Simplicity 1415 Coral Lace Dress

I have sewn so many “dressy” clothes lately that I have noticed major gaps in my wardrobe, and this is no exception. I used Simplicity 1415, a Project Runway pattern. I took inspiration from the cover photo and chose to do a lace overlay.

I made view A,C (on back of envelope) and for fabric I used coral premium cotton sateen (96% cotton/4% spandex) for the main body of the dress and coral paisley lace (100% polyester) for the top layer. I followed the instructions as specified for construction but chose to make a few changes to the look of the dress.

Simplicity 1415 front 4                       Simplicity 1415 side Simplicity 1415 back 2

For the zipper opening I chose to have the 14″ coral invisible zip start from the sateen bodice and go down to the skirt rather than start up at the neckline, if that makes sense. I then put a hook and eye at the neckline. This way it allows for the back to open a bit while wearing and also meant I could eliminate putting a zip through the lace and possibly causing strain and subsequently holes!!

Simplicity 1415 back

I made my own 1″ wide bias tape from the coral sateen as I couldn’t find a good colour match in anything else, and while it is a tad thick, it makes the armhole, neckline and back opening quite sturdy.

Simplicity 1415 front

The only fitting alteration was to remove 1.5 inch from each side of the centre back bodice, a common alteration for me. I really like the length of this dress, possibly a tad shorter next time but the neckline is quite nice and flattering I think.


Pretty in Pink Lame Skirt and Jacquard Dress

I thought I’d post these two outfits here in the one post as there isn’t too much to say for either and they share the common theme of the colour pink because I happen to have girls that love pink.

First up is the lame three tier ruffle skirt. I made this outfit to match big sister at a recent family event. I used the left over japanese tissue lame in rose white (45% nylon/55% metal), pink bridal tulle, stash lace and metro linen in petal (100% linen).

3 tier ruffle skirt

   3 tier ruffle skirt details

The close up is a true indication of the colours.

I essentially made this skirt up as I went along. I first made the linen layer with a 103cm x 24cm rectangle joined together with french seams and finished with a machine rolled hem. Then I attached two layers of soft stretch tulle to minimise irritation against the skin. Each layer was a rectangle of 176cm x 23cm with french seams and the hem left raw. Third layer was the lame cut at a completed size of 129cm x 16cm. I had to piece this together with 3 separate pieces as I only had scraps left from the Haven dress. I french seamed the short edges and did a machine rolled hem. The final layer was some lace of a length of 129cm. As you have probably noticed, although I did try and keep consistent with the lengths of each layer, I was using stash and scrap fabric so often just went with the lengths I had. All layers were gathered individually before layering and attaching on top of one another.

lame front

             lame front 2 lame side

The waistband was made up of two rectangles each 61cm x 8cm, joined with french seams and then attached to the skirt layers. I machine stitched the waistband on the inside leaving an opening to thread through a 47cm length of 2cm wide elastic and then machine stitched closed. It turned out pretty cute but was in desperate need of a matching top. I took the easy way out and purchase a plain white t-shirt and removed the sleeves. I added two layers of the soft stretch tulle at the upper armholes and 2 layers of thin lace at the neckline, finished off with a pink ribbon bow, all from the stash. I wanted to carry the tulle and lace them through from the skirt and think I achieved a complete outfit. I also made a matching hair clip so she was wearing handmade from top to bottom.

lace top front                  lace top details 

Outfit two is a pink jacquard satin (unknown fibre content) dress. I was originally making this for my eldest as more of a tunic but once it was finished the proportions looked off so I have kindly gifted it to my baby but it now requires some fit adjustments.

jacquard dress front

                       jacquard dress front 2  jacquard dress side

I used the purple rose party dress pattern from nestfullofeggs. For the bodice and I only extended down the length 5 inches as opposed to 6 inches as instructed. The jacquard frays so much that I serged all my individual fabric pattern pieces before even beginning construction. I chose to line the bodice and just used some stash white top pop poplin 8925 (80% poly/20% cotton) using the “bagging” method so that all seams were enclosed, and then I understitched wherever possible. I inserted a 20cm (8″) white invisible zip for the closure.

The skirt was constructed using a top and bottom ruffle layer of jacquard each 112cm long x 3 inch wide finished with a machine rolled hem. The eyelet layer was 133cm long as that was the length I had and used the entire width of the eyelet. Each layer was attached to a middle tier which was the width of the bodice of 70cm x 3 inch wide, except the top jacquard layer. Each tier/layer was closed in the round first and then attached to one another.

It probably isn’t too noticeable from the photos but the neckline is in fact too wide for this cherub and falls off her shoulders. I am contemplating how to alter the dress without having to take it apart. I am actually thinking of sewing some ribbon at the back shoulders to keep the dress from falling off until she grows a bit so she can wear this before it gets too short otherwise I may cut out a wedge from the centre back where the zip was and adding a button and loop closure. What do you suggest?

jacquard dress back



Heavenly Haven Lame Pink Dress

Sorry for those of you bored by kids wear but I do have two chickens that I like to dress with fun, funky, unique clothes at times. We have a couple of family functions coming up and wanted to get prepared and make the dresses well before they were required, not the night before as per my usual habit. I came across this Haven Dress pattern from Violette Field Threads and was smitten with a lot of their patterns actually.

