Saturday, 25 January 2014

Welcome the hot days with By Hand London's Georgia Dress

I got hooked on By Hand London patterns recently. Here is my first attempt on their Georgia Dress. It's truly a super sexy knockout dress. As of the time I finished the dress, it's the hottest time in Melbourne - above 40 Celsius Degrees for five consecutive days.  So the dress exposed the perfect amount of skin to wear during the day.
front view

Back view
Side view

Size and the fitting

I was a bit confused about the sizing chart. Based on the measurements and the chart, I cut size 8 above the waist and scaled to size 12 in the skirt. (Yes, all because of my big hips). As I cut the pattern, I sensed the skirt would be very wide so I firstly basted the seams to try on the garment.
first fitting

Final fitting - just on side seams

The skirt panels flare a little as reana louisse pointed out. Plus scaling to size 12, the dress almost looks like an A-line dress! I shouldn't have graded to size 12! But as I had the garment, I pinched the seams to get a close fit. I marked the adjustment, and then unpicked the seams to redo them. I highly recommend using a French Curve Ruler to reflect the changes on the pattern.

A bit of a pointer on working with the Georgia Dress is to get a good fit. You can either do a full muslin or sew as you try it on. I only did a muslin on the bodice section. The time will be worth while as the dress looks completely different when it fits well.

Photos below show how much adjustment was needed on the pattern pieces. Even though I cut size 12 below the waist, I found size 8 seems to be more suitable.
Lots of tapering on the skirt

The fabric

I found this stretch denim from my stash. Check my invoice. I only need 1 metre fabric which costs me only $3.
The fabric only costs $3!

I think the dress looks much better if it's close fitted. So I recommend the fabric that has good stretchiness to be comfortable.

The hem

If you machine stitch the hem, make sure to use narrow zigzag stitch to maintain the stretchiness.

The straps

I followed the instructions to use a 1 cm seam allowance on the straps, but somehow it turns out to be too narrow. the model photo seems to have a wider straps. I think I should have used 6cm (1/4 inch) seam allowance, and it would have saved me some time trimming the allowance off.
Straps are too narrow if using 1cm allowance.

It's difficult the turn the strap right side out, especially when it's as narrow as the pattern and the instruction allow it to be. It would be easier to turn if it was wider.

The zip

I recommend using a lap zip instead of invisible zip because you have to sew a few thick layers at the joint of the bodice and the skirt. It would be not be suitable for invisible zip.

I put together a few photos on how to sew a lap zip.

What's next

I am making a shirt dress at the moment. Hopefully I can finish it this weekend. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Alma Top v1.0

I fell in love with Sewaholic Patterns after my first Black Cambie Dress. This Sewaholic Alma Top is much easier than I expected. I read rave reviews on this pattern. I am a big fan of the Peter Pan collar, and I do need some tops/blouses to "brighten up" my wardrobe. So here it is:

great top to go with shorts

The sizing and fitting
You don't have to fiddle with the fitting. It's a semi-fitted top. Allow some ease. Use the bust measure to determine the size to cut because you want the armholes and sleeves to fit well. 

I think I should have shortened the sleeves by around 1 cm after I finished the garment. 

i think the sleeves are a little bit too long

The fabric
The fabric is the pretty printed cotton poplin from Spotlight. The print turns out to be much better than when it's on the bolt. I only used 1 meter of fabric (120cm width), and 35 cm solid colour poplin for the collar. It cost me around $10. 
cute, pretty print on the fabric from Spotlight

The zip
The only challenging step (compared to the rest of the construction) is installing the invisible zip on the side seam. Follow the instructions and you will be pretty safe. 
zip on the side seam

The hem
I decided to make good use of my Bernina Narrow Hem Foot #64. The narrow hem is great on light weight fabric and for tops or blouses. As it uses less seam allowance, I shortened the pattern by 1 cm.
Thanks to Bernina foot #64

Narrow hem is great for light weight fabric

What's Next
I just finished By Hand London's Georgia Dress. Hope the review will be up next week. Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment below. 
what's next...

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