16 December 2013

Chocolate jersey and vintage cotton red

This month I've set lofty goals for myself sewingwise. I planned to finish a lined suit, start a winter coat, and make three dresses. This is often the start of my project planning...pile on everything at once and see what happens. I also started my seasonal baking storm...the one in which I bake about 300 tedious Czech sweets. Not to mention I've also volunteered to provide cookies at a vegan bake sale. Somewhere in there I'm submitting my last round of graduate school applications. Whew! This has been a productive month.

I thought I would share two dresses I have now completed. The first, a vintage cotton dress in the most lovely shade of red. The cut itself is also very flattering, as late 30's dresses often are. The second is a light jersey knit fabric and so wearable. I've worn it more this month than any other dress. 

Let's start with the cotton dress. Seriously no problems whatsoever. It was a dream to work with and I also added some extra embellishments for fun. I used McCall's 3360 I won by chance off ebay a few years back. I've worked with this pattern before and plan to use it again sometime, it's pretty versatile.




The jersey dress was a different story. This was my first time working with the fabric and I didn't have a twin needle or walking foot. I basically used the stretch-stitch the entire time and waited patiently for each seam to form. This took long enough to make me *almost* go crazy. But, I do not have any issues with seams popping and the dress looks great! I was even able to do some top stitching for the shoulder darts. However, I would recommend using a simple pattern for starters if you are unfamiliar with this fabric. Take advantage of its drape though, pick a dress that showcases jersey's fluidity. Probably the best part is avoiding those pesky side-zippers. This dress just slips over my head with no problems, even after I've completed a hairstyle. I want to replace everything in my summer wardrobe with this jersey...

The fabric I used was an organic bamboo rayon jersey from an etsy seller. I will definitely purchase more in the future, it feels super soft on the skin. Bamboo has antimicrobial properties and is really perfect for those gross hot summer days (sorry, fall/winter person here). Pattern used was Simplicity 3360, a simple dress with redingote (that I will totally make at some point) and of course...shoulder darts. Yea, how funny that both patterns have the same number...



The stretch-stitch is basically a narrow zigzag that takes a stitch backwards. This way, when you pull on your fabric it moves along too but keeps the thread in place. You just need to be careful not to pull on the fabric while sewing, or you can end up with puckering seams. This is what a walking foot would be helpful in preventing. Also...twin needles for smooth hemlines and top stitching. I still think the dress is lovely however and plan to wear it often!




The collar is some vintage broadcloth my grandmother gave me a few years back, I think it's from the 60's. I then also added some matching buttons down the front, again...embellishments. I just can't help myself.

I've been playing around with lighting and backdrops for my posts, hopefully to show a bit more detail on my projects. As winter has been setting in, our apartment is receiving less and less light so I've had to invest in some artificial light sources. I think it's payed off...at least our annual Christmas cards will be more interesting...

Anyway, here are the finished products:






So there you have it! One of my longest posts ever, but just look at those lovely dresses...
For my next project, I am finishing my charcoal 1930's suit and working on my Christmas and New Years projects. The suit has taken longer, since I thought I had purchased a zipper for the skirt....but then hadn't. I didn't want to post about it until the whole thing was finished. Soon, I hope! Christmas dress post next week, the most lovely dark green velvet fabric...

12 comments:

  1. I LOVE these dresses. And your hair

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your compliments, I love these dresses as well!

      Delete
  2. My word, both of these looks are so fabulously lovely!!! I have a pine green dress (from the brand Blame Betty) which is somewhat similar to your beautiful red dress here. I can't help but think how fabulously Christmassy we'd look if we each got together in our perfectly holiday season hued dresses. :)

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :) I would love to see that dress, pine green would match this red perfectly! I don't have enough of that colour in my wardrobe. Although I am working on a Christmas Eve dress that is forest green velvet, it's really the only green dress I'll own.

      Delete
  3. These are both so gorgeous! I keep giving myself the "you CAN make this vintage pattern" pep talk. I have plenty of vintage patterns, but so far the pep hasn't turned into product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best thing is to just jump in! Honestly, when I first started sewing years ago, I hated my first projects. But, I just barreled through them and knew it would get better with practice. I am very happy I stuck with it, as now about 85% of my wardrobe is handmade from my vintage patterns. Start with something simple and then go from there. Just keep in mind you probably won't be happy with your first pieces but they do contribute to your overall experience :)

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment and for visiting :)

      Delete
  5. Absolutely gorgeous. And the dresses are lovely too. ;) perfect sewing it looks just like you pulled the dresses from a vintage catalogue. Bravo!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for that kind compliment, I was going for something similar to those catalogs actually! I love how detailed dresses from the late 30's were...

      Delete
  6. Very nice sewing and so flattering. I love the styles of both dresses.

    ReplyDelete
  7. so pretty! the color goes perfectly with your skin tone and I love the Christmas flowers :)

    ReplyDelete