SIA DRESS YIELD & SIZING

FABRIC

This dress is best suited to a fabric that is soft and drapes well. Consider using light to mid weight fabrics such as: linen, linen blends, cotton & cotton gauze. Or for a softer silhouette consider polyester, viscose, rayon,tencel, silk or blends of. The surface texture of a crepe or a crinkle is also a great option.

Lining pattern pieces and directions are provided for this pattern. Choose a lining that has similar properties to your main fabric so that they work together in your garment.

NOTIONS

  • 56cm invisible zipper
  • coordinating thread
  • 20cm light weight fusing
  • 10mm (3/8”) buttons. 7 for the midi length, 5 for the mini length
  • 6mm elastic only for puffed sleeve views B and D

How to make the Sadie Slip Dress by Tessuti Fabrics

The Sadie Slip Dress pattern by Tessuti came into my life through recommendation from our amazing sewing community. I love how we all share knowledge about patterns and making to help each other make better making choices. I needed a slip dress for under my sheer Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company as seen in my previous post.

In the Tessuti Pattern range my measurements match that of a size XS. Having sewn a few of their patterns I was fairly confident this size would be perfect for me. I am an Australian size 10 & USA size 6.

My first Sadie Slip Dress was made from a nude colour polyester satin that was dead stock from a local designer. I cut the fabric on the bias and increased the facing size by 2cm. This was another recommendation from a fellow sewer to prevent the facing from popping out. I don’t use violene when I sew but if you have problems with stretching neck edges I highly recommend using the violene as per the pattern instructions.

I sewed the side seams of the garment using the recommended french seaming method. The strap length measurements specified in the pattern also worked well for me. It is very important to understitch the neck facing and make sure it is well pressed. My slip was finished off with an 8mm double turn hem.

The fit of my slip dress was perfect. This sparked the idea to remake this pattern for my girlfriends 40th birthday that had a dress code of white. I had purchased a piece of Harper sand washed Viscose Linen blend from Potter & Co during their pre Christmas sale that was the perfect fabric for this style of dress.

Given the dress is white it needed to be lined and I also wanted to add side splits to give it a casual summer floaty feel. My next problem was I didn’t have enough fabric to cut an outer and lining layer and I didn’t want to incorporate an alternate fabric just in case it didn’t drape and flow in the same way.

After multiple attempts of trying to lay the pattern pieces so they would all fit I made the decision (with the help of my partner who doesn’t understand fabric grains) to cut the dress on the straight grain. I took into the consideration the natural stretch and drape of this fabric and was relatively confident it would be fine.

Given the addition of the side splits on the dress I didn’t use the french seam technique. Instead I individually overlooked the side seam from the hem to a point 5cm after the end of the side split. I then sewed the side seams together with the 1.5cm seam allowance. The remainder of the side seams were overlocker together and the spilt finished with a double turn hem.

The lining was used to finish the neck edge instead of the facing. If the dress was not white I would have fused a section at the top of the lining to stabilise the neck edge. I opted not to do this as I don’t like the look of the fusing piece being seen through to the outer garment.

I cut the lining 2.5cm shorter at the hem and finished the hem on the outer and lining fabric with an 8mm double turn hem. Then it was time to see if my decision to cut on the straight grain instead of the bias was the right decision. Thankfully the dress fits and drapes beautifully and the side seam split would have been more difficult to manage if it was cut on the bias as well.

I only recommend cutting this dress on the straight grain if you fabric has a natural straight grain stretch, is really drapey and has a little bit of weight to pull it down. And as a last resort. I am a D cup and was concerned how it would sit over my bust not being cut on the bias and again I am happy with the fit in this area.

I am a massive fan of the Tessuti Pattern range. I love the hand crafted and hand graded nature of these patterns. The pattern instructions are always very visual and very detailed and the Sadie Slip Dress is no exception. This pattern will definitely get some repeat usage in the future.

As always my garment was finished off with a one of a kind woven label from the beautiful Kylie And The Machine label collection. This dress is truly one of a kind that I will cherish for many years to come.

How to make the Karlene Dress by Fibre Mood

The Karlene Dress

The Karlene Dress is the first Fibre Mood pattern that I have sewn and I must say it didn’t disappoint. This dress is part of Edition 8 of the sewing magazine that was released this week. I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of this pattern prior to its release.

The Karlene Dress

Fibre Mood describe this dress as date ready, dreamy and feminine. I think they have summed it up perfectly. The first step was to find a fabric that resonated that dreamy and feminine vibe. I found a beautiful Rayon Crepe at Spotlight Stores and it is currently on special for $12/mt. I feel in love with the vintage feel of this fabric. The print has a water colour painting feel to it. It is a little see through in daylight but completely fine when wearing in side. Overall I think it’s a beautiful crepe with a great handle and drape.

