Mission Maxi

This dress came together so quickly and I really enjoyed making it, which is a welcome change to the laborious sewing that’s been going on here lately.

I borrowed this pattern today and it took less than 2 hours to trace, cut, sew and photograph. Oh it feels sooooo good!!

It hugs in all the right places and has enough ease in others for comfort and walking.

Not much else to say really, except that I cut a mix of sizes – 6 bust, 10 waist, 8 hip. The binding is neat, especially considering I don’t sew stretch often. Although after this success, I may have to venture into more stretch sewing.

Dress cost:
Pattern: Jamie Christina, Mission Maxi – borrowed from Rachel = free
Fabric:  Poly 4 way stretch fabric from Jack Textiles, Marrickville. 2 meters = $6
Thread from stash
Total cost $6

Twisted bubble skirt

This is one of those moments when the kid wouldn’t let me take her photo, so here’s my lame photographic offering to show this super cute, little skirt.

This is a self drafted bubble skirt, which has an elastic casing sewn to the lining to give the bubble effedt and the lining and outer twisted to give a slanted drape along the bottom of the skirt.

Not the best pictures,  but I think you get my drift.

I made this with a remnant of fabric from my BurdaStyle Heidi dress, which was made with lovely, crepey fabric from Tessuti. This is the second time I’ve made Adele a bubble skirt with a remnant from this dress. This second remnant came about when I realised I didn’t leave enough ease around the hips of my Heidi dress and decided it was too good not to wear. I ended up trekking back to Tessuti, buying another piece of fabric and inserting a panel through the middle of the skirt back, replicating the one at the front, in which I was able to add a little extra fabric for movement.

So this is another ease story which thankfully came good. My biggest mistake with this dress was to forget to look at the hip measurements before making this dress. At the time of making this frock, I was on a roll of sewing more full skirted styles, so didn’t have to look at the hip measurement. Just a big ‘doh!’ moment really.

Anyway, dress fixed and I have another cute skirt for Adele, which she desperately needs. I’m finding the whole toilet training thing is easier with skirt and dresses

Rooibos

Let me introduce you to my first Rooibos dress by Colette patterns. I’m so very happy with this dress, I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I love the finish, the style, the fabric, the Liberty piping, the pockets, everything!

I made surprisingly few modifications to the pattern, but I did cut a variety of sizes for fit, from a size 2 to an 8. The key change that I did make to the pattern however, was to raise the back of the dress as I wanted this to be a work dress and a don’t really feel too comfortable in a low back at work.

For fitting purposes, I also lengthened the bust and back darts slightly and sewed a very scant hem.

The fabric is a lovely viscose from Tessuti. It’s a really difficult colour to photograph, kinda a warm black brown colour. While the fabric did fray a little and wasn’t too keen to be press neatly along the seams, it has a lovely feel and creases very little with wear.

The piping and facings were made with some Liberty, Emilia’s Flowers, which I salvaged from this Tova. I just didn’t feel comfortable wearing this Tova. There was just too much mini floral near my face. I much prefer  this use for this lovely sweet Liberty fabric. The buttons were made with some vintage self cover buttons that I picked up from the Op Shop for next to nix.

I just adore this dress and I’m sure it will get a lot of wear, especially in cooler weather with tights and a cardigan.

Pattern: $10 – I shared the cost of this purchase with Rachel
Fabric: $22.40. It was $20 p/m full price, but I purchased it at 30% off and I think I still have enough to make another project in the future.
Liberty: I think I’ll say this has a zero cost as I re-purposed a finished garment that I don’t wear.
Piping cord: $1
Self covered buttons: 20c
Thread: $3.10
Zipper: $3.15
Total: $39.85

We are now half way through February and I’ve already made 4 wearable dresses. Clearly I’m not doing very well at sticking to my resolution to make more seperates. Maybe next time!

Ease

How much ease do you need in your sewn garments for comfort? It’s taken a while, but I’m finally starting to get the wearing ease right in the garments that I make.

For the non sewing types who might be reading this, ease is the amount of “space” in a garment beyond your body measurements. All of that extra fabric which makes moving in a garment possible. This extra space is especially important when sewing fitted garments with non stretch fabrics. Often pattern companies put far more wearing ease or “space” into a pattern than is actually necessary for movement. It’s quite irritating when you finish sewing a garment only to find it’s ridiculously large on you, even though the size you picked is for your body measurements. While I’m talking about ease, there is also style ease or design ease, which as the name suggests, is included in the pattern for over all design or style purposes. Today this rant is about wearing ease, specifically on fitted patterns.

Anyway, when sewing fitted garments, once you figure out how much wearing ease you need, it becomes easier to pick the size to cut by either referring to the finished garment size or by measuring the pattern pieces at the bust, waist or hip.

Unfortunately for me, determining how much ease I need has been a process of trial and error. Earlier on in my sewing life, many of the garments I made were over fitted and didn’t have enough wearing ease, so I couldn’t eat, drink or sometimes sit down comfortably in them. Most of my fitting issues are at the waist or lack of waist 🙂

On Christmas day, I realised my much loved Simplicity 2180 was just a little too snug around the waist and I struggled to comfortably fit in all of the lovely food I wanted to eat. I had mistakenly thought that as the waist band sat above my actual waist, that I wouldn’t require as much wearing ease. I have also put on a little weight these past months, so I won’t entirely blame my sewing efforts in this fitting mishap.

Anyway, like most finished garments this dress didn’t easily allow for modifications to the waist and I just couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to wear this dress. It has been on high rotation in my wardrobe since it’s completion.

In order to build in the extra 2 inchs of ease that I wanted, just in case I put on more weight (not that I’m hoping or trying to), I un picked the entire back waist band. I released the back darts, sewed the side seams as scant as possible, then tackled rebuilding the waist band. I created more piping then added a new section to the band with fabric scraps. The skirt gathers were reduced slightly to increase the width at the waist.

Now, after all of this fiddly work, my dress is wearable again. I adore this dress. I love the fabric, the style, the piping and I LOVE wearing it. Now I can do so very, very comfortably even if my waist expands a little further.

Also, just in case you are interested my wearing ease needs for comfort, depending on style, are:
Bust:   2 inches minimum
Waist: 3.5 inchs minimum

Have you had similar experiences with sewing your own garments? Do you know the amount of ease you need for comfort?