Yesterday I really needed to sew! I’ve not made anything since the 30 draw string bags, and before that was the GBSB Drapey dress (unblogged as yet, due to being a failure!).
It needed to be something that didn’t require a muslin. My sewing soul was in need of some fairly instant gratification, so I decided to make up the Valentine dress in some stretch denim I’d bought (originally for the ginger jeans, but seen as my 2 pairs of jeans fit well, and despite printing out the pattern, buying the fabric and notions, the Gingers have been pushed down the list!). I’d bought 2m of stretch denim online from Minerva. It has polyester in it which I think has made it ideal for this dress as it will crease less than if it was your 97% cotton 3% elastine type of denim.
But oh no! I tried on the Valentine dress to check the fit and its a bit too big! (Oh yea for shrinking body!) My measurents haven’t changed since Feb, but I have lost about 4lbs which must have changed some unmeasurable part of me!
So, I had a quick look on the Lekala website and chose this fairly simple dress with princess seams:
I was fairly confident that this would fit without a Muslin, but could make any necessary tweaks easily if needed with the princess seams. It calls for a zip in the centre back seam, but as the denim is quite stretchy I thought I’d risk leaving it out – the pattern calls for un-stretchy fabric.
Once I’d cut out all my pieces I labelled them with some mini post-it notes. I don’t usually do this, then later I end up wasting time trying to work out which piece are which, and having to get out my pattern pieces back out. This is definately the way forward for me, though next time I’ll go with the full size post-it notes as the mini ones lost their stickiness as the sticky area is only small.
I sewed all 7 pieces together before I tried it on, and YES it fit! Result! As usual the use of pins was minimal – I only pinned the notches and the end of each seam. I’ve bought 3 of Janet Prays Craftsy classes and now can manage most things without much pinning, which really speeds things up!
I decided to top stitch all the seams using the grey top stitch thread I’d bought to topstitch my Gingers.
I set my stitch length to 3mm, I wasn’t sure what the norm is for this but it looked ok so I went with it. It was a bit tricky manoeuvring the fabric as the whole dress was stitched together. At least next time, now I know it fits, I can topstitch the back and front seams before I sew the side seams together.
I’m now undecided about finishing off the neckline and arm holes (can’t spell their proper name!!). I have 1/2m of some Liberty which matches perfectly, but don’t know wether I should have it showing or not.
I bought this Liberty as a Remenant on eBay from Truro fabrics last year and have been waiting for the right moment to use it. It’s good to know ‘the right moment’ will come along eventually, so my stash will all be used up one day!
So what do you think? Bias trim on the inside or out? I can’t do anything yet as the family are still in bed, but hopefully they’ll be awake soon. Would it be wrong of me to start vacuuming before breakfast on a Saturday morning?!
Love the topstitching. I think the Liberty out would look lovely. Nee x
Thanks Nee, it would have looked lovely outside, but in the end I’ve gone with the inside so the dress will be a bit more versatile x
I would go for some secret Liberty inside the dress- only to be seen by you and those you trust with the innards of your clothes.
I agree with Chris.I think that the top stitch gives it a classic look and the Liberty would work nicely as a headband to accent your look.
Head bands a good idea…thanks! I did decide on the more classics look in the end. 😀
It’s on the inside, but with my lovely seams I’m tempted to wear it inside out and show my innards to all! 😄
Reversible Liberty! I think you have just started a new trend!
I think the Liberty trim goes beautifully, but I’m on a “plain and utilitarian ” kick at the moment, so I like some unadorned denim! (Ask again next week, though, and I’d probably say the opposite!)
Haha, I’ve been changing my mind all day, don’t need a week to do it! after much deliberation I’ve gone inside, can always jazz things up with my orange wedges! I love my wedges more than Liberty fabric! 😃
I’d say go for it on the outside, just to even things up on the vote. (he-he!) It looks so pretty it’d be a shame not to see it… but I have a bias for blue & white floral prints, so keep that in mind. 😉
I went with the inside in the end, mightn’t look so good once the denim fades 😃. (Like your idea of throwing a spanner in the works to even things up tho, lol x).
Tough one. I’d say it depends where/when you wanted to wear it. As a summer day dress, outside around the arms and then have another think about the neckline.
I went for the Liberty hidden to give me more wearing options 😀
I would keep it on the inside. The dress will be more versatile that way. I can’t wait to see it completed!
Thanks! I’ve just finished it and am about to take some pix!
PS at our bloggers meet up last Wednesday Rachel was wearing her Athena! It looked fab! 😃
Ok, so you went with the Liberty print (which I love) on the inside, but did you vacuum before breakfast? 🙂
lol..no…my husband surfaced just after 9 so I didn’t need to . I was tempted though!
I figure if you’re the one doing the hoovering, you get to choose when, where and exactly how loud to play the accompanying music 😉
Seems like the Liberty issue already decided, will look forward to seeing it on…
Haha, not thought about it like that! 😂
I really want to hear about your drapey GBSB dress. I am very drawn to it, but not sure whether it will turn out as well as the one in the book. More info, purleeeese!
I’ll try and take some pics tomorrow….
I love the material and the fact that it won’t wrinkle as much as cotton, has some great stretch is so great. I love the bias I think it would be nice on the outside.
I went with the inside for the trim….
It is great with the stretch content, it’s so comfy and you’re right it hardly creases… I finished it Friday and I’ve worn it 3 times already – good job it washed well!
I do like Janet Pray’s classes. I must start making my own bias tape! After all I do have lots of scrap fabric that needs a purpose!
I wish I was in the USA to meet her in real life, or go to her proper classes! I’ve picked up so much from her and I’ve still not made the jacket yet!
Sometimes I can’t be bothered making the tape and have some on hand, but I have a sewing box a friend gave me and I keep my home made bias trim in it. I always have a peak in there first to see if i can find something and am always really chuffed if I can find some home made bias to match!
I don’t do that long piece all in one go method tho. The longest i ever need it is for a hem so it’s not worth it, I just fasten it together if they’re too short.
I made the jacket. She didn’t sew it up exactly like others would sew it up. She had you sewing it up better! I would call that way my TNT jacket!! Making your own bias definitely makes sense. I was given a box of sewing notions from my sister, who can’t sew anymore, I ended up with about 2 dozen packs of bias tape. It’s going to take a while to use up!
I remember you making it, and it looked great. I’ve watched the video, I’ve traced off all them pattern pieces and never sewn it! I think I must be crackers! The fabric I used for this Lekala dress would be fab for it, and I’ve had some practice with topstitching…..mmmm….might just have to order a bit more….
It would be excellent fabric with the toostitching! I know for sure that I will never be able to sew up everything I want to! 😢