01 02 03 Miss Smartie's Sewing: Owlsome Summer Dress 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Owlsome Summer Dress

34



 The project I've blogged about last week has been finished. I couldn't wait to wear this dress, so I had to sew obsessively until it was done. I had the chance today to wear it out at the zoo, since it was a freakishly warm and sunny winters day, I bullied my boyfriend to take pictures for me and here we are! It really felt like spring and I loved it! This dress has everything you would want in a fantastic summers dress, It's cute (owls), practical (pockets!), flattering and swirls around very nicely. The skirt would be perfect for a rock and roll dancing or a pick nick. The bodice is really deeply cut, but the gathered cups keep everything nice and modest.

This summer dress has a circle skirt and contrasting halter straps. The bodice is close fitting and features some gathers witch will make your breasts seam larger when they are small like mine.
I love the contrasting fabrics on the halter piece but I have been putting of the decision witch contrast fabric to use. In the end I went for a leftover fabric I already had in my stash and made my own owl decorations as you can read in my post on customising fabric. I felt that the contrast was not used enough witch left the design unbalanced, so I added another part in that fabric.

Since I'm already boasting about my fabric customisation, I LOVE my owl fabric. I think It really makes the dress more festive and fit for summer. (and It's not even spring here yet). I'm very happy with how this turned out. I was really afraid that it would look sloppy or very irregular. Instead the owls all get a unique character and I could strategically place my designs to make pattern matching easier. Or at least in theory. I ended up miscalculating a couple of times, but I still think It looks nice and anyway, hand painting your fabric makes you think twice about re cutting pieces.








I also love the design witch I think really suits my figure. It enhances both my hips and breasts and emphasises my waist. Since I'm a bit of a rectangle, I'm always grateful for clothes that make me look as if I've got real curves.  I did not have to make any pattern alterations for fit but I did end up overlapping the halter pieces several cm. I might have made them slightly to tight but this stopped the bodice from gaping and helped with modesty coverage. This is probably down to my relatively small breasts.

Oh and a plus for pockets!

dress inside out, click to enlarge
I also love the finished look the lined bodice has. I use a lot of facings and they never give such a clean finish. It involves a bit of extra work and a lot of extra fabric. But I think the result is worth it. To match this clean finish I tried out hong kong seams and a hong kong hem. I made some biasband from my contrast fabic for the seams and just sewed that on instead of zigzagging the whole piece. Sewing the seam together after went like a breeze. I really liked the finished look and I thought the amount of extra work was reasonable.
I did not have such a fine experience with the hong kong hem though. The pattern calles for a narrow hem of 1.5 cm and I already shortened my dress quite a bit. I did not want it to get much shorter. I cut out more than 3m of bias strips (with a width of 2.5 cm) and sewed them together. Then I sewed it to the hemline. Then I had to turn the strip in twice and turn the hem up 1 cm. This was very fidley work and turned out very time consuming. I also have the feeling that I did something wrong since the hem doesn't seam to flow properly. The result does look nice on the inside though. I'm going to try it with wider strips on a wider hem next time to asses whether this technique is always as tiresome.

If you are thinking of making this dress yourself beware of the pattern label. It's marked easy but some of the techniques are more for the experienced sewer and are not explained at all in the instructions. I'm talking about inserting the bodice into the halter pieces. This has to be done really neatly to give the dress a crisp finish. All other parts of the process are explained adequately though. If you are really determined there are always lots of amazing you tube technique video's to take you through the process...

I also spotted some missing pattern marks (or I might have overlooked them) on the back seam of the skirt. nothing too important though. The notch in the pocket is also in the wrong place according to me, just align the top of the pocket with the top of the skirt like in the picture and you should be fine though.

To sum things up:

I'm in love with the result. I learnt new techniques (although I broke two needles in the process). I have owls on my dress. I made a matching hair bow. In short this was a good experience. The pattern comes together fine and if you are willing to dare the rather advanced process of sewing in contrasting pieces, this dress is for you. Just be prepared to give it a couple of tries. The fabric pieces will mould together in the end. The result is certainly worth the trouble. I'm really in love with this dress at the moment and I would love to have another, I might make another view but I have agreed on sewing a large number of dresses for other people in the near future though so there will be next to no sewing for myself until June.




