Tag Archives: Seam

Sleeveless Shift Dress – End of the winter sewing

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Sleeveless Shift Dress - Front
Sleeveless Shift Dress – Front

Hello and welcome to my blog

Sometimes the simplest garments are the ones which you reach for time and again.

Dallia Shift Dress

This navy blue sleeveless shift dress is from my Dallia Shift Dress pattern. I just know I will wear it over and over. I have modified it a bit by getting rid of the back centre seam in this version. If the dress had sleeves I think that it would need a back opening, either a button and loop fastening as in the black and white patterned version, or a zip. The addition of sleeves to a bodice means that a bit more room is needed to get the dress over the shoulders. This sleeveless dress however meant that I could get away with simply pulling it on over the head. So quick to get ready in the mornings. I have used a woven fabric but there is no reason why it couldn’t be a knit. A scuba or Ponti Roma would work well.

Sleeveless Shift Dress - Construction
Sleeveless Shift Dress – Construction

The construction of this dress is very simple, just two bust darts, side and shoulder seams.

This is an unlined dress and the edges are bound with bias binding. The bias binding can be a bit of a fiddle but its well worth practicing the technique. It is a nice edging finish as it not only encases all of the raw edges but it can be used decoratively as well, contrasting with or blending with the garment fabric.

Sleeveless Shift Dress - Front
Sleeveless Shift Dress – Front

This is the last of my winter makes as next week it will be march and time for looking ahead and planning out the spring wardrobe and what to make for lighter, brighter days ahead.

I’m thinking about floral fabric inspiration as there were so many florals on the RTW spring/summer catwalk collections. Also there was a real prominence of gingham, so I’ll definitely be using lots of that in both a small and large check version. With the florals I’m not sure about the dark floral trend however I am going to give it a go, make a dress, maybe a shirt. Sometimes prints can surprise me and I find that they are really useful wardrobe items after all.
What inspires you to start a new sewing project? is it necessity, needing a particular piece of clothing for an event or occasion? Is it a pattern you have discovered and want to try out to learn new skills, or is it finding an amazing fabric you just have to have?

Introducing my floral fabric collection for my spring fashion makes. It includes a crisp cotton, a sheer, a viscose mix and a poly cotton. You will see more of these very soon!

Fashion Patterns & Sewing Inspiration
Floral Fabric Collection

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Happy Sewing

Valentines fun

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


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