Posts Tagged jersey dress

Not For The Squeamish

This dress caught my eye the other day in a French magazine

Drape Neck Knit Dress

I like the unusual draping effect at the neckline and, as it’s in a knit fabric,  I am once again able to avoid my nemesis, the zip.

I might make it for my youngest or, add a few inches to the hem, and make it for me.  I have just the right fabric.

Jersey Dress Pattern

This is quite fine knit fabric and very drapey and Mlle Tialys likes purple so I thought it would be the perfect project.

Until I saw the pattern.

Magazine Pattern to Trace

Really?!  It’s bad enough tracing off an individual pattern but can there be any excuse for this?  Plus, the instructions are in French of course which is not beyond my capabilities but yet another unnecessary obstacle to be overcome.

Ironically, I think the pattern is by Simplicity.  Anyone know the pattern number so I can buy the blooming thing and not go cross eyed in the process of making it?

In other, totally unrelated, news – my dog, Stan, has something nasty on his paw.  I thought it was just a grass seed causing a boil or some other simple thing but the vet says it’s a mass/nodule/tumour – yes, she variously used all three of those words none of which was less scary than the others.  She gave me some anti-inflammatory tablets and a spray to administer once a day during which time I have to put a sock over his paw and sit with him so that he doesn’t try to lick it for at least half an hour.

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If it hasn’t gone by Monday he might have to have surgery which worries me as he has had a few fits and I’m not sure whether a general anaesthetic might exacerbate them.

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He’s mostly hopping about on 3 legs at the moment but he’s missing his long walks and, most of all, running after his tennis balls.   Fingers and paws crossed for a non-surgical outcome.

 

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How Not To Make A Dress

My Wednesday sewing buddy was having a clear out of her fabric cupboard and unearthed some fairly thin stripy jersey fabric which I commandeered to make pull on pyjama pants (or slob around pants as they are known in our house) for me and one of my Madamoiselles.  There was still loads left so I thought it might make a light and easy to wear  (not to mention free) summer dress and remembered the pattern by Deer and Doe – ‘Reglisse’ – which I have made before and  is a versatile and comfy dress although it uses a lot of fabric as it is cut on the bias and the neckline and hem are finished with more than 4 metres of bias tape.

reglisse dress pattern

My tips for how not to make a dress are these:

1.  Use totally different fabric from that recommended so that the instructions don’t match what you are having to do in real life.

2. Use stripy fabric in order to make life more difficult

3.  When cutting out and trying to match stripes completely forget that the dress has darts and that these must be taken into consideration

4.  Use thin jersey fabric with edges that roll so that the overlocker does all sorts of weird things with the seams

5.  Don’t bother to match the stripes that will be visible across the front and back bodices.  After all the tie will hide the front mismatch and nobody looks at your back anyway and, if they do, you won’t see them sniggering.

6.  If you notice a tiny hole in the fabric, ignore it.  Perhaps a tiny fairy seamstress will appear during the night and fix it for you.

7.  Get the right and wrong sides of the fabric confused and have to redo one sleeve.

However, even having followed all these tips and more,  by some miracle, I did actually produce a wearable dress.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Striped Version

Some good things I did: –

By using a jersey fabric I avoided having to cut the dress on the bias and so didn’t need so much fabric.  I cut the back and front bodice pieces on the fold instead of in two pieces each which avoided the seam down the centre and the matching difficulties. As this is a stretch fabric I remembered to stabilise the shoulder seams with clear elastic tape.  I fixed the tiny pinhole in the fabric by ironing a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing on the wrong side to prevent it getting any bigger.  I decided, on several occasions, against throwing the whole thing in the bin.

Concentrating on my jaunty rear view pose, surely only the mean spirited among you would notice the fact that the waistband is plain at the front and has a stripe through it at the back.  Not to mention the stripes on the sleeves don’t match.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Striped Stretch Version

and, Oh look!  One side of the bodice doesn’t match (although the other does – honest!) and the armscye is too deep (though that is a bit of  a ‘thing’ with this particular pattern).

Deer and Doe Striped ReglisseHaving just bought a 25m roll of Liberty Lookalike bias tape, the fact that it has red in it was a good enough reason to use it to finish the neckline rather than going out and buying some plain white or red – by this stage I was past caring.  However, I drew the line at using it for the hem and finished that with a double needle stitch instead.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress in JerseyAs it happens, my younger Madamoiselle has her eye on this dress and I did actually make it in her size but she won’t model for me unless I engage in strong arm tactics and/or bribery – and even then only from the shoulders down – so you got me again.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress (2)

 This blue and white version was the first Reglisse I made when I didn’t ‘go maverick’ and I probably get more compliments on this than anything else I’ve made.  The fabric was one euro a metre in the local market and I daresay it has never seen a shred of natural fibre nor an ethical workplace in its life.  I’m sorry about that – I stumbled and fell but am only human.

