Category Archives: Gather Kits

Creation: The Princess Dress

You’d think that being off work for a little over two weeks would lend itself some great time and opportunity to photograph the most recent creations, right? Wrong! Therefore it is now time to present my Christmas dress. I wore it for our Christmas celebrations and then threw it in the wash without having photographed it and afterwards I haven’t looked presentable slouching at home(not that my standards for “presentable” is high, but I don’t want to be a total mess) or the times I have looked presentable I haven’t had the time to photograph myself as we were off somewhere with two kids.

 

En skulle kunna tro att drygt två veckors semester skulle leda till lite tid att ta bilder på de senaste skapelserna, eller hur? Fel, fel, fel! På grund av detta är det nu en bit in i januari som jag presenterar min julklänning. Den bars till våra julfiranden och sen slängdes den i tvätten utan att ha fotograferats. Efter det har jag inte sett tillräckligt presentabel ut (inte för att mina krav för presentabel är speciellt höga, men jag vill inte se helt bedrövlig ut), och de stunder jag har varit presentabel har jag inte haft fototid eftersom vi har varit på väg någonstans med två barn i släptåg.

Mortmain

Just two and a half weeks before Christmas I decided I needed a new Christmas dress. I fully committed to this dress. In order to get fabric I ran through IKEA in about 15 minutes. I impressed myself (I had planned to go to IKEA to buy gifts for the kids’ advent stockings, a fabric store is close by so the rush through IKEA meant I had some time to browse fabrics). It was a rush through the fabric store as well, looking through the remnant bin, looking through the bolt, before I eventually settled on this black and navy jacquard. I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about various fabric types, but this fabric does not say jacquard to me. It feels like a satin with a mesh overlay, perhaps there’s something in the weaving that’s the same as for jacquard, but it’s not what I would have guessed. It’s a poly/viscose blend.

 

Bara två och en halv vecka innan jul bestämde jag att jag behövde en ny klänning till vinterns festligheter. När jag väl bestämt mig blev klänningen min högsta prioritet. För att kunna handla tyg sprang jag igenom IKEA på en kvart och imponerade på mig själv (jag hade IKEA-planer för att köpa presenter till barnens adventsstrumpor, eftersom Stoff och Stil och IKEA båda ligger på Svågertorp, betydde IKEA-loppet att jag hade tid för tyghandling också). Det fick gå fort på Stoff och stil också, jag letade i stuvlådan, tittade på hyllorna och till slut valde jag detta jacquard i marinblått och svart. Jag erkänner att jag inte kan mycket om tyger, men detta tyg känns inte som en jacquard. För mig är det mer satin med mesh ovanpå. Jag vet att jacquard är en vävning och det kanske är den tekniken som har använts, men det är inte vad jag hade trott. Tyget är en blandning mellan polyester och viskos.

I like the waist definition
I like the waist definition

Since time was sparse I looked through my pattern stash and settled on Gather Kit’s Mortmain dress. It’s the same pattern as I used for last year’s Christmas dress, but I changed it up by adding sleeves and doing the box pleats the other way. Plus, I used an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one. A whole new dress! Oh, and I lengthened the bodice a bit so the waistband hits me at my natural waist, so much more comfortable and looking so much better.

 

Eftersom jag hade lite tid tittade jag igenom mitt mönsterförråd och valde Gather Kit’s Mortmain-klänning. Det är samma klänning som jag använde till förra årets julklänning, men jag har ändrat lite genom att lägga till ärmar och göra motvecken på andra hållet. Dessutom sydde jag ett osynligt blixtlås istället för det synliga. En helt ny klänning! Jag förlängde också livet några centimeter så att midjebandet nu sitter vid min midja istället för en bit ovanför, det är mycket mer bekvämt och ser så mycket bättre ut.

Original sleeve left, Alma sleeve right
Original sleeve left, Alma sleeve right

The sleeves gave me a headache. It’s not a problem I’ve seen anyone share, so I don’t know if the problem is the drafting or if I have messed up. And I’ll never know. Anyway, I wanted to add sleeves as this is a winter dress after all. I sewed the cuffs, the sleeves, did some easing in and attached them. I tried the dress on for fit again (I had obviously already tried it on for bodice fit) and found I couldn’t move my arms (left, below). It was also straining over the bust, making my nice-fitting bodice fit worse. I received many tips on how to fix this; adding a gusset, making the sleeve less narrow, but in the end I took them out and replaced them with Sewaholic’s Alma sleeves, view B. Ah, now I can move my arms again, much better (right, above).

