Colette Patterns Myrna dress

It seems my relationship with Colette Patterns is having a bit of a renaissance as I have made my second Colette pattern in two months and it has been a great experience. The Myrna dress came out recently and I fell hard for it and got it immediately. It hits that sweet spot of seventies does forties for me. Then I received the prettiest viscose in my February box from Sew Hayley Jane:

It’s from Art Gallery Fabrics and it’s from the Tiny Dancer series. I knew it would become the Myrna dress immediately. It’s floaty and summery and the dress could become a perfect summer party dress.

This was a nice pattern to sew. It runs true to size and everything came together perfectly. After Claudette this is another great experience with a Colette pattern. I know they lost their mojo for a while, but I’m definitely enthusiastic again about the patterns. I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern and am very pleased with the fit. It’s only fitted at the waist and I chose my size based on finished measurements. I chose to have 2 centimeters ease. There’s 3 darts on the back neckline and the front is shaped by gathering. The gored skirt has 8 skirtpieces.

I used a couple of different finishes on this. The neckline was finished with foldover elastic. This will ensure that the neckline won’t stretch out and gives it the perfect amount of body.

I finished the seams with pinking scissors. This gives you a finish that won’t show up on the right side of the fabric, which is very nice with lightweight fabric like this. I used a rolled hem on the bottom and sleeves.

Will make this again!


Burdastyle: and now the real thing

Remember this dress?

It was inspired by this Burdastyle dress:

I did not have enough fabric for the real thing, but I kept thinking about a white version of this dress and so I bought fabric and traced the pattern (I always put off tracing, but it’s never as bad as anticipated). I used my new rotary cutter and it made the proces of cutting so much faster. The pattern itself was easy to sew up. I didn’t use the instructions. My order of sewing has been firmly ingrained by my sewing teacher. I did read through the instructions to avoid making the same mistake I made with my Orsola (I sewed up the straps first, not the way to go). I sew up the entire front first, then the entire back, add sleeves, sew the sideseam in one continuous flow, finish neck, sleeves and hem.

I got the fabric from here. It’s called optical white and lovely to work with. The pattern calls for 3 metres, but because the fabric is broad I managed to cut it out of two metres instead. There was a slight cutting mishap on the front bodice, which I discovered after attaching the knot and skirt and then decided to fix by making a yoke.

I’m pretty happy with this dress. It’s nice for those inbetween seasons months, like March and October.

Will definitely make again. Maybe not with the yoke though 😉.

Deer and Doe Givre dress hack?

I’m never sure when to use the word hack when sewing. I think this might qualify:

I really like the Deer and Doe Givre dress and as I am a fan of their drafting I was happy to buy it. On a whim I decided to change the skirt to an A-line, which is my favourite type of skirt, as I liked the fabric (ponte from Cotton Reel Studio) so much and knew that I most often wear the dresses in my wardrobe that have A-line skirts. I slashed and spread the pattern until an A-line was achieved, smoothed the new lines and that was it.

As always Deer and Doe have produced a well drafted pattern, with every notch and seam lining up and reliable sizing. It’s a quick and easy project and exactly the shape I like.


By Hand London Anna dresses

This is one of those patterns I have been wanting to make for years. I try to buy patterns thoughtfully and so I keep a running wishlist of patterns. Every year around Black Friday I go through my list and decide on what I really want to make in the year to come. This year I mostly bought By Hand London patterns and Deer & Doe patterns. I wasn’t sure about the Anna dress. It’s not really my silhouette, but I kept seeing beautiful versions and so I took the plunge. BHL says to make this dress in fabric with some body to it and that you need 3.5 m of fabric for it. The fabrics I had in mind were very drapey and I had 2.5 m of both of them. Turns out you can cut this dress easily out of 2.5 m non-directional printed fabric if you place the skirtpieces like sardines on your fabric.

First my golden dress for the schoolgala. I always like to overdress for this so kids have something to gossip about. It’s a very light and stretchy fabric from Textielstad and I had to sew carefully, avoiding pull on the fabric.

It’s everything I wanted and hoped it would be and I now have a party dress for the ages.

Next I wanted to evoke those velvet maxidresses from the nineties:

I got this fabric at Textielstad too. This one is for daily use and I’m wearing it with my kneelength boots and a long black cardigan. It’s really warm and comfortable. The skirt on the Anna maxi is really long even on a tall person like me. As I’m not planning on wearing this with heels I took up the hem an extra inch so it doesn’t sweep the ground and this seems to work really well for going up and down the stairs, getting in and out of cars etc. This was my first time working with velvet. It’s quite slippery to work with, but with slow sewing and lots of pins it didn’t pose any problem. I’ve been wearing this dress all the time. Since making it two weeks ago I’ve worn it five times!

There were some fitting issues with both versions. Not all the pattern pieces lined up and I struggled with the facing peeping out despite my understitching and attaching it at the shoulder seams. With the velvet one I omitted the facing and just turned the fabric under which worked so much better for this fabric. It will be interesting to see how the fit is for the stiffer cotton I got lined up for this next.

I think I will try the skirt with a different bodice for my next version. I absolutely adore the gored skirt.


Pintuck dress

Last year I treated myself to some Craftsy courses in one of their sales. I bought Heirloom Sewing to learn how to create those old fashioned girl’s dresses my mother-in-law loves so much. Dresses like those seem to be a good way to learn and practice new sewing skills.

