Tuesday, 30 December 2014

How to make a satin Burda shift dress, and altering a pattern

This post shows you how I altered the pattern to make this stunning satin dress
Now that we have made the test garment, worn it, lived in it, loved it, it is time to make the real garment in a more expensive fabric.
I wore my tester for a few days, I love it! I tried sitting in it, it does not pull anywhere and is comfortable when sitting down. I bent down in it, the length is just right.
So, I am happy with the style and the fit. I made some minor adjustments to the paper pattern, you must see my previous post for more details on how to do that, but please read through it again. It seems a pain, but I do this frequently with new patterns, it saves a lot of heartache. I can then more or less whizz through the actual garment, although you do need to check the fit from time to time.

I cut out the front and back both in the main fabric and also in a black satin lining.
The main fabric is a beautiful heavy green satin.

I wanted to include short sleeves. The pattern includes a short sleeved coat but the dress is sleeveless.

I compared the front and back coat to those of the dress and realised that by making just a couple of tiny adjustments to the sleeve it would fit the dress perfectly.
Although I prefer side zips, this dress called for a back zip. I also prefer concealed zips, but because of the parkinson's they can proove hard for me to pull up. Instead therefore I chose a centered back zipper. If you are not familiar with how to put one in do let me know and I will demonstrate.

We are getting ahead of ourselves though!
Make up the body of the dress as in the test dress, stitching the fronts to the front top, the backs to the back top as before. This time stitch the shoulder seams.
At this stage I overlock every seam. And I do mean every seam, including the back seam top to bottom as it is easier to do this first before the zipper goes in. I even neaten all the seams which will be enclosed within linings.

Apart from the back seam I overlock the other seam edges together.so, before you touch the back seam overlock both centre backs without cutting away any of the seam allowance.

When I looked at the fabric I liked the look of the inside which has a satin finish just like the right side.
I therefore cut the fabric out so that the stripes on the inside would all match up. You might be thinking that I am bonkers for going to so much trouble, but I insist that my garments are just as nice on the inside as the are on the outside.  I know only I will see it, but it really does matter to me.  
You can put the zipper in now. To do this stitch the back seam to where the zipper will end. Then baste the rest of the seam and press open.
Right side down and with a zipper foot attach the zip,

This is the zipper going in.

This is the inside,(above ) dont you agree that it looks nice with the pattern matching on the inside. As an added bonus a lining to the skirt is not necessary.
I cut out top facings in black satin. Stitch the shoulder and side seams and press. Right sides together stitch around the neckline. Trim and clip the seam so that it will turn out properly

When it is turned out, ie the facing turned to the inside, hand tack around the neckline, tack around the sleeves by machine within the seam allowance.

Don't you agree that the inside is starting to look good too?

Now for the sleeves. All I needed to do was to increase the seam allowance on the sleeve seam! Easy!
When you have done that, run a row of long machine stitches within the seam allowance and use them to ease the sleeve into the opening. Careful not to get any pleats or gathers! It should be smooth.
After machining the sleeve in place, overlock the seam.
There we will leave it for this evening.
Next time I need to finish stitching the bodice facing in place,and do the bottom and sleeve hems etc.

Hello again,
We need to finish off the lining first of all.simply turn up the seam allowance and slip stitch it to the dress at the seam line.do not let your stitches show on the right side.
Slip stitch the sides to the zipper tape and add a hook and eye.
Neaten the hem and sleeve hems by overlocking then turn up to the required length. Either hand sew the hems in place invisibly or use machine stitching whichever is your preference.
A final check for loose threads, a final press, and voila, all done!
This dress was made much easier and quicker because I took time to make and wear the test muslin first and to make alterations to the paper pattern before cutting the new dress out.

I hope that you enjoy this blog, do let me know, your feedback is appreciated


Monday, 29 December 2014

How to Sew a Simplicity 1960s style dress

This is a pattern which was given in SEW magazine a couple of months ago. It is Simplicity K1609.

The pattern is a simple shift style which became popular in the 1960s. 
After the austerity of earlier years fashion for the young suddenly became fun and young designers, boutiques and fun fashion, heralded the start of the swinging 60s. 
The key look of the period was mini skirts and short A-line dresses and coats. Graphic  prints were used to create a strong look. It was during this period that tights came into being, so now that young women were free of stockings skirts could become shorter and shorter. 
Boutiques were a new way of shopping for clothes, they were dark and mysterious with loud music playing, sales staff wore the clothes they were selling and chatted about fashion passionately. 
Mary Quant was a pioneer in fashion and she desIgned dresses which were very short, with zips down the front with a circular pull-ring. She used a new fabric called courtelle, one of the first synthetic materials used in fashion.
Of course we cannot mention the 60s without paying homage to Twiggy probably the most famous fashion model of all time.Her waif like figure epitomises the era and the total change in how women looked and dressed. This was the age when fashion was
young and fun, and girls dressed for themselves not as copies of their mothers.

How to make a lined Simplicity shift dress

How to make a shift dress,

I have already made one version of this dress in 1960s style. I think that this style is so easy to wear on holiday that I wanted to make a couple more of them.
This is the previous version in silk fabric

I have some fine cotton lawn and I thought that it would be perfect for this style. It is however quite sheer so I decided to line it.

The pattern is the same as the 1960s style dress  Simplicity K1609. I am however going to make some alterations to the pattern
Firstly I want to lose the back zip and put a zipper in the side seam instead. Now you cannot just swop zip placements as you please without thinking about it carefully.  Because I have made this dress before, and because I made a muslin first I know without any doubt that moving the zip will work.
You also must consider if by moving the zip to the side willmit go over your head? What I did was to lower the neckline by about an inch to make sure it did!