Monday, 3 December 2018

Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

Given the speed of my knitting this is probably as close to a knitted dress as I will ever get. Not entirely true because my aunt knitted me a dress back in the 80's when they were all the rage and I loved it. However the Elizabeth Zimmerman Seamless Raglan Jumper I started back in June has reached the same point, after three months, as before it was unravelled. On that basis a knit dress I can sew is definitely the best kind for me.

As a slight deviation Kate from Fabrickated has a new challenge the Transform sew-a-long (#TransformTSAL) to manipulate the fabric in an over-sized t-shirt to make a wearable garment à la Olivier Saillard who transformed the humble jersey t-shirt using Madame Grѐs' draping techniques (read a review here). I am extremely tempted to join in this challenge. It is more likely to be finished than the EZ knit-a-long plus I would be happy to wear the t-shirt if I could achieve a result like Saillard. Something to do in the Christmas holidays.

The finished garment

I just absolutely love this dress. It was love at first sight when I saw the fabric and the feeling of joy has continued with the finished garment. I am very proud of the circular knitting in this dress which saw the stripes line-up at every seam, including at centre back with the invisible zipper.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

The fabric

Whilst shopping at The Fabric Store searching for the ultimate Gertie dress fabric for the class we took back in October I came across this Tory Burch fabric. Whilst not suitable for a Gertie dress it was absolutely my style and I snapped some up. There was no maturing in stash it was taken home and immediately washed so it could be sewn the following weekend (after the Gertie class). This fabric cemented my idea for a blue and red colour theme for my Houston Travel Wardrobe.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

The pattern

Once again I used my go to dress pattern which is a combination of Silhouette Patterns #400 traditional blouse view 2 and #2010 three piece yoga skirt. The fabric really was the star of this garment and I wanted a simple dress in order to not detract from the beauty of the fabric.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

The pattern alterations

After the last time I made this dress I did a 3/4" sway back adjustment to the pattern piece and that seems to have worked quite well for this version.  I angled both the front and back pattern pieces out 1" at centre front/back (the neckline is placed at the fabric fold and the hem of the dress is 1" away from the fold) to create a more flared skirt.

A square neckline was cut directly into the dress front fabric as I wanted something different to my previous versions and thought square was a good option for the stripe effect of the rows of knitting.

The dress body is lined as I was worried about the longevity of the silk. The lining used the same pattern pieces except I cut a straight skirt rather than the A-line shape of the silk skirt and I omitted the sleeves.

The sewing

The silk fabric frayed easily so all the edges were overlocked before being sewn on the sewing machine using a straight stitch. I overlocked the lining edges before sewing too.

I was completely obsessed with this dress being knitted in the round. So much so that I used Clover fork blocking pins that anchor the fabric in two places making it harder for the stripes to move out of alignment as the seam is sewn. I also used the integrated dual feed on my Bernina to stop the fabric layers slipping out of alignment.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress
The pinned seam using Clover fork blocking pins
The lining and outer dress were sewn separately then joined at the neckline. The neckline seam was reduced after it was sewn using pinking shears and then understitched.

For the Gertie class I purchased a cream invisible zip which I ended up not using because Gertie demonstrated a clever method for inserting a lapped zip and I had an opportunity at lunch time to buy the correct zip to try the technique. For some reason I then decided that the invisible zip had to be used in my knitted dress. When you consider how many zips I have in the stash because they were never used for their intended project or the intended project never became a reality there is no logic to my fixation to use this zip when I don't need it to enter or exit the dress.

Use of the invisible zip added considerably to the sewing time for this dress. The insertion of an invisible zip is not difficult but for some reason that weekend it was beyond my sewing power. I managed to sew it too close to the teeth for it to zip back up (but the stripes matched perfectly). When re-sewn the stripes wandered off course so once again some reverse stitching occurred. The lovely seam ripper I was gifted certainly got a work-out with this dress. The third time was the charm except it doesn't finish at the neck edge and I really should add a hook and eye. Once I had inserted the zip the centre back seam was finished. For the lining the centre back seam was sewn first from the point the zip ended to the hem, then to the zip and silk. This gives a really neat finish to the inside of the garment.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress
Excuse the wrinkles I'm an iron before wearing not iron before wardrobe kinda girl
The hems of the sleeves and dress were hand sewn using cream silk kimono thread. This is a very fine #100 thread which avoided any show through on the right side of the garment. As I didn't want to line the sleeves I hand stitched the lining to the dress sleeve seam. The lining hem was machine stitched.

Having worn this dress a few times I should either have underlined the silk or not made the dress quite as fitted because I have some pulling at the vertical darts - more at the front than the back.  I am thinking of undoing those fisheye darts front and back to re-sew with the silk and lining as one. Depending on what I find when I undo the darts I might reduce their size to counteract the stress caused by the bloating tummy.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress

The original Tory Burch

Not exactly up to the minute high fashion as the Tory Burch collection using this fabric was for Spring Summer 2015. As I don't aspire to high fashion I was more than comfortable making my dress out of this three-year old designer fabric.

