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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Gertie and a remnant

This dress is pieced together with remnants from fabric I bought from Pitt Trading.

Here’s the original dress I made from this remnant so you can see the original print.

I decided to use this print to test the bodice fit and construction of Butterick 6453.
I’ve used my basic pencil skirt pattern with the pockets from Deer and Doe Belladone skirt.

When I tackled these remnants, it took some time to decide on what pattern to use across the dress.

Looking at the bodice, I wasn’t sure this would work.
I didn’t have enough of the print to have it run the full width of the bodice.
These are the pencil skirt pieces I used.
Again I wasn’t sure how this would balance with the bodice.
At this point I sewed up the dress and did an initial bodice fit.
This was the moment I felt this dress might actually be a goer.
The pattern Butterick 6453 offers bodice facings. I’ve used calico to fully line the bodice.
The lining has plenty of boning in the seams so that it sits smoothly against my body sans bra.
See how it fits across the back bodice?
The side seams don’t match but they do fit snugly.

If you’re into detailing, you can see I’ve used a gold bias trim on the hem so the hemline looks consistent.

What you won’t be able to see are the bronze metal bra notions on the dress straps.

When Summer holidays kick in this year I think I’ll get a bit of wear from this dress.
Now to buy some fake tan spray.

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Fine tuned

There’s nothing more satisfying that a dress that works. Testing it helps and I did that with this month’s Minerva Crafts project using Deer and Doe Belladone dress.

Ok, here’s the elegant photo of the dress.

After I took this photo I realised the red flowers follow their way to my red shoes.

Oh, and I added red piping to bring out this colour in the fabric.
I had a choice of flower colours to choose from when selecting the piping. Of course I chose red.
A better fitting back dress
As you can see, I used the red flowers on the back shoulders and matched a red flower at the centre back. 
Here’s a closer look at the red flower placement at the back.
Here are the bodice pieces I tweaked to get the fit right.
The armholes gaped at the back and the back bodice base also gaped so I’ve wedged out this fullness. The armholes felt high so I lowered these too and the pulling from the test dress has been eliminated.
If neat finishings are your thing, here’s a peek at the inside of this dress.
The bodice is lined with non-stretch poplin.
Sewing on the piping is always much more accurate with good Prym measuring tools.
When all is said and done, this dress made me happy.
 Happy it fits well and happy to know Spring is around the corner in my little neck of the woods.

This little number is now ready to tour around Japan this month. Thanks Minerva Crafts.
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Checking belladone

Belladone is a classic dress from Deer and Doe patterns. I’ve been admiring it for some time and this month I’ve tested it out for next month’s Minerva Crafts project.

No tanning spray was used – winter is here.

The design of this dress is retro and I love how you can add piping to it.

When I went through my plaid/check fabric stage, I bought this green check fabric so I used this to text out Belladone.

I found the perfect pre-made bias binding that I’ve used to pipe this dress as practice for next month’s dress.

Having a big stash does have its advantages. I tend to buy notions and fabrics in similar colours so when I eventually get to a project, I have everything I need. Having to shop for a specific project can be tiring and disappointing so this way I’m constantly happy.

On this test dress I made these adjustments

  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • shortened the bust points on the front bodice
  • shortened the skirt length to 19″.
When I tried on the test dress I wasn’t happy with where the waistband sat. However I wore the dress the next day and decided the waistband placement works well on me.
If I lengthen the bodice, it might throw off the waistband position too much.
Prym zipperI added a gorgeous external lace zipper from Prym on the test dress. It blended into the dress and it looks really pretty to me. The pattern suggests an invisible zipper but I really love this girlie lace zipper.

The benefit of added an exposed zipper on this check fabric is you don’t have to match them across the seams.

The skirt pattern has a hem facing. I didn’t use this facing as a 2.5cm hem was easy enough to machine stitch.

I wore this over the weekend before the Arctic blast hit Sydney.

Yes there are still some fine tuning to do based on the pull marks on this dress. This fabric has no ease so in the next version, the fabric has more ease so I’ll include a FBA when I make this again out of non-stretch fabric.

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