 

Ärmarna var inte trevliga att arbeta med. Det är inte ett problem jag har sett hos andra, så jag kan inte bedöma om problemet ligger i mönstret eller hos mig. Jag får aldrig veta. Jag ville ha ärmar eftersom det trots allt är en vinterklänningen. Jag sydde manschetterna, ärmarna, passade ärmkullen i ärmhålet och sydde fast dem. Sen provade jag klänningen igen och kunde knappt röra ärmarna (till vänster, ovan). Klänningen stramade också över bysten, vilket gjorde att det liv som innan passade så fint helt plötsligt passade dåligt. Jag fick många tips om hur jag kunde fixa det; lägga till en kil, göra ärmen mindre smal, men till slut tog jag av dem och ersatte den med ärmarna från Sewaholics Alma, vy B. Och så kunde jag röra mina armar igen (till höger, ovan)

Mortmain, side

Other than the sleeves, this dress came together nicely. The fabric was fraying like crazy, I left a trail of black threads around the house to lead me back to the machines. It was still pretty nice to work with, although unpicking was a PIA as the stitches disappeared into the fabric. Also, due to the polyester it didn’t take quite as well as I wish to pressing. But now I’m too into details, bottom line: it’s a pretty winter dress.

 

Förutom ärmarna så är klänningen lätt att sy. Tyget rispades upp lätt och jag lämnade ett spår av svarta trådar bakom mig, så jag kunde hitta tillbaks till symaskinerna. Det var rätt lätt att jobba med, men att sprätta var en plåga eftersom stygnen försvann in i tyget. Eftersom tyget har polyester i sig var det inte så kul att pressa, men nu är jag inte på smådetaljer. Det är en fin vinterklänning, helt enkelt.

Subtle differences between right and wrong side
Subtle differences between right and wrong side

And yes, I’m back with creatively naming my garments. This one has the very pretentious name of The Princess Dress. Not that I particularly feel like a princess or am a supporter of monarchy at all, but because of the colours. Some might say that navy blue and black don’t go together, I think they do. I think this fabric is a perfect winter fabric. Plus if that colour matching is good enough for our Swedish princess Madeleine, it is good enough for me.

 

Och ja, jag fortsätter med att hitta på namn till mina kläder. Denna fick det väldigt pretentiösa namnet Prinsessklänningen. Inte för att jag känner mig som en prinsessa eller ens är en supporter av monarkin, men på grund av färgerna. En del säger att marinblått och svart inte passar ihop, jag tycker att det kan de visst göra. Jag tycker att detta tyg är ett perfekt vintertyg. Och duger färgerna år prinsessan Madeleine, duger de åt mig.

 

Pattern/Mönster: Gather Kits Mortmain dress
Fabric: Jacquard in a polyester/viscose blend, Stoff och Stil
Notions: Invisible zipper, interfacing

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Creations: Cropped Hawthorn Blouse and Mortmain Skirt

The second contest for Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch is “Separates”. The rules were simple enough, sew two coordinating pieces that work together in an outfit. To sew my separates I reached for two of my dresses patterns, because it seems like the natural thing to do, right?

Minnie Outfit (2)

I bought the polka dot poplin back in January on the annual sale and even back then I had the intention of making a Mortmain skirt. I love the shape of the skirt with those big box pleats. The main feature of the Mortmain is the exposed zipper in the back, which is inserted in a clever way, here demonstrated by Roobeedoo. Of course I had to have an exposed zipper in the back of my skirt, a white zipper to match the polka dots.

Minnie Outfit (9)

After making my skirt I needed something to pair it with. The skirt is pretty high-waisted so I settled for a cropped version of Colette’s Hawthorn dress. All my measurements hit the same size on the size chart, but I still had to do a 2 cm FBA. I will never understand the mathematics of pattern drafting. In the FBA I added a side dart, following the FBA I also split the waist dart in two to reduce bulk, after my FBA it was 10 cm across. For the sleeves I did view A, with short sleeves and a folded cuff. The buttons are fabric-covered buttons.

Minnie Outfit (16)
Not my best face, but it shows off all my FBA darts

This outfit will be dubbed the Minnie outfit as it reminds me of Minnie mouse. I really like how well these two half-dresses go together, although I don’t think they would make a good Frankenpattern. Just the fact that one closes with buttons in the front and one with an exposed zipper in the back is one clue. Plus, I think there would be too much going on. These pieces can also easily be worn with other items, although I’ve passed the bare midriff age and will search for high-waisted bottoms to go with the shirt. Or layer it beneath something longer.

