I made this dress last Christmas for the Party Hardy theme on the Sew It Up blog, this year they had a ‘Less Black, More Glitter’ theme so even though it is black, it’s definitely sparkly.
I ordered the fabric without really thinking about what I wanted to make. Like usual when I don´t have fixed plans, I had only ordered 2m .
With a bit of creative pattern tetris I managed to squeeze this dress out of the fabric with only scraps to spare. I started this dress december 23th 2014 and I finished it about an hour or two later that same night… While making the dress was fast, blogging about it sure wasn´t 😀
It was an easy dress to make. I used two Megan Nielsen patterns and smashed them together to create a faux-wrap dress. I used the cascade wrap skirt and the Alissa maternity wrap top. I stitched the overlap down to create a faux wrap that I could wear with a belt. I was able to cut every pattern piece as is except for the back bodice, which I had to cut with a seam down the middle.
While the fabric was scratchy on the outside, it was smooth on the inside, although slightly sheer. I was very happy when it still fit this year and I was able to wear it to my in-laws Christmas party. I wore my black Megan Nielsen slipdress underneath it.
I was feeling like a whale at 34 weeks pregnant but wearing this dress made me feel so pretty. I was happy to realise that this dress works perfectly, pregnant or not. It still fits post-pregnancy so if I´m ever in need of a back-up fancy dress I know which one to pick!
For months I’ve been pinning pictures of fitted knit pencil skirts and oversized sweaters. I really wanted that as my go to outfit for fall and winter, even to go to work. (One of the perks of being a teacher – wear a scarf and tights and you can pretty much get away with anything)
But finding the perfect skirt deemed to be harder than expected. I couldn’t find the perfect skirt or perfect pattern. I tried on a few skirts in stores to see what I liked, but they were either too long, too short or too flimsy (or pricey). Buying a pattern seemed silly as well since this is basically the easiest piece of clothing on the planet to make and I wasn’t looking forward to spending money and then taping the PDF and then altering the entire thing (since I always have to)
Why was it so hard?
My demands, that’s why it was hard!
I wanted my skirt to come all the way up the slimmest part of my waist, not any higher since I have a very short waist and I didn’t want a waistband getting stuck underneath my boobs.
I wanted it to be mid thigh length so it was covering the larger part of my legs, but not restrict any walking.
I wanted it to be very very stretchy with great stretch recovery.
I didn’t want it to show underneath my clothes.
Most skirts where either barely covering my behind or the right length but with a waistband that would creep up while wearing ending in a skirt that was too short.
This morning I was planning my sewing for the next three days (we’ve got a week off of school and the first three days baby is still going to daycare) and it hit me!
I’ve got tubular ribbing in my stash! (You see where I’m going with this…)
I decided not to finish it with a waistband or elastic or even serge the layers at the top since
1. Knit doesn’t fray
2. Waistband or elastic would show under my clothes
3. The serging might affect the stretch.
UPDATE: On day 2 I decided to finish the skirt with a waistband after all. Not because it would be more comfy but because I kept thinking ‘What if I get into an accident and people see that I’m just wearing an unfinished piece of fabric.’ I tried, wearing unfinished pieces… not for me. I simply serged a 1″ elastic sandwiched between the two layers, I then folded the top so that the serged edge was under the elastic. I then stitched down the serged edge 1″ from the top, creating a ‘waistband’. It doesn’t show underneath my regular clothes so it looks the same and no stretch was affected 😉
For those of you that think this is totally stupid, you are entitled to your opinion. For those who think this is genius but are worried about finding tubular ribbing in your size, good news, it comes in different widths and it’s all very stretchy since I used the narrowest size in my stash (14″x2) and my 42 inch hips fit into it perfectly!
Waist to mid-thigh, fitted, stretchy, great recovery and the double layer makes it completely opaque and the lack of waistband makes it sit smoothly under my clothes. I’m happy! Let’s order some more ribbing!
