Thursday, 26 February 2015

A third Lilou dress...

After the success of my second Lilou, I always knew that I wanted to make a third one. The opportunity arose when I received my prize haul from The Village Haberdashery. I chose to buy 3 metres of this lovely tomato coloured, hand printed cotton by Alison Glass and on its arrival, it is a lovely lightweight fabric that I knew would make a perfect summer dress. 

In the lead up to my holiday in Bangkok, I wanted to make some summer dresses to wear, so I set about making my third Lilou. I made lots of alterations to the size and shape in my previous version, so I just went ahead and made it. 

For those of you that haven't made this pattern, it's really simple! - Thank you Tilly! It has a lined bodice, which gives a lovely finish. It has an invisible zip fastening down the centre back, which went in really easily. As you can see, I went for a gathered skirt instead of the pleated one in the pattern. I just love a gathered skirt, I can't help it! 

I think this pattern now draws with the Mortmain as my most made pattern! Which patterns are you obsessed with? It's now time to find some different patterns maybe...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

My first By Hand Anna dress...

After the success of my Emery dress, I have followed this up with my first By Hand Anna dress. This pattern is another popular one, that I have seen blogs about frequently. I would also say that this pattern is one of the most hacked patterns. I decided to make my own hacked version. I knew that I liked the shape of the top, but was unsure about the skirt style. The Anna dress comes with a panelled skirt that can be mid-length or full length with a split. I made the decision to cut the bodice out and sew it together to check the fit and then choose the skirt style afterwards. 

The top needed no fitting from the original as it fit perfectly! It's a lovely shape around the waist and the open ended darts give a soft finish on the bust. The neckline is a nice shape on me also, it sits high enough to allow me to wear necklaces with it.

I then made the decision to cut three rectangles to make the skirt. I used the full width of the fabric for the front and then cut it in half to make the back. I sewed it together before using two gathering rows to get it to fit the bodice. The fabric is a lovely spotty lightweight cotton that I bought from Moon Yue Piece Goods in Sham Shui Po. It fell into the gathers really well!   

I really love this pattern and am very pleased with my hack. It's certainly a dress that i'm going to make again. I think using different fabrics for the bodice and skirt would be a lovely look. Maybe a nice chambray for one and a stripe for the other... 

Watch this space for more Anna's, because this certainly isn't going to be the last one! 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

My first Christine Haynes Emery dress...

Apologies for the short break from blogging. This was due to work (lots to do at the moment), the flu and a Lunar New Year holiday to Bangkok. During this time, I have been sewing, but just not getting chance to take photos. In the next couple of days I will update you on my most recent makes. 

The first one I would like to introduce you to is my Emery dress. It's probably one of the most tweeted/blogged about patterns that I had not yet tried. I got the pattern as part of my Christmas gift from my Grandma-in-law and had been waiting for the perfect fabric to make it up in. 

On a recent visit to Sham Shui Po fabric market, I managed to pick up this stunning little number. A lightweight cotton chambray with a red/pink rose print. I had to buy 6 yards as it was a cut length. But for only $120HKD, it was a complete bargain! 

The actual process of making this dress was fairly straight forward. I had to make some minor adjustments on the back shoulder darts as it was gaping at the neck. I made each one 1cm larger, which solved the problem perfectly. 

It had been a while since I added pockets to the seam of a skirt, so I had to follow the instructions quite closely. Even doing this I made a slight mistake. I actually set the pockets down about 4cm from the waist, which in the past I had done on all side seam pockets. These ones are in fact supposed to be attached to the waist seam. The finished result does not have any ill effects from this and they're actually at the perfect height for me. I think raising them would not make them as comfortable.

Overall, i'm really pleased with the outcome. This dress shape and style will be perfect for both work and play. I think that I need to make one with a contrast collar and maybe a softer fabric in the not too distant future. I'm so happy that the Emery worked out as well for me as it has done for so many people! 

What do you think of the 'oh so popular' Emery dress pattern?