I’m forever terrible at starting anything when I should. For instance, I knew months ago that I wanted to make this dress for the 4th of July. Weeks ago, I bought the fabric. When did I actually start the project? July 2nd, and by start I mean traced the bodice. Ugh.
The pattern is yet another one from Gertie’s latest book, this time using the surplice bodice. To save time, I used the same 3/4 circle skirt from my lemon dress. The fabric is a lovely blue cotton with embroidered anchors, I’ve been lusting over it for about a year! The bodice lining is a red sateen from my stash.
Since I rushed myself and did my sewing at lightning speed, there are errors here. The hem needs to be redone, for sure. As for the bodice, I totally forgot to understitch, and the red keeps peeking out. I also need to adjust the bodice so it doesn’t gap open so much.
Now, full disclosure: I am not built like this. My waist is not nearly this small. In all of these, I’m wearing a steel boned waist training corset here. For a pinup-type dress, I like the dramatic curves a corset gives. I’m also wearing a petticoat, to add fullness and more drama to the skirt. Going for the whole package here, ya know?
Overall, this dress is FAR from perfect, but I’d still say it’s not too bad for a Saturday evening’s work. It’s patriotic as balls, if it wasn’t monsooning Ohio I’d be out celebrating the holiday in it! Happy 4th to my fellow American sewists, and to my international friends, I hope we’re not overwhelming you with blue and red! Happy sewing 🙂
In my last post, you got to meet Albus, the most handsome of gentleman. Today, you get to meet Lily Rose, my pretty yet cranky lady dog. Actually, you’ve seen Lily before, but it’s been awhile, so I felt reintroductions were necessary. Have you ever seen two dogs this photogenic? No, no you have not.
So the dress. This dress is the Gertie-est of Gertie dresses. The fabric is from her line at Joann’s, and the pattern is a mashup from her latest book. It’s common knowledge that I have a thing about sateens, and what can I say, her patterns just call to me.
This dress came together in about 6 sleepy after work hours, though I had already made a quick muslin of the bodice. Being entirely honest, I didn’t follow the directions at all. I didn’t consciously decide to do this, just sort of started sewing, only realizing after that I hadn’t read any instructions. For the bodice (the strapless sweetheart), I added boning on all the seams of the lining, cutting them short in the boob area, to allow for cups. I should have added an additional piece according to the instructions, which I’m sure would have added more stability! For the cups, I did something truly white trash…I snipped the band off an old strapless bra and used the cups in the dress. Using the under wire as a guide, I sewed them to the lining also. In addition, I used horsehair braid around the top edge of the bodice, to help it hold it’s shape. To do that, I just stitched the bottom edge of the horsehair to the lining, and then understitched it along the top. I know that sounds like a lot, but as a strapless dress, I really wanted it to be solid.
The skirt was really fairly straightforward. It’s the three-quarter circle skirt, with the only modification I made being the addition of side seam pockets, because that’s what I do. I cut a straight 6 for this entire dress, which is my RTW size, also. The fit was pretty spot on, the only change I would make next time would be to shorten the skirt a bit. I just really don’t like below the knee skirts on me, but somehow, I always forget about this when cutting fabric. Makes me a bit of a dumbass, but at least it’s an easy fix.
The only major issue I had with this dress is entirely my own fault. Sewists, you should never rush an invisible zipper at 10:30pm, when your normal bedtime is 9:00. The zipper on this dress is FAR from invisible, and is for sure going to have to be redone. I always struggle with zippers, and I’m afraid this time was no exception. It really wouldn’t kill me to practice a bit.
Zippers aside, I’m really proud of this dress. That’s a lot of structural work for a six hour dress!!! Beyond that, the fabric is just fabulous. I feel like the dress belongs on the beach somewhere, with a pitcher of overly garnished margaritas. I do think I’ll wear it a lot, you’ll definitely be seeing it again during Me-Made-May. Let this serve as my declaration that ‘I, Ashley of Sewn by Ashley, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016’.
