Monday, 20 June 2016

Great British Sewing Bee Colour Blocked Dress

I may be a week later than the vintage episode of the show, but here is my colour-blocked dress from the Great British Sewing Bee book From Stitch to Style.

Our College show this year was Made in Dagenham (and a great show it was).  I had wanted to have a go at this pattern and it seemed like it would be a nice homage to make it to wear to watch the show which is set in the late 60s.  So I cut it out last weekend and wore it on Thursday night.

I really enjoyed making it and wearing it!  Someone spotted it and was impressed that I "run it up so quickly". 

I love these colours together and it looks just like I wanted.  I cut a size 14 bust, grading to a 12 in the waist and hips.  It may be because the fabric is slightly stretchy but it turned out quite large and I had to take 5/8" extra in at the side seams, a size 12 would have been a better fit.  I also narrowed the shoulders by 5/8" and raised the waist line by just under 1" (my usual adjustments).  The shape is a little boxy. Also I think there is a problem with the pattern, my bottom black band was about 4" too short (pattern piece 8), fortunately I had enough to cut it again.

The back is absolutely plain and maybe it would be nicer colour blocked as well.   Generally I love the fabric.  It's a stretchy cotton from Minerva Crafts at £7.99 a metre and available in 20 colours!  I used all the same fabrics, however, the white does seem to be a little lighter (that might just be the colour) and you can see above is a little transparent.

I didn't like the way the pattern fitted the facing so that the side seam joined seamed the facing and dress which I thought wouldn't give a nicely finished underarm.  I used the method in this SewOverIt Vlog.  Overall this was reasonably successful, I got a lovely finish around the arms, however on one side of the neck I got a funny pull (see below).  I think this was due to overstitching too near.  I would give it another try though.


Definitely one of my better zip insertions!  Now for the rooky mistake.  I caught the white fabric in the overlocker as you can see below.  I didn't have enough white fabric to recut, so I had to unpick all the seams and cut a wider black panel and reduce the white panel so that the cut is in the seam allowance.  You can never get complacent.  Overall though I love it.

This weekend we had a great time in London.  Even though I lived there for 8 years, we really enjoyed having a tourist weekend.  We rode on the BigBus and had a river cruise.

We went to a fabulous production of Madame Butterfly at the Coliseum, only my second live opera (and I fell asleep in the first one).  We loved it. 
.. and on Sunday we went to Hampton Court.  Gemma and myself are fascinated by the Tudors.  My maiden name is Parr and we have a family tree traced back to Catherine Parr's brother, so I particularly love anything from the Henry VIII period.  We thought Hampton Court really had the feeling of history, loved it!  It was particularly gratifying at a difficult time in the UK to experience our wonderful history, culture and capital city, which I hope will remain part of the EU.





Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Inari Tee

You may remember my first Inari Tee dress was a disaster and went straight to the charity shop. This was mainly due to the arms and shoulders being uncomfortable.  But I wasn't ready to give up yet, so here is the second version and much more successful.

I was heartened to read the Karen from Did You Make That also had problems with the fit around the sleeves and so I followed her advice to change the arm scythe and sleeve completely.  (As I mentioned previously this is a great post and the video links make real sense).  This worked much better though there is some tightness as you can see on the upper bust and the shoulder seam is very low.

I cut a size 12, though shaved a little more off the back sides (nearer the size 10) and added a little to the length.  I do wish Named added the seam allowance to their patterns, its a real pain having to add you own allowances.

The fabric is Luxury Crepe from SewOverIt.  I haven't really decided what I think of it.  The colour is great, although would you tell me if I looked like a big banana?!  The fabric itself is really tough to sew, I could hardly get pins through it, and I think you can see from the seams above that it really didn't press well.

So I'm still not sure what I think about this pattern.  I like it from many angles and then at other times I think it makes me look enormous.  So different to my normal fitted styles.  I will wear this, but I'm not sure when and where.  It is also one of the dresses which is most comfortable stood up, the skirt rides surprisingly high when you sit down!

I've just had a lovely half-term with gorgeous weather.  My sewing pal Gary and I went to the Adamley Silk sale near Macclesfield.  It was quite a long way to go and much of the silk was quite firm (probably produced for ties) but what bargains.  Believe it or not these two rolls below where only £10 a roll and there are metres on each roll.  Watch out for kimono dressing gowns for Dan and Gemma and a dress or two for me in the taupe.  We also visited Minerva and there was more adding to the stash!

We had a lovely lunch at this fabulous hall.

Back to work now, and actually it has been unbearably hot there, so having wished for sunshine for months I'm now hoping for a bit of a cool down.