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Saturday, 14 January 2017

I made a TENT! (aka Tessuti's Gabby Dress)

It's been at least 18 months since I made a knit Gabby Dress - not sure why I fell off the wagon as it's a pattern that has always worked for me (in a knit). When I bought this fabric from Tessuti earlier in the week (yes, I also have a Mandy Boat Tee in this fabric and I LOVE it) I had the Marianne Dress in mind. In the back of my mind though I thought it would also look great as a big, swingy tent dress. And that's exactly what I've made!



I've put on weight since my last Gabby Dress so I made the XL this time...with a slightly bigger seam allowance than I usually sew on the overlocker. I also added 5cm to the length as the dress is quite short. Not a problem when worn in winter with tights but for summer I like this at knee length.


If you look closely you'll see there's a seam down the centre back. I probably could've cut it on the fold as the fabric was 155cm wide but it was hot and I couldn't be bothered playing around with the fabric. The stripes line up well so I'm happy. I'm calling this a design feature.


The stripes on the side seam however - whoops! I thought I was laying out the fabric so that my side seams would match but clearly that is not what I was doing at all. I think it looks OK however as the dress is not a straight dress which would make the non-matching stripes very very obvious. I'm also calling this a design feature.


The fabric has good stretch in both directions so I was able to cut the neckband against the grain. I really love how this looks!


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Pattern: "Gabby Dress" by Tessuti
Size: XL
Modifications: lengthened by 5cm
Fabric: Black Truffle Grey from Tessuti (92% Viscose 8% Spandex Jersey)
Changes for next time: none

Friday, 13 January 2017

The double-fronted Marianne Dress

What's wrong with this picture?

Yep...my dress has two front pieces and no back piece. Whoops. I obviously wasn't paying attention when I was cutting out this Marianne Dress is this much-loved fabric that I had bought from Tessuti for a Mandy Boat Tee but decided to use for this dress instead. 


Luckily the front of this dress is not overly low (despite my lowering it quite a bit as the orignal neckline was way too high for me) and it has worked out OK as the back of the dress also. I had thought the wide neckline might meant he dress will fall of my shoulders, but I wore it today and am happy to report that no wardrobe malfunctions occurred. 


This fabric is quite a lightweight Viscose/Elastane. I wasn't sure if it was too thin/light for a dress, but it served me well in today's heatwave (another 38c day here in Sydney). The fabric drapes really well and as a result my sleeve-bands sit quite well. I added clear elastic to the shoulders to ensure they don't stretch out (I also did this for my last make but forgot to mention it).


My silly mistake could have made this dress a total disaster but it has turned out really well. It's lovely and cool to wear and I might even take it with me on my holiday to Vietnam that's coming up in a few months.

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Pattern: Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes
Size: 18
Modifications: added quite a bit to the neckband length to accommodate the larger neckline due to my mistake of cutting two fronts, added 1" to the length
Fabric: "Painted Leaves Nero" from Tessuti (94% Viscose 6% Elastane)
Changes for next time: none for the short sleeved version; but when I made the long sleeved version I need to added some width to the lower sleeve piece.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Another striped Marianne Dress

Now that I've worked out the fit on the Marianne Dress it seemed appropriate to make a summery version as Sydney swelters through yet another heatwave. This weather is AWFUL and every year I find the heat harder and harder to take. It's currently 38c where I live so something cool to wear is definitely in order!


This is the second (and last) piece of fabric I bought with the Tessuti voucher Dave gave me for Christmas. It's a Viscose/Spandex blend that was lovely to sew with and feels nice to wear. The stripes are actually navy and the background is a grey marle but it's is hard to make the colours out in these (or any photos).

I sewed the same size as last time (an 18) but the armholes seemed very big/low so I tweaked that a little. The dress then seems to be slightly tighter around my butt. No idea what's going on!  I finished the arms with a band again as I like the way it looks...mostly.


There seems to be less pooling of fabric above my butt than my last Marianne Dress - no idea why as this one actually feels a bit snugger. Sewing! Who can figure it out....not me.


The fabric has good four-way stretch so I decided to cut the neck and sleeve bands against the grain - I really like the way the neckband looks but I think it's lost a little on the sleeves.


I wore this dress out to lunch today (yes, I left the house voluntarily in this stinking heat) and the dress felt cool and comfortable. I teamed it with a me-made necklace and my Genoa Tote and I felt pretty swish and fashionable I must say. 


I've just cut out another Marianne Dress so watch this space!
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Pattern: Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes
Size: 18
Modifications: added 2" to the neckband length, added 1" to the length, lowered the neckline all the way around by about 1cm
Fabric: "Silver Navy Liner" from Tessuti (viscose/spandex blend)
Changes for next time: none for the short sleeved version; but when I made the long sleeved version I need to added some width to the lower sleeve piece.