Tag Archives: zip

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

Black Gingham Dress

This is the much awaited second black gingham dress that I have made from my black gingham fabric. The first one was last week’ s blog post. I have made it from the same pattern that I used for the Burgundy Cocktail dress with the cowl neck back at the beginning of February this year.

Black Gingham Dress Long front image
Black Gingham Dress Long front

The pattern is Vogue V8787 option F on the packet envelope.

I had some fitting issues with this pattern as the shape of the back bodice pieces was all wrong for my body shape. The pattern allows for a lot of space in the upper back, I know that there should be room allowed for ease of movement, however in this instance there was enough room for me to be able to wear it backwards! As usual for me, the waist was too high and therefore I decided in the end to redraft the whole bodice pattern, using the Vogue pieces as a starting point.

Now I think it works and fits properly. I know from past experience that It is always worth getting the pattern fit correct at the beginning of the process rather than facing the disappointment of wasted time and expense later on.

Black Gingham Dress Pattern image
Black Gingham Dress Pattern

The length of the finished dress is the length given in the paper pattern. I am not sure if I will shorten it, its all about proportion and I think the balance is right at this length, however my gut instinct is to finish it above the knee. So I may well play around with the hem a bit more at a later date. I’ve just turned it under in the photo to get an idea of how it would look. What do you think? should I leave it longer or shorten it? I an more than happy to go with the group consensus on this.

Please let me know your point of view in the comments.

Black Gingham Dress Side image
Black Gingham Dress Side
Black Gingham Dress Short Front image
Black Gingham Dress Short Front
Black Gingham Dress Short Front image
Black Gingham Dress Short Front
Black Gingham Dress Short Back
Black Gingham Dress Short Back

I actually ran out of my stash of dress zips this week, black and white ones anyway. I usually make sure that I have a selection of regular and concealed dress length zips in my stock so that I don’t have to stop half way through a project to go and buy supplies. However this time I had to make a special trip to stock up so that I could complete the dress. This meant that I lost my flow and things ended up taking a few days longer than usual.

Black Gingham Dress Back Zipper image
Black Gingham Dress Back Zipper

I’ve used a lapped zip insertion down the centre back seam. I find that I can achieve a neat finish at the upper neck edge using this method and it is not necessary to add a hidden button or a hook and eye to fasten the top together. I insert the zip carefully by basting it all into place first before sewing machining. I find that a little more time spent here on this stage of the process saves a lot of unpicking and correction time later on. I keep going on about preparation and I believe that it is key to a successful piece of sewing or craft work, like so many things in life.

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

Happy Sewing