Have you ever wanted to smack yourself for coming up with something so easy you don’t understand how you didn’t think of it sooner?
So I finally made the Victory Patterns Lola dress. Waaaaaay overdue, but I never wear sweaters so I didn’t see myself wearing a sweater dress. But then I saw so many gorgeous versions (here, here and here) popping up around the internet and I found the perfect fabric so I decided to give it a go. But not before I made this wearable muslin (yes, seriously, I made a muslin)
I can definitely say that whatever you have to do, Lola is the girl for the job. I took her out to the doctor’s, to work and she even helped me with the shopping and taking care of the baby.
I am in love! (With both the dress and my gorgeous baby!)
Fabric is a sweatshirt fleece that was intended to be a blazer but that didn’t work out so it was totally meant to be a Lola.
My measurements put me in a size 12 but I wanted it a bit snugger so cut a size 10 but I could easily go down another size on the top.
This dress took me 2 baby nap times from start to finish! And that’s even with unpicking the twin needle stitching on the pockets 4 times! So super fast, just the way I like it 🙂
My mother-in-law loved it (that was a pretty weird feeling), she was even saying she’d like on of her own (even weirder)
My hubby noticed the new dress and he even noticed the fit wasn’t perfect yet.
The pockets are both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. She lets me take baby’s laundry, baby’s bottle and the baby herself upstairs (not in the pocket) all at the same time, but she also made me look for my earbuds and classroom keys for half a day and I only found them because I fell on top of them when I crashed on the couch when I came home.
This dress is snuggly and comfy. For now she’s perfect to throw on as a single layer with boots (I even wore it yesterday with heels since it was 23 degrees here). She kept me warm but not too warm all day. (Except for that one classroom where they are trying to recreate Rachel and Monica’s tropical Christmas Party. Too bad I don’t have Joey running around to turn the radiator off from underneath.) When it’s a bit colder she’s perfect with tights and my me-made blazer (more on that in another post).
There will be a lot more Lolas to come. I still have my ‘good’ fabric to cut into and some regular French terry, but I’m having trouble finding nice ribbing for that one. (Stupid hard to match radiant orchid!)
Have you ever made a pattern and loved it while all along you thought it wasn’t your thing?
PS Thanks Gillian, for explaining how to get Flickr pictures in my blog 🙂
The dress itself gives you a lot of options. 3 different necklines and the possibility to combine it with the Hepburn skirt to turn it into a fitted dress instead of a fitted bodice with a flared skirt with deep boxpleats.
I opted for the scoop neckline as I don’t like the look of higher necklines on me. The fabric I used is leftover from my Portside travel set and I’m so happy I ordered too much because I just love love love this fabric! I’m seriously tempted to order some more in this and the natural colourway (or the beige one, or the red one) for next summer! I also used a leftover metal zipper and I seriously adore metal zippers!
I’m very excited about this dress as it’s my first woven dress with a bodice lining and my first dress with an exposed zipper. Also the first time doing an FBA!
My measurements (bust 102cm/waist 82,5cm) put me in a size UK18, but after muslining that I had to take it in so much at the waist (I like my waist quite snug) that I decided to make a size UK16 and do an FBA.
On my first muslin (size 18) I took in both side seams from nothing at the dart to 1 cm at the waist and I enlarged both front waist darts with 1 cm as well. Which resulted in an overall loss of 8cm at the waist. I also shifted the CF to fix some gaping I had at the neckline, I took it in 3 cm grading to nothing at the waist (because of this it got to tight for the girls).
I did two bodice muslins for the size 16 but that was only because I made my FBA on the first one too large. I finally settled for a size 16 with a 4 cm FBA (2 on the pattern) and I took out the extra length the FBA added + I did a 3 cm swayback adjustment. These are all common fixes for me, I always do a swayback and I have a very short waist.
When I made my dress out of fashion fabric I noticed that under stitching the neckline and armhole openings didn’t really work (very very fiddly) so I unpicked the whole thing and cut the lining 2mm smaller on neck and armhole opening, this way it naturally favors the inside. That’s how I always do it.
