Sunday, 31 May 2015


Soooo, I'm back with another of the New Look 6143 (previous incarnations of which can be found here), and I have managed to combine my love of flamingoes in this one . . . I just love flamingoes.  

This pattern seems to be my current go-to simple dress, and I think that as I have made it a few times now I have all the fitting issues sorted out, so this should be a quick post providing I stay on point and all that shizzle.

Just a quick talk about the fabric.  The flamingoes cotton is from eBay, which I had had my eye on for aaaaages, and finally purchased with my last pay.  The sparkly chiffon is from down under (also ordered from eBay).  Why can I not find sparkly chiffon in the UK?  If anyone knows of anywhere, please can you comment with the link.  Merci beaucoup.

my pattern hacking at the back
check out my button design element
So anyway, I decided to go with the same view as I had for the Santa dress, but this time I decided that I wanted the back to mirror the front.  In the Santa dress, the back of the bodice is all main fabric, but on this dress I wanted the back to also have some sparkle, so I started off with my first ever bit of pattern hacking.  

To do this, I folded the back bodice piece where I wanted the chiffon to start and traced off the two pieces either side of the fold.  I then added a 5/8 seam allowance on each where the pieces would join.  I also quickly drafted a back facing piece.

It is much more sparkly in real life
than in these pictures - just ask my
desk and any papers that were on it
when I was finishing off the binding
by hand one lunch!
Other changes to the usual pattern included using a shorter (16") zip and having that end at the top of the flamingo fabric.  This meant that I would have a raw edge on the chiffon at the back, so I added a the teeniest tiniest hem I could sew with my machine (I could have got smaller if I had hand sewn, but I figured life was too short for that really - there would be enough hand sewing on this dress as it was.

I also cut a bias strip from the chiffon to bind the neckline, rather than from the main dress fabric as the pattern calls for.  In hindsight, this was a bugger to sew and maybe I should have gone with the cotton, as the chiffon is soooo tres slippy and took  more patience than I actually realised I had.  I also used both the cotton and the chiffon to bind the armholes.

Check out my awesome pattern
matching on the waist seam!
I tried to be really good with my pattern matching on this one.  I knew that due to the pleats it could never be perfect, but I am pleased to say that the centre front seam is barely visible.  Unfortunately, I was not so successful on the back, but I am happy with it, as pattern matching still isn't my strong point, and I'm not sure it ever will be - but I have nearly mastered the scourge of everyone else - the invisible zip.  Slightly out on this one at the waist seam, but it could have been much worse and it went in first time without giving me too much trouble really.

Obviously, due to my changing of the pattern, a closure would be a definite for the top of the bodice back now.  I decided to go with a button and thread loop closure.  I used some silver metallic thread for the loop (I was going to go buy some blue metallic thread, but honestly couldn't be bothered) and chose a selection of buttons which might have coordinated well.  As I was finishing this off at work and my colleague, Sal, was having a bit of a crappy day, I decided to let her choose the design element that was the button, and she went with the hot pink flower to coordinate with the flamingoes.

my not so brilliant pattern matching
on the back seam
but, hey hum pigs bum!
And that was that!  A hand stitched blind hem and my dress as finished.

my armhole binding
I don't think I explained it very well
in words, but maybe this pic
explains better, non?
I wore this last night for my Grandma's surprise 75th birthday party (do not awwww my Gran as other peeps do - it won't work - I'm not even sure she is 75!) with a hot pink pettiskirt, a hot pink bolero lent to me by the step-mother (non-wicked) and some shoes yet to be purchased at the time of writing but can you believe I didn't have any matching shoes - I am struggling to believe this!  Damn my ruthlessness when I have my clear out sessions.  Oh well, it just means that I get to buy more shoes, and that can never be a bad thing can it?!

Anyway, I had some of the flamingo fabric left over so made another new wardrobe item, which I have worn loads and will share with you shortly, so stay tuned!  I am also about to start some more projects, which I will, obviously keep you posted with.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


aaand . . . this is me looking fabulous in my dress
no amount of Dove summer self-tan moisturiser thingy
seems to be able to do anything about those milk bottle legs :-(

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