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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Dress In A Day - Christmas Dress

I had one day in which to make my dress for Christmas Day.  I started cutting out the pattern at 9am and, save for meals, worked solidly on it and finished just in time to watch my favourite hospital drama on the telly at 8pm.  And that, M'lord, is why I am never going to apply to be a contestant on 'The Great British Sewing Bee'.

I made it as simple as possible.  No sleeves, using the bodice from my last dress (Simplicity 1873) together with a gathered skirt that I sort of copied, sort of not.

The fabric is the reason I wanted to make this dress.  A pretty calico print from Ditto fabrics.  The bodice is lined with a white duvet cover that was given to me by a friend. 

I love the fabric and I love the neckline.

I clipped the neckline curve and I think that this is the first time I have done it where it seems to have kept a gentle curve rather than having some obvious dints in the line where the clips are.  If you see what I mean!

I also lowered the bust dart from my original version of this bodice and it has helped with the fit.  Merle is a bit smaller than I am at the moment but I've started running to work and am stubbornly refusing to increase her measurements in the meantime!!!

So those are the good points of my dress.  The pattern matching is another story however.  The skirt is a little odd in that that pattern dips centre front and back but it does match all the seams.  The bodice lines up at the side...

This was because I was careful to line up the bodice pieces to the same line of the print when cutting out.  I forgot, however, to line up the print centrally at the front of the bodice and as for the back...

...what?....  That had me sulking as I was eating my evening meal let me tell you!  It seems my lining up of the selvedges must have been wrong but that was something that I did check.  If it was something obvious please tell me what I did so I don't do it again!!

So not a perfect dress, but perfect for Christmas Day.  I wore it with a fairisle cardigan and it was surprisingly resilient.  Not creasy like quilting cotton would be.  I am just wondering if I can get away with this print on my summer holidays.....!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Great class - shame about the student!

I've pretty much got used to my all over machine quilting technique of wavy lines and nervous humming!  I thought, however, it was time to try something a bit more adventurous.

I decided to take Ann Peterson's Craftsy class Beyond Basic Machine Quilting.  (I've no affiliation with Craftsy by the way).  Watching this lovely lady calmly quilt away inspired me.  She gave some great advice but this is something that will take practice.     

My flowers are a bit wobbly!  The thing is; there I am quilting away, concentrating like mad, when suddenly I just quilt a huge wobbly line out of nowhere!  Then I just carry on with a confused look on my face muttering 'why did I just do that?'  Feel free to use my technique!

I did do some things that I was pretty pleased with after I had practiced a bit.

I am loving my little dragonfly.  Completely Ann's idea - I would never have thought of something as cute as this!

I have also got some other all over quilting patterns I can now use as well as my bog standard stippling.

There are leaves (some of them even look like leaves!)

And swirls.

As this was a practice I used some cheap as chips fabric.  Ikea were selling this cotton print fabric at £1 a metre.  That is cheaper than muslin/calico is sold for, so I've bought it for making up toiles.  I managed to feel very seamstressy when I picked up an uncut bolt of fabric and the assistant pointed me towards the cutting table, and I said that I wanted to buy the whole bolt!  Oh the extravagance!  Like a scene out of Pretty Woman.... maybe not!