One of the lessons featured a pintuck foot. I had been intrigued by pintucks and had wanted to create them, but the precision you seem to need always put me off. I’m reasonably precise, but not half a millimeter precise and that seemed the kind of precision you need when sewing pintucks. But Susan Stewart put me at ease as she explained how the pintuck foot and twin needle basically do all your work for you.

Here they are at work.

You have to decide on the amount of space you want in between tucks, but then the grooves and the twin needle take care of the rest. Susan advised to pintuck before cutting out a pattern as the tucks will distort your fabric heavily and so I did. It took quite some time as my left thread kept breaking and I never figured out why, but I think the result is really cool!

I used the building block dress from Oliver + S as my pattern. Honestly, if you sew for girls this book is amazing. I learned so much from the instructions, the variations on the basic dress are endless and it will take you up to age 12. Very good value for money.

I’m still in love with the basic pattern and Hanna hasn’t expressed any of her own dressy wishes, so the basic dress it was.

I love the pretty collar against the pintucks:

I used an invisible zip instead of buttons.

The construction of the dress was pretty straightforward and well explained in the book.


Make nine plans for 2018…

…if by nine you would mean about 40! These challenges don’t really suit me, but I do so enjoy sharing plans with other people so I’m jumping in anyway. This challenge is hosted by @homerowfiberco on Instagram. I made most of my 2017 make nine, some even multiple times. I missed one out of nine because I wanted to use the fabric for something else (and am so happy I did, because that turned out to be my most worn item of the year) and I haven’t gotten a new fabric for it yet. I do have fabric for my entire 2018 list, now we shall see if I have the time and inclination to make them all. I find that, though I’m pretty meticulous when buying fabric in knowing what I’m going to do with it, I’m pretty spontaneous in deciding what I want to make at a particular time. This year I made things within a day of purchasing the fabric, but also things that have been planned 3 years ago (the length of time I have been sewing). So I’m not sure whether I’ll make all of these this year. There’s about 40 projects in my planner and I’m happy with that. This might be the year of the coat. That depends on whether I’ll actually need a coat. At the moment I’m really happy with my outerwear and as long as I don’t need to replace anything I won’t. I do have a couple of coat patterns waiting just in case. I’m also on the look-out for a bra-making course at a convenient date for me (eg. during my schoolbreaks).

1. Sew House 7 Tea House dress

Not sure if it will suit me, but have to get it at least out of my system.

2. Wardrobe by me – Mirri dress

This one will definitely suit me and I’m pretty excited to make this one in my beautiful cherryblossom jersey.

3. Colette Patterns – Claudette

I wasn’t really charmed by most Colette patterns following the Dahlia dress, but I sure do love this one! It’s so elegant and perfect for the flower crepe I got from Wybe’s grandmother.

4. Deer and Doe patterns – Azara

I fell really hard for this one. It seems like a simple skirt, but I love the sleek lines, the length and the panels. I have a perfect embroidered black felt-like fabric for this.

5. By Hand London – Orsola dress

This will be the second pattern I’ll make from By Hand London. I love the sleek lines of the Orsola dress. Very elegant! Not sure whether this will suit me, but I decided to venture into the unknown more often this year. I know what suits me, but what if there’s even more out there that suits me? I won’t be wasting my time as I’m doing what I love and if it doesn’t look good on me there’s always people I can give it to.

6. True Bias – Lander pants

Another love-at-first-sight pattern. I’m going to make this in a herringbone viscose-wool. Hopefully these will be my perfect pants!

7. Tilly and the Buttons – Arielle skirt

Another one that’s been on my mind for a while. Going to make this in a thin dark jeans fabric. It looks so sunny, hope to finish this in time for spring!

8. Deer and Doe patterns – Arum dress

The second of many more Deer and Doe makes to come this year. Love this company and am planning to get and make nearly every pdf pattern as they release them. I bought this pattern to go with this fabric.

9. Colette Patterns – Penny dress

A shirtdress pattern that checks all the boxes for me. Will change the gathered skirt into a boxpleated one (obviously). I hope this one will be sweet and summery on me.


Mesa dress with ruffle

I’ve made the Mesadress from Seamwork magazine a couple of times when it came out teo years. It’s a nice t-shirt dress with a flattering shape to it. I hadn’t thought about this pattern in a while, but then I got this amazing stained window glass fabric and was in need of a simple pattern to show off this amazing print.

When researching the Mesadress on instagram I found this version with a ruffle added to the hem. I thought that this in combination with the stained glass fabric would lead to a Dolce & Gabbana kind of dress and I think I’m right 😉

The fabric is very slinky, so my ruffle doesn’t really stand out. But I’m pretty happy with it anyway!

I also got a very vibrant red jersey from the same shop and had intended that for a shirt, but the Mesadress seemed like a great match for this one too. I first tried it with just the ruffle on the hem.

The sleeves felt a bit too casual, so I ended up adding ruffles to those too!

I normally would never go for a dramatic sleeve like that, but I really like it!

For both dresses I just cut a band that was at least 1 1/2 times the circumference of the hem and gathered it with elastic cut to the same length of the hem itself. For the sleeves I doubled the length and gathered with gathering stitches. I attached the ruffle to the sleeve with a lightning stitch.