Dress for Wedding made from a homemade pattern

Hello 🙂

I have been trying to blog about this dress now for a few weeks but just haven’t had time or the right words in my head.  I’m not a natural writer and find blogging a little tough but I’m getting there!

So…the story goes…a friend of mine from work was getting married and I decided to make a dress to wear to the wedding.  I had some polyester satin which I bought from the local market a while back that would be perfect for a lovely summers day wedding.

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Polyester Satin bought from local market

Up until now I have been using shop bought patterns and had been having quite a few issues in getting the bodice to fit me.  This has always been my downfall and enough was enough.  I decided to take this matter into my own hands and find a fix.  So my solution to this problem was to make my own bodice block with my body measurements which I did following along to a craftsy class ‘The Bodice Sloper’.

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Suzy Furrer is a great teacher and I found her class easy to follow.  I had to invest in a few new rulers as mine were in cm and I needed inches to work through the class with her.

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My sewing/creative desk

After putting all my measurements on to a large piece of paper I then (using Suzy’s guidance) cut the ‘Moulage’ out of fabric to check the fit which should be skin tight with no ease.  You add the ease in later when it becomes a ‘sloper’.

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Creating my ‘Moulage’ cut with princess seams

So here’s my Moulage on my dress form. I had to amend the arm and shoulders slightly (mainly due to an incorrect measurement taken at the start).  Other than that the fit was perfect!  Very impressed and proud of my achievement.

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Top two pictures are my ‘Moulage’ The bottom two are of my pattern creating stage

So I had my Moulage, I then added ease to make my ‘Sloper’ or ‘Block’ as we call it here in the UK.  I got straight to work in copying the block on to my Wilko paper and starting amending the darts and neck lines 🙂

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My goodness!!! Poly Satin is tough to work with! I decided on a boat neckline with a ‘v’ shaped back.  I also lined the bodice with white taffeta.

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Bodice creation stage (pinned back)

I added box pleats to the skirt part and slightly sewed down the line do give a different effect (not sure what this technique is called…please comment if you know – ta’)

Yes working with slippery fabric is pretty tough going but putting the invisible zip in after is even harder!! I had to sew the zip in twice 😐

I made a bow belt from a pattern in Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking. I love this book and plan to make the Lilou dress soon!

My finished dress…I love it!! It was well worth the effort and it fits beautifully! YAY!

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My dress made for a wedding using a pattern which I created myself 🙂

Here are some links to a few tools I ordered and used when making this pattern:

I used this one ALOT! HAND Multi -Purpose Fashion Scales

Sew Easy Soft Grip Tailors Awl

French Curves

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Flora Dress sew along – Completed! #florasewalong

My Flora Dress Sew along from By Hand London is complete 🙂

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Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

I chose to make the Faux Wrap style version which was actually quite tricky.  I felt like I pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this dress.  Although I have been sewing for a few years I would say this year it’s all started to ‘click’.  The dresses I have made this year actually fit me!  I am so happy and proud of myself … YAY! 🙂

I wore this dress out today to the local market to see if I could ‘bag’ myself some fabric bargains.  There a lady approached me and commented how lovely my dress was and asked where I bought it from.  She looked shocked when I mentioned that I had made it myself (Yes! get in there Lou you can make awesome dresses!! – sorry…reality check time).

I love the fullness in the skirt with this dress.  The wrap part on the top is a little gape’y for me but I just wear a camisole type vest thing under so no showage 😉

I will definitely make this dress again.  I think next time I will make the tank top version…watch this space folks! So here’s a few pics of my fab dress 🙂

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Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

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Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

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Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

Link to High Res pic of me in my dress for the By Hand Sew along Competition are  – here and  here

Starting the #florasewalong By Hand London

Last weekend I started on my next challenge the Flora Sewalong with By Hand London. I thought I would try something new and decided to attempt the faux wrap style version.

Print

I made a Toile/Muslin from the bodice pieces first. First I traced off my mashed up sizes from the main pattern on to a roll of kiddie play paper using a pattern tracing wheel. The kiddie paper is great for creating your own pattern on as it’s cheap and fairly thin. Interested? Here’s a link to it – Wilko paper roll. I then used the traced version to cut the calico from. I traced the dart using a tracing wheel and Carbon paper. I then got to work sewing the darts and bodice together for fitting.