The Karlene Dress

Fibre Mood patterns can come with or without seam allowance. I selected the pattern that included seam allowance. The pattern pieces are all numbered but they are not labelled with a name or cutting instructions. To help in the cutting out process I labeled all of the pieces myself using the pattern instructions as a guide just to make sure everything was clear prior to cutting. After comparing my body measurements with the pattern chart I cut the size S pattern.

The Karlene Dress

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern and you can see the finished length here. I am 174cm tall. The pattern instructions were methodical and presented in a clear manner. I only hand sew as a last resort and ditch stitched the neck facing down as not to hand sew the facing.

The Karlene Dress

And did I mention this dress also has pockets! I love a pocket. It gives me somewhere to put my awkward arms when I’m not sure what else to do with them. Take your time with your gatherers to make sure they are even. This will improve the overall finish of your dress.

The Karlene Dress

The dress pattern comes with a self fabric belt. It can be worn without the belt if you prefer that super floaty look or any other belts you may have in your wardrobe as pictured above. It could be dressed up or down with sandals or heels. Or you could go for that casual vibe with a pair a sneakers.

The Karlene Dress

The sleeves push up over my elbow to create a 3/4 sleeve look or can be worn down. The sleeve opening when worn down is a little big for me and the sleeve slips down over my hand which is a little annoying. It’s something I will be able to easily fix by adding a little bit of elastic to the sleeve cuff bind. When I make the dress again I will make the sleeve opening slightly smaller just so it doesn’t slip over my hand.

The Karlene Dress

I finished my dress off with a MADE WITH LOVE AND SWEAR WORDS woven label by Kylie And The Machine. It probably wasn’t the most appropriate label for this make as no swear words happened during the making process. I just loved the colours of the label with the colours of the dress. Fibre Mood have labelled this pattern with 2 stars out of 5 for difficulty and I think they are pretty spot on. There are no zippers. The most difficult tasks are the neck facing and sleeve bind finish.

The Karlene Dress

I feel very honoured to be part of the launch of this pattern and it is a pattern that I can happily recommend. It is very versatile in the way it can be worn which I think caters for varying tastes in style and body sizes.

The Karlene Dress

How to make the Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company

Wilder Gown

I am going to start by saying this make started out as a gamble for me. I brought the Wilder Gown Pattern soon after it’s release admiring the beautiful makes of Victoria Smith, I Seam Sew Happy xx, Trine Schroeder and the Pattern Cover from Friday Pattern Company. I purchased my fabric and printed the PDF pattern several months ago but other projects kept taking precedence over starting this one.

Wilder Gown

My fabric was dead stock from a local designer. It was a score. The fabric is a printed 100% silk georgette and cost $40 for 4m. The print itself is super interesting with boarders and panels. I really thought about print direction and pattern placement for each pattern piece to make the most of the intricate design. And I’m slightly obsessed with symmetry.

Wilder Gown

I used both the straight grain and cross grain to achieve the pattern placement I wanted. It is ok to do this if you are trying to achieve a specific look with your fabric prints as there is little difference between fabric on the straight grain and cross grain. Please don’t apply this principle with bias grain as the bias grain has very different properties.

Wilder Gown

You will use slightly more fabric when being particular with pattern placement but it’s worth it when you are using boarder and panel prints. Also really think about symmetry and how different patterns will look when placed horizontally as opposed to vertically and vice versa.

Wilder Gown

I cut my Wilder Gown a size smaller than the pattern recommended as this is a full dress pattern. The pattern is very well notched with the notches all lining up. I commend Friday Pattern Company on their detailed sewing instructions. They were methodical and logical which is perfect for the beginner sewer.

Wilder Gown

This is a pattern that combines maximum impact with simplicity. It is a good beginner / intermediate pattern with the degree of complexity in fabric choice. The more stable your fabric the easier it is too sew. Keeping in mind I think this pattern works best with drapier, lighter weight fabrics.

Wilder Gown

Take your time with the gathering process. I always divide my gathering stitches into 2 or 3 sections depending on the width of the panels. It is much easier to pull your gather threads a shorter distance and if a thread breaks you don’t have to start from scratch.

Wilder Gown

To get the best results on any gathered garment make sure your gathers are even all the way around. Avoid having clumps of gathers and then nothing at all. Always use 2 rows of long stitch for gather stitches and never try to short cut by using one. The results are simply not the same. You can also get a gathering foot for your machine but in my experience it is hard to control the amount of gathers. I will always take a short cut if there is one worth taking but when it comes to gathers I find the time consuming, old fashion method to be the most affective and therapeutic.

