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Friday, September 21, 2012


After my last and first dressmaking experience I vowed to be a better planner before starting a project, and in an effort to exercise patience I am not going to touch the fabric for another week so I can fully research techniques that I will need and figure out the best way of doing each step. It seems wisest to copy an existing maternity dress to be sure of fit, so I am going to make a slightly altered version of the above dress shown here on our trip upstate last weekend. I'm thinking of adding fluttered sleeves since it is a fall shower and maybe a scalloped hem because well I just love scallops. I already picked out the fabric from Joann's, a satiny red polyester, yes not the most luxurious nor breathable of fabrics but I wanted this dress to be easier to work with after the fraying nightmare of the cotton gingham and I fell in love with the colour. Before I start I'm looking into how best to draft and finish the ruffle neckline and sleeve facings and refreshing myself on scallop construction.

I recently purchased the Burdastyle sewing handbook and am thoroughly smitten so far, the patterns and variations are my style and seem like they would be flattering (unlike the colette patterns which apart from the ginger skirt and peony dress would not suit my figure at all) and the instructions very clear which I need at this point. Other projects in the works right now include a kitchen table cloth, jersey swaddling cloths and various gifts for upcoming birthdays and baby gear thank you's.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I finally finished the maternity dress in time for a photo shoot at the Inn on our Babymoon upstate. I drafted the dress pattern copying two different maternity dresses, the bodice from one and the skirt from another and added the elasticated straps afterwards. I love the contrasting lace trim and the sweetness of the style but it was definitely more of a learning experience than a useful addition to my wardrobe because A. I am only pregnant for another 6 weeks (!) and the weather is already cooling down, and B. I made such a mess of the seams that it wont make it through a hand wash.
So here is what I took away from this practice:

- Fabric stretch really effects fit. The dress with the bodice I copied was made with a stretch fabric and my gingham cotton had no stretch at all, I should have added extra fabric to account for this so I wouldn't have had to redo the bust completely.  
- Fraying edges at seams, for a loosely woven fabric like cotton reinforcing the seams is vital, I am going to try french seams and always at least sew along the edge of the seam allowance again before I cut. I also need to be more patient with fitting and not cut the seam allowances too soon as you can't return from that point if its too tight (a recurring problem when fitting a pregnant figure!)
- Drafting for the bust is not simple, darts or gathers must be used!
- Front and back of skirt should be even. I thought I could make the back skirt wider than the front at the hem, since i had used so many gathers on the front to accomodate the bump, but I quickly saw this had a terrible effect when I tried on the dress. The side seams curved around my body and made an unattractive poof at the sides. It was easily rectified by unpicking the seam and trimming the front skirt to match the back skirt width, but still a step that could have been avoided and will next time!
- Direction of print, an obvious one but with gingham you have to be even more mindful as it is two directional and lines are very obvious when going in different directions on bust pieces which should at least give the allusion of symmetry, as they are unlikely to be mathematically perfect, for an aesthetic finish.

Techniques to research for next time:
Finishing seams
Crossing over seam allowances
Fabric properties

Friday, September 7, 2012


After seeing a myriad of t-shirt onesie tutorials I decided to make one for baby boy. Since all Husband’s old t-shirts had prints that were placed too low to use the original neck line I ended up drafting a onesie and sewing it from scratch just using pieces of the t-shirt, very labour intensive but the result is so cute! Im going to replace the clear snaps at the shoulder and bottom with neon ones to brighten it up. Next time I’m doing it the easy way and keeping the collar intact and cutting sleeves as part of the body, but it’s good to know I can make an actual traditional one when I want to.

I have been going craft crazy of late (working part time now gives me the opportunity to do so!) making paper flower arrangements, revamping frames for wall displays and planning all sorts of home dec projects. Fall has snuck up on me, maybe the intense NYC heat and humidity is to blame but I didn’t even realize it was here already! My favorite season and holiday (Halloween, although Husband says it’s actually Christmas) just in time for my nesting period, and I’m possessed with the idea of fall wreaths and spray painting things glossy black….