Next time I will make it in my size and pay for some decent fabric – although 3 metres is a lot.  It’s probably worth it though to save having to faff with buttons and zips and such.  I am getting very lazy in that regard.

Have you ever felt like ditching a project halfway through?  Or even after you’ve finished it?  It can’t just be me can it?

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Dogtooth

In somewhat of a coincidence, seeing as my last post was about dogs and teeth, my most recent finished garment that I have got around to photographing, is in a dogtooth check.  You couldn’t make it up.

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This is another short sleeved Coco dress which I made from a metre of 3.99 jersey I found on Ebay and so the fact that it’s not my favourite of all time, bothers me not at all because it took me a couple of hours from start to finish and, at that price, I can wear it to flit about the house in and be comfy.

There are several reasons it’s not my favourite and one clue is in the above photo where I have hacked the style of the neckline – which should be flat – because, once again, I overestimated my size and made it too big.  Then I had to do all sorts of taking ins and faffing abouts to get it to fit me and I ended up changing the shape somewhat.  I call them ‘design features’ though others might call them ‘mistakes’.

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Also, I think the dogtooth check is one of those fabrics that, from a distance, will just look dull and boring and ‘beige’.  Maybe it calls for a belt?

I have cut myself off at the knees as they are not yet tanned and, in fact, looked bluish in this photo so I have spared you the sight.

So, leaving dogs, teeth and doggy dodgy checks behind, I decided make a bag in a bright and cheerful linen mix fabric.

This is a pattern I bought from UHandbags and it does indeed look quite professional as she promised it would.

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The resin handles have something to do with that as well as the super duper foam fusible interfacing she suggests (and sells) which makes the bag firm but still satisfyingly squidgy at the same time.

The tiny seam allowance – 0.5cm – worries me a little but I guess that is to minimise bulky seams as there are two layers of fabric a layer of medium weight interlining and a layer of the foam too.  So you just have go be careful there.  Also, the thicker the ‘sandwich’ when you poke it into the frame, the better, as it gives those tiny screws something to bite into.

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I actually used a linen blend for the exterior and a quilting cotton for the interior and I did have to beef up the edges a bit to get them to stay in the frame.  Next time I will use thicker fabric for the exterior and use something like the linen blend for the interior (as was actually suggested in the pattern) and I think this will make it all more manageable and easier to achieve the best possible finish.

Resin Handle Handbag

 

It’s a good size bag although, I must admit, the frame doesn’t open quite as wide as I had hoped  but then I do like to have a good old rummage around in my handbag which means I like to get practically my whole arm in.  This is not necessarily a good thing as all sorts of stuff ends up in the furthest corners of my handbags never to be found again so this might force me to be a little neater.

I am going to send this over to the U.K. for Mlle. Tialys the elder to take to work for a week and let’s see how it holds up on the London Underground, the tram, holding her lunch and generally being ‘used’ for a week or two.  If it passes the endurance test, I’ll be making more because I really love the way it looks.

What do you think? Do you like?

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Taking Liberties with Coco

Liberty Coco Dress

Yes, it’s another Coco dress .  Sorry to be boring but these have no buttons, no zips, many variations, are comfortable and quick and fun to make so how can it be wrong?

This time I used some Liberty of London jersey that I had bought to make a little girl’s dress but was tempted by the way it went with the black ponte roma jersey and made an executive decision.

Liberty CoCo Dress (2)

I changed the original pattern just slightly for this version by cutting the sleeves a little slimmer and the neck a little scoopier (new word) and actually traced the relevant bits of the Lady Skater Dress pattern to make those alterations.  Because I used my overlocker to sew the side seams, they were 3/8 inch instead of the  5/8 inch allowed in the pattern so, as it was a little spacious, I just overlocked the seams again,  with that clever machine just cutting off the excess as it went.

Liberty CoCo  Dress(3)

I used the twin needle to finish round the neck, the sleeves and the hem and, the only problem with colour blocking these dresses, this involved numerous changes of bobbins, two reels of thread, etc.  I did however, find it all too much of a chore to change the overlocker threads so I’m afraid, should you peek inside, you will only see dark grey.  Ask me if I care.

Liberty CoCo Dress (4)

I lengthened the hem by 3 inches as usual because the creator of this dress pattern  – Tilly and the Buttons – is about 100 years younger than me and can still reveal her knees with impunity.

