’t go well, what hasn’t helped is that while putting it on my dress makers dummy, I have realised that my fabric choice is so wrong so very, very wrong. I’m not sure that the dress will actually be wearable even if I manage to fit the gusset.
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What? I hear you say is wrong with the fabric choice, you can’t go wrong with polka dots, you can if the pattern is quite boxey to start off with and then you have the dots going straight across, making it look even squarer, if I had put them on the slant it might have been alright but I’m not convinced.

A polka dot skirt might be nice and I can use the top half for perfecting the insertion of the gusset.

Princess dresses, never too old?

As I was travelling to work this morning I saw a family walking into town, the two girls were wearing princess dresses, I’m assuming Frozen as that was the colour, the older (8ish) one had leggings on the younger (5ish) one had a longer coat on.

It lead me to thinking, at what age do we decide that it is too impractical to wear princess dresses all day long and is it this wish to look pretty and wear swishy skirts what lead most of us to the 1950s with the Dior New Look patterns?
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Out of the dresses that I have made, I love the ones with the big skirts and the little details on the bodices but they are the ones that are worn less and when I do wear them it isn’t with net underskirts partly because I don’t own one, and every time I try to make one the cats appear to like eating and clawing at them, but mainly because although I spend most of my time sitting at a desk it isn’t the done thing to wear pretty, swishy dresses to work.

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Of course growing up in the 70s Disney hadn’t worked out a way of marketing princess dresses en mass to the UK, if they had my sister and I would have had them, not real ones of course but my Mum and Aunts were all experienced dress makers¬†(I had a fake EMU to prove it)and my Mother made a lot of our clothes. So maybe I’m making up for a lack of princess dresses in my formative years, I do know that I’m drawn to the patterns with the bigger skirts, but still feel slightly uncomfortable wearing for everyday.