Sunday, 23 August 2015

Two Chambray Dresses

I said when I made my last Bettine that I wanted to make another one in chambray and I have!  I quickly made a new pair of shorts and a top for the Child so I wasn't doing all the selfish sewing then hurried on to my next Bettine.  I had thought of doing Liberty contrast bits but remembered half a metre of yellow polylawn I bought from Miss Matatabi earlier in the year.  I found the delivery unbelievable quick considering it had come all the way from Japan but I have to be honest and say I am not a fan of this fabric, although others may love it (and its currently in the sale!).  I melted it with my iron start with which wasn't the best way to begin a dress!

I decided to turn the neck facing around to the front to make more of the fabric as well as using it for the cuffs and pockets.  Because of the very drapey nature of the poly lawn, which does feel so beautifully soft, it was quite difficult to get it to behave and turn under nicely so there are a few bits of the facing which aren't perfect.  On the whole though I am very pleased with how this feature turned out and would like to do it again, but next time in Liberty!  Because the fabric is so light, I underlined it for the pockets for stability but also to add opaqueness.  The only other change I made to the pattern was lengthen it by 5cm and widen the hem line slightly.  I think it is my age but I find my other Bettine slightly too short for everyday!

The chambray was from Regency Rags on EBay and was @2.99/m.  I bought it because Marilla recommended it and she normally has a good eye for an EBay bargain!  It is lovely fabric, softer and more drapey than I would normally associate with a chambray but perfect for these two dresses.  I bought 3 metres and still have a tiny bit left which I might use for a bit of embroidery.

My next dress is the Marilla Walker Maya Dress which I have made once before, as a top.  I love the top and wear it a lot so I don't know why it has taken me so long to make the dress except I needed to reprint it which I kept forgetting to do.  I ended up asking my Mum to bring her copy from Switzerland when she came to stay!

I finished this dress at midnight the night before a fabulous trip to London to see some lovely sewing ladies (which Charlotte has just blogged about).  At the time I wasn't enthusiastic about the dress, but I am now in love with it and it is my new favourite!  It just goes to show how sometimes a few hours distance can alter your perception of a make!

The yellow fabric is Nani Iro also from Miss Matatabi.  I was very curious having read a lot about Nani Iro and wanted to get some for myself to see what all the fuss was about.  I love the colour and the print and the fabric itself is so very soft and fluid but I am not sure I would buy any again.  I am not a fan of ironing anything and avoid linen like the plague and this double gauze has some of the creasy properties which I am not overly enamoured with.  Also, the fabric is very narrow so having ordered 1.5m I have very little left having just used it for the front and the facings.  Having said that, I do love this dress and can see why others rave about it, I just think it may not be for me!

I used the same chambray as before for the back and the pocket and I love the colour blocked effect.  I totally copied Elle's use of chambray with Nani Iro (seen on her Instagram page) which she did so well.  It is a good way to make expensive fabric go further.

So, two lovely new dresses combining cheap and expensive fabrics. I am really pleased with how both of them have turned out and have worn them both a few times already!  I have now only got one more piece of chambray left in my stash and my love affair with it definitely does not feel over yet so I think I need to stock up with some more!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Bettine by the Sea!

I made a new dress! It is the Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons which I bought along with the Fifi a couple of weeks ago.  After just having spent a (surprisingly enjoyable) week away at Guide camp where I missed my little luxuries like THE INTERNET and ELECTRICITY I was itching to get back to sewing.  I got home on Friday afternoon, traced the pattern that evening and cut the fabric out, then sewed it up last night. Job done.

The dress is very simple with no darts or closures so is really quick to sew.  I could probably have made the whole thing in one evening had I not been watching television at the same time.  But I missed that too!  I did opt for the pockets and button tabs on the sleeves because I like the details but I don't think they took that much longer.  It was such an enjoyable dress to make because of the speed and simplicity that it reminded me of sewing with jersey, no faffing just quick sewing and voila!  finished garment!

The fabric came from The Village Haberdashery and is a cotton lawn with a lovely smooth finish and a nice drape.  I had been saving it to make some kind of blouse but hadn't decided quite what yet and I think it works very well with this pattern.  I used almost all of the 1.5m I bought.  I decided not to try and pattern match but just made sure the lines of zig zags were in the same place.  There is one seam (which I put on my Instagram) where all the zig zags aligned perfectly but it was a sheer fluke and none of the rest of the seams do!

To save having to do proper pattern matching on the pockets I rotated the fabric round so the zig zags go vertically.  It breaks up the pattern a bit and I did the same on the cuffs too.  I had toyed with the idea of having contrasting fabric there but decided against it and instead just used two red buttons on the tabs.

I love this dress so much, it is my new favourite!  I really want to make more of these, I do feel that we don't have that much of summer left but I want to try and squeeze a couple more in.  It is so comfortable to wear and it feels very flattering.  Child, husband and I just headed down to the beach for the afternoon where, as you can probably tell from the pictures, it was fairly blustery but there were no Marilyn moments so it passes the beach test!  I have some chambray that I have been hoarding for a while so I think that will be my next version, maybe with some Liberty cuffs and pockets.