Tag Archives: Diane von Furstenberg

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.

Gingham-Dress-Full-Front-5032

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/

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Happy Sewing

Gingham-Dress-Seated-with-Sewing-Machine2-5022

Gingham Shirt

I am so excited about posting this blog because I have been planning and thinking about my gingham month for weeks now and it’s finally here. I’m overlapping my shirt sewing with the gingham sewing too, to make things extra special in this blog!

I thought long and hard about using cotton Gingham as a fashion fabric.

Gingham-Shirt-Front image
Gingham-Shirt-Front

We are used to seeing it in children’s wear and in vintage clothing, Julie Andrews in the wizard of Oz, but is it really a sophisticated fashion forward look? Then I noticed that quite a few of the big name designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Mcqueen, and Chloe had created beautiful dresses from the little chequered fabric.

If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me!

 

Gingham Fabric image
Gingham Fabric
Shirt Pattern image
Shirt Pattern

I have used a commercial paper pattern for this sewing make. It is New Look number 6232 which I have modified a bit to give a looser feel to the shirt. It is a very useful pattern which I can recommend as I have had it a few years now and it has been tried and tested in a few different sizes by me for myself and other family members. I made it in a size US 8/ UK 12.

Gingham-Shirt-Back image
Gingham-Shirt-Back

I have left out the darts in the back to create a bit more fullness so it is less tight across the back of the body. This is a casual look for me, not a smart office or interview type of shirt. I changed the way that the yoke is constructed too, by cutting out and using only one yoke piece instead of two and sewing it together in more of a dressmaker fashion rather than tailoring the shirt for a man, more of a relaxed blouse. I tend to stay away from pocket placement on the front of my tops as they tend to sag, even when not used, and this is definitely not a flattering look for anyone!

Gingham-Shirt-Front image
Gingham-Shirt-Front

As I am sure you can see from the photos, I have changed the cuffs as in the Easter shirt, by cutting the sleeve about six inches shorter and adding a simple cuff band instead of the conventional cuff with buttons. I think this is much more flattering. I have previously made this same shirt with a little cap sleeve too and that would have worked well in this fabric.

I chose the bright pink buttons for the front of the shirt to set off the pink in the check more. One little tip I have when you are positioning the buttons on the front of a shirt or blouse you are making, is to put it on when you mark the position of the buttons and buttonholes so that you get them in the correct place for you rather than the recommendation on the pattern diagram. I rarely wear my shirts buttoned up to the top, so think about how you will wear the shirt, and then decide how open you want the neck to be as well. If you place the fastening too high, you might feel choked, or too low, you could feel too exposed, you won’t wear the shirt because you won’t feel comfortable in it.

Gingham-Shirt-Happy-Sewing image
Gingham-Shirt-Happy-Sewing