Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Bennett dress.

Even though the weather has taken a turn for the worse here, I thought I would share one of my recent makes, the Bennett dress from Marilla Walker. It is classified as an Advanced Beginner level pattern which I would say is about right.  It is a shift style with princess detail in the bodice (or a front panel), waist ties (optional) and two different hem options.

I chose to make Option A which has the shaped shirt style hem, waist ties and front panel.  Having loved the double gauze that I made my dungarees in from Merchant and Mills, I thought I would try another one for the Bennett dress, but this one was all together different. It is double sided, one indigo blue and the other a small grid check which is great, but it is very fine, almost see-through, quite an open weave and frays considerably.  It is described as double gauze laundered linen, so I guess that's what it is, definitely ideal for very warm weather like we had a couple of weeks ago.

Realistically (because of the fabric) I'm not sure how much wear I'll actually get out of it.

Pattern wise, it's a great style.  The instructions are great, probably the trickiest part for me was turning the belt ties the right way round.  That was a bit of a nightmare as the fabric would have gone into a hole very easily.

There is definitely plenty of scope for fabric combinations.  With it having the front panel, it is crying out for colour blocking, you could go simple minimalistic monochrome, chambray/denim and liberty or a broderie anglaise panel would be lovely.  I think it would even be a useful dress for the winter (maybe in a fine corduroy) with a fine long sleeved top underneath.

I made a straight size 5 with no alterations and I think it's pretty close to a perfect fit for me.

So, I think I probably have enough summer dresses now, I'll have to get back to some basics like T-shirts and jersey bottoms.  Back soon to show my new culottes, which are also very lightweight, hope the good weather returns SOON!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Trying a little 'vintage'

So I have really gotten out of the way of posting on the blog.  I think the handiness of Instagram spoils us in a way.  During May I have made a number of items, so I thought I'd better get onto it.

I have wanted to get into making more shapely dresses for a while now and in particular shirt dresses and like most sewists I have a number of sewing patterns I've gathered over the last couple of years.  I decided to start with this one and it is the Sewoverit Vintage shirt dress.  I wouldn't be into vintage style exactly, but I liked the ones that were popping up on blogs.

So it is a classic style shirt dress with two pleats on the front and back bodices for shapeliness and pleats also on the skirt.  The collar is also shapely and rounded which is very flattering.

The pattern recommends light to woven fabrics and for mine I chose the lovely new Atelier Brunette rayon fabric called Blossom Coral from Misformake.  I love these fabrics, they are beautiful to work with and wear.  This particular one is more muted than I normally would wear, but it's lovely for summer.

As you can see I chose the sleeveless version which was great for the balmy 20 degree day we had in May. (Hope that wasn't our summer) The armhole is finished with self bias binding. There is an option for a sleeved dress which would be nice for the cooler months.

The instructions are done very nicely, very helpful little diagrams and arrowed labels of exactly where to stitch.  The part I found tricky was attaching the collar to the bodice - it just did not want to fit at first, so I just left it for a while.  Also, got a few wee tips from Seamsoddlouise - thank you.

So when I went back to it, by some jiggery pokery and a lot of pins I got it, it's all that 'easing' business and thankfully it sits rather well.

On me the length just hit my knee and I', 5'5" just to give an idea and I made the size 14.  Overall I really like the style and I would say come the autumn there will be a long sleeved version.