Dressing the part.. 

The sun shone & it was a perfect day, didn’t really need to wear the jacket from my last blog but with my dress & hat it was the finishing touch to make me feel the part for Ladies Day! 

 I had thought about wearing a dress I already had but excitement took over & the fabric shop was on. There are so many pretty florals out there at the moment that I was spoilt for choice then a roll of Aztec design stretch cotton just leapt out at me. The lovely lady in the little shop was amused that I could consider this fabric for a trip to Royal Ascot but the colours were just perfect (I’ll be sure to take her a pic!) 

With stretch fabric in hand I planned to use the  Eliza M Eva dress pattern that I fell for as soon as I saw it in Love Sewing mag. This fantastic close fitting dress uses a combination of darts to give its shape. I cut a size 10 across shoulders but graded out to size 12 in side seams as I’m narrow shouldered and between a 10 & 12 on bust/waist.  


 Tracing the pattern out I decided to make a few changes to customise the look; changing the neckline to a ‘v’ at the front/back then extending the centre back seam & heamline to produce a tail effect. This was a bit of an experiment but thought I could always chop it back off if I didn’t like it😃 I also decide to move zip to side seam as I find it easier when I have to fit something to myself…so much easier to pin myself in! 

Cutting out first in a similar black fabric. I cut to the hip length so I could use as the lining and transferred the makings and adjustments. 

   

Only adjustment needed was to take the side seam back down to approx size 10 under the arm. Changes made, both the lining & main fabric had shoulder seams joined then the two fabrics pinned right sides together around neckline. This was stitched & edge stitched before stitching around armhole.  

   With those seams sewn to produce the straps, the curved seams a were snipped & the back pieces could then be pulled though to the front before pressing.  

 The back & side seams were sewn next then I could see if the tail worked! With the back longer that the front I realised a bit of contrast was needed so out came the chalk again.  Measuring a triangle that fitted into the back seam to produce a godet.  

This was sewn in then the back skirt section was marked out again to produce a lining that was machine sewn around hemline, to encase raw edges, & hand stitched up though back of dress to invisibly fix in place.  

 

Overall I was happy with my finished dress but I think it would have been better slightly more fitted on the hips & I plan to edge stitch the tail pleats so they fall instantly back in the right place. 

 I will definitely use the Eva dress pattern,  without my alterations, to make some summery wiggle dresses…. After all I did see all those lovely florals🌹

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Sun, rain, sun, rain….

This weather just can’t seem to make up its mind; one day it’s shorts & flip flops the next jackets & boots! With a day at the races looming I decided a dressy jacket (to go with my slightly over the top hat!!) was needed just in case but something different from the blazer style I wear frequently wear to work. 

I love looking back to fashions of all eras & bought this costume pattern, Simplicity 1558  a while back because I love the shape of the jacket & corset. 

  
I cut a straight size 12 knowing this would probably be snug on the waist but I don’t intend to wear done up! I also decided to omit the back lacing detail & decorative fastening on front. 

  

With a bargain £5 remnant of heavy black satin I managed to just squeeze the pieces in including the centre front lining section. 

Without the fastening details the lining is made up the same as the main body so as I went through instructions I stitched the corresponding seams in both. Following I’ve instructions carefully & actually doing the stay stitching ment I could snip the seams where needed to add the collar smoothly & easily. 

 

The sleeves on this jacket has darts but I decide not to sew then & to just pleat along the line instead. I love the effect & fullness it gives. 

  

 

So that’s my version of this lovely jacket. Lots of pattern pieces but if you follow the instructions it’s reasonably easy to put together and produces a lovely shape. i haven’t added any means of doing up but if I decide to I think it will be just small hook & eyes on the inside so it’s kept hidden.

Not the best photos I’m afraid as it’s currently pouring with rain & a bit dull but hopefully I’ll get some of me wearing it next week at Ladies Day😃

   
 

Toile time

“Toile- a version of a garment made to test a pattern”

Being the impatient sewer that I am & with my little amount of sewing time being precious I’ve been terrible in the past for just ploughing straight in…sometimes I have been lucky but many occasions have resulted in disappointment. Garments not fitting correctly, style just not sitting right, made up garment shrinking during first wash as I didn’t pre-wash fabric as it stated.

Time spent altering things later would be much better spent preparing properly so I’m aiming to produce a toile garment of some sort for each project, preferably a wearable toile😃

I’ve noticed I have a real shortage of tops in my wardrobe as the weather got warmer (or should I say it briefly got warmer, it’s pouring & blowing a gale as I write this!) so in preparation for my simplicity bloggers challenge I decided to make my toile from a floral cotton remnant that I picked up at Fabricland, Portsmouth

 
I only had enough to squeeze the sleeveless version in & cutting to my measurements I graded up a size on the waist. This pattern includes a reasonable amount of ease so I found once made that I hadn’t needed to. 

The pattern includes a zip closure so for this version I decided to make it a feature…..there are so many exposed zips in High Street fashion at the moment.  

 
So that’s my wearable toile; an extra top that didn’t take long but helped me make adjustments before cutting out my final fabric & practice attaching the facings smoothly