Sleek profile
Sleek profile

I like the outfit, it may be a bit out there, but it did turn out as I envisioned it so I’m quite pleased. I find that is it flattering on me and fun. Obviously it is my entry for the separates contest at The Monthly Stitch.

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Den andra tävlingen i The Monthly Stitch’s indie-månad är uddaplagg. Jag sydde två plagg i bomullspoplin med stretch; en kjol med Mortmain-mönstret och en kort blus från Hawthorn. Kjolen har jag sytt enligt denna beskrivning och den har givetvis ett synligt blixtlås där bak, précis som klännings-förlagan. På blusen har jag gjort 2 cm FBA, lagt till en bystinprovning samt delat midjeinprovningen i två. Det blev en blus som passade mig mycket bra!

Creation: Mortmain Frock

I feel a warning is in order. If you plan to invite me to a party in the upcoming fall/winter season you will be seeing this dress. I love wearing it and I feel totally pretty in it. This dress will probably celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, plus it has the opportunity to see two musicals (American Idiot and Kristina från Duvemåla). Not too shabby for one dress! It also gets to make an appearance during The Monthly Stitch’s Frocktober.

Mortmain (16)
Happy about my new dress (and ran into a wet bush on the way to take photos)

The pattern is Gather Kits’ Mortmain dress. I have made an FBA, which I talked about in my process post along with other alterations. The pattern was great to work with, I loved that it was printed on a sturdy paper, as opposed to the tissue paper that’s often used. I even got it back in its envelope the same way I took it out! Since I’m a tracer at heart I much prefer sturdy paper. Since I am learning the ropes of the FBA, this pattern, with the dart placement is an excellent base to accommodate for a fuller bust. However, I think the darts are still a bit too long.

Bodice closeup
Bodice closeup

The fabric is a cotton satin with about 5% lycra. It’s quite heavy, but I think it works for this dress. It’s very comfortable to wear due to the lycra. Of course the main attraction of this dress is the exposed zipper in the back. For this type of dress, it’s so perfect! A calssaci silhouette and bam! Some excitement in the back. My zipper ended up a bit too low, so I had to add a hook and eye at the top of the seam. I don’t think it distracts too much from the design.

La pièce de résistance
La pièce de résistance

Since I already had decided that this is a winter party dress I wanted to add some decorative stitching. My first idea was to do it in a silver metallic thread, but after doing half the neckline I started to feel bad for my machine and took them all out. All I had to show for that evening of sewing was small bits of metallic thread all over my sewing and reading rooms. And myself. Plus a silver stitch on a teal dress really makes the dress look like an ornamented Christmas tree. It was a little too much. In the end I did the same stitch but in regular black thread instead. Still fun, but not over the top.

Decorative stitches for neckline, armholes and hem
Decorative stitches for neckline, armholes and hem

The other instance in which I had to break out my seam ripper was a total “what was I thinking?”-moment. I had made my armhole facings and was set to attach them. I found which piece was front and back and pinned accordingly. It didn’t quite fit, but I pulled and tugged and got it in to sew. I did the other one, which fitted perfectly, and turned to look at my first one. Sure I had set the front in the front, but I had pinned the whole thing upside down. Nothing to do but rip and replace. Such a stupid mistake!

As I mentioned in my process post I interfaced the waistband and did a self-lining, all inspired by Mary of Idle Fancy. I hope it will hold the dress up better, especially since I have stretchy fabric to begin with, plus it looks quite nice, don’t you think? The waistband feature was one I liked about this pattern, since it’s not seen very often these days. All the edges are overlocked. The suggestion from the pattern was to use pinking shears on the facings’ raw edges. I did overlock them too because for one I don’t own pinking shears and secondly overlocked raw edges are bound to hold up better. There are facings around the armholes and necklines, I know some prefer to use bias tape instead, I’m on team facings. I do however find the need to topstitch armhole facings to keep them in place. The exposed zip is sewn, close to the teeth, with the wrong side of the fabric folded out, then the excess fabric is trimmed and the zipper is sewn again close to the edge, hiding all raw edges.

Overlocked edges and faced and lined waistband
Overlocked edges and faced and lined waistband (and some stray threads)

I enjoyed working with this pattern. The instructions were very clear and the glossary of sewing terms in the back was great to keep the flow going without explanations of terms mid-text. My one problem with this dress is I have nothing to wear with it. I think a good option would be a cropped jacket, such as New Look 6080. Yes, then I’d have one party outfit, but maybe all you need are few great pieces, with some variation potential in terms of accessories (perhaps the Tallis collar drafted for this dress) and layering, because let’s be honest here: I don’t attend that many parties.