There are quite a few variations to the Haven dress pattern but personally I liked the dress with the full coverage top, for modesty, as opposed to the one that ends at the side seam. The fabric wasn’t the best quality but I thought the shimmer makes it special, especially for a little girl, and the addition of the lace at the back makes it whimsy. I cut a size 4, except for the dress length I cut the size 10 as I thought it’s easier to hem shorter than to lengthen later, obviously.

haven dress front 2

 haven dress side
The fabric is japanese tissue lame in rose white (45% nylon, 55% metal). I self-lined the bodice as I didn’t know if the fabric would be irritating to wear and that way all internal seams were enclosed. When my daughter wore this for the photos she said the neckline was itchy, so rather than unpick the neckline bias and sew on ribbon like I originally thought, I cut a strip of thin felt and sewed it onto the underside. I just wanted a quick fix in this instance. I had made self bias binding as per the instructions for the armholes, neckline and ties. This fabric frays like no bodies business and I had to quickly serge seams, and I’m still cleaning up threads from the sewing room a month later. I did use french seams where possible, particularly the side seams and the sash.

Fraying fabric

During construction, whilst attaching the skirt to the waistband I realised the fabric was a bit transparent so made a lining from stash top pop poplin in light pink (90%polyester/20% cotton), cutting 2 rectangles of 45cm x 52cm and making 2 pleats about equidistant on both front and back pieces. I later hemmed the poplin to the desired length once the dress was complete, about 1 1/2 cm shorter than the dress itself. Because I wanted to continue the lace theme I added a strip of lace to the dress hem from the underside.

I added the included belt loops at the sides and made a matching sash, albeit shorter than the pattern recommended. I felt with the fabric and dress design features I didn’t want a big bow at the waist. I followed all instructions for the construction of this dress. There aren’t pattern pieces provided for things that are basic rectangles but dimensions are provided, such as for belt loops, the sash and back “bodice” pieces.

haven dress twirl

 haven dress back (2)I find the dress difficult to put on my daughter from over her head, but it’s easy enough if she steps into it. I just hope that this dress withstands the kiddy test and doesn’t tear because it is quite “fragile” and thin. When my husband saw the finished dress all he could say is “It’s shiny”. I made a matching hair clip using some lame scraps, I made a crochet flower, used a stash button and lace, and there you have it.

Hair clip

I’m not the kind of mother that buys her children the same outfit in different sizes so my kids dress the same, not that I see anything wrong with that, but I do like to have them co-ordinated in others ways, usually by colour scheme. I had originally planned a different dress for baby chick but was inspired to make something using lame scraps. That will be in another post.

When the Fabric You Have is Just Not Enough….Except for a NewLook 6735 Top

I admit I am a bit of a shocker when it comes to fabric. I often go to the fabric store when they have a sale and see something I like and buy it without any regards to what I will make with it. So when inspiration finally strikes I often fall a bit short on fabric and have to be creative or go to plan B which is stick it back in the cupboard. I guess that is how the stash builds up.

Newlook 6735 frontnewlook6735 front 2

I bought this Romance vintage cream lace 137cm wide (70% cotton/ 30% nylon) a while back because I wanted a tshirt style top that was a bit dressy to transition from day wear to night if need be.

Rummaging through my pattern stash I found NewLook 6735 which I have never used before. Naturally the pattern is for stretch knits but who am I to follow rules? I only had 1m of the lace and it is non-stretch while the pattern calls for 1.3m. Due to the fabric shortage I was not able to pattern match the back seam but was some what successful on the sides.

I was initially planning to construct this using french seams but the lace is quite thick and the seams aren’t all that visible from the right side so I finished them off with the overlocker. The neckline is way too wide which is my fault, not only because I probably cut 2 sizes too big, but the pattern actually calls for a self neckband which I omitted because I was using woven fabric. I should have accounted for that loss in height by extending my neckline both front and back pattern pieces by at least 2 inches. I used 12mm single fold bias tape to finish off the neckline and half the armholes to cover the seams below the cap sleeves and topstitched. The cap sleeves were constructed by tracing out the appropriate short sleeve and cutting off 9cm from the length. I serged the hem and turned and topstitched.

newlook 6735 sleeve

Given the problem with the neckline, the back also gapes but I think this also has to do with my narrow back, I think, although I always thought I had wide shoulders. I might have to look into this a bit further as I normally have to take in dresses and tops by about 1 to 2 inches either side of the centre back seam on my upper back. I might have to go back and fix this before I wear the top again.

newlook 6735 back

For me, sewing is an ongoing learning experience. What do I take away from this? Try and use the fabrics recommended and buy more than just a metre. I guess I have come up with a bit of a formula to save myself some heartache in the future:

  • short sleeved top 1.5m
  • long sleeved top 2m
  • fitted skirt 1.5m
  • fuller skirt 2m
  • dress 2.5-3m

And it doesn’t matter too much if I have some left over as I have 2 daughters to sew for.

What are your fabric buying formulas?