I really like the little knit t-shirt which I might try to re-create using the Papercut Patterns Ensis Tee. It would need to be altered to use a woven fabric but that is an easy alteration and I do have fabric left-over from the dress.



Outfit of the day

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress
At home in front of the Clematis, wearing:
Untouched World Zephyr Ecopossum coat cardi and United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix booties

Out and about in Houston
More details about the accessories worn in these pictures can be found in the Houston travel wardrobe post.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress
At Quilt Festival posing in front of the giant Bernina sewing machine, wearing:
Untouched World Moonless Lofty Merino Cardi, United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix
booties 
and Trelise Cooper Chasing Rainbows tote
Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress
At Saks Fifth Avenue, Houston Galleria
Whilst wandering around Saks Fifth Avenue admiring the designer clothing my dress was mistaken for the genuine article by someone who had the Tory Burch dress in her wardrobe. The ultimate compliment?

Monday, 26 November 2018

Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress

Once again I used my favourite dress pattern and the stretch cotton fabric is similar to the textured cotton used for my Red Flower dress. Sometimes I can be so predictable.

The fabric was pulled out of the stash as a possible option for the Houston Travel Wardrobe. Not that I included it in my inspiration board or my suitcase. This was however one of the few things that actually got made prior to the trip to Houston.

The finished garment

Love love love this dress. The fabric makes me happy (as do the booties!). It has been worn often for work and is very work appropriate. However I ended up with so many other choices for Houston that this one didn't make the cut, a bit too formal for a play trip.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress
Peppermint Patty Dress worn with Untouched World Ecopossum Graphite Coat Cardi
and United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix bootie 
Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress

The fabric

The fabric from Marcy Tilton had long been admired but temptation resisted. Then there were just 1.5 yards left - a remnant how could I make a dress from that? I still bought it and thought maybe it would become trousers - ¾ length for the summer.

Marcy Tilton Peppermint Patty French Stretch Cotton Woven
Peppermint Patty French Stretch Cotton Woven
Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress
The Leftovers
Luckily for me the fabric was 52" wide and there was just over 1.5 yards (57" to be precise). So six months after the purchase out came my TNT dress pattern and with just scraps left over I have a dress.

I am saving the selvedge for a future project maybe a stripe inserted into the side of trousers. It was just too pretty to throw away, so I carefully preserved all 57" inches of it.

I didn't notice until the fabric was a dress (and it was too late) that the flowers are in bands. In the dress front picture you can see that the bottom and top of the dress look slightly darker, and if you look carefully that there are lines of a darker red colour (there is one at my waist and at hip level). Not noticing these until the dress was made meant that they don't match front to back. Not sure I could have matched them with the limited fabric but you certainly can't match something you don't see!

The pattern

My TNT woven dress pattern is based on an amalgamation of two Silhouette Patterns #400 Traditional Blouse view 2 and #2010 Three-Piece Yoga Skirt.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress
The blouse pattern is described as offering a variety of optional looks with basic results.
Mandarin, jewel neck or turtleneck collars are available with woven or knit fabrics.
Long or short sleeves are also options for each view. These blouses are the greatest basic to any wardrobe!
Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress

The pattern alterations

The dress top is based on the size 2 D-cup pattern; graded down to the size 1 at the waist and hips; wider waist darts in the front to provide more shape; shoulders narrowed slightly; and a 1/2 inch forward shoulder adjustment. The neckline has also been lowered.

Once I saw the pictures of the back of the dress on me I made a 3/4" sway back adjustment to the pattern ready for next time I make it. Not sure why I have only now decided to make this easy alteration for the pool of fabric at centre back when I have made this dress many times before and blogged about it twice (Red Flower dress and Ahipara dress).

Due to fabric limitations the sleeve length is only slightly longer than cap length.  This was as much as I could squeeze out after the back and front of the dress were cut out.


The sewing

The fabric was quite thick and frayed easily so all construction was done on the overlocker. Normally for a fabric that frays I use french seams but with this fabric they would have been too thick.

For the neck finish I used a bought cream satin bias binding. The binding was sewn on with the sewing machine, pressed to the wrong side and then hand stitched down to the dress

The sleeve and dress hems were hand sewn as I didn't want a visible line of machine sewing.

The Peppermint Patty dress, like its predecessor the Red Flower dress, was taken to work with the hems pinned in place and I had to sew them so I could wear the dress that week. I find that this is a great strategy as hand sewing is easy to do in the hotel room and I am extra motivated to finish it otherwise I end up an outfit short for the week.

The photo shoot

Apparently I was being too demanding and the photographer got a bit fed up. Google very kindly made animations of a couple of the continuous streams of photographs he took.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress

And then the silliness got infectious

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Traditional Peppermint Patty Dress

Sunday, 18 November 2018

A small plumbing disaster stops play

Whilst I was away having fun at International Quilt Festival in Houston there was a small plumbing disaster at home in the sewing room. The steel pipe between the plastic pipe and the outside tap corroded and leaked. The offending pipe has been replaced with a piece of brass pipe so shouldn't leak for the rest of our life in this house.

