Most Amazing Sewing Weekend…EVER!

Recently I joined an amazing group of women who sew once a month so they have a dedicated, child free, positive atmosphere to sew in.  It is amazing what you can get done in a day.  Then this group went to a whole new level of awesome with the organization of a weekend away/retreat for sewing.  Suzanne organised a wonderful holiday home in Martinborough with extra tables for cutting, a cooking roster, random bed selection, a quiz and a bunting decorating competition.  We just had to turn up and sew… and eat great food and drink wine…and sew some more.
Here is what I made… more details soon.

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Suzanne's amazing bunting

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Black dress finished

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Progress on Rainbow Nougat

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Espresso tights

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Vintage vogue completed

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Boxing mitt bag


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Winning bunting

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Frocktober 2013

Since I was a bit useless at Me Made May, I have decided to do Frocktober instead.  I am making a dress (or two) for the Monthly Stitch challenge and I plan to wear dresses all October.  This is not too much a challenge for me as I do tend to wear dresses most days of the week, but I am also going to try and wear a different dress each day.  This will also mean that by the end of the month I should have shared many more of my me-made dresses that I completed before the start of this year when I started blogging.  So as not too bore you I am going to do a summary of my daily photos of dresses each week.

So to show you what I am working with I made a spreadsheet of my dresses (I love excel almost as much as I love sewing).  This showed that I own A LOT of frocks. So I made a chart of their source – me-made, shop bought or thrifted/op-shop.piechart

Then I decided to add the variable of base colour – this was a bit harder as many of my dresses are multi colours as I LOVE patterns, so I went with the dominant colour to make this chart. Most of the black ones have another colour in them.bar chartAnyway enough of the charting geekiness and on with the last weeks dresses.

Tuesday 1st – Jiffy Dress (me-made) that I have yet to blog about and that I missed taking a photo of, as I went to the gym – lesson learnt take photos earlier in the day.  So here it is on my dress form instead.

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Wednesday 2nd – Black rebound (thrifted).  I love this basic dress and it is the inspiration for this and this one.

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Thursday 3rd – TS Black and Orange tunic (shop bought).  I got this on sale at the start of the year.  It is really light so I layer up underneath in spring.

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Friday 4th – Spots and Dots Dress (me-made), a recent favourite with more details

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Saturday 5th – Super Easy Wrap dress (me-made), previously written up here.

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Sunday 6th – TS Grey and Black Striped maxi dress (shop bought).  I also got this on sale at the start of the year. It is a comfy weekend dress. Photo on the floor as I was not feeling photogenic
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Monday 7th – Grey and Aqua Shift dress (me-made). This is Butterick B5210.  I made this for my brother’s wedding 1 ½ years ago.  It is a cotton print with a cotton/silk interlining.  The bands are a scalloped ribbon from starfish workroom sale a few years ago. I don’t normally look this blurry.
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So are you doing anything for Frocktober?

16/52 Jiffy Dress

This fabric drew me in, I circled the fabric warehouse when their recent sale was on and I kept coming back to this grey/red/black cotton sateen.  I got 2 metres thinking the directional pattern would be fun to re-attempt the pavlova skirt.  Then when it came to cutting out time I decided to do the Jiffy dress instead.

IMG_20130803_214638I had been waiting to make this simple pattern for a while and i needed to find the fabric that worked with it.  The finished measurements on the packet was 110 cm from the neck.  I got Andrew to measure me before I cut out and this meant I could reduce the length by 10 cms for my preferred finished skirt length – just at knee length.  It also meant I could fit my pieces into the 2m of fabric I had, the photo below shows where i shortened the length (and my knees as a bonus).
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This pattern is the same age as me – 1977 – and I like its simple lines.  It was a cheap op-shop find and it was in my size and still machine folded/uncut. It is designed for knits so I decided the stretch in the cotton sateen might not be enough so I added in a 35cm zip in my back seam.  I hand picked my zip as I thought it would take the same time as re-sewing it twice by machine when I made the enevitable slips/mistakes.

I also decided to add in pockets in some scrap fabric, but I added them a little low… a lesson for next time.  But I am learning some things as I actually tried it on before finishing all my seams and I took the front seam in by 1 cm and the back in by about 3 cm for a better fit.  My biggest trip up was when I trimmed the neckline I accidentally pinked a hole in the body of the dress.  I put some interfacing on the back and satin stitched.  It is almost invisible due to the print of the fabric.

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White patch in middle is hole


I love the neckline finishing which is a simple detail of parallel stitching that ensures the facing lies flat.  I also handstitched down my armhole facings for tidiness, but I did machine stich my hem (as I usually do).
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It looks great…If I say so myself. I have worn it many times already – just been slow at getting photos. Hopefully I will get one of me in it in Frocktober.