Monday, 14 April 2014

Sewing Adventures ~ The Lonsdale Dress

I teased you with a little peek at my dress, on Thursday, and a promise to come back with more about it this week. So here I am. I’ve been wanting to get back to dressmaking for a while now, but I couldn’t decide what to make as my first project.

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I bought a pattern for a Washi dress last year, thinking it looked nice and simple. It has no zip, which is a big plus, but then I let myself get put off by the rows of shirring elastic in the back of the bodice. I was also worried that it might look a bit shapeless on me and I wanted to love what I made, to keep me sewing.

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I’m glad I bought that pattern though, because as a result I found there was a whole world of sewing blogs out there. Many of those bloggers didn’t stick with the so called “Big Four” when it came to buying patterns. The Simplicity and Vogue that I was familiar with, but independent designers who design for different figure types.

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These patterns are a bit more expensive, but they come with added benefits. Such as online Sew-A-Longs, which are extremely helpful to beginners as well as anyone, like me, returning from a fifteen year break. I’ve learnt so much over the past week, while sewing up this dress.

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I had sewn French seams before, but never in a garment. It just wouldn’t have occurred to me. I used them for the side seams in the skirt, as well as the pockets.

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Understitching is something new to me. It makes the bodice lining stay nice and flat and stops it being visible from the outside. It doesn’t show up very well in my photo, but you can see it clearly in Tasia’s pictures and read all about it, if you’re interested.

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Here’s the centre front seam in the skirt. This type of seam finishing was familiar to me, although I didn’t know it had a name. I used to sew on my Mum’s old Singer and all it did was the standard straight stitch, no zig zagging the finished seams for me. I think this looks much nicer anyway.

As you can see, from the photos above, I’ve completed the bodice, which is self lined and the skirt, with its pockets. My next job is to attach the waistband, to bring the two halves of the dress together and then tackle the zip. Wish me luck!

15 comments:

verykerryberry said...

What a lovely finish there's going to be on the inside! I use the skirt part of this pattern to make skirts, haven't made the dress though.

Julia Dunnit said...

It's already lovely, beautifully made. I didn't know there was a name for it either, when I 'learned' to sew clothes, my teacher referred to is 'neaten ing the seam'......and it wasn't until years later and when I came to invest in my own machine that the demonstrator showed me the zig zag neatening! The French seam will be a beauty, so flat and neat. Love the fabric.

Jo.C said...

It's looking fab Fiona. Can't wait to see the finished dress. Great choice of fabric.

Louise said...

It doesn't look like you need us to wish you luck....Looks pretty perfect x x

debs14 said...

This looks so professional! Everything looks perfect. I feel inspired!

Suzy said...

It's shaping up really well Fiona, looking forward to seeing it finished and you wearing it

scrappyjacky said...

It's coming on sew nicely.

sue jones said...

It's looking GREAT - well done - doubt I could get that far- Hope it all goes well with the zip . Looking forward to seeing it finished.

Sian said...

It's finished so beautifully it'll be as nice on the inside as it is on the outside

Alison said...

I am so impressed that you're teaching yourself via blogs etc - I would love to learn more sewing, but I think I would need to do it in a class - don't have the time or patience to look up all this stuff online. It will be a beautiful dress when finished - someone will have to take a photo of you wearing it to show us!

Julie Kirk said...

Good luck! It looks like it will be a real summer tea party dress when you're done. Lovely.

KraftyKaren said...

Really pretty dress and I love the fabric - hope we get lots of lovely summer weather so that you can show it off this summer x

MiniOwner said...

Wow! Looking good.
Sue x

Jo said...

Wow, it's looking great. I can't wait to see the whole dress x

Gail said...

Its looking really nice. I just finally gave up on sewing - I couldn't master zippers. Good luck with yours.