~ I am sewing view 4 ~
Do you ever embark on sewing projects that end up causing you more trouble than you anticipated???
I purchased this fabric with the intention of ‘whipping up’ this wrap dress. Boy was I wrong. This dress has now taken more that two weeks of intermittent sewing to get to this point…

Problems I have had thus far:
* I could not get the pleats and darts on the skirt right. I swear I followed the pattern correctly but the skirt ended up being much wider than the bodice. Also, when worn, all the pleats added a lot of weight to the hips, so I removed most of them.
* I lowered the neckline, because it was seriously choking me.
* It turns out my shoulder to waist measurement is quite short, or I have a high waist, and this is a problem when sewing a dress that wraps at the back. When first made up the back gaped terribly! I threw the dress in a ball in the corner of my sewing room for a week, then my mother-in-law suggested I raise the waist – duh of course! I raised the waist a couple of inches and good bye gaping back!

Simultaneous to this project I am making some summer pyjama shorts (or pajama if your in the US)… a quick project that is guaranteed to work.

All I have left to do on my dress is sew on the bias binding, attach the ties, and then hem. Hopefully I will get this done by the end of the weekend.

Sam xox


French knickers.

by hand-quilter on September 14, 2011 · 0 comments

in Vintage Sewing

I found this book just over a month ago, at a Quilt and Craft Fair of all places. I had been looking for a book purely dedicated to sewing lingerie, undergarments and pajamas. The book comes complete with paper patterns for all the garments illustrated in the book. The instructions are clear and there are a number of garments that you are encouraged to make out of thrifted things (like vintage table cloths and doilies!).
Here is my first creation from the book, these french knickers…

I had purchased this lace some time ago on Etsy, and it finally arrived. The lace is a cream and light green 6.5″ wide stretch lace. I used the french knickers pattern supplied in the book and the result was great. The only change I am going to make is to adjust the shape of the crotch piece, but other than that the pattern was perfect!
And I think they go splendidly with the 1920′s chemise-inspired top I made a while back using this tutorial.

Thanks for reading,
Sam xox


It feels like only yesterday, when I sent an email out to a few fellow bloggers and proposed to them that we join together and do a sewing project – One Pattern, Seven Bloggers… and now seven finished dresses!
Today is the big reveal! I apologies for the bad quality photos (and in my kitchen of all places!) but you see, we are having some terrible weather here in Sydney.
So, without further ado, here is my version of the dress…

I cannot tell you how great it has been to be part of this project. It has been fun getting to know the other girls and seeing their emails pop up in my inbox as we all share our trials and successes as we made our dresses.
And don’t forget to visit their blogs to see the dresses they have made:


Hi Sew Retro folk! I wanted to show you all my latest project. I whipped this dress up in a couple of hours last weekend, but had to wait for a sunny day to take some photos. This dress was very easy to make. I have the reproduction pattern so it has the various sizes on the pattern pieces, which was useful for me, as I have a pear-shaped body. I was able to cut the bust to one size, and then the waist and hips in a larger size.
There has been a lot of hating towards this pattern, the general consensus online seems to be that it has no shape and looks like a large apron/hospital gown. I totally disagree. I think (for my shape at least) that it turned out to be super cute and is a perfect dress for our warm Australian summers. I do think though that the success of the dress relies on good fabric pattern choice, and the correct contrast bias binding – otherwise I do see how it could end up looking like the wearer was disappearing beneath 4 meters of fabric!
I wore this dress out today, visiting a cafe and doing a bit of shopping, and three people complimented me on the dress! That never happens when I wear the clothes I make – so for me this dress was a success :-)
I teamed the dress with Casey’s latest romantic Edwardian updo. This was my first attempt at the hairstyle and I think its a cute look.
Have any of you ever made this pattern? Would love a link to see your version :-)
You can see more photos at my blog – All Things Quilty… and Sewy!
Sam xox