I really tried turning the bodice like the pattern said (through the straps), but in the scoop neck version the combination of the narrow straps and my medium weight linen made it impossible. It might work with a lightweight fabric like a cotton batiste. Either way it won’t be an issue with the other versions as those straps are wider.
I unpicked the whole thing and just sewed together the neckline and side seams, turned the bodice and used faux leather piping to create a facing for the armholes.
I have no remarks about the rest of the dress, every notch and marking matched up perfectly so putting together the PDF and the dress itself was really easy.
It fit great when I made it – although I’ll probably deepen the front waist darts a bit for the next one – but since then I’ve lost some weight so it’s too loose now. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I have either narrow shoulders or sloping shoulders because the straps slide down and this is not the first pattern I’ve noticed this on.
Because of this I don’t know what to do with the dress. I really like it because it’s so perfectly finished and it has so many firsts but I’ll probably never wear it again as it’s too loose and the straps slide down. So my plan is to be happy with the experience and the pictures I got out of it but to take it apart and use the fabric for something else (probably a Moss skirt or a Nasha skirt) so that in any case, not all is lost.
It took me until this summer to finally pick up the courage to give it a second try. I cut it out with the idea of sewing it before I went on vacation. It didn’t happen.
So when I finally picked it up the last week of September it was just because I was in a sewing rut and I needed a fast project to get me started. By fast I usually mean ‘something that doesn’t involve tracing or cutting’. Since this one had been lying on my closet for weeks all cut out with notions assembled, it felt right.
I hadn’t been sewing long when I first attempted to make it and it was actually the first ever PDF pattern I bought. I wasn’t familiar with Jen’s way of drafting so everything seemed strange compared to other skirts I had made. Now I know that her drafting skills are superb. Seriously, everything lined up perfectly! And if I hadn’t had to insert the zipper twice (!) it would have been a fast project.
So what happened…
I had everything finished apart from the waistband. I went upstairs to try it on and while I was admiring the fit (seriously, fit was perfect) the zipper pull came off. I had stitched across the zipper and everything, still it came off. And if I hadn’t been horrified enough, at that exact time I got a call from my baby’s daycare saying she was running a temperature and if I could please come get her. It was her first time having a fever, so you can imagine how fast I wanted to go get her. But the zipper pull had just come off my skirt… SO I HAD TO SEAMRIP MYSELF OUT OF THE SKIRT! My perfectly aligned side seam. I still well up when I think of it.
When I finally had time to sit down and fix it (because I wasn’t looking forward to unpicking my complete front fly and zipper) I actually broke my zipper even more.
So completely unpicking it was.
But I’m happy I did, everything came together in the end and I even opted for the shorter version even though I was meaning to make the longer version all along. I finished the hem with bias tape because I wanted to keep all the length there was. I really like the pretty insides. Except I don’t like the inside of my waistband. I should have matched my thread to the colour of the waistband lining. It’s not really visible here but my thread was the same green as the outside.
This was supposed to be a complete stash-based skirt but due to zipper failure it wasn’t. The moss colored denim (totally intended) has been in my stash since the beginning. I bought it in every colourway I could find thinking that 1m was enough to make me ANYTHING I wanted. That’s why the pocket and waistband lining are in another colour 😉 I had already pre washed it and I guess I must have folded or stored it wrong because there is a permanent (colour) crease next to the centre front and right above the hemline. If I had had more fabric I would have cut around it… Now I’ll just have to hope that steaming and pressing will get it out eventually. If not I won’t wear it any less 🙂 Next time I’ll pay more attention to the waistband ends, they curve up a little but for a first try it’s fine.
