Thursday, 9 February 2012

My Strawberry, Style Print, Sew Grateful dress

So, after a lot of build-up on my blog, here is the finished product!  I am so happy with how it turned out, and with my first go at making a belt and belt loops.  Although some of the eyelets are a bit wonky, it does the job and looks absolutely lovely.

The pattern that I used, as you are all probably sick of hearing by now, is Style Print 1283, which I won in a giveaway from Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place - also the host of the Sew Grateful week!


(Just like the pattern cover... except not!)

As you can see, I made view A, with the full skirt and short sleeves.  I also added four belt loops (just a 1 inch strip of material folded into quarters lengthways and stitched down... probably not the best way to do it but it works!) attached at the bottom of the waist darts on the front and back, to make sure they were evenly spaced.  Next time I decide that I want to attach belt loops onto a dress with a full skirt, remind me how INCREDIBLY NOT FUN it is!

I had a lot of fun making this dress, and learned a lot!  It was the first time I've done anything with a collar, which came together a lot more easily than I was expecting.  I had a play with more flat-felled seams, and used them on the shoulder seams, the seams closing the bottom of the sleeves (not sure what these are called), and then decided that I wanted to put them on the arm-hole seams as well!  So that was incredibly fiddly, but I think it worked out well - and now it looks so beautiful on the inside!

In other news, I found out that the machine I have been using has a blind hemming foot, so I used that to do them hem of the skirt and the sleeve hems, and it looks lovely - except for where the machine decided that it would be a good idea to take a navy blue stitch straight through the centre of a red strawberry.  But I think I am the only one that will be looking that closely at the hemming, so it doesn't particularly matter, not that there's much I can do about it aside from hemming all 3m of the skirt by hand.

In regards to the skirt, I took 3 inches off before cutting the material, and then an extra half inch again (in addition to the 2 inch hem that the pattern called for) to take this skirt to a mid-knee level.  I think if I was to make this  again, I might take a further half inch or inch off, just so it's a tiny bit shorter.

I also rearranged the buttonholes slightly to accommodate 3 buttons, the same as Debi did in her versions (view A with full skirt, view B with straight skirt), rather than the two that the pattern called for - I get a bit paranoid about the gaps between buttons gaping unflatteringly, which has happened to me with a couple of my work blouses!

(I painted my nails navy blue for this week, and when I messed up one of my ring finger nails, I decided to try to use my feeble art skills to paint a strawberry - do you think it was a success?  Also, my sister the photographer says it's very hard to take close up photos with some sort of light in summer - the sun's either overhead or set!)

I didn't make any other adjustments to the fit of this one.  Because of the era that this pattern is from, the bust darts do give a bit of a 'pointy-boob' look, designed to be worn with a bullet bra.  However I didn't feel confident enough to mess around with the darts, so I just left it.  The slight looseness of the bodice combined with the busy print means that the slightly odd fit around the bust isn't particularly noticeable.

Overall, this was a lovely lovely pattern to work with, and I'm so glad I got to make this dress!  My sister is currently working on a version of her own, so hopefully that'll appear on here at some point in the future.  Debi, thank you so much for sending me this!  I'll try to find it a lovely new home when the time comes - maybe next Sew Grateful week! :)

Fun photos to finish - this dress is very good for spinning in!  Also, the dogs like to 'help' with photos, mostly by putting white hair all over my dress and bringing my spitty, muddy tennis balls to throw.

Thanks x 1000 go to my sister, for taking photos of me in the exotic location of the back veranda, on the first sunny day all week!

18 comments:

  1. What a fabulous dress! I love the fabric you chose, and those buttons are perfect for making the little red flowers "pop." I also love you strawberry nail - that's pretty fantastic :)

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    1. Thanks so much :) The fabric really was a lucky find, and I'm so glad I grabbed it!

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  2. What a super sweet dress. It fits perfect. And nice touch with the strawberry nail art.

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment! I'm glad you like the dress :)

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  3. I like your dress, it's so cute and has a great history. :)

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    1. Thank you :) There's a little bit of so many people in there, and I'll be reminded of them every time I wear this!

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  4. This dress is stunning! And your strawberry nail is just too cute!!!!

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    1. Thank you :) Both of them were a labour of love, with the emphasis on labour! Haha. I'll have to have another go at doing exciting things with my nails, it seems to be quite popular :P

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  5. You look wonderful in this dress! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I also love the skirt you made in the voile with the tulips. The bow at the back is just delightful. When I was your age and size I could have worn something like that. It's not as attractive on my matronly figure. Lucky you!!! Keep up the good work.

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  6. Megan! I have given you a Liebster Blog Award! See my blog post :D

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  7. Ooh - this is such a pretty dress! I love the buttons and matching belt :)

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  8. I just found your blog and I have to compliment you on the dress! I love the fabric and the buttons and the belt and well, just the whole thing!

    tumblytwirly.blogspot.com

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  9. Hi Megan, I am totally enjoying your blog page and photos. I didn't know you were so keen on sewing and I think it's wonderful you are enjoying vintage patterns. Your dress is very sweet and I love your red accents. I'd like to know more about your belt - did you have a "belt kit" that used to be readily available but seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth, or what did you use as the stiffener inside the belt? I laughed at the comment you made about the bust darts! A good choice of fabric to disguise those points.

    I have quite a collection of 1950's patterns that were my Mum's. Unfortunately she threw heaps out, not realising anyone would be interested in them. YOU ARE INSPIRING me to actually get something happening with my so far very insipid blog page. I am very grateful to you. I have a few lengths of fabric for sale on my Etsy site now, but can only manage a few in an hour, it seems.
    Bye for now, Genevieve

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    1. Thank you Gen! I used a belt kit from A Fashionable Stitch, an online shop in America - actually this kit http://shop.afashionablestitch.com/product/belt-buckle-kit-1-oval. It comes with a buckle, adhesive pattern for the buckle (to attach the material), prong, belt backing material (the stiffener for inside) and some eyelets. On her site she's also done a couple of tutorials about how to make up the belt kits, so I leaned fairly heavily on them!
      I'd love to see some of those patterns that you have - there are some amazing ones out there. Have you made anything from them yet?
      I've been checking out your etsy shop, and I've found a few fabrics that I really love! But because they're so skinny I'd probably have to piece together a top or something from it, or use it as a feature section! But I'll definitely keep on coming back to the page to see what's new

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