Dress, Eliza Dress, Leopard Print, Sewing, Vintage, Women's Style

Weekend Sewing: Finished Vintage-Stylie Dress

You might remember that some time ago I blogged about a dress that I had almost finished ‘A Vintage Affaire‘.  The hem just needed to be completed.  I then hit a snag and asked for help ‘Trouble shooting‘.  Since then, the dress has hung in my wardrobe and I hadn’t got round to finishing it for fear of ruining it!

While I was getting my dresses out ready for my holiday I saw it hanging there and I got the desire to wear it on holiday.  I put it on and bravely, or stupidly gave my teenager a pair of scissors to cut it off for me.  I figured that nobody would have a tape-meeasure when they see me wearing it and I wasn’t sure how easy it would be anyway with such an un-even hemline.  So, I trusted her to do her best with the scissors!

It ended up a little short once I had turned the hem up and sewed it, but it was fine for holidays.  Here is me twirling on my balcony in Turkey wearing the finished dress!!  Plus a stationary one so you can see the style better and one with my family where you can see the colour better.  I’m pretty pleased with it.

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Sewing, Trouble-Shooting, Vintage

Sewing: Trouble Shooting

Any experienced sewers out there who might be able to help?  I made this vintage style dress a while ago and had a problem with the skirt.  Having discussed it with my mum, we decided that I must have cut it out inaccurately, so I decided to unpick the front skirt, carefully cut out another one (thankfully I had enough fabric left) and re-attach it.

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You can see the pattern layout – I cut one front skirt on the fold and the centre front measures longer than the side front.  However, when I try the dress on, the centre front is considerably shorter!  How can than be?  Here are a few photos of it.  Firstly, it all laid out on the floor so you can see the full skirt, then one of it hanging up – you can see that the centre is shorter.  I have written to Eliza Vintage to ask their advice and they suggested that there may be a fault on the pattern printing.  They will refund the pattern cost if I send it back.  But I want a dress I can wear.  And, I don’t like to be beaten by anything!

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What are your thoughts on how to rescue it?  I could try to measure the hem from the floor up – it will mean a slightly shorter skirt, but I can live with that I think!  As the skirt is so full, any advice on how best to measure the hem to make it straight?

Thank you sewers!

Lyn x

PJ's, Sewing, Tilly and the Buttons, Vintage

Sewing: Vintage Pattern PJ’s

We really are on a roll with our sewing and I love that my daughter, Gracie, is involved.  We’ve had a really busy week, so we have had to wait until the weekend to sew again!  I mentioned last week that she had selected a pair of PJ bottoms from ‘Love at First Stitch‘ by Tilly Walnes.  She wanted shorts and I opted for full length as I won’t wear mine for slPJ Fabriceeping, more for lounging!

We love the fabric.  There was a gorgeous 1940’s print with ladies in nipped-in-at-the-waist suits.  We didn’t like the colours on the fabric as much though – they were quite muted, otherwise we would have gone for that.  We liked the bright pink and green in this fabric.  I wonder if it qualifies for the #vintagepledge as it is using vintage inspired fabric.

We began by tracing the pattern from the book onto tracing paper.  We did find time to cut them out during the week, so we could just get straight on with the sewing this morning.

Here are Gracie’s shorts.  She is really pleased with them and did most of the sewing herself!  She wanted them lower on her waist, so I might just reduce the length if we make them again.IMG_1132

Mine went together really easily – it really is a very simple pattern.  The only change we made was to put elastic in the waist rather than making a cord as suggested in the book.  I wish I had put pockets in too – useful for my phone!  I may even unpick a bit of the side seam and insert some.  I had cut out the pattern piePJs Lyn and Gracece and got carried away and forgot to inset them!

Here we are together in our matching PJ’s!!  Oh my goodness – she is nearly as tall as me.  Gracie also fashioned a headband out of the remnants which she stitched all by herself too.

Leopard Print, Sewing, Vintage

Sewing: A Vintage Affaire

I bought this pattern – the Eliza Dress from Eliza M Vintage and I fully intended to make it up in the summer.  It’s far too early to be wearing a dress like this just yet.  Having finished all of my other projects I just couldn’t wait to get started on another!

teal-blue-animal-print-100-viscose-dress-fabricI bought some fabric and cotton from Minerva Crafts so I could get started.

