Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Soooo . . . . Happy Bake Off Day!  If like me, you have been looking forward to Bake Off since the end of Sewing Bee . . . I'm not much of a baker myself, but I do like food, and I still think that I am going to adopt Mary Berry as my Grandma.  My current Grandma does look like her so I don't think I would notice the change too much, I'd maybe just get more baked goods . . . 

Anyway, today I am sharing with you my first Sew Over It project - the Rosie Dress.  I bought the pattern the day it was released, as I was on a bit of a downer that day and needed cheering up.  I also bought some Simple Sew patterns that day, but I have yet to sew up any of these.  

It was the skirt part of the Rosie pattern that actually drew me in, and I had just the fabric for it at home - a beautiful roses print cotton, so I downloaded the pattern straight away.  I usually wait for the paper patterns where they are available, especially when I can only print on A4 and then have to stick, but I really needed cheering up.  I then spent my Friday evening educating my husband in the fine art of sellotaping PDF patterns together.  I think he is suitably put off, but at least I now know that he has this skill should I require him to help in the future.

Let me just say - it is a BIG pattern sheet once printed off and stuck together - it took up pretty much the whole of my living room floor.

So, by the time I had stuck it all together, it was quite late, so I put it away for the evening and then picked it up again Saturday morning, tracing off my pattern pieces.  I decided that even though I was going to make the dress, I might as well trace off all my pattern pieces while I was at it, as I had some other fabric I could probably use at a later date for a dress.  After a quick discussing with the husband, I went for view B with the sweetheart neckline and the wider straps.  I measured at a size 16, with an FBA required (nothing new there), so that is the size I traced off.  I was a size 14 on the finished garment measurements, but I wanted a bit of ease room to allow me to eat, so I went with the 16 and did a two inch FBA.  Despite the fact that I always need to do an FBA, I still always doubt myself and look at the instructions.  I find the By Hand London Kim Dress Sew Along the best one for princess seamed patterns.

nearly perfect zip
insertion, and accidental
pattern matching
Anyway, I was glad that I had traced off all my pattern pieces, because after cutting out my skirt pieces I realised I had more than enough left to cut out the bodice pieces, so that is what I did.  I then cut all bodice pieces out again in white cotton to line the dress.  I also lined the skirt, but I waiting until I had pleated, gathered and sewn this before cutting out those pieces, using the sewn piece as a guide to reduce bulk at the waist seam.

So next up was the sewing, which was fairly straight forward.  I have sewn a fair few princess seam dresses up, as I like the fit and style of them, so all was pretty straight forward.  The newish thing to me was the adding of boning, but the instructions are very clear so this was much of a doddle.  I even managed to get a nearly perfect invisible zip insertion (I'm getting better).

Upon trying on before hemming, and this was about two weeks after the original cutting out as I worked on the dress half an hour here and there when I had chance, the dress seemed massive on me.  I had lost more weight in between cutting out and getting to the trying on stage.  I know I probably shouldn't get upset about losing weight, but it isn't something I am particularly trying to do, and it is causing me some sewing problems.  Hardly any of my clothes fit me now and my alter pile is growing, although I think some are beyond the altering stage.  I have a dress on today that fit me lovely about 3-4 weeks ago and is now too big.  Should I be worried?

Anyway, to fix the problem, as I didn't want to cut everything out again, I added a dart to the side of the bust and took in the seams near the waist a little.  The dress is still too big, but copeable now, and if I lose much more weight I will take off the bodice and make into a skirt, as per my original plan.  Skirts are much easier to alter than full dresses.

Despite my sizing problems, I really really like this dress, and I have more planned for my next holiday, which won't be until December 2017, but that gives me plenty of time non?  I'm thinking lots of tropical prints and sewing up view A with the little collar.
I had to share these shoes. . .
they are just so pretty :-)

Looking back at these photos I realise that:

a)  I have a very freckly back, which I never really realised before;
b)  I could probably do with shortening the bodice a little, but I will revisit that once I have the right size.

I had enough fabric left over to make myself a little matching clutch bag, which I lined with white satin and added a diamante button to.  I wore this to a christening a couple of weeks ago with some gorgeous new Ruby Shoo shoes.  Quite possibly my favourite brand as they are tres my style and slightly wider in the fitting, which I definitely need.

Anyway, off to prepare for Bake-Off now.  I've been up to lots of sewing, so will share some more projects soon.

Happy Crafting!


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