This is now my 5th Coco dress.  I only count it as my 3rd however as one was made for  Mlle. Tialys the Younger and another was stolen  appropriated by the Mlle. T. the Elder.    I made this with 3/4 length sleeves as the summer – such as it was –  is drawing to a close and it might get a bit nippier soon.

I also have a Deer and Doe Reglisse dress on a hanger – just waiting for some elastic and some bias binding to finish it off but the only available shop was closed yesterday and today so I couldn’t finish it on time to post about it.

I don’t know how many more Cocos I will make – I really like the funnel neck one I did and will probably make another for this autumn/winter but I will soon run out of titles which play on the ‘Coco’ theme and that might be the time to stop or at least stop blogging about them.

Sorry for the uncharacteristic ‘photos of me’ heavy post – I was going to put the dress on a mannequin but I tried it on, saw the camera, hung it round my daughter’s neck and ‘voila’.  I was just in that sort of mood today.

LIberty Coco Dress Tialys

Even though it looks like I have my very own sword of Damocles dangling over my head it is, in fact, only a wind chime.

(must re-press that hem)

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Redeeming Myself With A Myrtle and Foraging on A Sunday Morning Recommences

Well, you can’t say you don’t know in advance what this post is about unless, of course, you are not a sewer (in the needle and thread sense of the word) and haven’t heard of a Myrtle.

The Myrtle is a new dress pattern by Colette which can be made in stretch fabric or woven and is very easy to make and comfortable to wear and, if my two (yes two!) sewing machines hadn’t thrown a wobbly about doing a zig zag stitch on the stretch fabric I used, it would have been finished in an afternoon.  All was going well until I got to the waistband and had to do a zigzag round the casing for the elastic and, for some reason, still not fathomed, my machine just wouldn’t do it.  I changed the needle, the tension, the thread, the swear words – nothing worked.  I changed machine – still no good.  In the end, I had to use a long straight stitch which I hope will hold.  As is becoming more and more predictable with me lately, it was a little big on the shoulders so I sort of pulled them to the front and did a top stitching doodah with my double stretch needle because I have these things in my armoury and I know how to use them.  So, just to prove I can make a dress that fits me, here it is

Colette Myrtle DressThis really is a quick and easy pattern and the result is very comfortable to wear.  The bodice is cut double on the fold so is self-lined (sounds complicated but isn’t) and, although the pattern stipulates 3 metres of fabric, I only used 2 by being really mean and stingy and folding and refolding the fabric like a miser.  Although I did leave out the pockets as, if I have pockets, I put my hands in them which seems to work for some people but just makes me look slovenly.

Anyway, after it peed down of rain again yesterday, this sunday morning dawned bright and sunny so I hauled myself out of bed and headed for the nearest vide grenier for some serious treasure hunting.  It has not been a good summer here in the South of France this year and, in fact, it has been so bad that I have been jealous of my Mum and Mlle. Tialys the elder who regularly tell me how hot it is in the U.K.  even though I know that us Brits have a fit of the vapours if the temperature goes over 20 degrees C, prompting lots of people to shed layers of clothing in inappropriate places and to labour under the illusion that sunshine makes everybody a little blind and therefore not able to notice the often unseemly flesh on public display all of a sudden.  But, I digress as usual and this morning was a bit of a strange one in that I ended up spending the most money on stuff I’m going to adorn my own house and garden with.

Found this gorgeous antique french comtoise clock which, after a bit of a wipe and a bit of tentative fiddling by Mr. T. looks like this

antique french comtoise clock

All the bits and pieces appear to be present and correct on the inside so I just need to get a pendulum, a winder thingy and two very heavy weights and we will wall mount it and then wonder why we didn’t think of a way to stop it chiming every hour and half hour.

We also bought, from the same flea market vendor, this cart.  It is, we are assured, a market florist vendor’s cart.  Whatever.  It is delightful and once we get the horrible brown paint off and oil the wood, it will be gorgeous.

Antique Florist Cart

A close up of a wheel, just because I took the photo and where else would I show it?

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Lovely spokes!

French Marriage Souvenir

Common in the last quarter of the 19th century and up until the First World War, these souvenirs of a marriage were placed under a glass globe and the bride’s tiara was usually pinned to it  with mirrors symbolizing the time the couple were together before marriage and, as time passed,  the number of children born together with other mementos of the union and of family life.  Must do something about the drips of paint  (how did that even happen?) but what a lovely souvenir.!

Anyway, off to sunnier climes for a few days (I shouldn’t really have to say that when I’m in the south of France) and taking a rest from the sewing machine, Etsy shops and the demands of certain humans, canines and felines alike.

 

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