Tag Archives: avenue

Smart Office Dress

I was in need of some creative sewing fun this week after the disappointment of my Blue Dress. Therefore I went right back to my favourite way of working which is to select a look as my inspiration and take it from there. The inspiring look I choose can sometimes come from the runway and other times from collections in fashion stores. In this make, the style of dress I have chosen as a starting point is this tricolour dress which was snapped on Victoria Beckham. I think it will make the perfect smart office dress.



Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

The pattern which I have chosen is from my existing favourites pile, therefore I have made the fitting alterations to it before and know it stands a fairly good chance of fitting me well.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

That said I went about cutting it up into pieces to give me the new pattern for the tricolour dress I wanted to make. When you don’t have to be concerned with the pattern fit because you already know it works you have the freedom to play around with it more and make it yours. If you do start cutting up your patterns however, please remember to always add seam allowance for the seams on the edges that will then need to be attached back together.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

The downside of making this dress with contrasting colours was that I had to keep changing the colour of the thread in both the sewing machine and in the overlocker/serger. I was uncertain what colour zip to choose and in the end went for a black regular zip with a lapped insertion, this seemed to conceal the actual zip quite well.

Smart Office Dress Back image
Smart Office Dress Back

Even though I have used this pattern before as I have said, I am not entirely happy with the look of the bodice. The bust darts are a bit too visible on the white fabric and draw the eye to that area too much. Guess I can always wear a cardigan like Victoria…

Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

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Happy Sewing

Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure image
Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure

Gingham Dress

One of the main reasons why I sew my own clothes is so that I can achieve a good, hopefully great, fit. Shop bought ready to wear is made for the average sizes and lets face it but very few of us are a perfect average and few of us would ever want to be!

I know we are all too aware of where our own fitting problem areas are and mine has always been the fact that I am tall and that the extra height is not in my legs where I would want it to be but in the length of my torso. For example, it is impossible to get a one piece swimsuit to fits me, I always have to get those two piece tankini combinations. So with clothes shopping I’m alway looking out for longer length tops and shirts and I know from experience that the waist on dresses always sits in the wrong place, about two inches north of where it should be. Commercial paper patterns are no different and over the years I have drafted my own patterns from my measurements.

I’m fortunate though that my standard pattern alteration is a fairly simple one as I know that some of you have to work quite a bit with a pattern to get it to work right. But once you have spent the time, trial and erroring with a toille and keep a note of the changes you made it becomes easier to transfer those alterations to all your favorite patterns. I have created a simple measurement chart so you can keep a note of your size.

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This is the first of my black Gingham dresses, there are going to be two. Both are sleeveless but different styles. I think that sleeveless dresses will be really practical for me going forward into spring/summer now as I will team them with a colourful cardigan. Everywhere I look at the moment I am seeing this black gingham fabric. Ive seen it on the catwalks recently particularly in Diane Von Furstenberg’s 2015 Ready to wear collection. It is used for not only dresses but shirts and blouses, little vest tops and accessories too.

Follow Sewing Avenue’s board Gingham Fabrics on Pinterest.

It (gingham) seems to be in both high fashion stores as well as vintage designers shops at the moment, which means its right on trend whether you are a fashionista or a vintage chick.

Sewing with a basic cotton fabric like gingham is a straightforward sew, no stretch to consider, however gingham is even easier as there is no right or wrong side to the fabric. The fabric I was using was quite a light weight so I used a heavier lining fabric to give it more body so that it would hang better.

Gingham-Dress-Side-5042

 

Here’s a little bit of history,

Gingham fabric was first manufactured in Malaysia which was controlled by the Dutch in the 17th century. It was originally called genggang, meaning stripped, and imported by the Dutch into Europe. If your interested in more history then this is a great site for the full historical low down visforvintage.net/2012/09/11/gingham-fabric/

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing

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