Wilder Gown

A big shout out to all those who recommend the Sadie Slip Dress Pattern by Tessuti Patterns for my undergarment. It was perfect and a great sew. By recommendation I increased my facing width by 1.5cm to prevent it from popping out. I also understitched and pressed the facing extra well. The Sadie Slip Dress is the perfect length to work with Wilder Gown.

Wilder Gown

If you prefer to wear garments less full you can accentuate your waistline by belting this dress. I opted to wear with a shorter slip when belting my dress.

Wilder Gown

I have styled my dress with my new Zimmerman Canvas High Tops as I’m slightly obsessed with these shoes at the moment. I have also worn with heels to create an evening look. Strappy sandals would also be great for a casual Sunday lunch look.

Wilder Gown

Long story short, the gamble paid off with this make and I’ve ended up with a dress that I love. It’s always hit and miss in the world of home made garments. That is part of the journey and part of the fun. Don’t stop experimenting, don’t start playing it to safe. Mistakes are a good thing and most things are salvageable even if it’s in a different form.

Wilder Gown

How to line the Fiona Sundress

This make for me was about turning a sewing failure into a sewing success. I hate feeling like I have wasted a beautiful fabric on a garment that I know won’t get worn. Especially when it is a fabric that I loved and had big expectations for. It’s no secret that I was disappointed in my Wiksten Shift Dress. I think the pattern is a great pattern and looks amazing on so many people. It just wasn’t for me.

Fiona Sundress

The Fiona Sundress by Closest Case Patterns on the other hand is the perfect pattern for me. It was one of the first patterns I brought when I took up sewing after a 3yr hiatus. I now have three of them in my wardrobe that get worn regularly. Feel free to visit my previous Fiona Sundress blog post on the adjustments I made to the pattern.

Fiona Sundress

Given the see through nature of the Broderie Anglaise (currently out of stocked but will be re stocked in earlier 2020) from A + R Fabrics I had no option but to line the dress. It is the first time that I have line the Fiona Sundress and it was surprisingly simple to do and the finish is beautiful.

Fiona Sundress
Inside view lined.

I cut the main body parts in the main fabric and lining fabric. The only pieces that I cut in the main fabric only was the shoulder straps and the pockets. I also cut the pocket facing in the lining fabric.

Fiona Sundress

I used a cotton / linen blend purchased from Spotlight Stores to line the dress. I fused the lining of the bodice band and pocket facing. I didn’t fuse the front button placket as the lining became the supporting layer in this area.

Fiona Sundress

I cut all of the lining pieces on the CF line at the fold line of the front button placket. The skirt lining was cut at the hem fold of the main fabric. I constructed the main fabric dress without attaching the top bodice band and then the dress lining. I then stitched the main fabric to the lining at the waist seam.

Fiona Sundress
Front bodice lining guide.

Fiona Sundress
Front skirt lining guide.

Then baste the main dress to the lining at the top of the bodice. Next step is to sew on the outer top bodice band and attach the should straps. It is very important to check how the straps are fitting at this point and adjust if required. Once the straps have been fitted, sew the bodice band lining onto the dress and finish as per the pattern instruction.

Fiona Sundress
Attached lining to main through waist seam before finishing button placket.

Sew the hem on your skirt lining. I finished my lining hem with a 8mm double turn hem. Finish off the front button placket with the lining fabric finishing at the fold line. Finish the hem on your main skirt by following the pattern instructions, along with the buttons and button holes.

Fiona Sundress
Internal lining view.

The lining finish on this dress is beautiful. It finishes the dress of so nicely and gives the dress a store brought finish.

Fiona Sundress

The Vernassa Two Piece Swimsuit

I made a swimsuit and I could not be prouder! I have pattern made a ton of swimsuits over the years for clients but have always shipped them off to a sample machinist who has all of the ideal machinery to have them sewn up.

Inspired by our beautiful maker community and after seeing a lot of high end swimwear finished with a zig zag stitch instead of twin needling I decided to give this whole sewing swimwear a go. There are so many great swimwear patterns out there but ultimately my final choice was between Cottesloe Swimsuit by Megan Nielsen Patterns and the Vernazza Two Piece by Friday Pattern Company.

After seeing a swimsuit made by the gorgeous Victoria Smith I selected the Vernazza Two Piece as I loved the little tie front detail. I decided to make the size M with a few alterations that included reducing the side seam by 7cm to achieve a higher cut leg line. I also reduced the width of the crotch seam and front 5cm up from the crotch seam so it would sit nicely between the legs with the higher leg line.

I used 6mm rubber in the leg, armhole and neck openings and 12mm rubber in the waist and midriff band. To make sewing easier I also reduce all of the seam allowances on the pattern to be 6mm to save trimming seam allowance. This also made sense given I was going to sew all of my seams with my overlocker using the 4 threads.

