Tag Archives: dress

Valentines fun

“Love, Love, Love. All you need is love. Love is all you need.”
― John Lennon

Hello,

It’s Valentines week and time to have some fun! Creative sewing fun of course!

I am excited that this Valentines week is the perfect opportunity to enjoy making something a little bit different. Something frivolous and full of joy and amusement with a sprinkling of laughter.

Each season I watch the runway shows with keen interest and there are always a few designers who stand out for me. Diane Von Furstenberg is one of those. When I saw her resort collection for 2015 it all appeared to be very smart and of her distinctive style. However, Diane seems to have managed to sneak this Heart sweater and black trouser/pants look in! I Love it. It made me smile when I first saw it and with a reaction like that I knew I had to make something inspired by this look.

It is full of pure fun and playfulness with almost a touch of the fancy dress costume about it. It looks very young and energised.



As you can see, the original inspiration design is not a dress! However I knew that it was a dress that I wanted to make so I reinterpreted the Diane Von Furstenberg trouser/pants and top into a one piece look.

Once the design had been defined I wanted this sewing make to be about creativity rather than a challenge on the dressmaking and construction front. Therefore I chose to use a pattern which I use often and know fits me well because I have fine tuned it over time. The fitting would not become the focus of this make.

Sewing Avenue - Fashion Patterns Sewing Inspiration
Valentines fun – Heart Dress Construction

The dress pattern was cut into the separate skirt and bodice sections a few inches above the line of my natural waist to achieve a slightly high waisted look. I also cut the sleeve pattern at the wrist so that a mock cuff look could be created with the black fabric.

When I started sewing I had to keep switching the thread colour in both the sewing machine and the serger/overlocker, between the black and the white, which became a bit tedious at times.

Sewing Avenue - Fashion Patterns Sewing Inspiration
Valentines fun – Heart Dress

The zip in the back of the dress is sewn in as an exposed zip.I think that this adds a stripe of black detail which gives interest to the back of the dress which would otherwise be plain. I am extremely pleased with the way the back of the dress has turned out. I knew what to do to achieve a successful finish on the front but the back of an outfit sometimes doesn’t get the consideration that it deserves and in this case just a simple stripe of black from a functional fasting has turned out to look quite designed.

Sewing Avenue - Fashion Patterns Sewing Inspiration
Valentines fun – Heart Dress Ironing

The most fun and creative part of the project, was of course attaching the red Valentine heart to the front of thee bodice. I did this at the very last stage after my final fitting, hemming and pressing. It could all have gone so wrong here.

The brilliant red heart was cut from a piece of fabric I had in the scrap bag. Do you keep all your scraps and fabric leftovers too? Just in case?

Symmetry and precise placement was key to getting the final look perfect. I attached the heart to the bodice with a double sided fusible webbing which held it precisely in place while I stitched around the perimeter of the shape using a medium satin stitch setting on my sewing machine.
I’m not a big fan of Applique on adult clothing as a rule, however this was the only way I could think of to achieve the design with this motif. As it is intended to be fun and not taken too seriously it works well on this occasion.

Sewing Avenue - Fashion Patterns Sewing Inspiration
Valentines fun – Heart Dress

What do you think ?
Please let me know in the comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebook, twitter and bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy sewing

Here are a few feel good, inspirational quotes from me to you this Valentine’s week.

“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”
― Coco Chanel

“True friends are like diamonds – bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.”
― Nicole Richie

“The most important thing to wear is a smile.”
―Ann Taylor

How do I take my body measurements and why should I bother?

 

If you want to sew an item of clothing for yourself or someone else it is obvious that you will need the correct basic body measurements. You will need the measurements even before you purchase the pattern as commercial patterns don’t usually have all of the size options in one packet. They vary from one pattern company to another and even from one style to another. You probably won’t find a pattern with exactly the correct sizes for all of your body areas, so buy one which covers your sizes and be prepared to make some pattern alterations to it before you begin your sewing project. So knowing how do I take my body measurements is important in making a garment the right size.

When you are choosing which pattern to use it is worth remembering that not many items of clothing fit us as snugly as the set of measurements you will take. Most garments have shape and style which gives the body room to move about, so the set of size measurements for a size 10 for example, are not what the actual paper pattern or the finished garment will measure. You can also directly measure the paper pattern yourself to see how this compares to your size. Remember there will be a seam allowance on the pattern.

 

When you buy ready to wear clothing you will be used to seeing measurements for the bust, waist and hips, however to get a good fit on a garment which will be perfect and look exactly  how you want it to, there are other measurements you need to take as well. Considering some people, myself included here, choose to make their own clothes, or to have them made, is because ready to wear just does not fit them, this is important. RTW only cater for the average height and sizing, and people who are symmetrical. Most of us are not average but when we buy off the peg we have to make do with the best fit that we can find and it’s not always the correct fit.

 

 

So how do you take your measurements?

 

First of all you will need someone to help you. It is difficult to take accurate tape measure readings of your own body by yourself. So as well as a tape measure which is long enough to measure all of your body parts including your height, you will need a pen and paper to write it down. So dress in your regular fitting underwear and you are ready to begin.

 

Front Body Measurements
Front Body Measurements

 

Bust

Measure across the widest part of the bust,under the arms and across the widest part of the back with the arms hanging loosely by the sides of the body.

To measure your cup size, measure around the body just under the bust, take this measurement away from the first measurement and if the difference is one inch you are an A cup, two inches difference is a B cup, three is a C cup, four is a D cup and five will give you a DD cup.

 

Waist

Mark the waist by tying a string snugly around your middle. It will roll naturally to your waist. Take the measurement where the sting settles.

 

Hips

Keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor and level all of the way around, measure the fullest part of the hips which should be around eight inches below the waistline, depending on the individual.

 

Shoulder length

This is the distance from the base of the neck, shrug your shoulders to find this point at the neck, to the edge of the shoulder.

 

Apex of bust

The distance from the base of the neck to the point of the bust.

 

Back Body Measurements
Back Body Measurements

Back waist length

This is sometimes called nape to waist and is the distance from the prominent bone at the back of the neck to the waist.

 

Sleeve length

With your hand on your hip measure from the top of the shoulder to the wrist. Note this down as one total measurement and two separate measurements, top of shoulder to elbow and elbow to wrist.

 

Dress length

Measure from the base of the neck at the centre back to the desired hem length. The back of the knee is a good reference point if you are uncertain of desired finished length at this stage.

 

You will need the following measurements if you are making trousers/pants.

 

Seated Body Measurements
Seated Body Measurements

Crotch depth

Sit down on a firm chair with your feet flat on the floor and measure from the waist to the chair seat.

 

Side Body Measurements
Side Body Measurements

Crotch length

From the waist at your back under the body between your legs to the waist at your front. Also note down how this divides into two measurements, back waist to the centre point between the legs and the front waist to the centre point between the legs, This may not be an equal division of the overall measurement.

 

Inside leg

From the midpoint under the body to the finished hem length, if you don’t yet know this, measure to the ankle bone.

 

Outside leg

Measure from the waist, over the curve of the hip, down to the desired hem length or the ankle.

 

 

Now that you have all your measurements, keep them safe and check them every six months for any changes.

 

Happy sewing