This is viscose.  It is quite flimsy and had I selected the fabric in a shop rather than on-line, I would have gone for something a little sturdier.  I found that this fabric frays easily, so all the seams needed to be zig-zagged as I don’t have an overlocker.  (I can see one going on my birthday list!!) Although using a zig-zag stitch to finish off the seams is a perfectly acceptable method, I still find that it looks a little untidy and would prefer to have the neat edge of an overlocker.

My cutting out accuracy needs to be improved too!  I thought that I had been accurate with this, but on making up the side seams, the back is a little longer than the front – about 1cm, so I will need to measure and re-cut the hem before sewing.  I have been watching the sewing bee and like the look of the cutting tool they use – it looks easier and more accurate than scissors.  What is your experience?  I can see that I could easily waste money on buying gadgets that I don’t really need!!

The pattern was pretty easy to follow.  The only thing I was unsure of was when I came to attach the bodice to the skirt, there was much more fabric in the skirt.  The pattern didn’t advise how to cope with this, so I just ‘eased’ it in.  I did end up with one little tuck which I couldn’t avoid, so I need to practice this technique more too.  Perhaps I should have tacked it before sewing.  I just pinned it and went fIMG_1119or it!IMG_1123

It was my first attempt at a concealed zip too.  I even tacked it before sewing.   I watched a couple of Youtube videos and went for it.  It has worked really well.  I just need to add a hook and eye at the top to finish it off.  I wasn’t quite sure where to start the zip – next time I would place it higher up.  I didn’t attempt pattern matching, so might think about that next time too.

The finished garment fits pretty well.  If I make the pattern up again I would add length to the bodice – it is a little short in the waist for me.  I shall get around it by adding a belt so you can’t see where it joins.

The other learning poiIMG_1120nt for me was while cutting out nicks in the curved part of the underarm seam allowance, I realised that as I pulled the small triangles out, it pulled the fabric.  There are small ‘runs’ in the pattern now – luckily all hidden under the arm, but will remember to be more careful and accurate with this next time.

As Gracie (my daughter) enjoyed sewing her circle skirt so much, I bought her the ‘Love at First Stitch’ book by Tilly Walnes.  I thought the modern designs would inspire her.  Actually, she hasn’t had a look in; I haven’t put it down!!  We have selected the Margot Pyjama bottoms to make next.  Grace would like us to make matching ones -shorts for her and long ones for me.  I also really like the Delphine Skirt.  So it’s off to the fabric shop today to find some more gems!

I’ll post a pic of the finished dress when I have done the hem.  Here it is up to this point.  I need to enlist some help to measure and mark the hem before I can finish it off and my lot are all looking a bit sleepy this morning! 🙂 IMG_1121

Sewing, Vintage

Sewing – An Update

This sewing malarkey has taken on a life of it’s own!  I’m off to Mum’s today to practice sewing in invisible zips as I haven’t done on of those for years.  I mentioned it to my daughter (Grace) and she said ‘Oh Mummy, you should have asked me, I got an A in textiles and a Da Vinci Merit (which is over and above a normal merit) and it was specifically for sewing in my zip and having neat corners!!’  Well, excuse me, I didn’t realise I had a budding sewer in the house!  We ended up talking about what she would like to make and we have decided on a cream skater skirt.  We are off to look for fabric this morning.

Meanwhile, I may have been taking a peek at sewing blogs and I happened to see a gorgeous vintage inspired dress.  Pattern should arrive today!!  I may have also seen a sewing blogger talking about a vintage sewing pattern pledge and I just may have signed up!  Well, I’m going to be making the vintage dress pattern anyway and surely the skater (circle) skirt must count and I want to look for a vintage blouse pattern, job done.  Kate, what have you got me into!

I am loving it – while Nige looks at ‘car nutter’ sites in the evening, I can look at clothing designs, which is also research for my day job of being a trainer on all things image and style (with comms and behaviour thrown in too) – perfect!  I do love it when a plan comes together.

1942217622elizam-eliza20dressHere is my vintage inspired dress from Eliza M– I love the fabric too, so may order that.  I’ll take a look in my local fabric store in Leamington Spa today first.  We are on the look out for cream fabric for a skater skirt, probably something medium weight for this time of year so she can wear it in spring and I am sure they will sew up very quickly, so we can always make a lighter weight number for summer.

How exciting – a new wardrobe for both of the Bromley girls!  I think Grandma may join in too.

Happy sewing.