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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Owlsome Summer Dress




 The project I've blogged about last week has been finished. I couldn't wait to wear this dress, so I had to sew obsessively until it was done. I had the chance today to wear it out at the zoo, since it was a freakishly warm and sunny winters day, I bullied my boyfriend to take pictures for me and here we are! It really felt like spring and I loved it! This dress has everything you would want in a fantastic summers dress, It's cute (owls), practical (pockets!), flattering and swirls around very nicely. The skirt would be perfect for a rock and roll dancing or a pick nick. The bodice is really deeply cut, but the gathered cups keep everything nice and modest.

This summer dress has a circle skirt and contrasting halter straps. The bodice is close fitting and features some gathers witch will make your breasts seam larger when they are small like mine.
I love the contrasting fabrics on the halter piece but I have been putting of the decision witch contrast fabric to use. In the end I went for a leftover fabric I already had in my stash and made my own owl decorations as you can read in my post on customising fabric. I felt that the contrast was not used enough witch left the design unbalanced, so I added another part in that fabric.

Since I'm already boasting about my fabric customisation, I LOVE my owl fabric. I think It really makes the dress more festive and fit for summer. (and It's not even spring here yet). I'm very happy with how this turned out. I was really afraid that it would look sloppy or very irregular. Instead the owls all get a unique character and I could strategically place my designs to make pattern matching easier. Or at least in theory. I ended up miscalculating a couple of times, but I still think It looks nice and anyway, hand painting your fabric makes you think twice about re cutting pieces.








I also love the design witch I think really suits my figure. It enhances both my hips and breasts and emphasises my waist. Since I'm a bit of a rectangle, I'm always grateful for clothes that make me look as if I've got real curves.  I did not have to make any pattern alterations for fit but I did end up overlapping the halter pieces several cm. I might have made them slightly to tight but this stopped the bodice from gaping and helped with modesty coverage. This is probably down to my relatively small breasts.

Oh and a plus for pockets!

dress inside out, click to enlarge
I also love the finished look the lined bodice has. I use a lot of facings and they never give such a clean finish. It involves a bit of extra work and a lot of extra fabric. But I think the result is worth it. To match this clean finish I tried out hong kong seams and a hong kong hem. I made some biasband from my contrast fabic for the seams and just sewed that on instead of zigzagging the whole piece. Sewing the seam together after went like a breeze. I really liked the finished look and I thought the amount of extra work was reasonable.
I did not have such a fine experience with the hong kong hem though. The pattern calles for a narrow hem of 1.5 cm and I already shortened my dress quite a bit. I did not want it to get much shorter. I cut out more than 3m of bias strips (with a width of 2.5 cm) and sewed them together. Then I sewed it to the hemline. Then I had to turn the strip in twice and turn the hem up 1 cm. This was very fidley work and turned out very time consuming. I also have the feeling that I did something wrong since the hem doesn't seam to flow properly. The result does look nice on the inside though. I'm going to try it with wider strips on a wider hem next time to asses whether this technique is always as tiresome.

If you are thinking of making this dress yourself beware of the pattern label. It's marked easy but some of the techniques are more for the experienced sewer and are not explained at all in the instructions. I'm talking about inserting the bodice into the halter pieces. This has to be done really neatly to give the dress a crisp finish. All other parts of the process are explained adequately though. If you are really determined there are always lots of amazing you tube technique video's to take you through the process...

I also spotted some missing pattern marks (or I might have overlooked them) on the back seam of the skirt. nothing too important though. The notch in the pocket is also in the wrong place according to me, just align the top of the pocket with the top of the skirt like in the picture and you should be fine though.

To sum things up:

I'm in love with the result. I learnt new techniques (although I broke two needles in the process). I have owls on my dress. I made a matching hair bow. In short this was a good experience. The pattern comes together fine and if you are willing to dare the rather advanced process of sewing in contrasting pieces, this dress is for you. Just be prepared to give it a couple of tries. The fabric pieces will mould together in the end. The result is certainly worth the trouble. I'm really in love with this dress at the moment and I would love to have another, I might make another view but I have agreed on sewing a large number of dresses for other people in the near future though so there will be next to no sewing for myself until June.




Labels: , , ,

2 Comments:

At 8 March 2015 at 23:30 , Blogger Nothy Lane said...

I love this dress on you - great colour combo and I like the length on you too. Nice work.

 
At 8 March 2015 at 23:30 , Blogger Nothy Lane said...

I love this dress on you - great colour combo and I like the length on you too. Nice work.

 

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