Sunday, March 31, 2013

Vera Wang White Eyelet Easter Dress, New Look 6205

Vera Wang White Eyelet and New Look 6205

This dress may be one of my favorites of all the dresses I have made.  
I love the style and the drape of the dress.

I cut it out on Palm Sunday and she wore it to Easter service today.  

There are tons of details on this dress.

Vera Wang Eyelet and New Look 6205 Back View


Fashion Fabric:   White Vera Wang Eyelet purchased from Connie Palmer about 4 years ago at Martha Pullen Sewing School.  Farmhouse Fabrics still has this in stock, but it is in the Barn Closeout section.

Underlining: Salmon Pink Polyester lining from my stash

Lining:  White lawn from my stash


New Look 6205, view A
I did a muslin of this the week before.


To cut all three layers of wiggle fabric took a little brainstorming.  So this was my solution:

1.  Tape two large pieces (more than 2 yards) of butcher paper together.  
2.  Pin the lawn layer to the butcher paper.  I did this with the fabric open.  (Only one layer)  Pin it all the way around and some in the middle.
3.  Pin the pink lining fabric to the top of the white lawn.  Pin all the way through the lawn and include the butcher paper.  This was done with the fabric open. (Only one layer)
4.  Pin the eyelet to the top of the pink polyester.  Pinning all the way through to the butcher paper.

When I finished the pinning of the fabric to the paper, I could move the paper and fabric around my cutting table and nothing moved.  

I positioned the pattern pieces on the top of this fabric sandwich and pinned it well.  I cut out each piece, reversing those that needed a mirror image.  I DID NOT remove the pins from any of this sandwich.

This is a sample of the edge of my fabric and paper sandwich.


I wanted to use the pink polyester lining as the underlining and the white lawn as the true lining fabric. So I needed to join the eyelet and pink underlining fabric as the seams.  In true couture style I hand basted the center bodice section with it still pinned to the paper and in my fabric sandwich.  After doing that piece, I realized that if we were going to finish this by Easter, I better come up with a faster plan.

So, I took each pattern piece in the fabric sandwich and folded down the paper and white lawn and ran the side seams through my sewing machine on a basting stitch.  The eyelet had to go on the feed dogs or it would stretch.  While not technically true couture, it worked on my time budget.

All the seams were done this way, except for the top of the skirt.  I joined all three layers, except for the last 1 1/2" near the sides.

By keeping all three layers pinned to the paper, there was no distortion or stretching of the pattern pieces.  A great solution for lining fabric that doesn't want to hold its shape and the eyelet was a tough fabric because it would stretch easily where there were holes.  (Holes happened to be everywhere.)

German Interfacing was used on the neck and shoulder line for about 3" from the neckline to give it a little firmness.

The front and back skirt pleats were done as one, through all three layers of fabric.

Bodice Close-up View


I assembled the dress mostly according to the pattern, but with a complete lining.  The neckline was understitched.  The satin ribbon was added.  Since six layers of fabric came together for the zipper, I used a regular zipper, instead of an invisible one.  The zipper was a bear to get in properly, the eyelet wanted to stretch and pucker.  So, I hand picked the zipper to insert it and it looks like an invisible zipper. I will keep the hand picked zipper in my sewing skill set because it works so well.

For the hem of the skirt and sleeves, I used a catch stitch to lay the eyelet and pink lining fabric flat.  Then I slipped stitched the white lawn down, covering the edges of the eyelet.  This combo makes a wonderful hem and makes the edges of the dress look like they float.  You can't see the hemline or feel any bulk.

The satin ribbon rose is a double loop rose from the Kari Mecca line of Sewing with Whimsy books.

This dress looks great and hangs wonderfully.  The few couture details really added a lot to the final product.  It amazes me the added body a fabric has with an underlining.  I was so pleased with the underlining, that I can see more of this in my future projects.

Happy Easter!  He is Risen!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Retro Bubble Gum Pink Dress, New Look 6205

New Look 6205

It is always good to test run a dress before you cut into an expensive piece of fabric.  This is my test run for New Look 6205.  I had my eyes on the pattern for my daughter's Easter dress, but wanted to make sure the bodice fit.   It fits and is SO CUTE!

I chose View A in a size 8 of New Look 6205.  My bodice and sleeves are completely lined with a white lawn.  I added 2 1/2" to the hem of the dress, no other changes. This dress fit my daughter to a T.    I let my daughter pick a ribbon for the trim and she chose a Renaissance Ribbon with birthday cakes.  

My only change is that I am going to interface the neckline on the next dress to make it more defined.  It is really a cute '50s retro neckline and sleeve.  

I cut out and started the Easter dress from this pattern.  Better work quick!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Dress, The London Dress for tweens

London Peasant Dress for tweens

My daughter is in "love" with this sweet pattern.  It is a little more fitted than the little girl peasant dresses, but still just a comfy dress.  This is my second time to make this pattern this year.  This version is a short skirt (even shorter when I was short an inch of fabric).

The lime greens and brown are too cute on this version of the dress.  All the prints were from my fabric stash, making this an economical dress.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  If you have never read a biography of St. Patrick, he is a very interesting person.  He died in 461, but if you think that makes his story irrelevant today, read it to find a wonderful life of faith and forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Poof! This top is done! V8831

Vogue V8831

Life has been busy, but I still like to accomplish something on my sewing wish list.  Vogue V8831 was   a perfect choice for the leftover fabric from my daughter's dress.  

The heather plum double knit was from Vogue Fabrics.  After I cut out my daughter's dress, I still had large chunks of fabric left, but not enough for a regular top for me.  Since I had bought the fabric for myself, I was determined to find a pattern that I could "piece together" a top.  

Time requirements for this top:

cut out:  20 minutes
thread your machine: 5 minutes
serge the top together: 10 minutes
thread your coverstitch machine: 5 minutes
hem top and sleeves:  10 minutes
Total:  50 minutes!

I chose View B for the top, used the C cup pattern piece, and added 1" to hem.

Poof!  This top is done!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Samantha's Ice Cream Dress for AG Doll and Girl

Samantha's Ice Cream Dress, LJP and CC Rose

At the beginning of the school year, I challenged myself to complete a historical doll and girl dress each month.  My daughter has been attending a girl's literature club that is reading through the American Girl Doll books in chronological order.  This month was Samantha's month.  Samantha's time period is 1904.  Since Samantha is retired, there weren't a lot of new patterns, but enough to make it a tough decision.  

Heritage Doll Fashions sells the pattern for Samantha's Ice Cream Dress at Liberty Jane Patterns.  This seemed to be an easy choice and finding white broadcloth and black ribbon would be a cinch.  So, I quickly whipped up the doll dress according to the pattern instructions.  Easy enough.

I was left with designing a girl's dress to match.  It really wasn't that difficult.  I found Children's Corner Rose has a round collar and a gathered bodice that went to a size 8.  I added a little fullness to my dress bodice and added the pleated ruffle with black ribbon. 
Children's Corner Rose Pattern

I left the sleeve shape alone, but added a small cuff with the black ribbon detail.

Back view of Samantha's Ice Cream Dress

I added a dropped waistband and then the gathered skirt.  A quick placket in the skirt let me add black buttons down the back of the dress.  Presto, my daughter was transported back to 1904 fashions.

It was a very sunny day in South Texas making a good shot difficult to get at noon.  Glad I got these pictures, because I found my daughter in the chicken house chasing chickens in THIS dress after she finished literature club!

Next month is Rebecca and her dress has already been cut out!!!