Sailing – Vogue Donna Karan 1116

It’s been a while since I have had any time at all to work on my dear sewing blog. Since starting full time Interior Design studies at the beginning of this year, I haven’t had time to do anything but concentrate on my course, which I love and am fully committed to, but at the same time, I really miss having the time to sew and blog.

During mid semester break, I decided it was time to at least partially revive my blog. So here is a short post that has been sitting in the pipeline for over 6 months about a dress that I made a long time ago and never posted. The photos were taken during our Whitsunday sailing holiday last September!

The pattern is a casual Donna Karan dress by Vogue 1116. I like all three dress patterns and would like to have the time to make the other two one day. But for the first one, I chose the strappy backed dress.  The fabric is a nice navy cotton with some spandex in it to give it a good amount of stretch, making it very comfortable and wearable on hot summer days or while sailing! The stretch in the fabric allows for a good amount of movement, even when doing sailing manoeuvres!

                       

You can easily make this dress up in a day. It only has the front, the back and the straps with elastic inside to fit your size and shape. Making up the straps can be a bit fiddly, but the rest is a piece of cake.

I’ve worn this dress on numerous summer holidays and because it’s cotton jersey with spandex, you really don’t need to iron it if you are living out of a suitcase. It will just stretch on your body and iron itself out!

You could probably line the front of the dress if you are using a very thin stretchy fabric, but I didn’t. I just wanted to keep it light and airy for hot days. There is the issue of wearing a bra or not with the back being so low cut. If not, I would suggest to line the front!

I had no problems making this dress. A very easy and quick pattern to sew up. The only thing while wearing it, is make sure you can ask someone to set the straps straight once you have it on, otherwise they will twist around a bit and look untidy.

The dresses in this pattern set are all only for stretch fabrics. I think they would all look great in stretch striped fabrics too!

Couldn’t help myself and not do the Titanic pose!!

Happy sewing and hope to be back soon with another blog post in the very near future!

xx

LOCATION: Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia.

STYLING: hat – Borsalino, Rome, sunglasses – Tom Ford, Margot, ring – Apart Fashion

The Amalfi Dress

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The idea for the Amalfi dress originated from the pictures of these Vera Wang dresses that I saw advertised in a fashion magazine. I particularly like the navy one.

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Navy is my personal substitute for black and I adore maxi dresses so the colour and style were both perfect. I do like the shape of the cut out in the navy dress, but my dress had to be wearable!

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There was this beautiful navy cotton voile in my stash with a matt satin look on the right side that I wanted to use for this dress. It is very light but not see-through and that allowed me to leave out any lining. The aim was to keep the dress as light and airy as possible for sightseeing on our travels in the summer heat.

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When I get an idea for a garment from a picture I have seen somewhere, I usually go on a hunt amongst my patterns to see which part of which pattern I can use to make the garment. I usually have a similar pattern to what I want to make and just adjust the rest. That was the same procedure for this make. I used McCall’s 7418 for the bodice of the dress and just made up the skirt as I went along. The skirt part is made using one width of the fabric for each piece of the front and the back. So the middle section has more gathering than the bottom, because I wanted it to be a-line in shape. I just gathered and then sewed the skirt parts together after deciding on the finished width I was after. But I am thinking of redoing it and sewing the gathered seams together with elastic because they are quite fragile and could tear if the gathering got stretched.

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To be honest, I don’t even know where I got this pattern from. I’ve had it for ages and never used it. I think I got it from a friend and was going to resell it on Ebay but now it was put to good use and I may use it again! I used version C down to the hip and did the rest pretty much free-style by trying on, fixing, trying on, fixing – you get the idea…. I only altered the pattern by making the back a little higher so that I could wear a strapless bra underneath without anything showing.

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The bodice has an invisible zip sewn in on the left side. I was going to try and make it zipless, but due to the shaping in the bodice, I couldn’t squeeze into the dress without a zip somewhere.

