She sparkles into the night

Um so, it’s been a long time between drinks, hasn’t it? Its funny how a few weeks turns into a year in the blink of an eye! I’ve been sewing more than ever, but these days most of my project documentation lives on instagram (find me at LadyxBec). Still, I do like the idea of this little spot on the web as a place for more in-depth analysis of projects and patterns so I’m planning to keep it around, albeit with an irregular posting schedule.

Oh hey there! I'm Bec and I enjoy floral prints, silk fabric, and cocktails that are on fire. I live in Canberra and I've been sewing for about 4 years. Apart from sewing I spend my days working as a public servant, hanging out with my rabbit Oreo and att

So! On to the dress! I purchased Vogue 1374, a cowl-backed, sequin encrusted Badgley Mischka design over a year ago, thinking that one day I would quite like a sequin dress. When I got word that my departments annual ball would swap to a soiree this year I was inspired, making the gown knee-length would not only make it more appropriate for the occasion but also (hopefully) mean I could wear it to other events in future. Not long after I stumbled across the perfect sequin fabric at spotlight, between the ideal colour – a kind of bronze/black/brown and the ideal price (40% off) I knew I had to have it. At the same time I picked up some stretch beige lining.

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The first issue I encountered was that my stretch lining didn’t have enough stretch – it fit OK over my hips and bust, but didn’t have much give. Therefore I decided to add some additional ease to the sequined outer fabric. This was a terrible idea. The sequins stretched SO MUCH MORE than the lining, partly because they were more stretchy due to the mesh base and partly because the weight of all those sequins dragged everything down.

The other major problem was the pain of cutting and sewing the sequins. I cut my fabric in a single layer, facing down and still wore protective goggles in case of flying sequins. When I came to sewing the sequined fabric it only got worse – I broke more than 15 needles and only the goggles saved my from some near-misses with sequin shards and broken needles. After that the clean-up, while tedious on carpet was nothing.

I ended up hemming with fusible hem tape as I couldn’t face the thought of sewing more sequins on the machine and had no time to hand-sew. I would like to go back and re-hem using a strip of the lining, but the hem tape has held on with remarkable staying power!

2016-11-24_05-37-52 I made only three alterations to the pattern: I tacked the back cowl interlayers to either side at the back, ensuring it sat high enough to wear a regular bra, and I shortened the sleeves and the length. Because of the weight of the sequins, I also did a loose row of hand stitching right under my bust to stop the sequined layer dragging so much and also hand stitched the lining at the neckline to keep it from peaking out.

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Overall I am thrilled to pieces with this frock – it went together very well and if you were using a stretch jersey or velvet it could easily be made in a day. I adore walking around like a living disco ball, and, because of the stretch it’s also super comfy!

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Worn to: Work Spring Soiree, Canberra Sewing Crew Spring Fling.

Overall rating: 5/5

PS: I don’t know why I have such awful bitchface in these pictures – I promise you I was actually drunk + happy!

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Getting Skirty

Despite the fact that I rarely sew them, I adore skirts. I particularly love the high-waisted full, pleated skirts that are everywhere right now. They seem just the thing for work with a pretty blouse and for play with a tee-shirt. I rocked this little number to the May Canberra Sewing Crew and was pumped that there was just enough sunlight when I got home to take some sweet pics.

I have tried a few skirt patterns (didn’t love them enough to blog), but none of them seemed “right” so armed with some fitting room photos and the measurements of a full pleated RTW dress I set about creating my own pattern.

Tonight on the blog: this sweet skirt using V8998 for the waistband and a self drafted skirt. Also bad pictures and awkward dancing #sewing #completed
(I was so happy with it I decided to do an awkward looking dance)

I used the waistband from Vogue 8998, which is contoured and fits my really well. Then I started on the skirt. I gave it 5 pleats at front and back, inseam pockets and a back zipper. Lots of these RTW skirts have invisible zips, but I was worried that over the waistband it would be hard to zip/not strong enough so I used a regular zip and centre lapped it.

I did have some issues with the pleats – I think perhaps my maths skills need some work as it took me about 4 tried to get the skirt waist to be the same length as the waistband. I’m planning on re-drafting the skirt pieces as I had the same issue with my second version despite carefully re-measuring and making.

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I am really, really happy with the finished product! I used Monet Meets Modern Sateen in Blue/Pink from the remnant warehouse. It’s the perfect fabric for a skirt like this and lovely quality.

Plus as I said this type of skirt is great for dressing up and down. I wore it to a music festival a tee (actually this exact outfit if I’m being honest), and then to work with heels and a blouse. I’ve already made my second version and I’m keen for many more!

Until next time.

P.S. there were more photos, until I realised I had demon eyes in all of them. So instead you get awkward dance and head cut-off pictures. Because of course