I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Thursday 30 November 2017

The Nina Lee CARNABY Dress

It's nice to see a young designer doing well and I am certainly impressed with this pattern by Nina Lee. This Carnaby dress is very Chanel in style, the pattern is very adaptable, simple to make, stylish, fun...what more could anybody ask for?

I was given this pattern to test by Elaine of Sewing Belle. Elaine has workshops on lots of sewing projects held in her premises in Nottingham. This dress will possibly feature in a workshop next year.Sewing Belle Workshops  so do please contact her for details of upcoming workshops
If you want to buy this pattern it is available on Elaine's web site, The Nina Lee Carnaby dress

I wanted to make myself a new dress for Christmas,  a dress which is comfortable and easy to wear. I have a few lunches to go to and this dress will be perfect for them. I will also wear it on Christmas Day. Well,my Christmas Day will be a few days before yours as my son has to work all over Christmas and he is too far away to be able to get home this year. It will be my first Christmas without him, so we decided to do it earlier in the week, which is the only compromise we could come up with.
The fabric I chose is this beautiful wool jersey with a foil print on it. It glitters and sparkles but it is comfortable and snuggly. Perfect! I bought this length of fabric a long time ago and when I spotted it on my shelves I knew it would be ideal.
There are some metallic foil fabrics on The MinervaCrafts web site if you want to take a look Sparkly fabrics remember the fabric can be woven, it does not have to be a jersey you will find lots of other fabrics on their web site
I also really love these tartans, don't be afraid of using a tartan as these particular ones are not difficult to pattern match, some of these glitter too! What's not to love about them? Sparkly tartans and other fantastic fabrics

The pattern comes with a booklet explaining each stage in great detail. Sewers of all abilities will find the instructions very easy to follow and this pattern is therefore suitable for beginners upwards. Somebody with more experience can experiment with different fabrics and finishes, a contrast skirt would look fabulous as would a dress made in a tweed and lined.
What I really appreciated was opening the booklet and finding size charts, finished measurements and fabric requirements all on the first page. This is a major gripe of mine, hunting for measurements, usually they are hidden away on a bit of the tissue paper, if they are there at all.

The instructions show you very clearly how to insert an exposed zip, so if  you have never attempted one before now is the time to try it out.
The instructions also show you how to make a zip  guard from grosgrain  ribbon which you will appreciate if you are using a metal teeth zip. The teeth can irritate the skin so it is nice to have a ribbon guard to provide a barrier between the two.

This is the back of my dress with the zip in place. I top stitched my zip because my jersey fabric was not behaving itself and it was impossible to get it to lie perfectly flat without.
Which brings me to pressing , do use a pressing cloth, my jersey coupled with the foil print would end up in a terrible mess without using one, so be warned!
 All the seams were finished on my overlocker which gives a neat finish and makes the garment durable .

The pockets are a design feature and are attached to the  front skirt before the top and bottom are stitched together. Because my fabric is soft I stitched some seam tape into the seam to help to support the weight of the pocket.

As this dress features an exposed zipper do choose the correct one to complement your fabric - this could actually be in a contrasting colour and would look especially nice if you matched the zip to the pocket bags.

Finally, I made another version again in a wool mix print.

The pattern includes short sleeved and sleeveless versions but I wanted long sleeves so I cut a new sleeve pattern using my arm length measurement to extend the length of the sleeve. It is a very easy thing to do, try it!

The dress is very easy to wear and improve the style. Smart enough to go out in but equally comfortable enough to lounge around the home in.

Watch this short video clip

Thanks to Elaine of Sewing Belle for the pattern.

Angela x