Monday, June 30, 2014

Pattern testing: Alameda

Pattern: Alameda dress by Pauline Alice. Size 36 in the bust and waist, graded to 40 at the hips. I was asked to test this pattern before it's release.
Fabric: Polyester crepe, bought locally at Glada tyger, linen-look cotton from Minerva for the lining.
I am a Pauline Alice fangirl. I have bought and made the Cami dress (sorry, still unblogged!), the Ninot jacket and the Carme blouse, and these last two are some of my favorite me-mades. So when Pauline asked if I would like to help her out and test her upcoming pattern, I jumped at the opportunity!

To be honest, I don't think I would have chosen this style by myself. I am very conscious of my hips and I thought beforehand that this style would really emphasize them. But I thought that this was a good time to stretch myself a bit style-wise. I sometimes feel like I get stuck in the same "safe" silhouettes. Sewing my clothes means that I don't get to try them before they are completed and see if I like the look (I know, I know, that is what muslins are for...). So I put my trust in Pauline and dug out this pretty floral fabric.

The Alameda has a cute and unusual sithouette. It has a fitted bodice with princess lines, a waistband, and a flirty little flounce attached to a fitted skirt. In the spirit of testing, I added piping on the princess seams of the bodice and skirt, but I am still unsure about if I would prefer the dress without them, or maybe in a more tonal colour. I chose a fabric with a nice drape, so that the flounce would twirl nicely, but lined with cotton. Partly to keep the poly away from my skin, and partly to give the bodice and skirt the structure they need. As always, Paulines instructions are clear and clever and the dress came together without a hitch.

I am very happy about how this dress turned out. For me, it's a great everyday dress to wear to work, and it actually has everything I look for in a design. Simple, clean lines that are not overworked, but an element of fun or edge. It's more modern and trendy than what I am usually drawn to, but nevertheless I will keep twirling in this one too!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A dress with a taste of retro

Pattern: Buttericks 5748, size 12 with lots of modifications for fit
Fabric: cotton sateen, from Moods

I sew much faster than I manage to blog. And I will rather spend my spare time behind my sewing machine than behind my computer screen, editing photos and typing blog posts. But I do want to share and show you guys my new twirly dresses. If anyone has a solution to this dillema, please share. In the meantime, my list of finished projects to blog is almost longer than my sewing queue. Oh my.

So this dress has been finished for quite a while, and I even wore it a few times. I was one of these projects where I had the perfect fabric for a pretty pattern. I thought, 5 pattern pieces, a circle skirt, a simple bodice with fun notch details, this is going to be a fun project! Well. I had to fight so much with it to get it to simply fit. I am still not happy, but it is wearable. After wearing it a few times, I think I`ll go back and take another wedge in the center back. In hindsight, I should have started with a least two sizes down... It is a real pity, because apart for the fit (I still hope to be able to save it!) I love everything about this dress. The summery fabric, the low back, and mostly, the circle skirt. Oh, the circle skirt. Can you believe this is the first circle skirt I ever wore? I had so much fun all day wearing it! I need more circle skirts in my life.

Construction-wise, it is pretty simple. I put in a side lapped zipper, as per the insructions, and did quite a decent job at it, despite the fabric wanting to stretch very badly. The skirt is hemmed with a bright red bias tape (my favorite way to hem rounded skirts), for a pop of colour on the inside too.

And look, I can twirl!!

I styled it with my red Miette, which is the second sweater I ever knitted. I still love it so.