Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Silk Satin dress - Part 1 (the toile)

Tartan wasn't quite tricky enough, so roll on the silk!  Literally.  The stuff won't stop moving.  Any tips for keeping it still?  Is spray starch any good for this?

Before I hack the silk though I'm making a toile out of a polyester silky satin to check that the finished dress will fit.  Thank you Auntie Moira for the lovely fabric!  Do you like what I've done with it?

The bodice
I started by tacking stay tape to the shoulder seams of the front and back pieces (centering the tape over the stitching line of the fabric) and ironing (after tacking) bias vilene tape to the armhole and neck edges of the front and back pieces (this time placing the stitching, which is on the tape, on the stitching line of the fabric).

The bodice is worked by attaching the front bodice to the front bodice lining and the same for the back bodice.  Then you put one inside the other and join the shoulder seams of the dress together and then the same for the lining shoulder seams.  Finish by pressing the shoulder seams open and turning it all right side out.  

The skirt
The skirt is very simple to make; simply sew the front and back pieces together at the side seams and then tack the lining to the skirt by putting it inside the skirt, wrong sides together.

The only difficulty I had is with the fabric stretching slightly as it is cut on the bias.  I'm hoping my silk will be a bit more robust and I'll have to make sure I handle it a bit more carefully.

Attaching the two  
Next was attaching the front pieces of the bodice and skirt.  Again this was very simple and I sewed the seam allowance down (using top stitching) to create a channel which I fed my elastic through.

Finishing the back
The back pieces of the bodice and skirt do not get attached together as there is a nice opening there instead.  I applied a facing to the opening which I turned through to the wrong side and secured.  I then made two rouleau tubes and attached each one to either end of a piece of elastic which I threaded through the channel.

Hemming the dress
I used a rolled hem on my overlocker to finish both the dress and lining hems.  This is the first time I've done a rolled hem and I really like the scalloped effect it creates on this fabric.

And best of all the dress fits well so I can go ahead with making it in silk in time for the Summer.

Floral silk satin    My auntie! free 0
White silk satin lining http://www.abakhan.co.uk/silky-satin-1-white-145cm.html 2m @ £4.55 per metre 9.1
Thread http://www.abakhan.co.uk/ 2 @ £1.55 each 3.1
TOTAL 12.2

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate 2015

'Rose' from http://www.sewladidavintage.com
'Margo' from http://www.sewladidavintage.com
What can I say...I'm £150 lighter!

This year's Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate was the best its been for years.  For the first time there was a real dressmaking presence; new exhibitors showed off patterns designed and made in the UK and there was ample variety of quality dressmaking materials from the UK and beyond.

I'm excited to try out two new patterns I bought from Sew La Di Da.

Despite feeling Merchant and Mill's absence greatly (their stall is always full of delights), I did manage to get my hands on one of their patterns from Emma Garry. From another exhibitor I picked up a lovely fine wool for the discounted price of £14 a metre which is very similar to that used on the pattern envelope except it has undertones of dark brown rather than black. 

For the first time at the show I attended a workshop; mine was on how to Crochet a granny square.  I paid £20 and walked away with a complete and slightly/very messy granny square, a full ball of wool and a crochet hook so I can practice practice practice.   

The class was well run despite a leak at the venue which caused the teacher's handouts to disintegrate. One thing that was lacking from the show was any pre-show communication about what supplies would be provided or even if attendees were required to bring anything with them to the workshop in order to fully participate.  So I was quite relieved that my pen and paper was enough and I didn't have to go on a mad dash around the show for some wool in order to be able to complete my granny square!  

The most rewarding part of the workshop was seeing the treble stitches come to life; I recognise them not from books but from the several crochet blankets, aged 30+ years which my grandma made for me and which never leave my bed.   I'd love to be able to progress and make a granny square blanket to pass down through my family (alongside my grandma's ones of course)!

I'd highly recommend the workshops at the show as they add an extra element to the day and allow you to speak with other people who have similar sewing interests.  They're also a great way to try a new method of stitching before committing to buying all of the supplies and, of course, it's almost always easier to learn a new skill first hand from live demonstrations.  

So now I've had an enjoyable two hour taster I've enrolled onto a beginners crochet course in my favourite town of Ramsbottom at Stitch.   It starts in February 2016 and after that I think the granny squares will be under construction!

Stitch Studio
Stitch in Ramsbottom run a wide variety of
dressmaking and sewing courses

This is the aim...!

What else did I get up to at the show?  Well, I spent a lot of time selecting fat quarters for my next sewing adventure...quilting.  

I was given a copy of the book Fast Quilts from Fat Quarters several years ago and I've been wanting to make one of its appealing quilts for some time.  I've finally settled on one which is the size of a double bed and which has a lovely visual symmetry.

I've also collected several patchwork and quilting books over the years so I feel prepared for the new challenge.  So much so that I spent a day of flexi leave from work hand washing and ironing 14 fat quarters and 3 metres of white fabric!  

This is what I'm aiming to make but in a white, purple and green colour scheme (you can see the fabrics I'll be using in the final photograph):

I think, as usual, I've bought and invested in more than enough to last me until way beyond next year's show.  But that's all part of the fun!  I hope everyone else who went found some new and exciting projects to work on!
My purchases from Harrogate 2015