My little red dress


While this year has flown by I still remember buying this butterfly silk print from Selective Fine Fabrics and thinking ‘this would make a great blouse’. It’s become my little red dress.

Running in style had some really good ideas to plan a little red dress.

I chose the Wanda dress by Eliza M that I made this time last year in a snake tencil print.


The bodice pieces were already adjusted and this time I fully lined the dress.

I still used the size 12 but I moved in the bust pleats as they were too close to the side seams and not under the bust. 

The aqua piping from earlier this month was used at the front waistline.

The centre back zipper seams all matched and if I’d bought enough fabric for the dress I would have matched the print too. Over buying fabric does make the difference if you want to match prints across every seam point.

The side hem hints at the piecing I did to get enough fabric from the silk I bought.

The piecing simply looks like a shadow.

Fully lining the dress makes it sit better while the hemline looks like it’s dancing.
I wore this dress all day on Christmas Day and it felt like wearing a soft feather.

The colours in the print drew my eye so I’m pleased I was able to squeeze a ‘Wanda dress’ out of it.

Happy holidays everyone.

Loving prosecco this Summer.
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Shoe gal

‘Shoe gal’ is the cotton drill fabric I bought at Spotlight and made this very basic dress using my block patterns I had developed a few years ago.

The fun was lining up the shoe print. The shoes are random and they’re not random. 
The sleeve are 3/4 length, the seams were overlocked, I’ve used a metal exposed zipper and pink piping on the neckline.
Easy peasy.
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Which way is up?

African wax prints are fun to work with especially if they’re colours you love and prints you find interesting.

I think this might be the last of the prints I bought this year, but then a new print might pop up in a couple of months time.

I’ve used the Deer and Doe Belladone basic bodice and drafted a V neckline.
On closer view, you can see the waistband follows the eye print.
There’s no matching at the back.

The back fit is however smooth and there’s a small back hem split.

I’ve used my basic pencil skirt pattern and used the pockets from the Belladone.
The print is so bold, you can’t really tell where the pockets are.
I bought this print from the LA fabric district two years ago so this is the best holiday souvenir.


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Why piping works

Piping is a useful technique when you’re drawing attention to a feature point.

Showing off Miz Mozelle’s design is what I wanted to do on this John Kaldor teal print from Minerva Crafts.

The colours in this fabric are very different to what I usually but I loved them.

This print also comes in a navy colourway.

The turquoise piping was premade. Choosing the right colour was easy to do from the range available at Minerva Crafts.

I was happy with this colour and the quality of the fabric used.
From the work in progress photo above, you can see how I used the piping.
The turquoise contrast was worth taking the time to do.

Another cute feature is the self cover button.

I used Prym 22mm cover buttons and they were easy to create.

The packaging provides a fabric template and images to show you what to do so Prym have thought of everything to make self cover buttons easy to make.

What you might realise from this photo is the collar isn’t the same as the pattern.

When I started making this dress, the collar pattern somehow left my sewing space, so I grabbed a basic peter pan collar pattern as my substitute.

From this wip photo, the back neckline still looks ok but I will try to redraft this collar into one full piece.
Here’s the work in progress photo for adding the piping to the colour. The turquoise matches the Prym Love pins I used.

These pins are come with their own magnetic pin cushion. They have a glass head so they take any heat your iron can muster, without melting.
The key pattern change I made was the to hem of the sleeve.

I raised the hem by 2cm because it seemed to stop at the thickest part of my arm. This was the sleeve looks a bit softer.

I’m really happy with this dress and I hope to make more with some soft fabrics.

Thanks Minerva Crafts and Prym.

Don’t forget to use ‘maria’ to get 10% off any Prym purchases from Minerva Crafts.


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Breaking rules

Two lace fabrics and a large print might sound like a recipe for disaster. That’s what I thought and I decided to try this when I tested Miz Mozelle by Jaime Christina.

All of these fabrics are Pitt Trading remnants. There are florals on the lace pieces and the dress fabric has a huge floral print on it.

In the process of making this test dress, I lost the collar piece so I used a similar collar pattern from a different pattern. It worked.

The Chantilly lace collar on this test dress is not finished. The raw edge is on the outside edge of the collar.

I had to reshape the lace sleeve hem because it looked a bit too drab. You can see how I adjusted the sleeve pattern piece.

The actual pattern has a separate bodice and skirt piece.
To keep the dress print consistent, I lengthened the bodice to dress length. The tricky bit was sewing the bias tape inside the waistline so I could have the elastic gathers at my waistline.

This dress is low maintenance and forgiving.

I’m very happy this experiment worked out.

Next up, the version I wanted with a bit more detailing.

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