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The top of the bodice is interfaced front and back but otherwise the dress is unlined and beautifully light to wear. It does crease a bit being 100% cotton, but I wasn’t going to drag an iron around in my suitcase! I found that packing wisely helped to keep creasing to a minimum and if I took the clothes that creased easily out of my suitcase and hung them up as soon as we got to where we were staying, I could get some of the wrinkling out. I have also heard that hanging clothes in a steamy bathroom helps to “iron” them out somewhat. Haven’t tried that yet.

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The pattern has quite a few variations for the straps and back. But I decided a simple cross would go well with what I had in mind. I was going to make simple straps but then decided that plaited ones would look more interesting. So I cut strips of dacron a little shorter than the fabric straps to fill them with. The idea was to pull the dacron through the tunnel of each strap, but that didn’t work. In the end, I placed the dacron in the middle of each strip of fabric and hand-sewed the strap in the most invisible stitch I could manage by wrapping it in the fabric strip. Yes, this was very time-consuming but well worth it and I was able to plait the strap strips with the hand-sewn side on the inside.

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I wore this dress on a few occassions and was very happy with the way it turned out. It’s just as light and airy as I imagined it to be. Cotton voile is perfect for summer wear.

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I’m thinking about the same dress in a short version somewhere down the track. But my wish list is ever growing and who knows when I will get around to that….

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STYLING: shoes – midas, gold chocker – David Lawrence, sunglasses – Carlina square by Chloe, watch – Gucci, bracelet – gift, gold rings – Lovisa.

LOCATION: Amalfi, Italy

 

 

Tropical A-Line Dress – McCall’s M5583

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Hi everyone! I have been silent on the blog front, but behind the scenes, I have been very busy working long hours and also working on some garments that I wanted to take on holiday with me to Europe on our winter get away this year. Thus the long pause from blogging. But the long anticipated holiday is now happening and I am writing to you from a very tiny but special place on our planet – Capri. It has been on my bucket list for a while now and even though we are still here and have a few things left to see and do during our one week stay, it is safe to say I would love to come back one day and spend some more time on this little treasure of an island with it’s breathtaking views.

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I could write pages about Capri, but this is a sewing blog…

I made this dress a few years ago, but somehow it always lands in my luggage because it’s loose, colourful and doesn’t need any ironing. So all in all, a very travel friendly piece. The fabric is a soft polyester that I bought at Spotlight in two different patterns. I used the leafy one (sort of looks like leaves) for the dress and the stripy one for the edging.

I don’t find it easy sewing with very stretchy fabrics like these two because my sewing machine tends to jump a stitch or two here and there, but I loved the colour in teal and turquoise and the print on these two fabrics and bought a few metres of each. Years later I am glad that I did, because I still love the colour and print of both fabrics and plan on making a maxi dress out of the rather large remnants I have in my stash in the Australian summer.

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I used the same pattern for this dress as I have used for heaps of other dresses I have made in the past by just altering the width of the lower edge to make it a little narrower in version C. The sleeves are a slight bell shape and 7/8 length.

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The back of the dress has a middle seam going through it on the pattern, but I eliminated the seam and cut the back as one piece. There is also no zip or buttons and the dress slips on easily over the head because of the stretchy fabric.

I lined this dress in an off white soft polyester just to give it a bit more weight. The edging of the sleeves and the lower edge aren’t perfect, because the stripes don’t match up exactly and there is a bit of a wave in the fabric at the seam. However, despite the imperfections, I have worn it so many times and one day while shopping three ladies asked me where I got my dress from, so I guess it turned out OK. Nice to get compliments for one of your own creations!

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These days I am more into natural fabrics and don’t make much out of synthetics, but if I find an irresistible print or colour, I do find myself giving in!

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Do you have a favourite piece of clothing that you always take on your travels?

STYLING: shoes: Midas, sunglasses: Margot by Tom Ford, silver ring: Apart Fashion

LOCATION: Anacapri, Capri, Italy