The sewing instructions that come with the Vernazza Two Piece are very detailed. They explain how to sew on your rubber to get an even stretch around all of the openings. I sewed my rubber on using my overlocker instead of sewing machine and then turned and finished the rubber using a zig zag stitch as recommended by the pattern.

I added elastic to the midriff band and waist band as I spend most of my time swimming in the ocean. Ocean swimming calls for a swim suit that can with stand waves dumping you whist keeping your swimsuit firmly in tact.

I made my swimsuit using a bright Liberty swim print from The Fabric Store. The print I used is no longer available but there is a super cute Ditsy Floral that I think would look amazing in this style.

The Vernazza Swimsuit

Sewing a swimsuit was a very rewarding process. I have made another version of this swimsuit with a self drafted bandeau top that I will share in the coming weeks. Summer has well and truly arrived in Queensland and I can’t wait to wear this swimsuit all summer long.

s8839 It’s all about the sleeve….

Simplicity 8839 was all about the sleeve for me. I spotted this fabulous top in the feed of Well Fibre a few months ago and knew I needed one in my wardrobe at some point.

This pattern is not available in stores in Australia and I ordered it on line direct from Simplicity . I tend to do this with all of my major label pattern purchases these days. Unfortunately the stores in Australia don’t seem to have the latest collection patterns until a long time after they are available to the rest of the world. It usually takes about 2 to 3 wks for patterns to arrive but well worth the wait if it’s a style you love.

I made this top using a gingham gauze that I picked up at Tejidos Donna in Barcelona earlier this year. From memory it was 100% Rayon. I really like the gauze nature of this fabric and have a little bit left over to make myself a summer top one day soon.

S8839 is an easy pattern to sew. I cut the size that was recommended for my body measurements. My only tips with this one is the check the elastic on the arms before you sew the sleeve up. For me the elastic lengths recommended in the pattern were to big and the sleeves would not stay in place. I had to unpick the sleeve and shorten all of the elastic lengths. It’s such a fine line, as there is nothing worse than elastic that is too tight either. It just needs to be that perfect length so you can get some puff without cutting the blood supply to your arms.

I love wearing this top with pants or shorts. I love the drama of the sleeves. It certainly is a piece that I get multiple compliments on each and every time I wear it. Wearing here with my Megan Nielsen Dawn Jean and my first ever hand made shoes, the Cosette Sandal by The Shoe Camaraderie.  Making these shoes was a super proud moment!

The Sewing Rut

I feel like I’m in a little sewing rut. It feels like none of my sewing choices are really working out or have been gelling with me lately. My fabric selection has been off or I’m choosing to make patterns because they are popular whilst knowing deep down they won’t feel right on me. And now I’m doubting and questioning every sewing decision I’m make.

Maybe that is where the problem lies. Am I overthinking this sewing blogging thing and not trusting in my gut instincts and making pieces that are truely me. Am I making things just for likes or to get tagged in a popular pattern labels feed? To tell the truth I think I subconsciously am. And the irony of it all is it is having an adverse effect on my sewing.

After last weekends project I’m hoping I’ve learnt a valuable lesson. For now anyway.  I’m going to reclaim my sewing power, my individual style, listen to my heart and trust my gut again with my making decisions.  I’m sure I’m still going to make bad choices but hopefully they are fewer and far between.

And although last weekends sewing project didn’t work out exactly as I would have hoped the Wiksten Shift Dress is a great pattern that looks fabulous on so many people. The pattern is well notched and the sewing instructions are very easy to understand. It is an oversized boxy shape so if that is a shape your are comfortable wearing you will love this pattern. Be sure to read the finished measurement of the dress and size down if you would like it to be not so boxy.

I am fairly sure I am going to give this pattern another go some time in the future in a softer washed linen and will hack it into a baby doll shape instead of the original shift dress.

I am also excited about the dress I am going to turn this one into. The fabric I have used is a beautiful Broderie Anglaise from A & R Fabrics. It has a geometric pattern that is a nice break from floral patterns. I will end up with the white summer dress of my dreams it’s just taking a little longer than expected.

VIDEO TURURIAL | Alya Skirt Part A: How to pattern make a 1/4 circle skirt with front side split.

Well……… it’s finally done!  My first ever video tutorial. Boy this has been a journey full of learnings and laughter.

Part A is how to self draft a 1/4 circle skirt with a front side split. Part B will be released in a few days which is an in depth tutorial on how to sew your skirt.

I hope you enjoy this one. All feedback is welcome so I can look to improve my video content for you moving forward. My mission is to teach an inspire as many people as possible in the art of patterning and making your own wardrobe. The inspiration and learnings I get from this community in return is so vast and for that I am grateful.

I would love to see your versions of this skirt so please share your makes using the hashtag #alyaskirt and tag me @taree.marsh

Happy patterning!