Saturday, 31 March 2018

My First 'Tunic Bible' Dress

My dear son gave me a copy of The Tunic Bible for Christmas 2016. It's a beautiful book filled with all sorts of ideas for making a tunic style top or dress, based on the one multi-sized pattern (which is provided in the book). There are loads of gorgeous photos and a gallery of garments made by some of my favourite sewing bloggers.

It has taken me an awful long time to finally try out this pattern, but I am so glad that I did. I cut a size Medium, based on my measurements, but I did have to run the side seams in to get the fit I wanted. The book does suggest to go down a size if using a knit, so I will do that next time.

The fabric is a poly/spandex knit from Knitwit which I purchased back in their summer sale. It must have sold out as I can't see it on the website today. I was immediately drawn to the fresh and vibrant colours of the print.

I used the front pattern piece with the scoop neckline, finished off with a knit binding, as instructed on page 84. I was a little disappointed that the back pattern piece only had one neckline option, which did not match up with the front scoop neckline, so I had to draw that in myself. The suggested length of the knit band worked out perfectly in this fabric, although it wanted to curl along the edges and made applying it to the neckline a little tedious. But it all worked out well in the end.

I sewed the optional vertical darts in the back which gave a lovely shape to the dress. The front has bust darts which were too high for my bust line, but it's not too noticeable in this busy print thankfully. I plan to lower the bust darts by about 2cm for my next version. I cut the sleeves off at the 'ruffle cuff line' on the pattern, but instead of adding the ruffle cuffs, I drafted my own half circle cuffs using the circle skirt app from By Hand London based on the sleeves from Vogue 8945 which I made last year. The sleeves are self lined which gives them a lovely weight and neat finish. There are no hems or raw edges visible.

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Easter, and hopefully a little sewing time too.

Happy sewing


Sunday, 25 March 2018

Coco Dress in Jersey Knit for March's MAGAM

Early in March, I posted my MAGAM plans on Instagram. The theme for March is MAD March, which stands for make a dress...something. I decided to make a TNT pattern for me... the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress with a few modifications to make it a little different.

Modifications made were: to reduce the flare of the skirt, add vertical darts to the back and to add half circle cuffs to the 3/4 length sleeves. 

The addition of vertical darts in the back give a nice fit and take away from any sack like silhouette. I always reduce the flare of the skirt because I feel it's a bit too flared. I have narrow hips and the narrower skirt looks better on my shape.

I decided to use this lovely poly/spandex jersey print that I bought online from Knitwit in their summer sale. It must have sold out, as I can't see it on their site today. This is not the stable ponte or double knit that is the suggested fabric for this pattern, however, it worked out fine.

I used the circle skirt calculator from By Hand London to draft the half circle cuffs for the sleeves. This was really easy to do and I love the effect. The half circle additions to the sleeves are only a single layer and I opted to leave them unhemmed (raw edge) after experimenting with some scraps. I was never going to be able to hem that curved edge neatly and the wrong side would be on show. I would have self faced the half circle cuffs, but unfortunately there was not enough fabric left for that option.

It has been fun to get back into some selfish sewing, after making some shirts for my son. I'm pretty happy with how this dress turned out and I am realising that I gravitate to wearing dresses much more than separates, so maybe I should concentrate on making more dresses.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Country Blue Houndstooth Fairfield Button-Up Shirt

My son received my second version of the Thread Theory Fairfield Button Up Shirt in the mail yesterday, (you can see my first version here), and he graciously sent me photos so I could see how it fitted.

For this version I went up a size as the first version was a little snug, (luckily still wearable, as it was made in a stretch poplin). I cut a size Medium grading down to a small below the chest. He is quite slim, but has very broad shoulders. I also lengthened the sleeves by 2.5 cm (1 inch) and lowered the button/buttonhole placement by approximately 1.25cm (1/2 inch).

The fabric is called Country Blue Houndstooth shirting from The Remnant Warehouse. It is a poly cotton blend which pressed well but tended to pucker a little when sewing which was a little annoying and made it difficult to get a great finish. I don't know why I don't learn as I had a similar, but worse experience with a polycotton gingham way back in 2014 (by the way, that shirt has had a lot of wear, and is still a favourite in my wardrobe).

I did remember to take a few photos of the shirt before posting it, so here are a few closer shots of the details.

After discussing the fit with him over the phone, the only other change I would make for the next one is to raise the pocket placement by a couple of centimetres, as he felt it was a little low. I'm so glad it fitted well and the changes I made were an improvement on my first version. Now I should be able to make future versions knowing that they will fit without worry.

He was probably way out of his comfort zone asking a fellow student to take these photos for me, hence the absence of a smile, but I am forever grateful.

Now back to some selfish sewing...a dress for me.

Happy Sewing