New dress for a special sewing ‘do’

While I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front these last few days, I’ve actually been enjoying a few completely un-quiet days. Here’s the sewing project that has eaten up a stack of time.

It’s another Burda 02/2011 Dress with A-line skirt and sleeves. I was so in love with the first, that I decided to make a second with this so, so lovely Hokkah quilting cotton that my sister brought over with her from Canada earlier this year. I adore this fabric. It’s perfect for me, with a nice dark blue base with perfect. modern flowers in lovely taupe, pink (which is quite close to the Pantone colour of the year, Honeysuckle), citron and grey. I already own three cardigans that perfectly match this dress, so clearly it’s the fabric for me! If you are particularly interested in getting your hands on this fabric, on the weekend Amy mentioned that they had it in stock at Calico and Ivy in Balmain.

Now, I am learning that quilting cottons aren’t always the best for making garments, but this fabric needed to be used for me and this dress suits quilting cotton quite nicely. The skirt isn’t too gathered and the bodice is nicely fitted. There’s not need for any give or drape.

I made quite a few changes to the dress this time. I found the first dress was waaaay too large across the bodice, especially the front. So this time I re-muslined the bodice, removing over an inch from the centre front fold. This modification also helped make the arm holes a little more comfortable. As the first was pulled back to help the fit on the front, it cut in on my arms a little. From this centre fold modification, I also had to reposition the front darts, on the first dress they came up a little too high.  I also slightly reduced the size of the sleeves, as they were sticking out a little. Lastly, I added side in-seam pockets. I know a lot of people don’t like them, don’t include them and actually remove them from RTW clothing, but I LOVE them. I’m a bit of a lip balm ad mint addict, so they makes it easier to carry these two little items around. I’m also a mum of three kids and need to be able to easily find money for bread or the car keys quickly to progress through the day.

Now this dress actually took a lot of time to complete. Considering I had made it before, there was a considerable amount of un-picking during its construction. Mostly small things, but still, it ended up taking me a week to make this, rather than a few hours. The last construction disaster actually happened just after this photo. As I was taking the dress off, the invisible zipper failed and was completely ruined!!!

So on Friday night, after work, I set about un-picking the zipper and re-inserting a better one. This is the second time I’ve had a Lincraft zipper fail on me. When I mentioned this to a few people, they reported the same problem in the past. So, lesson learnt. No more Lincraft zippers, even if the shop is closer to my home.

Naturally, I have a thing for belts and of course I didn’t have a matching one in my wardrobe. So, taking inspiration from a vintage sewing pattern in my stash, I made this belt from a small scrap of matching cotton sateen. Isn’t it adorable???

I love that was easy to make, but not a cutesey bow belt. I think I’ll be making a few more of these – are you interested in a tutorial to make your own???

Pattern review available here.
Now I mentioned that this dress was made for a special sewing ‘do’ and it was. I wore this to Sew It Together on Saturday – a sewing, blogging, crafting conference. It was a long day, but certainly a good one. I spent a lot of time talking to other bloggers including Karen, Jennie, Kylie, Belinda, Rachel, Becky and Lara – gosh that’s just to name a few!

I just realised how much I have to say about Sew It Together, so to do the event justice, I’ll create a second post with all the gory details….