Monday, 22 July 2013

Tutorial: make your own dropped waist dress!

Would you like to make your own dropped waist dress? It was very simple indeed! Just follow the simple steps below:

1. Find a dress pattern that you like, preferably a princess seamed one (as darts may be harder to shorten) without a waistline seam. If you are struggling, perhaps give Simplicity 2146 a go? I would recommend using a tried and tested/toiled pattern for this, as you know how well it fits and how long the finished length is. 

2. Determine where you want the "dropped waist" to be on your body.

3. Shorten the pattern pieces accordingly, remembering to leave the length for the seam allowance. If in doubt, leave longer rather than shorter. 

4. Make up the short dress/long bodice according to the altered pattern from step 3, without inserting the zipper. 

5. Cut out a rectangle for the skirt piece – the size for this will depend on how long and how full you want the dress to be. For reference, my rectangle was 150cm x 30cm, but do bear in mind that I'm quiet short - you are likely to need a wider piece. 

6. Gather the long edge of the rectangle evenly to fit the bottom of the long bodice from step 4. 

7. Attach 4 and 6 with right sides together for the full length, leaving the centre back seams open.

8. Insert zipper - I used a lapped zipper, but you are free to pick your own! 

And that’s it! You’ll have your very own dropped waist dress! Do feel free to shout if you have any questions!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Touch of pink dropped waist dress

Update -- make your own dropped waist dress following this simple tutorial here!

Whilst my Singer 8280 is taking some time out to be cured (hopefully!), I have been keeping up my sewing activities with my Singer 99k, and have really enjoyed getting to know this beauty from 1957 (a separate post on this later). For now, here's my latest creation:

I have a soft spot for dropped waist dresses, especially those with a semi-fitted waistline (I do like the baggy type, too, but generally more on other people). So when I snapped up this cute polka dot stretchy cotton, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. It's quiet a thick material, much thicker than the stuff I used for the old favourites dress and my Alma blouse, so would be perfect in providing the structure that is needed for the desired effect of the skirt. 

I've called the dress "touch of pink", as the polka dots are actually in a very pale shade of pink. You probably can't see this from the photos, but they do just make the fabric that little bit "softer". I love it!
I used Simplicity 2146 (remember my last version?) as a base pattern, as I like how it fitted, as well as the princess lines. I chopped off the bottom of the skirt and replaced it with a gathered skirt. 

I made quiet a narrow hem, and used a lapped zipper. Instead of the actual facing, of course I used my favourite single-fold bias tape technique. And this had to be in a pale pink, too. There are no photos of the inside of this dress, as I'm too embarrassed to show you the inside... as it's not yet finished! I'm waiting for my Singer 8280 to come back before finishing the seams. But the outside of the dress looks good, right? ;)  

That said, my lovely 99k has been instrumental in helping me with this wonderful little project. I approve! 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Old Favourites Dress and SOS on my Singer 8280!

What a beautiful summer weekend! For those that don't live in the UK, I hope you had lovely weather too! 

First thing first. I am very sad to report that my modern Singer (aka Sallie Moonbeam) broke down last night...  The handwheel mechanism got jammed up, and would only move a tiny teeny amount back and forth. I took her apart almost completely (big mistake), didn't find anything that was caught (but man was it filthy and fluffy), and when I proudly put everything* back, there were 3 screws and a cylinder left!!! Needless to say, it still doesn't work, and I am getting more and more wound up over it. I didn't quite realise just how much I was relying on my sewing machine, until it stopped working! 

HELP PLEASE! Has this happened to you before? Also, if anyone has any experience of any sewing machine repair/service specialists in the South East (UK), please could you let me know? 

Now onto the project. This was a quick project with one of my favourite patterns, McCalls 2401 (see previous versions here and here), and the same stretchy cotton fabric that I used in my Alma Blouse. I've called it the Old Favourites Dress, though strictly speaking the fabric is quite a new favourite. 
It was a breeze to use this tried and tested version, which I have altered previously to fit me (see adjustments here). This time I made a View F, with the bateau neckline, and sleeveless. I love this pattern with a stretchy cotton - it hugs the body so well and it's super comfortable to wear.  


I finished the neckline and armholes with a navy single-fold bias binding as facing - you can't see it from the photos but I love the slight contrast on the inside. 

I think this is quite a smart looking dress. And did I mention how comfy it was to wear? A bit of stretch is all you need sometimes! 
Have a lovely week all! My priority will be to get my 8280 fixed but in the meantime, I'm going to try and use my Singer 99k to keep me busy... 
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