Tuesday 27 October 2015

Bruyere - finally mine!

It took me almost a year from buying this pattern at the last SewBrum to actually get it sewn! I rediscovered my love of shirt dresses when I put my 2013 McCalls makes on (here and here). I had to have another one, or two, or three. Only one so far.

Fabric: Cotton print fabric that I bought from Goldhawk Road this year. I love fabric with flowers on it. I'm always in love with Ruths and Roisins makes and decided to finally make a flower dress for myself. I managed to cut the Bruyere from 1.5 m of fabric - at least I thought so. But discovered that I had missed the back facing, ups. There was no fabric left and so I used some white leftover cotton.

Pattern: Bruyere from Deer and Doe. I cut a size 36 for the bust, a 38 for the waist and a 40 for the hips. It was the first time that I cut a bigger size for the bust. I went to a proper Bra fitting and I can only recommend you go as well if you have the chance! I always bought 32B and the bra that fitted me best was 28/30 D (the shop keeper was raving about my very narrow back). I couldn't believe it.

 Cutting bigger bust sizes might also improve the fit of the clothes on my shoulders which I always struggle to fit right. For the Bruyere, I only did a forward shoulder adjustment and then crossed my fingers. I usually make a muslins, but as shirt dresses are not as snug I usually can get away with not fitting them. I also lengthened the shirt dress to size 46 because I'm not planning to wear it over trousers.

Constructions: As others have already commented, this pattern is for the advanced seamstress. There is not much detail and I was actually surprised by the lack of it. One of the challenging parts for me was to put in the sleeves. There seemed to be a lot of ease and I was wondering if they have to be gathered. But according to the internet I was the only one struggling. I unpicked the sleeves several times and managed to get them in with a minimal amount of puckers. Did anybody else experience problems with this step? Or was it just my lack of skill ;) Oh, I'm also not showing the plackets. Thankfully my fabric is patterned...

Fit: Not perfect yet. When wearing the shirt to work today I noticed the bust darts riding up which caused the build up of a fold over the bust. I'm not exactly sure why that is but I might try to move the bust dart down a bit because I thinks it is a bit high. For my next version I will also reduce the ease in the sleeves as they are a bit puffy. Other than that. I love it!

I had some trouble to style the dress. For the blog photos I was wearing it with purple tights. But tights are see through and so I didn't feel safe - especially because the fabric kept clinging to my bum and then riding up - any tips? Also what type/color of shoes would you combine with purple tights? I've worn the Bruyere with black leggings and a purple camisole today which felt much better.

Not my favorite photo, but the only one that shows the proportion of the shirt dress a bit better.
Lastly, thanks so much for your comments regarding my pink stripy dress last week. They are most welcome and I will review them coming spring. For now, the dress has been put to the back of the wardrobe and will be ignored :) PS: My sewing mojo seems to be back following a trip to Amsterdam - pictures to come -  and I'm merely sewing and embroidering. There is also some house hunting in the mix, but so far no success. Do you really need a sewing room? YES!

Friday 16 October 2015

Pink ZigZags!

Country Girl ;)
I actually planned to have more sewing time after all the wedding preparations were done. But no, we went straight into our next big adventure: house hunting! So that's how we spend most of our Saturdays - looking at other peoples houses. So far nothing has come along that both of us really like. That means more searching and less sewing.

But I've found some pictures that we took in August in which I wear the first dress I made after finishing my wedding dress. I wanted a quick no-fitting sewing project and thus made my third version of Simplicity 1803 (see versions one and two).

The fabric is a liberty copy print on cotton lawn. I bought it on Goldhawk Road and it is one of the first fabrics I ever bought. So it felt really good to finally use it. I tried to match the Zigzags as best as I could and am really happy with the result.

Sewing the dress was quick, but there was some fitting involved. I hadn't made the yoke version before and didn't anticipate any problems. But having pinned the yoke to the dress, the yoke was strangling me. So I had to take it apart (Does anybody enjoy to take out understitching on trimmed seams? No me neither) and then deepened the neckline curve by 1cm. I couldn't go deeper because then I wouldn't have been able to turn the yoke right side out. The fit is better now, but still not 100% comfortable.

Due to my square shoulders the yoke is not sitting smoothly. You can see the fabric bulging next to the armpit. I tried to handstitch the bulge down but couldn't get it to lay flat on the right side, buh.

Gathers at the front.
Other than that the dress came quickly together. I used my overlocker for the first time to gather a seam. Just amazing: so fast and even gathering. The good thing is that you don't need a special foot for it. So if you have an overlocker and haven't tried that feature yet, I can only recommend it!

Now the big question: Have I worn it? Yes I have, but not very often. The problem is that if I'm not standing straight and don't push my shoulders back, the yoke is bulging massively. See the evidence below. I've worn the dress with a pink boat-neck wool jumper. It is a really nice outfit but I don't like to wear wool on my skin. And also I'm in autumn mood which means I want to wear brown, orange or red colors.

I wonder how it would look like without the strap of the bag?! Probably worse.

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