Sunday, 5 June 2011

Purple Silk Sensation

I've completed it! Almost a week in the making (most of that was spent working out how I was going to draft this dress). I've had ups and downs in the making of this dress and it's highlighted some skills I need to brush up on.

I was going to draft the dress from scratch as I wanted back darts and front bust only darts and was having trouble finding a pattern. However my drafting skills are one of the things I need to work on. I finally found this free dress pattern by Alexandra over at Burda. The size was almost right, so I adjusted the fit, altered the armhole to fit my idea and began.

All went well to begin with, the lining came up a treat, and the dress was OK too. I used french seams as the fabric was quite fine and very slippery. avoiding any puckering took some doing! I was very good and pressed everything twice.

The neckline had very little seam allowance after unpicking and I had to understitch to get a secure and clean finish. I used a self-made bias strip (made from the discarded sleeves) to edge the keyhole at the back of the neck.

However this is where I began to realise I was missing some skills.:

1. Sewing an invisible zip
2. Sewing a lining on a sleeveless dress - without having to hand stitch

I've made a reasonable finish of the zip, but it's not perfect. The armholes I hand stitched, folding the seam allowance in and clipping as I went. However, the fabric looked puckered and uneven. having tried the dress on I decided that the bottom of the armholes were too tight and I needed to cut more away. I chalked a line, basted the edges together, trimmed and used the rest of the bias binding I'd made to hem the arms. Much better! (but not perfect)

So anyway here it is (sorry about the poor photos, I had to use my phone as the camera was our of batteries and  no spares - sight).  I have matching shoes for once, jewllery that looks brilliant with this, and a weekend in London with my sister and mum. BRING IT ON :)

Total cost: Dress £4.29, Button 6p, Thread £1.45 = £5.80

Have a look what other creatives have been up to at Wendy's Handmade Monday.


  1. Claire - the dress look super, just love shift dresses, they look so elegant. I cannot believe that you did it all on such a tiny budget. Congratulations!

  2. You've made a fabulous job of the dress - it looks amazing. Impressive that you've done it on such a tiny budget.
    Thank you for taking part in Handmade Monday x

  3. Thank you. I'm just getting back into all this sewing stuff. It feels good to have done something well - may there be many more.

  4. Well done looks brilliant and love the colour

  5. I am always jealous of those who can sew and you have done such a great job of this dress!!


  6. So you used an existing paper pattern to alter the dress? - inspired such a great idea and the dress looks great, perfect fit.

  7. I love bargains. This dress has turned out so lovely and you have gained a new follower.

    Jan x

  8. The fabric may have puckered due to your machine settings- often the bobbin needs major adjustment with fine material.
    You had really good vision to see what the original dress could be.

  9. Wow that is one impressive piece of work. You have my awe on that considering I can't even contemplate such handy work! You should be very very proud of yourself.

  10. That is quite impressive! I love that you gave a step by step and that you took on such a task! Excellent work. :)

  11. Wow that is ace! I love the colour and the detail.Am so very jealous, would love to be able to make my own dresses!


  12. I think you might be my new hero! I'm still trying to sew in a straight line. Dress is a gorgeous colour.

    Anna x

  13. this dress is awsome! the colours, the embroidery, the fabric! so envious! :)

  14. Thank you all for you comments. I loved making this. I keep thinking what next? Have been making brooches this afternoon.

  15. You are so clever the dress looks gorgeous. I'm amazed that you managed it on such a small budget well done.

  16. What a great, little dress! Congratulations :)

    I hope you enjoyed the theatre in London. What did you go and see?

    This Good Life

  17. I went to Les Miserables - it was excellent - can highly recommend it.


I'd love to hear your views, so come and share.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...