Stripy Chevron Dresses

Every cloud has a silver lining, and being ill* in bed means I have caught up with the 200+ posts in my blog reader and even though I feel better today I am staying in my pjs at my computer just in case. Luckily I have more dresses from the “Garments I’ve made ages ago but have been wearing too frequently to take pictures/blog about them” series.

I wanted an easy-to-wear summer dress so I used my trusted t-shirt block (with self-drafted/made-up cap sleeve adaption) and combined it with the Cake Tiramisu skirt. The neckline and sleeves are finished with bands. That simple, other than the meticulous pinning on every white stripe to get perfect seams. (The good thing about knit fabrics is that you can stretch the fabric slightly if your pattern matching while cutting wasn’t perfect.

turquoise chevron

As soon as I tried on this dress, pre-hemming, I knew it was going to be a favourite.  It is a fairly sturdy interlock knit made from 100% organic cotton and it is a really nice weight to wear; cotton is nice for the summer, it is heavy enough to cover lumps and bumps, and it was good with tights this week. It was £16 a metre which is more than I’d normally pay for fabric, but it is extra wide and holds shape well. When buying the fabric I had resisted the chosen aqua as a more subtle colour, but once I tried it on I knew I needed more, so that same day I ran down the road to get some more in the hot pink.

pink chevron

Two identical dresses would be a bit odd, so I went crazy and mixed things up a bit by adding a v-neck! I’ve never sewn a v-neck before, and annoyingly I can’t find the tutorial I used to help me get a nice centre-front; I did something similar to this and sewed a v-seam where the centre front would be, being careful to match the stripes on both sides. I sewed the centre front first on either side, then figured out how much I needed to stretch the neckband to work out where to place the centre-back seam; this gave me a v-neck with absolutely NO gaping which is pretty brilliant!pink detail

I also decided to cut 8 skirt panels instead of 4 to get a more zig-zaggy look (slightly inspired by the cover of Threads 161). I divided the skirt pattern pieces in half and drew a couple of new stripe lines on the new pattern piece, and I made sure these always matched up with the fabric during cutting. When marking stripes I draw a line (eg for the bottom of the white stripe) and then shade/mark below (for the pink) to be sure my line is in the right place of the stripe. The cutting was quite a tricky business on a single layer of fabric, but luckily this fabric could be used upside-down and on the reverse (does an interlock have a reverse?). Despite the hassle of arranging pattern pieces so particularly, I really prefer the effect of the zig-zags and love that I have created a new fabric by adding more seams.

swirly

 

 

I have worn both of these dresses a lot, and on consecutive days, and NOBODY has noticed that they are even similar! Is it just a keen-eyed sewist who would notice the similarities, or have I done too good a job of customising them?! I wore both of these as my cheat attempt to join in with One Week One Pattern.

*There was a nasty 24 hour bug going around (when I say nasty I mean I lost 2 kgs in 2 days) so if any parents of small kids are reading I beg you to make sure your kids don’t come back to school the day after they’ve been ill; I didn’t need to feel guilty about being away from my class as by the end of the day there were only 15 children in! (FYI children will tell teachers that they were sick in the morning but mummy made them come to school.) Annoyingly for me the 48 hours I must stay off work are the weekend.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 5

Here is Me Made May Week 5…

Week 5

Day 27
Refashioned maxi-skirt (pre-blog)
Grey striped kimono tee (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 28
Black Jeanius Jeans (unblogged)
Floral jersey top
Minoru raincoat

Day 29
Blue Jeanius Jeans
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 30
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Stripy-yoke long-sleeved top (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 31
United Stashes of Awesome Skirt
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
NO JACKET! I left the house in just a top!

This week was even less inspiring than last week. It is half-term so spent most of the week lazing around at home working, sewing or just chilling, so not hugely exciting outfits for popping to the shops. Monday was glorious sunshine so I took my hand-sewing to the park to make the most of it, and it is a good job I did because the weather has been horrid since (hence all the pictures featuring my Minoru this week!). Tuesday was pouring with rain but I had to pop out to do errands, and made an exciting discovery on the way home which I will tell you all about in due course (I am waiting for some supplies to get delivered…)

I am analysing my month and will have my reflections on the challenge soon, maybe with some snazzy graphs and charts. Have any of my lovely readers been taking part in Me Made May this year? What are your thoughts now it is over?

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 4

Here is Me Made May Week 4…

Week 4

Day 20
Basic Bella Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Black-striped detail Burda Sadie top (unblogged)

Day 21
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Stripy Tiramisu Dress

Day 22
Black Corduroy Skirt
Refashioned Burda Blouse (same post as skirt)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 23
Magpie Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 24
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan
M
inoru Jacket
Flickr Theme Friday was “Home town” so I lazily took a self-portrait on the tube home.

Day 25
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 26
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Summertime Maxi Skirt

Hmmm… not a very inspiring week this week. Work was crazy and the weather was very British (some freezing days where my heating came on, and a mini-heatwave today). There was a narrowly-averted MeMadeMay disaster when my washing didn’t dry and I almost ran out of Me Made underwear, but I found a test-pair that I could wear that day. Must remember 8 pairs of pants is not enough for someone lazy and doing washing.

I have made some progress on my couture jacket and the outer-part is almost done (just 17hours to set in the sleeves!) so I hoping there will be a sneak peak of the construction soon. It is half-term and I have thirty end-of-year reports, so I am pretty sure I’ll find plenty of crafty distractions!

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Stripy Tiramisu

image

Today I wore my stripy Tiramisu as I needed a feel-good outfit for a busy day. Everything went well and I got home in the sunshine ready to take some pictures of my new dress.

