31 July 2013

Making a Dress - Apron/over dress

No sooner as I was finished with the my high waisted skirt I had to decide on my next project.  Yeah I should have planned my projects but that would be far too easy and I like to keep my options open.


Anyway I had two dresses in mind.

Both adorable and I will make both of them but which one first???

So I asked my facebook friends and the decision was this one.

Hooray decision made now I need to make it.


I do love cream as a colour but I wanted this dress to be more versatile and multi seasonal so it was going to be a dark colour.

Now part of this "Making a Dress" series is to see what can be made from a kimono bolt because I like a challenge.  Therefore the fabric I chose for this dress is a lovely navy blue wool fabric with a leaf pattern.

Here is a closeup of the pattern on the fabric.

I like the subtle pattern on this fabric because from a distance it looks just navy blue but only when you get closeup to the fabric you see the detail.

Design Process

I will be using the pattern from my lolita sewing book but as always I have to make sure the sizing and pattern work.

The skirt is simple enough but the bodice was the part that I was concerned with because I am not a standard Japanese size.




There were two areas that I was concerned with.  First the back dart was just not right, it made the bodice poke out.

That will have to go and then there is the gap at the front.

Now this could be caused by me pulling on the fabric too much when I am edge stitching or maybe the pattern needs to be altered again.  Well it is better to be safe then sorry so I will alter the bodice a little.


So time to get cutting.

Of course I was muttering measure one, measure twice and cut.  Although for me I had to measure a few more times time this is not a standard width of fabric.

Anyway I had to bit the bullet and I eventually cut the fabric into the required lengths for each of my pieces

So in no time I completed the bodice.  Looking good around the front.

And so does the back.

Now to tackle the skirt and the 8 metres strip of fabric that will be turned into 2 metres of ruffles for the bottom of the skirt.  Oh my god!!!  I can not tell you how annoyed and how much I swore at the ruffles.  It took me one and half days to get ruffles hemmed and then ruffled.  Never again will I use this fabric to create ruffles.  It was insanely hard because it completely slip my mind that thicker the fabric the harder it would be to gather.  Oh well, I have started so I have to finish it.  It took me 4 hours to gather just under 8 metres of ruffles into 2 metres but I did it.

So the following day I managed to complete the dress.

Here is the front.

And the back.

Yep this dress has pockets!

And it has matching buttons.

I am very happy with the results.  It pretty much turned out how it should and apart from the difficulty of the ruffles it was pretty easy to make.

18 July 2013

Making a Dress - Decision to make

My timing has been messed up this month for "Making a Dress" because of a delay with postage of the last project so I have only a week to decide which one of the following I should make.

Should I make the dress on the left which is a sort of overdress that ones wears over another dress/outfit like an apron or the one on the right which is a empire line/emily temple style dress.

I am torn between the two as the one on the left looks very cute and I can use it to co-ordinate with other things in my lolita wardrobe.

But the one on the right would be wonderful for the summer and it is a nice for a casual lolita dress.

What do you think? 

9 July 2013

Making a Dress - High Waist Skirt

Sorry for the delay with this post but I had trouble with post because I was waiting for supplies to arrive.

Anyhow I am not quite making a dress this time but it is still sewing.


Since receiving my lolita sewing mooks I have been dying to making something from them and I have decided to make the skirt in this picture.

It is so cute and frilly!  Plus it fit nicely with my existing wardrobe of work blouses although I do need to make a proper lolita blouse.


So the fabric this time is this one.

What is special about this fabric is that it is actually a kimono bolt and I was very tempted to turn it into a kimono because I always wanted a checkered kimono but alas my desire for a classic style lolita skirt was more important so it will be turned into skirt.

Design Process

As with all Japanese sewing mooks they give instructions on how to draft the patterns when I noticed on thing.  The waist measurements are a little bit too small for me, in fact only 4cm too small so that needed to be altered.

Then after I cut out the first piece it dawned on me that the pattern may be too wide for the fabric.  So I did a bit of calculation and oh dear it was.  This meant I would need to alter the pattern more then I wanted but I do not think it will affect the overall look.

Fingers crossed!


So time to cut the fabric eeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

No turning back now is there.

I tried my best to be as economical with the fabric as possible because I wanted some left to make an accessory.

I think there is just over a metre of the fabric left which is more then enough.

Now the pieces are cut, it is time to put it all together.

Fortunately most of the construction was pretty straightforward.  The only thing that was new in this dress making is that I will be inserting my first ever concealed zip into a garment.  Actually it is the first zip I have every inserted.  I have watched plenty of YouTube videos and read a lot of articles on how to insert them so they are not unknown to me however there is always a bit of hesitation when it comes to the real thing.

The biggest surprise for me in this skirt is adding on the frills.  Who would have thought adding 2 layers of frills would take a whole Sunday afternoon!  So much for the zip being the most complicated thing.  It also didn't help that my sewing  machine decided to have a hissy fit just as I was about to sew the second layer.  Ooooooo that did not make me happy.

Anyway here is the finished skirt!

I am very happy with the result!  I was a bit worried that the extra seams at the front and back (due the width constraint of the fabric) would make the skirt look odd but it didn't so hooray.  Now I need a nice blouse to go with it.