30/52 Green 80s Sack Dress and 31/52 Floral 80s Sack Dress

This was my Monthly stitch April Double up entry… which I finished sewing in early April, took the photos at Easter and then… life, sickness, more sewing, work and general stuff happened so TA-DAH! Here they are… my double double cheese cheese burger burger please… I mean my double up dresses.
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At Christmas in Palmerston North Arthur Toye I found these on the remnants table (all half price) and I could picture it straight away a patterned front/plain back simple shift dress. But I couldn’t find the pattern I wanted, I had limited fabric to work with so I didn’t want lots of seams or sleeves. Then I got this 80’s kimono sleeve shift dress – a.k.a a 1980s sack dress.

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It was perfect – I cut out my first dress – the green and black version, and sewed up the side and shoulder seams, tried it on and voila – A SACK! So I attacked myself with pins and created under bust darts that curved down to the side (similar to what I have used in vintage patterns) and back waist darts to give shaping.

I unpicked, re-sewed, transferred the dart markings to my pattern pieces, hemmed and did a bias bound turned in neck instead of a facing as I had scooped out the neck line from the original pattern. Then in just over two hours I had a new dress and an altered pattern for the next one.
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So the next night I cut out the pink floral version. This had a new challenge as I was working with a remnant strip with a directional pattern. On the previous one I had just ignored the grain and turned it sideways to fit on the fabric, but I couldn’t have flowers flowing around my body, so I created a ‘design feature’ with a seam at the mid-thigh. I didn’t pattern match due to no fabric, just topstitched the seam down so it didn’t irritate me by flapping about. I also curved off the top of shoulders so they didn’t stick out as much as my first version (this was good feedback from a workmate when I had strutted my stuff in the office that day).
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So again in just over 2 hours I had another stunning dress. Total of five hours work maximum and less than $50 = two unique dresses.

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This is why I love sewing.
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29/52 Sprinkles and Spots

I have been very busy sewing and wesearing my me makes but not busy taking photos. So here is a dress with a sprinkle of spots. I love this fabric so much so I bought it twice by mistake. It is a sale cotton sateen from spotlight. I didn’t know what I was going to make with it until I found New Look 6183 at the Arthur Toye close down sale.
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I made up view C but added in the cap sleeves.  I had a few fun moments when my notches didn’t match… and then I realised there were gathers required under the bust – maybe I should follow the instructions more closely. Especially as I then repeated this mistake on the gathers in the centre panel.
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I like the finished dress, I’m not sure if I love it though…
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But it does look good with my new ice cream and sprinkles necklace from Fortune and Blame. I love her necklaces and you will be seeing a few more around here soon.
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Hot new club called Pants!

My challenge to myself this year was to make pants. My other challenge was to continue my 52 dresses project. It is now May and this is the first time you are hearing about my pants challenge… I think you understand where my priorities lie. But sometimes pants are necessary and the only ones in my wardrobe are a pair of jeans that fit and two pairs of coloured pants that are too big, so I decided to make some black workpants.
The Dreamstress runs regular classes at Made Marion and she had a spot available for Wide Legged Pants at the start of this year. This class was a great way to first look at pants. It uses the Wearing History pattern Smooth Sailing pants which is available as a PDF download. These pants have lovely clean lines and I really like the look. Leimomi had us make a muslin and assisted on fit. It was only three changes in seam lines to get a great fit on me. I was really happy to have expertise on hand for these changes.
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I had a few mishaps when I was putting in my pockets – the first was when I cut the top corner if the pockets from my black fabric and paid no attention to the grain – the black wool blend has a directional grain that is subtle but becomes really obvious when you put it horizontal by mistake. So that got unpicked.
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The second was when I was using a funky lining fabric for the pockets – it was a slippery polyester that I thought would look great, except it was too light weight, moved all over the place and would not let me top stitch the edge of the pockets nicely. So that got unpicked.
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Finally I found some cute scissors cotton in the stash, re-cut my pockets, carefully checked the direction of the black panel at the top and voila – just like that i bad beautiful pockets!

The next speed bump came when I went to attached the waist band, as I had extended the waist to fit on the pants, I thought when I cut the waistband I had matched this increase…. can you see what is coming? I sewed the wasitband, interfaced, pressed and all that and pinned it to the pants to attach it and TA-DAH! It was two inches short. I put the pants in the naughty corner and carried on making other things.
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But I would not be beaten! so I re-cut the waistband with a generous length so I could have room for error and attached it. I used the blind hem function on my sewing machine and a great tutorial from Coletterie
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Finally I finshed my pants… and it is not love at first sight, I do kind of like them. I am not sure if it is just the fact that they are trousers which is unusual for me or this particular pair. I think I need to try again in a different material and also try another pattern..watch this space .

Also my favourite pants clip from the interwebs… Stefon from Saturday Night Live…it kind of explains my title.

28/52 Cocktail Dress

Sometimes a girl needs drink. Sometimes she needs a dress full of drinks.
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This dress is a hodge podge of the bodice of McCalls 6518 that I made here and a rectangle skirt pleated onto the bodice. The inside of the bodice is lined in black cotton as used on the band.
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This dress was going to be my entry into the Dolly Clackett Competition but I have flickr issues and hadn’t written a blog post for AGES, so instead it is just a great dress to go drinking in as you can just point to a drink on it to order :).
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I think this is a fun little dress that will get to go out to the bars a few times.
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Edit: here is a close up of the fabric and drinks.
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