The fabric was an impulse purchase from John Lewis, so more expensive than the jersey i normally buy but great quality. I lengthened the bodice and shortened the waistband slightly to improve the fit, but the first time I wore it I realised it gaped a bit. So obviously I sat at work sewing the crossover together as I was wearing it (worryingly nobody batted an eyelid!).
image

The stripes were a little more time-consuming on this make, so I had to redo the front and back centre seams a couple of times to get them perfect. It turns out stripes on the bias need more pins than normal seams!
image

I couldn’t resist an action shot of some twirling.
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Me Made May 2013 – Week 3

Here is Me Made May Week 3…

Week 3

Day 13
Basic Bella Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Spotty Sorbetto Blouse (unblogged)

Day 14
Floral Sorbetto Blouse
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 15
IKEA Birdie Skirt (before blogging)
Another Sadie Long-sleeved Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan

Day 16
Self-drafted Black Cardigan
Floral Long-sleeved Top
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 17
Refashioned Maxi Skirt (before blogging)
Grey Striped Sadie Cowl
Purple Shrug (unblogged)
The Flickr ThemeFriday was “hats” so I piled all the hats for Team 1’s assembly on to  my head, in tribute to the Spectrum ZX “Mr Silly’s Hat Game” I played as a child.

Day 18
Magpie Top (unblogged)
Black Jeanius Jeans (never got around to blogging)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 19
Black Jeanius Jeans (never got around to blogging)
Liberty Self-Portrait Blouse

This week the weather was gloomy and so was my mood (my knitting-injured wrist has got worse after I began using it again, despite not looking at yarn) and I think it shows in my outfits; No pretty summer dresses but a lot of black. My newly-made black trousers and cardigan got a lot of wear this week, highlighting the need for some sensible basics in my wardrobe among the crazy prints!

Still lots more unblogged garments. I had been hoping to show you my new trousers but have been side-tracked by catching a bad cold and having lots of work to do; Next week is going to be hectic, so you may have to wait until half-term for some new garment posts.

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 2

Here is Me Made May Week 2…

week 2

Day 6 – Choir singing, hence all black
Black chiffon Sorbetto (unblogged)
Black corduroy “Ginger” skirt adaption

Day 7
Stripy Tiramisu Dress (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Sandals! Did NOT wear Minoru*!

Day 8
Basic Bella Cardigan
Piped Polka Dot Skirt
1 hour stripy t-shirt (unblogged)

Day 9 – School class picture day
Floral Cambie
Purple Shrug (unblogged)

Day 10
United Stashes of Awesomeness Skirt
Grey Striped Sadie Cowl (both blogged together)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 11
Self-drafted jeans
Burda Ruched Raglan t-shirt (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan (unblogged also)

Day 12
1 hour stripy t-shirt (unblogged)
Refashioned Splodgy Maxi Skirt (made before-blogging)
M&S pink cardigan

Night time
I have been wearing my polka dot pyjama party pjs this week

Eeeek, I’ve worn a lot unblogged garments this week. I will try to remedy this soon for the recent makes (including this weekend’s latest creation). The weather cooled down after the bank holiday “heatwave” which meant I could wear long-sleeves to give me more wardrobe options this week.

After a week of the challenge I realised I didn’t have many plain garments to match with my crazy patterns. There were three options; Wear crazy clashing prints, wear nothing but dresses for the month, or make something. I chose option three. The stripy t-shirt was whipped up in an hour using left-overs from my Tiramisu and making up the pattern from my jersey block to give it inbuilt cap-sleeves. You will probably see more of these before the month is finished!

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 1

So I don’t overwhelm you with daily posts about my MMMay outfits I will post a round up of the week every Sunday. So here is the first week…

Week 1Day 1
Stripy Tiramisu Dress (unblogged)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 2
Floral Cambie Dress
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 3
Spotty Tiramisu Dress
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 4
Self-drafted indigo jeans
Navy dotty Sorbetto (unblogged) worn with RTW vest top
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 5
Denim Traveller Dress
(no cardigan yet as am chilling at home)

All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket (worn at 7am and 7pm and carried throughout the day); this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

There were a lot of dresses this week, but I have sorted my wardrobe and got washing on the go so hopefully more separates next week. I am still debating whether I can survive without trousers at work for a month, or if I need to make some light-weight Thurlows…

Spotty Tiramisu

Last week, in the days heading up to The Big Blog Meet Up, I got chatting to some sewcialists (sewist + social) on twitter and got convinced that I needed to get a new pattern – Steph C’s Tiramisu dress. I haven’t made a jersey dress for ages (years?) so it was a good job we were off to do some fabric shopping.

tira 1

It is a mock wrap top with a half-circle skirt, but the thing that makes it a bit more special is the sizing. You choose the bodice based on your high-bust measurement and then choose the cup-size, so you don’t get any indecent gaping. Also, the waistband is only half-drawn; you join the dots between your bodice and waist size to get a perfect fit! Genius!

I made the 40D (D is the largest cup size and they are not based on bra sizes) bodice and the fit was pretty good without a FBA. The pattern has points indicated for fitting as you sew, which would be so helpful for beginner sewists. There is also lots of help and advice online and one of the things mentioned was that the jersey will pull with the weight of the skirt, so when fitting the bodice I didn’t worry too much. With the skirt added, the bodice didn’t pull down quite enough so on the next version I will add have added a couple of inches to the bodice (and removed this from the waist band).

tira 2

Yup, there will definitely be more of this pattern to come. I wore it to work and got lots of compliments (maybe fished for as I swished my skirt!). As soon as I put the finished dress on I swished and twirled around – how have I never had a (half)circle skirt before?! I really love the shape of the half-circle skirt -smooth round the waist with a lovely amount of drape and fullness – so I may have to try a woven circle skirt before the summer.

tira 3