Do you go for a many special occasion pieces or is a few enough? Do you have a party invite for me so I can wear my new, lovely dress? Do you get the Mortmain reference (I don’t) and why is it that there as so few of them on blogland?

Sewing Plan Fall/Winter 2014

I have a plan, a seam to sew… (to be sung to the melody of ABBA’s I Have A Dream)

 

Yes, for the first time in my sewing career I have an actual sewing plan. This is huge, as I’ve before aimlessly have wondered through the fabric store isles, picking up whatever appeals to me without much thought if the fabric actually goes with anything in my wardrobe (resulting in my low fabric confidence). With the help of my stash, the new fabric catalogue and interesting patterns I present to you, my sewing plan for FW 2014! (Cheers are in order)

Bomullspoplin, stone - Copy

First up (which is pretty much completed as I type this) is another Alma blouse (number 1, number 2). Why change a winning, well-fitting concept? This time I made view C, with the long sleeves and rounded neckline. It has been made in a greyish poplin, which will make it a perfect base to match with prints.

Aubergine, partysatin - Copy

Next up; a skirt which I will make to match the Alma. The fabric comes from a lovely bolt of purple poly satin, it’s quite stiff, dubbed “Party Satin” in the store. I will make the Michelle skirt from Burdastyle, yes another pattern used for the third time (number 1, number 2). I will buy some matching fabric in grey to make the contrast bits and I hope that will make a cool outfit paired with the Alma blouse. Plus, making a skirt in shiny polyester I hope it will be, you know, actually wearable.

Svart Denim - Copy

Another skirt, I do have a need for them this fall. And another skirt, another re-make. This one will be a black denim skirt inspired by the lovely and inspirational Zooey Deschanel (the skirt looks very much like Colette’s Ginger, but I am not paying that price for an A-line skirt. Just sayin’). The Daily Mail has dubbed this a pencil skirt. Is my fashion terminology way off? To me that is not a pencil skirt. In that spirit, that it’s not a pencil skirt, I will use Burda 10-2011-119, modified of course, I used this pattern for my Lessons Learnt Skirt. I will remove the pockets and copy Zooey’s (I hope this works out, it could be disastrous otherwise). I’ll leave the waistband as is, I daren’t try to redraft it.

Jade satin - Copy

Hopefully, the fall and winter will have some parties to it. Cause if this dress meets my vision, it will be my go to party dress for the season. It’s Gather’s Mortmain dress, which I won over at The Monthly Stitch, in a teal satin. It has a bit of stretch to it (cotton/lycra blend) and I think if I get it right it will be both comfortable and gorgeous. Yes, I have high hopes. I have made my first muslin and it needs some more work. I’m hoping to finish this for Frocktober. I have bought a black silver metallic zipper for the back and am now pondering if I should buy some silver metallic thread to do matching decorative topstitching. Decisions, decisions…

The projects above are those for which I have fabrics and patterns. For the next three projects in my plan I have ordered patterns, but I have no fabrics. Therefor they are subject to change as I haven’t felt the fabrics yet, I always want to feel and touch before committing.

First up: another blouse. I have realised that I am more drawn to blouses than jersey tops so I will make those. I have ordered New Look 6945 and for my version I will do view C, the long-sleeved version. I really like this floral cotton so I hope it feels as lovely, cause I’m sure it will make a perfect fall blouse!

And yes, skirt number three. It may be a bit juvenile, but I really like this purple twill. The pattern will be decided based on weight but if it works I am leaning towards the Olga skirt by Jenny Hellström.

Finally I will venture in to new territory, blazers. I have never ever sewn a blazer or hardly ever wore one, so I thought I’d ease myself into the concept and world of blazers. I’ve ordered Simplicity 4032 and although it says it’s for fleeces I plan to do it in a sweatshirt fabric. I haven’t decided on which fabric I’ll use since I really do want to feel them, avoid getting a too bulky blazer. Plus many of the fashion sweatshirts have polyester, which makes me want to feel them even more. I am suspect of polyester. My plan is to make view D, which is oddly placed first. If it’s a success I can see myself making some of the other views as well, but probably never in fleece.

There you have it; my FW sewing plan for 2014. I will stick to this list, using The Monthly stitch challenges to guide me. The only interruptions I’ll accept are sewing for the kids. Seven pieces in total which I think I can mix and match. Getting ready for a well-dressed autumn and winter.

Do you set a plan for your sewing or is it freestyle all the way? Are you drawn to the same looks/colours as me or is my plan totally out of your style? How would your plan look?