Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Monday, 30 November 2015

Floral Kim Dress - By Hand London

After the Great Zipper Debacle of  2015, as outlined in my last post, I actually managed to finish up the dress in time to give it to my sister-in-law before she goes home to Spain. It is a late brthday present/early Christmas present.

I am loving how the dress looks, and i'm really pleased with how it came out in the end, but that's not to say there weren't a few moments during it's construction in which I wanted to burn the dress and never lay eyes on it again. Ever.

The pattern, which is a PDF pattern,was simple and easy to put together. The instructions were clear and precise and the Sew-along on the By Hand London blog was extremely helpful. The sizing is true to size I would say, but it is drafted for a smaller cup. When I get around to making a Kim Dress for myself I will need to do a Full Bust Adjustment to make room for my ladies, but that's no bother, as there's also a hack for that on their blog too! I chose to sew variation 2.

The fabric I chose to make the dress from was from Regency Rags on Ebay, (a great source of fabrics by the way, if you haven't come across them before), it was listed as Crepe de Chine. I'm unsure whether that is an accurate description or not to be honest, it just didn't seem like other crepes that I have worked with before. However, I am no expert. Regardless of what type of fabric it was, I fell in love with the watercolour flower print. It has a charcoal ground and the soft pastel colours of the flowers is right up my street. I love a good floral.  

The fabric, although beautiful, was quite challenging to work with. When I first started to sew, the needle kept creating pulls in the fabric. This was remedied with a new (sharper) needle. I also found that my overlocker would gather up the fabric, even if I mucked around with the differencial feed. It was fixed with a play around with the settings and a good press afterwards. 

I decided to self-line the dress, and in hindsight, it made life a little harder and more confusing, as there was no way of differentiating the front and back of the bodice. If I could go back in time, I would line in a cotton or something similar that is not so slippy.

I hadn't seen my sister-in-law in about 7 months and after working on her feet in a record hot summer in Spain, my brother informed me that she had changed size dramatically. After not getting a lot of help regarding clothes size from my brother, I decided to go ahead and cut a size 12. Once i'd sewn the bodice I was worried that it looked small, (My SIL has big bewbies) so I added on two extra centre back panels. I know, I know, it's sacrilege. I knew that doing this would push the side panels off kilter, and everything else, but it was this, or the dress wouldn't fit. I by no means, suggest that you do this, and it went against every fibre of my being, but I just didn't have time to remake the bodice, so I just crossed my fingers and went with it. 

The rest of the dress came together nicely. Until it came to inserting the invisible zipper that is. When I bought the invisible zipper foot on ebay, I went with a mid-range, unbranded option. Next time, I will not cheap out and just get a brother one as this one was pants. It didn't hold the zipper in place so my stitches kept being too close to the teeth of my zip which then inhibited the zipper pull from going up and closing the teeth on the zip. In the end (after many unpicking and re-sewings) I had to sew the right side from the bottom, which meant that my zipper ended up a little shorter than it would have been, but it still allowed for a big enough opening, lucky enough. 

After the zipper fiasco, All I had to do was hem and then finish the bodice lining. As the fabric was soft and floaty, I decided to go with a hand-rolled hem. Never done this before in my life, but that's what I decided to do. It was actually pretty easy to do and finished the hem off nicely. The hand stitching the bodice was also quite a quick job once I got into the swing of it.

Overall, this dress isn't perfect by any means (the zipper is too short, doesn't quite match at the top and the waist line also doesn't quite match, and it has the weird extra panels on the back) but I really love it. I think it really suits my sister-in-law, and she was really pleased with it which makes it all worth it in the end :)

The sweetheart neckline is so cute and the length is perfect. The Kim Dress pattern I would recommend endlessly. I can't wait to make a few for myself!

front view

ooooh, florals


Sweetheart neckline

Extra back panels, bad zip and un-matching waist!

Still pretty though :D

Neat skirt seams

My Sister-in-Law loves it (pretend you can't see the bra straps!)
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Zippety Doo Dah

Yesterday I spent the entire evening trying  to insert the invisible zip into the By Hand London Kim dress that I am currently sewing up. The dress is a gift, so I can't post photos just yet, not untill its been given (that is if I can ever finish it!).

I have only ever sewn three zips before, and it's been a while since the last. I found By Hand London's instructions on their sewalong really helpful - but I think this zip personally had it in for me from the start. First of all I sewed it on backwards and had to unpick it, and I bloody hate unpicking! Especially as the fabric I'm using is a really fine crepe, and it doesn't like unpicking stitches as much as I don't. Then I sewed on one side, pinned the other side back to front, so had to un-pin and re-pin. So I finally sewed it on correctly and the stupid zip won't work! Gah! I tried everything, but alas, this zipper has won this battle. 

I will unpick it (grr) and sew on a new zip tonight, now that I *think* I know what the problem was. I think it has been stitched too close to the theeth which is obstructing the puller-upper. Very technical. If I have the same problem tonight the damn thing can go in the bin. 

Wish me luck!





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Monday, 16 November 2015

Get Busy Living

Hello old friend. Once again, it's been a while. Life has been busy! I'll update you, but give you the short-hand version. I reeeeeeallly hate living in the past, and right now I feel like I need a new beginning and to move forward, so I won't dwell on what's been occurring too much.

The new collection for Lucky Sew and Sew is ticking along nicely. We've had some really positive feedback which is great. We also got to work on an awesome Marie Antoinette inspired shoot with an awesome photographer a few months ago, and will release the mini-collection on our Etsy shop sometime soon.

Logan is growing up way too fast. He's changed from a toddler to a little boy over the last few months, and it makes my heart ache that time is slipping away! He even starts pre-school in January. Where has my little baby boy gone?! Over the last month he has mastered drawing smiley and sad faces, then moved on to adding hair, ears, bodies, arms, legs and fingers, and now he can draw trees and flowers.

Rori is also growing up way too fast. She is now sitting, crawling, eating, cruising furniture with some help and generally just being a cutie patootie. She has such a bright personality, it lights up the room. She is going to be 7 months on the 22nd! Her favourite things to do are eat garlic bread or pitta and hummus, make her big brother laugh by shouting at him, and pulling Daddy's beard. Oh, and over the last few days, she also loves to say 'Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya' over and over.

Our kitchen is still unfinished - but it is nearly done! We just have some painting left to finish, a blind for the window to get, and a few little bits and pieced and its complete.

Rich and I started another business together called Thor's Threads. It's mostly based around embroidered and handmade pagan items, and we sell on Etsy. It's going really well and growing all the time. We just had our biggest event of the year on Saturday for Thor's Threads which has consumed a lot of our time.

So, the last few months have been jam-packed to say the least, and I've been on the verge of pulling my hair out a few times. I have now decided I need to slow down a bit. Slow down and enjoy life rather than it just slipping by. I want to make more time to enjoy the kids while they are little, and have more time to do what sets my soul on fire.

I've gone a bit mental lately and bought a tonne of fabrics to make various things from, I've got a lot of sewing lined up - but it's all for pleasure and recreation which I am looking forward to. I have a long list of things to make and sew for Christmas presents, so need to start on those ASAP, or i'll be up till midnight on Christmas Eve!

A bit of a pointless post really, but I just wanted to warn you that the blog will probably be filling with lots of sewing and crafts that i'm doing and not just be solely for Lucky Sew and Sew, although it will of course be included!

Rich has gone and picked me out a new book today (yay - stationary!) to start using as my sewing journal, and I am super excited to get started!

Speak soon!
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