scuba speed

In recent years I’ve tried to build up my couture sewing skills. However when I’m sewing to a tight self-imposed, absolutely ridiculous deadline, scuba fabrics are worth keeping in the stash.

I know there’s no way a heart surgeon would rush through surgery. That’s a given. But making a knit dress that fits isn’t the same. It just isn’t.

Like I said, sewing up a knit dress shouldn’t take too much time or effort.

The blue scuba fabric had been sitting in my stash for a while (not sure how long) so it was perfect to test this New Look knit dress.

As you can see, this fabric is thick and swallows the machine stitching and there’s no pattern matching required.

Well the first pass sewing showed the fit of the dress and screamed ‘the neckline needs work’. I made a few attempts at refitting the neckline on the run. Literally on the run as you can see from the internally sewing.

Anyway, the sleeves from this pattern are short sleeves so I extended them and on the first fit they were too wide. I looked chunky so I resewed the sleeves to fit.

By the time I was ready to cut out the velvet fabric, I knew the neckline needed to be at least 2cm closer to my neck and tighter. So now on the pattern I’ve folded out the width at the neckline. The sleeve length is now noted on the pattern piece.

Scuba in your stash is a good thing. I highly recommend it.

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This is a quick post to show you the final velvet dress I whipped up last week for a wedding we attended last Saturday.

I bought this piece with Allison when she visited Australia three years ago.

As Allison said, it’s a Stretch burnout velvet in a dark purple with an ombre effect.” 
We indulged a bit at Pitt Trading during her visit.

I used New Look 6871 lining the velvet with a slinky knit. The pattern has short sleeves so I extended them.

The back is shaped but the fabric doesn’t really show this well. 

I hand stitched the hem and the rest of this dress was machine stitched with a tiny zigzag stitch as the base is a knit fabric.

Let me tell you a secret. 

I made this dress in a scuba fabric in 2 hours and found the neckline was way too wide.
The next night I widened the neckline on the pattern so it’s more jewel like.

Yep. I’ve bossed this pattern to fit me.

PS. I wore these low-heeled shoes at the wedding and danced for 4 hours. My feet are still sore today – 2 days later. So after surgery in February I can wear low heel shoes for a couple of hours.


May the 4th be with you

It’s just a star wars thing we share.

Mr V got his wife-made shirt a few years ago using a vintage Vogue pattern. He loves his BBQ shirt and only wears it on special occasions, like today.

Yes he looks uncomfortable because I asked him to cross his arms. Some women are so pushy!

Two days ago I realised today is a Friday and I really wanted to wear my own Stormtrooper shirt.

So I grabbed McCalls 5433 and made my own Stormtrooper shirt to wear ‘business casual’.

Oh dear. That’s just us.

Hello Beryl

I had such a fun night wearing this to dinner last week. This fabric just sparkles at night while still being a quasi ‘little black dress’, sponsored by Minerva Crafts.

I did get asked ‘is that a coat or a dress’? Beryl fromNamed is a dress from their ‘Earth Science’ collection. This is a dress and a fun one with this fabric.

I had limited time to make this dress so I jumped into the instructions and found the key piece of information I needed to adjust this pattern. Beryl Bomber dress is designed for 172cm height. That’s really all I needed to check before I swung into adjusting the pattern to suit me.

Ok. I did check the bust, waist and hip measurements so I cut out the 38 size. Keeping in mind this pattern has lots of ease in it because of the bomber style, my main adjustment was to shorten the skirt with the view to recheck the waistline down the track.

There was one Instagram review stating the dress was big so I was comfortable to keep the roominess because of the fabric.

This geometric metallic brocade fabric is gorgeous. Well technically it has metallic fibres so I knew this was going to require as many enclosed seams as possible. I used French seam finishes. My bias binding stash also came handy to finish the centre front seams and hem.

One piece I didn’t used was the front facing. Because I enclosed the centre front seam with bias binding, there was no need to use this facing.

I was a bit befuddled where the dress needs a piece of ribbon to encase the elastic at the waistline. Hence my using a medium weight cotton fabric from my stash for the internal waistband. This is the only part of the dress that is firm against your body so I decided to use a fabric that wouldn’t scratch.

The pattern also recommends using a firm rib knit for the collar. The rib knit from Minerva Crafts is soft and really feels great against my skin. When I sewed the knit to this fabric I did stretch it a smidge to make it curve against my neck. It’s a great collar feature.

When there are external pockets on a pattern I do a simple check on the garment to make sure the pocket base can be reached easily. When I pinned the pockets to the dress, I lined up the geometric design so it sat along one of the geometric lines.

My couture sewing skills swung into overdrive as I thread traced the waistline from the pattern piece.

Once I was at the stage to sew on the waistline casing, it sat higher on my waist line by 3 cm.

This did result in my sewing the base of the elastic casing over the top of the pocket so I’ll have to lower the pocket piece to match my body size.

I had fun making this dress and I certainly had fun wearing it too. Bring on Winter.

I’m so tempted to try another colourway of this metallic brocade fabric for a coat…another time.