Boy was I way off, the apex points were about an inch off of my apex points! After looking at the Sewalong blog I realised that I was badly in need of a SBA (small bust adjustment). I cut my pattern and moved the darts along as the blog suggested. I then picked unpicked my darts and traced new ones ready for fitting number 2. The side bust darts were ok but the darts from the waist just weren’t right. I unpicked the waist darts and pinned the darts by hand on my dress form. The were quite different from the patterns darts but at least it fit me. I also had to pull in the seams on the shoulders which pulled the pattern up so I guess when cutting the pattern from my main material I will need to add a little extra for seam allowance at the waist. Better to have more than less!!

I have now traced the dart and shoulder adjustments to my paper pattern version to make the main fabric from.

So here’s my toile so far:
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My dress to enter Sew Dolly Clackett Competition #sewdollyclackett

Hi, I have fully enjoyed my latest project, I decided to join in with the Sew Dolly Clackett competition (details found here).  Basically Roisin also known as Dolly Clackett (who is an amazing dress creator and blogger) is getting married and her good friend has created this competition in celebration of this awesome event 🙂 You can chose from a few patterns that Roisin uses regularly, I chose and ordered a pattern from Christine Haynes – Emery. I chose some fabric from FabricLand.co.uk – http://fabricland.co.uk/eu732%20031.jpg and got to work 🙂

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I made a toile/muslin from the bodice pattern pieces first and adjusted a couple of the darts. I quite liked the collar look so I went with that.  I’m not keen on sleeves so I chose not to make the dress sleeveless.  I cut and made the bodice from my main material and the collar from a stiff white cotton (interfacing was not needed).  I put all the pieces together as I was instructed.  I liked the pocket idea too so I went with that…and gathered the skirt pieces and sewed it all together.  I did not like the gathered look on me, it just did not suit me.  I had seen box pleats on the Great British Sewing Bee and thought I would them a go! I have never made a box pleat before! I measured the gaps and and gave them a go.  I think they worked pretty well! I even managed to get the back pleats opposite the back seams!

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Anyway enough of my rambling on…lets see the dress! louweezcreates.co.uk louweezcreates.co.uklouweezcreates.co.uklouweezcreates.co.uk louweezcreates.co.uk louweezcreates.co.uk

Getting my confidence back :) #Akatsuki #Naruto

I am really enjoying my sewing 🙂 I feel so much more confident than I did a year ago. I used to have so many problems with commercial patterns…after measuring and cutting the suggested size it would NEVER fit! I completely lost my enthusiasm and confidence.

Last year I booked myself on a pattern cutting evening class for one term with my friend Pip. I really enjoyed this, it made me open my eyes to how patterns are designed and how to alter neck lines and darts. The patterns did not seem so daunting after that.

I was told by my teacher that I should invest in a Graders set square.  Me being me (and wanting to get a bargain) I decided to buy one I found on Amazon…it was like a set square but also had curves like the french curve.  Great I though – best of both worlds.  I could use out find and I use it quite a lot 🙂

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After being on my evening class I needed to make a garment that fit me. After some research I found an online class on craftsy ‘Gertie’s Bombshell Dress’. I watched all the videos from start to finish.  Gertie is great at fully expelling the whole process whilst showing you…it was great!!! Amongst other things she made me realise the importance of making a toile/muslin first.

With my basic pattern cutting skills I got to work on a cloak for my son to wear to ComicCon October last year in London. He’s really loves Naruto (Japanese Anime cartoon) and passionately wanted an Akatsuki Cloak.

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I drew round him on some card and started to make the basic shape. I then add my seam allowance and cut it out of calico. With a slight adjustment to the neck line and winging it with the bell sleeves I got to work! It took a little bit of time as I was making it up as I went along. I have never made or sewn a sleeve before but watched a few YouTube videos to help me along.

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So here’s the end result, he loves it and now his friend really wants one too!

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#Sorbetto Sleeveless Top finished

Sorry I have not updated my blog for a few weeks chaps…

So…about a month ago I popped down to a local market stall and found some super cheap fabric, £2/meter and had polka dots…YAY!

I thought it was perfect for trying out ideas and using my basic pattern cutting skills instead of using calico which I can not wear.

I made a slight change to a free pattern that I found online (I removed the fold in the middle) Sorbetto Sleeveless Top top from Colette Patterns

My next plan is to try this again and change the neck line and add a Peter Pan collar and a slight and button fastening at the back (so I can get into it).

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