Sunday, 29 April 2012

Wheldon's 413- 1940s dance frock

This is a quick and comfy dress I ran up using Wheldon's 413, a 1940s dance frock pattern, as a base, and a pin-dot print viscose jersey. I only used the bodice pieces from the pattern, as I planned to make it a simple knee-length gathered skirt cut as a rectangle. First step was to grade the pattern up by a whole 6"! Since I was making this up in a jersey for the first go, I didn't worry too much about accuracy with the fit at this stage. Each bodice piece was slashed and spread to enlarge it.

I'm mostly happy with it. It's comfortable, easy to wear and very flattering in person. Plus it only took 2 metres of a 60" wide fabric! The top edge does have a tendency to curl over due to the lack of interfacing (as you can see above), something I may go back and add in, and the neckline is a little wide for wearing with a modern bra. I'll either have to go strapless or find/make a pair of nice dress clips to hold it in place on the bra straps. A pair of ribbon bow brooches maybe? I also ended up squaring off the bottom edge of the bodice, which has a slight upwards dip at centre front in the pattern, but the vertical stretch of this fabric meant it lost this due to the weight of the skirt pulling on the waist seam. This simply meant not pulling up the gathers as much.

A closer shot of the bodice. Pardon the dusty mirror ...

I'll definitely use this pattern again; it was amazingly quick and easy to sew up. I even managed a neat blind stitched hem with the cam in my machine, something that's always difficult to get just right.  A couple of alterations are needed for the next attempt though. As I used jersey this time I omitted the back darts, and it fits nicely, which means once I sew up the back darts in a woven fabric and take into account the stretch of the current fabric it would be too small. Another couple of inches need adding in at the waist then. I'll also need to take care where I attach the straps at the front so I don't get the bra strap peek again. I can't wait for it to get warm enough to wear dresses again properly!


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Pyjama party sewalong in miniature

By happy accident, the little one has grown out of most of her pyjamas just as Karen of Did You Make That? has been hosting a pyjama party sewalong!

I did a quick stash raid to see what suitable fabrics I had; lots, as it turns out!  There are so many half-metres and remnant pieces of lightweight cottons that need using up but aren't enough for grown-up sized clothes. For a pattern, I traced one from an existing set. The top was adapted by tracing round a t-shirt only to an inch below the armscye, then using a large rectangle for the gathered lower half. I also spread the sleeve pattern to make it a puff sleeve.

The fabrics for these are a plain purple polycotton, and purple and white cotton floral print. I added a narrow ruffle of the floral print around the trouser legs to tie the two pieces together.

The trousers have a simple elasticated waist, which I did in a different way to usual. Rather than make a casing and thread the elastic through, I stitched the elastic to the right side, matching the edges and stitching close to the edge. I then turned it to the inside twice, fully enclosing the elastic. The finish this way is much neater, and eliminates the chance of the elastic twisting.


And, since Karen asked us to share our bedtime reading too, here is Panda patiently waiting for us to read Aliens Love Underpants. A newly acquired read from the charity shop, it had little one giggling at all the underpants on show!

I still have a stack of fabrics waiting behind the machine to whip up another couple of sets. Bring on the spots and strawberries!