"" The girl who makes things: The story of a little blue dress

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The story of a little blue dress

Oh my goodness, time is ticking away - I can't believe that this time next week I'll be in Portugal! I feel completely under prepared and I'm absolutely bricking it. The only thing that's been calming my nerves is sewing, but even then I'll have to pack away my sewing machine and overlocker *sob*. I'll have to cope with sewing on my tiny little portable sewing machine for the next few months/year so I won't be able to make anything heavy weight or complicated. I should hopefully still be able to make shirts - I really want to make an Archer now. Anyways, after the selfless act of making a shirt for my boyfriend I decided to default to my favorite kind of project - a dress for me.


Here's the story of this lil number: I decided I wanted to make a new dress for drinks with friends on our last night out in Leeds so I chose Vogue 8766 the straight skirt version with short sleeves. I already had it in my stash from making the bridesmaids dresses and it's a really versatile pattern (maybe a contender for the next owop?). I've used this pattern a couple of times so I have the bodice pretty much down pat. I headed to Leeds market for some reasonably priced fabric and found the perfect plain black stretch cotton. Then I saw some floral patterned stretch cotton. My mind went "plain black, sensible choice.... pretty pattern, but I'll never wear it.... plain black, boring.... pretty pattern, interesting.... pretty pattern, pretty pattern, pretty pattern...." and yes, I persuaded myself into the patterned fabric.


Readers, do you ever have this problem with dressmaking? I know that I like wearing plain fabric so why do I always buy patterned fabric? I mean I do like to wear florals, usually for special events and weddings, but on a day to day basis, I'm quite low key. I like my stripes and block colours but I just can't do the whole busy vintage flowers thing - some people can pull it off, I can't. So why oh why do I always buy floral fabric?? Anyway, I did persist with this make in the hope that I'd like it more once it was made up. This is how it looked:


The more I wore it around the flat, the more I began to feel like a member of the Von Trapp family, gallivanting around in the living room curtains singing Doe a Deer. Really floral fabric, however pretty, always makes me feel a bit silly. I didn't want to bin this make, the fit is actually really nice, so turned to the only other option I felt I had: black dye.


I dyed a tester piece of fabric first, just to see what happened to the pattern. The pattern still showed through but everything was just dulled down to a dark blue which I was quite happy with as I wear a lot of blue. I chucked the whole dress in with the dye and then gave it a wash. The result is what you see now.


Other deets about this dress: I fully lined it with some brown polyester I had in my stash which I needed to use up. I changed the neckline to make it wider and higher at the front and scoped out the back. I also inserted an invisible zip (nearly all of my dresses have them as I find them easy to insert now). In fact it used to take me ages to do invisible zips, but this time it didn't take me long at all and it's pretty much perfect - the waist seam lines up and everything. I like to think this is a sign of just how far I've come with sewing.


I'm really happy with the results and I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this dress. In fact if you're wondering why the dress is a bit creased and I look so hungover in the pictures it's because I actually wore it out last night. It still seems day and evening appropriate - score!


So have you ever saved any projects which haven't quite gone to plan?


19 comments:

  1. This is lovely! The fit looks great, and you did a brilliant job on dyeing it. It looks fab.

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  2. Looks fab on you, love the shape of it. As well as your ingenious dye job. Your hair is looking lovely as well!

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    1. Thank you Rona, yes my hair does look rather pronounced in these pictures!

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  3. I am a big wearer of florals myself, but I must ay the dye job looks so much better than the original dress. So lovely

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    1. Thanks Kaitlyn, I like it so much better now :)

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  4. hooray for another dress youll
    wear. It really suits you.
    im sure you could get a cheap second hand machine in Portugal? maybe wven solar power it witb all the sun!

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    1. Haha, I love the idea of a solar powered machine. I've actually got a cheap little machine from John Lewis. It's not as good but it's at least something!

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  5. Wow! I can't believe how well that dye job turned out. Love it!

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  6. Ah this is lovely, I totally know what you mean about buying innapropriate fabric. I'm trying to force myself into buying more block colours..........oh but then I see some that has cats on and out the window it goes.
    Good idea about the dye, it's worked really well :)

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  7. I don't love the original fabric, but with the dye it's gorgeous! Speaking from experience.... wash it by itself for at least the first 10 washes, even if the water runs clear.

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    1. I'll certainly take that on board!

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  8. I looked at the pictures and thought ooh, what a beautiful fabric! I would never have guessed it had been dyed and I would never have thought of dyeing it myself. Looks great!

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  9. This is pure genius! I definitely need to try this, there's a floral cotton in my stash that I've been avoiding...

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  10. I would never have guessed you dyed it, the original fabric was pretty but this looks very classic-easy to dress up or down and a great silhouette. (Von Trapp family... Lol)

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  11. WOW! That navy really flatters you! Great work! I really need to think outside the box when I screw up my makes :)

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  12. This looks great. Your dye job is a wonderful idea and definately improves the fabric.

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  13. I do love me a bit of do and deer - but I also love a bit of low key when I'm not singing away in the austrian alps:) Your dress looks so cool and I'm sure you will get plenty of wear in the new colour!

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  14. Eeek you're on Closet Case Files!

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