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Friday, December 26, 2014

The Navy Cotton Dress became a Linen Xmas Dress...



Last week I posted the start of my sewing plans for 2015.   I was going to make New Look 6080 up in a navy blue cotton:

I had planned to make a new dress for Christmas,  but was busy right up to Christmas Eve, so decided that the new dress wouldn't happen.

Due to sewing withdrawal (it's my creative outlet, and also my anxiety reducer) I was getting quite irritable on Christmas Eve.  I told DH that I as I had done most things, I would spend some time quietly sewing.

So I rummaged in the stash and found a piece of what I thought was blue chambray in my stash.  It came from an Op Shop year ago. Fortuitously, I had already pre-shrunk it.  It was a bit wrinkly, and a bit hard, but I was only making a  may- be or may-be not wearable muslin at this stage.   I decided to just use it and get it out of the stash.

This was a simple dress as the line drawings show:

Line Drawing


I zoomed through the dress with gay abandon, thinking to myself this is just a cheap op shop cotton, and will do for a summer dress.

And later, when giving it a final pressing it dawned on me that the fabric really was wrinkly - and then it dawned on me that I had made myself a lovely new linen dress for Christmas.  And a linen dress has been on my wish list for a long time.

Luckily,  the fit was good, I had put pockets in, and the finish was fine.    And if I had realised I was sewing up a very good fabric, the dress would not have been finished in time for Xmas.  Because you always take a lot of time and care sewing fine, expensive fabrics.

( WARNING - holiday hair is present in all these shots - some days are just run the brush through the hair days, and forego the dryer :))

I cut a straight size 10 and added a little bit at the sides at bust level (front and back) as I often need this - not a FBA as this will give me too much fullness in the waist and hips. I'm also only a A/B cup, so don't need that.  Being an inverted triangle, I have broader shoulders and chest than my hips, but not a large bust.

I added a bit extra at the sleeve seams to match, and added a 1/4 inch to the sleeve hem.  New Look are always just a teeny bit short for my liking, but I didn't want to change the look of the garment too much.

I seamed the neck/facing at 3/8 inch (1 cm) instead of the normal 5/8 inch allowance as necklines are always too low and wide for me.  I do test the fit first, to make sure the garment will go over my head.

I added about 3 cms to the length and added a deeper hem allowance to weight the dress a bit.

I also added pockets - they are quite low because I had to place them below the seams of the french dart.  I could raise them a small amount next time I make this pattern, because I cleared the dart seam with a bit to spare:


 Luckily I have quite long arms so can reach those pockets!

The front pocket pieces were a lightweight poly cotton, and the back pieces were the main garment fabric:


(Can you see how the fabric has a slight sheen in the photo - that is also indicative of linen).

The front bodice had little pin tucks:

I used a cotton thread instead of polyester sew all thread for the pin tucks - I prefer to use cotton for top stitching on fabrics that have to be ironed at high temperature - sometimes polyester thread top stitching sort of gets a slightly melted look.

The pattern did not specify top stitching for the neckline, but I added this - because I like it :)

The sleeves were quite small and roomy on me - I always find New Looks sleeves roomy on my very slender arms.  Roomy sleeves are perfect though for the hot and humid climate we have here during summer.


Now for the front, side and back views:


So that was my new Christmas Dress - lovely linen, just what I always wanted :)

And amazingly, the first dress I have made that fits perfectly (for an unfitted dress)  without fiddling :).

And I've crossed the first dress of 2015 off the list - the blue cotton was too thick anyway, and this is much nicer:).

I do hope you all had a wonderful Xmas day.

Sarah Liz











50 comments:

  1. A dress that looks good and fits well and made I a day - well done - this bodes well for a good sewing year ahead. I really like the pin tucks. Happy Christmas

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    1. Thank you Tracy - I hope 2015 is a good year for both of us :)

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  2. Great result, love the simplicity of it. Sometimes I think if the material is precious it makes me more nervous which tends to lead to silly mistakes,

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    1. Thank you - and I agree with you about anxiety :)

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  3. What a lucky find and so fortunate you didn't just whizz up a quick muslin. A perfect dress for summer.

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  4. Oh this is really lovely and the fit is pretty darn good! No wonder you are pleased with it. A cool linen dress is just what is needed these hot days and nights.

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    1. Thank you - linen is great for the heat, I agree :)

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  5. Over thinking can take the pleasure out of sewing.... This turned out really cute! Love that shade of blue.

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  6. The neckline is amazing. I love when a project comes together. I understand getting crabby when not sewing! Hope you had a very merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you - and yes, sewing is great for overall mood improvement :)

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  7. well look at you speedy! lol! with all those changes I'm not sure if I want to dive into that pattern lol! the dress turned out great!

    Helen

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    1. My alterations wouldn't work for anyone else Helen so don't fear too much :)

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  8. Perfect Christmas dress and looks fantastic on you.. How wonderful that the "ole thrift fabric" turned out to be a wonderful linen...and a muslin that turned into wonderful Christmas dress.

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    1. Thank you Judy - Yes, sometimes we get lucky :)

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  9. Lovely dress Sarah Liz and all in a day well done.

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  10. And what a perfect dress for the holidays indeed! Looks fantastic on you

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  11. Love this dress on you, it looks lovely and cool. And well done for taking time out in the sewing room :)xx

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  12. Great dress. Love those pintucks. Very nice.

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  13. A really nice dress. I like how you lined the pockets. The fit looks great from the back as well. Thanks for whipping it up, I have this pattern too and it keeps winking at me. I was going to make the top but now I'm thinking Hmmm...

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    1. Thank you Maureen - I think this pattern would work for top or dress - or make both :)

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  14. What a smashing dress, Sarah Liz, and you really can't beat linen in an Australian summer. Isn't it good when you don't plan a 'special sew' and it happens magically at the try-out? Happy New Year to you and your HB, too! xx

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    1. I so agree Patricia - I think in future I shall approach all sewing this way and maybe magic will always happen :)

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  15. What a great dress on you. I love linen so much for summer. And such a great op shop find!

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    1. Thank you Debbie - I think we all love those little op shop finds :)

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  16. I love your new dress! Beautiful style and fabric. I hope you and your husband had wonderful Christmas :)

    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Hana - and we did, I hope you and your family also had a great Xmas.

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  17. Great versatile dress! You can wear it with a jacket, cardi in the cooler months too. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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    1. Thank you - and I do like versatility in garments :)

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  18. I love this dress, especially the gorgeous subtle color. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Mary, and Happy New Year to you also :)

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  19. I have a thing for pintucks and love how they add visual interest to your neckline. Great!

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    1. Thank you - I agree, I love pintucks as well. Fiddly but look great.

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  20. A Christmas dress coming together faster than you'd imagine? Haha, that never happens to me :) Beautiful dress, lovely pintucks!

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    1. Thank you - and I got lucky with this one :)

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  21. The simple things are often the best! Well done on such a beautiful dress.

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  22. A perfect linen dress, love the pintucks and how you have used the topstitching. Interesting how we change our attitude to when sewing different fabrics. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and all the very best for 2015.

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    1. Thank you - and I agree, perception in this situation changed the whole view of the garment :)

      I also hope you had a great Xmas, and Happy New Year.

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  23. Oh I love your new dress - and love your story!! Why can we not look at every fabric with such abandon?!!! There is a lesson in there somewhere. :)

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    1. Thank you - and yes, I thought there was a lesson in this as well :)

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