Sunday, 28 December 2014

Same dress, same fabric

A geranium dress for R's much-loved teacher, who's expecting her first baby early next year. I chose the geranium because it's the only pattern I have that comes in baby sizes, but it really is a favourite of mine. I've made a few of these in the past, like this one with flutter sleeves and this one with the pleated skirt (which I absolutely love, and which R has sadly grown out of). 

There is only one problem with the geranium, and that's the way the back opening of the skirt folds over itself when the bodice is buttoned. It just looks a little less than perfect to me, and lets down what is otherwise a lovely pattern. I did once modify the bodice to include an invisible zipper, and that worked very well, but it didn't feel right to put a zip in a baby's dress. Instead, for this dress I made a very simple modification: when sewing the gathered skirt to the bodice I set the ends of the skirt in about an inch from each side of the button placket, so that when the buttons are done up the skirt sits nicely, without any overlap. So easy. In fact, much easier to do than to explain, but hopefully these photos will make it clearer:

Having chosen this beautiful cotton voile from my stash, I later remembered that I've made the exact same dress in the exact same fabric for my niece - which just goes to show how predictable I am.

Wishing everyone a very happy new year and a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Nutta fabric shop blog tour: a double gauze dress

My friend Shino, who blogs at Nutta, recently opened an Etsy store, Nutta Fabric. She has some really beautiful and unusual Japanese fabrics, so I was very excited when she invited me to be part of her Nutta Fabric Shop blog tour. It was hard to decide which fabric to sew with, but in the end I chose her double gauze 'mimosa' and made dress 'A' from the Japanese pattern book Sweet Clothes for Girls.

This dress has some very pretty details: a v-neck, flutter sleeves and a yoked back piece that extends over the shoulders to join with a pintucked front section. The dress is drawn in at the waist by ribbon threaded through an inside casing, although I modified this by using elastic and just tying the ribbons on at the sides, which makes for easier dressing. I also changed the front, back and yoke pieces by making them a couple of centimetres narrower at the fold, because R is very slim with narrow shoulders. This had the effect of making the v-neck shallower, which is a good thing as it would otherwise be too deep to wear without a top underneath (which is how it's styled in the book). I made size 110 with 120 length and the fit is absolutely perfect.

I couldn't resist making a couple of fabric flowers and attaching them to hairclips. The raw edges of the double gauze tend to fray a bit, and I like the effect of this. 

You can see from the photos that the fabric has a very pretty, subtle pattern of blue berries (or are they flowers?) with little pale green stems. But what you can't see is how beautifully soft the material is, and what a light and airy feeling it gives to the dress. My photos don't really capture how lovely the dress looks on R - it's so just incredibly lovely.

Shino has many other kinds of fabric in her shop including knits, linen, quilted cotton and sweatshirt material. To celebrate the tour she has a fantastic giveaway on her blog, which you can enter here. And all visitors to the Nutta Etsy shop can use the code THANKS20 until December 8th to get a 20% discount on fabric.

Speaking of thanks, I'd like to thank you so much, Shino, for having me on your blog tour. I loved using this very special fabric, and R is thrilled with her new dress.