Fellow sewist, I can’t wait to see what you make and how the challenge inspires you! For my part, I’m hoping it gets to mend or alter some of old makes, and get those suckers worn! You will be able to see daily posts about it on my Instagram, I’ll also be doing a weekly round up here. I hope I don’t bore everyone too much!! I’ll leave you with a few more photos, happy sewing 🙂
I made my deadline, and completed Butterick 5882 on Saturday, moments before walking out the door! If I’m being honest…I’m still not completely pleased with the dress, but…it’s my birthday so I’m giving myself a pass 😉
I made some alterations to this pattern. I added my usual pockets, and I changed the bodice. I lowered the boned portion and curved it along the bust. If I could do it again, I would lower it a full two more inches, it STILL sat too high for my taste. I really wanted something that sat under my bust, where the underwire of a bra hits. I also altered the cups, to compensate for lowering the shelf, by adding two more rows of pleats. For me, the cups go too far up toward my shoulders, I would change that a bit if I made this garment again. I cut a size 12, and it was just a bit too big. In the future, I would cut a 10. This is a Gertie pattern, and for some reason I ALWAYS have fit issues with her patterns :/
The main fabric is also from Gertie’s collection, with the bodice cups and straps just being a black quilting cotton. I lined it with some kind of polyester “lining” fabric, this dress uses a ton of fabric, so I felt like using cotton lining would make it just too heavy. The fabrics were a dream to sew, and the lining felt amazing on the skin, staying cool even in the muggy Ohio summer.
I did an invisible zip, because those give me the least amount of trouble! All of my seams were serged, with the hem just being serged and turned up. All and all, the dress is far from perfect but it worked for the occasion! Definite party dress vibes! Happy sewing 🙂
Today it’s officially just ten short days until my birthday celebration…and I haven’t even cut my pattern yet. Also I plan to heavily modify this bodice. My apologies if I’m not as active in the coming days, I need to do some serious sewing! Cross your fingers and hope I’m not totally fucked 😳
Sometimes in sewing, shit just does not work out the way you planned. Sometimes you accidentally make mom jeans. I should point out that this is not really the fault of the pattern, in this case, rather just the fault of some lazy, lazy sewing.
I was blessed with a naturally hourglass figure, and some longer than normal (for my height) legs. However…I have an absurdly short abdomen. And no shoulders. It’s weird. When making high waisted items, it would be smart to take that into consideration, wouldn’t it? I did not do that. I just went full steam ahead, cutting and sewing a straight 12. I am such a smart girl sometimes!!!
This is Butterick b5895, a Gertie pattern, and as such has tons of reviews. Most of these reviews are good, so…this was a sewists error. I had also intended to make the crop top that goes along with these pants, but honestly, I just lost interest in this pattern. Perhaps one day I’ll pull this out again and revamp it? For now…I move onto my maxi dress . Don’t let that discourage you from giving this a go, though. They actually came together crazy fast and the instructions were way easy to follow. Go on with your normal-sized abdomen and make some adorable capris! Happy sewing 🙂
As you can tell by my limited amount on posts, I haven’t been blogging for very long! Since I’m busy this week doing lots and lots of mending, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pre-blog makes.
I love this dress. I mean really love. I’d sewn this dress with Amy from That’s Sew Amy. From cutting the fabric to finishing the dress, we got both of our dresses done in one day!! Now that’s a win! Not to mention, we were sewing these from the Frankenpattern contest., so there was a decent bit of “winging it”. I think sewing with others is just so much easier, don’t you? I find fitting and working out pattern issues are much less problematic!
So my version of this dress was a mixture of Simplicity 1426 and Gertie’s Pencil Skirt. To combine the two, I made the pencil skirt but omitted the waistband, and just added to the width of the bottom band for the top. Then I added a center back zipper to hold it all together. Easy peasy. I did size down the top, if you follow the pattern guides, I’ve found the top to be too loose not at all like the pattern cover.
I made this one out of a patterned stretch twill, which was fantastic to work with, and black gabardine, which I had purchased by accident. The gabardine was just meh to work with. This being the first time I’ve used it, though, it may have just been the wrong material for this project. Still turned out what I think is fabulous dress, which I am still trying to find a reason to wear!
Hi! Welcome to Sewn by Ashley. I am 29 (yikes!) sewing out of Hamilton, Ohio. About two years ago, when I couldn’t find the perfect dress to wear to a friend’s wedding, I thought, fuck it, I’ll make one. After not having sewn for over decade. So I might possibly be insane?
Insane or not, I was hooked on sewing. Sewing for me is a bit of a comedy of errors, but I hope to be able to provide some trial and error tips for other sewist (sewers? I dunno.) I’ll be posting patterns I’ve done, tips, random freebies, awesome fabrics, and who knows what else. At the very least, I hope you find it entertaining 🙂