I am kicking myself right now for not making it sooner, because it’s exactly the type of skirt I wore 10 years ago when I actually felt good about my clothes. It is very short and I’ll probably only wear it with tights. (seriously, the ghostly colour of my leg makes this skirt seem ridiculous otherwise) But I don’t mind because tights makes me feel comfortable. I even wore it to work today (have to remember not to bend over, kids might get distracted) I’ve already planned a few more, fabric picked out and everything. But I might be seduced to make the Named Nasha skirt especially since seeing this perfect version by Maike. I can honestly say I’m never attracted to Named patterns based on their styling, it’s just not my thing. But once they start popping up around the blogosphere my credit card needs to be given to the hubby for safe keeping 😉
As you all know by now, I feel very self conscious when I have to take pictures of myself. But I really really liked my outfit today and so I decided to take pictures immediately after I got home. It wasn’t a pretty day, had been raining all morning but somehow it turned out perfect for the pictures. No weird shadows I had to get rid off. I’m starting to like my back door 😉
Have you ever waited so long to remake a failed project?
PS Sorry not sorry about all the wrinkles… I had been wearing it all day 🙂 And listening to my music made me feel more relaxed while taking pictures.
After I made my two Nettie bodysuits I figured it was time for a Nettie dress. I had just bought this spongy ITY knit on sale (and bought 4 metres) and figured this was the perfect fabric for my new summer dress.
I made sure to carefully cut the pieces so the stripes matched. I even cut the sleeves to match… But I cut the red on top instead of the blue so I didn’t attach them 🙂
I didn’t make any alterations after my previous Nettie, I just graded out to a bigger size in the hips. I used a navy blue ribbing in my stash for the neck and shoulder bands. I initially wanted this to be a maxi dress but it looked like I was eaten alive by the stripes 🙂 So I cut it off midcalf and finished it with a narrow lettuce hem on my serger.
WORKED LIKE A CHARM! Seriously, this dress makes me feel put together! Slip on some heels (and some shapewear – stupid postpartum belly) and I’m good to go!
I made this dress the day before a small scale blogger meet-up and decided to wear it! Before the meet up I met up with my best friend and went window shopping. She noticed that my dress was much like some RTW dresses she liked. But she tried those on and she just didn’t look good.(Totally the dresses’ fault, not hers) They were too tight, too short, too flimsy. So I promised her that next time she came over, I would teach her how to sew one herself!
I broke out all my suitable stash knits for her, but she hesitantly asked if I had any of my striped fabric left 😀 I did, so she made herself a Nettie dress out of the same fabric!
That ofcourse needed pictures!
Side note: Best compliment about this dress was Hanne telling me she thought it was RTW until she saw the perfect stripe matching 😀
It took my best friend and a lot of convincing to get me to pose for these pictures but in the end I’d do anything for the sewing community 🙂
I’d been eyeing the Nettie pattern ever since Heather Lou released it, but due to limited funding I held out. Until I swear, it just fell into my inbox! Oh.my.god you guys, sewcialists are so amazing. And especially Hanne who bought this pattern for me as a belated baby gift 🙂 She figured this pattern was just what a new mommy needed and boy, was she right!
I immediately got to it (3 Netties in 3 days) and this seriously sewed up superfast. Apart from the snap placket it was all serger all the way!
For my first version I used a floral double knit I had in my stash. I didn’t make any alterations and this is the result:
As you can see I still needed a few modifications:
– The overall thing was a bit too long.
– I needed a swayback adjustment
– I needed a narrow shoulder adjustment
But it was definitely wearable! And it goes so well with all those bright coloured skirts I have in my closet but that just looked to dull with a white top.
On my second version I made some alterations:
– I shortened the bodice by 3cm
– I did a 3cm swayback adjustment
– I pinched out the excess on the shoulder which resulted in 1,5cm at the top to nothing at the underarm.
I do think this version fits a lot better 🙂
I have made a Nettie dress as well, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s post to see that one.
All in all, Nettie is a pattern you didn’t know you needed until you have it and then you can’t imagine your life without!
PS Hubby’s comment was hilarious: “Oh, you made a onesie like the baby! But you’ll just wear this around the house right?”