All posts filed under: Dresses

Marfy 3520: Making a Muslin

This is my first time sewing a Marfy pattern* so I thought it best to make a muslin, to see how best to put it together (and of course check fit). I’m making Marfy 3520, it’s a dress pattern that I’ve long admired. In general I was really happy with the first cut. The pattern came together like a dream – with the exception of setting in the sleeve, for some reason I found this quite tricky in this pattern. My only fitting complaint was the gaping fabric above my bust, so I made a full bust adjustment & it now feels a lot nicer. I’m not super happy with how the sleeves look though. Its more of a design issue that a fit issue really. I’m thinking I might shorten the sleeves to be elbow length and forego the flounce, but we’ll see. Otherwise I think its time to cut this one out. The fabric I’m using is a checked wool suiting my Mum gave me a couple of years ago. For the accent …

Christmas Dress 2016

As usual at the last minute (about a week before travelling from the US to Australia with a newborn) I decided that I wanted to make a new dress to wear on Christmas day. At least this year some sense of reality prevailed & I started off with a decision to make a simple dress with a nice patterned fabric. However, as is usually the case with my sewing, this project’s complexity quickly escalated as I started making alterations to the pattern design. I started off with Vogue V8723 which is now out of print. Originally I was going to make it as is from the pattern, but then I thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice if that bit of trim at the top of the dress went round the entire time & formed the straps?’, then I thought, ‘Australia is hot, maybe I’ll lower the neckline significantly & make it a summer dress for a hot day’. This resulted in an afternoon of re-drawing practically all the pattern pieces to accommodate the changes. At the end …

Another New Year Dress

Last weekend was Detroit Malanka, (Malanka = Ukrainian New Years Party). I’ve really been feeling the sewing vibe again so I made a new dress. I used a metallic silk brocade that I bought in New York last March & added some ostrich feather trim. The ‘dress’ is actually a high waisted skirt & a separate top. The patterns for self-drafted from basic skirt & bodice blocks. I underlined the brocade with organza to help it sit smoothly without wrinkles & lined both the top & skirt with a silk satin. Everything came together pretty easily, so this is a pretty boring story. It only took me about 4 hours over a weekend to make it all.¬†I think the only alteration I will make is to add some beaded trim at the base of the top, just above the feathers, it feels like it needs a little something extra there.

A New Gown for a New Year

Earlier this month my husband & I drove up to Toronto to go to Toronto Malanka. Toronto Malanka is a ball to celebrate Ukrainian New Years Eve, (or new years eve by the old calendar). The dress code is black tie & so I had to find a gown to wear. With all the craziness in the lead up to Christmas I didn’t have time to make a new gown from scratch, instead I decided modify something I’d made previously. I don’t have many evening gowns but I do have a heap of cocktail dresses that I’ve made over the years & a lot of left over fabric (one of the benefits of buying fabric just because you love it & without any real plans for it). I took a dress that I loved, which had a separate skirt & bodice, unpicked the skirt & used the leftover fabric to make a new floor length skirt. Don’t worry I didn’t waste the original skirt – I sewed it onto a waistband so I could wear …

This dress was the fabric’s fault

I made this dress to wear to a friend’s wedding in March. The red & navy silk brocade was a new purchase, but everything else was made with scraps & remnants already in my stash. The side drape is made with a rayon wool blend that I used for another¬†dress, the silk edging is left over lining from the same dress, the corset was made with left over red & navy silk (which was interfaced, prior to sewing) & the dress lining was also made with left over fabric. So turns out it was worth keeping all those random remnants & fabric scraps. As well as using up a lot of old remnants, this dress was also a bit of a franken pattern creation. The main bodice is from Simplicity 2639, the skirt is from Vogue V1174 & it’s all held in place with an internal corset made using Simplicity 5006. All three patterns have had a pretty good workout over the past 3-4 years & well & have well & truly cemented themselves in …

Side Projects

When working on a labour intensive dress, I often end up completing quite a few smaller side projects at the same time. This is just because sometimes I want to sew something that can be finished quickly & isn’t too much of a challenge. Some times it works out quite well, for a relatively small amount of effort I finish something & that gives me enough motivation & energy to get back to the larger long term project. Other times it’s a disaster & I get totally distracted & end up with not just one long term nightmare, but two. This dress started off it’s life as a simple side project that I could finish quickly & then get back onto my main project. It was going to be a simple dress with a long flared skirt. I wanted something that I could ‘relax with a martini’ in. Something I could dress up with heels & go out to cocktails in or dress down. I’d bought the printed chiffon fabric ages ago from Gorgeous Fabrics …