The leak was spotted early and dearly beloved promptly fixed it. However, there are consequences: (1) beloved discovered just how much stuff was squirrelled away behind the sewing cabinet (and had to move it); (2) some decorating repairs are needed before the sewing room can be returned to normal; (3) once my suitcase was unpacked I felt duty bound to tidy the sewing stuff.

The eager to sew brain was not easily distracted by tidying up and it took me all weekend to achieve a semblance of tidy. In my defence it was hard to unpack the suitcase because the home for some things was not in its normal place.

The sewing room

The pink bats still need to dry out a bit more before they can be put back and the gib (plaster board) replaced. Even though this bedroom was the first to be renovated back in 2008 the wall paper is still available, not so sure about the paint colour. Beloved has never really liked the muddy gold colour so we might be repainting the entire room not just the new gib.

Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
A strangely half empty sewing room
Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
Before tidying
Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
After tidying

The master bedroom

Luckily the master bedroom is still empty so most of the contents of the sewing room were dumped in there.

Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
The ladder went back to the garage once my suitcase was returned to its sleeping quarters
Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
Before tidying
Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
After tidying. Everything on the right will be hidden in the wardrobe
Note the three red bags of sewing patterns gathered from around the house. There are now too many to fit into the existing boxes so I need to either rethink my storage solution or (horror) get rid of some.

Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play
The only damage was to the copier paper box which all my interfacings etc are stored in
plus my little ironing board which now has a tide mark on the cover
and I already have the replacement box just waiting for me to transfer the interfacings
Despite the renovations to the master bedroom being completed at the beginning of this year the carpet is still not laid. Apparently it is almost impossible to get a carpet layer when you are not buying the carpet. Admittedly we have had the carpet ten-years, from when we started the renovations, and the carpet was replaced in the other bedrooms. It just took a wee while (seven years) for the earthquake interrupted renovations to be completed. On a positive note the curtains are ready and the interior decorator will hang them on Friday. Can't wait.

The dining room

The sewing cabinet proved problematic to get through the door of the master bedroom so it was wheeled down the hallway and into the dining room.  There are many things to be grateful for in having a single story house!

Creates Sew Slow: A small plumbing disaster stops play

It will take some time to complete the decorating and until it is finished sewing is less likely to occur. I can sew in the dining room but as we actually use it to eat the sewing will need to be neatly contained and put away before dinner time.  I am taking a couple of sewing projects to Wellington and that may be all the clothes sewing that happens in the next month or so.  Although the usual Christmas production line could happen as they are small items and better suited to dining room sewing. Alternatively I could finish the hand projects I started in my Houston classes.

Monday, 12 November 2018

The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe

The travel wardrobe for Houston version 1 was written about in great detail here. So how did the plan back in June compare to the reality of my suitcase contents?

Sewing has been slow over the last few months so fewer new garments were made than intended. Plus I bought a new pair of shoes which went really well with some sandals from last year and together they altered my colour palette slightly. Of course I have enough clothes, without sewing more, to put together a good travel wardrobe.

The travel wardrobe take 2

Just a reminder that I use the Vivienne Files 4x4 wardrobe concept to create my travel wardrobes. I will leave it to Janice to explain how it works.

As per usual whilst I might have made some new clothes for the trip I haven't managed to blog about them before hand. I will update this post to include links to these garments as and when I manage to write about them - this will probably take me until Christmas!

The clothes

Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe

An extra item was thrown into the suitcase at the last minute - my DKNY Navy & Milk Dot leggings which can be worn with at least three of my tops, maybe four just not sure if it is long enough!

The shoes
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
United Nude Zink Patch; Mid Heel; Colour Pop Mix
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
United Nude Rico Boot Neon Red Disco

The accessories

Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
The jewellery
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Trelise Cooper Chasing Rainbows Tote
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Mulberry Black Cross Body Bag
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Front Row Society "Effi Briest" cashmere scarf

The packing

The clothes easily fit into two medium Eagle Creek packing cubes. All the tops were rolled-up to fit into one with my trousers and dresses in the other. Underwear went into a small packing cube.
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Eagle Creek medium and small packing cubes
I was really pleased with my packing - clothes took up less than half the suitcase. The other half was sewing supplies for my Portland and Houston classes. At check-in my suitcase weighed 14.5kg. Yay plenty of room for shopping.

The clothes in action

I have been relatively good remembering to take photos of the me-made-clothes as they are worn during the week here at the International Quilt Festival. Plus I have had a very able photographer who is more patent and clothes conscious than the usual one. But please don't tell him or he might resign from his crucial blog support position.

Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Everything's bigger in Texas
At Quilt Festival wearing Untouched World Moonless Lofty merino cardi,
Silhouette Brilliant Red Mouline Silk Dress aka Tory Burch Knitted t-dress
and United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix booties
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
In the Lobby of the Doubletree Hotel Downtown Houston, wearing
Andrea Moore True Love Trousers, Silhouette Patterns Marie's Sweater
and #UnitedNude Rico Boot Neon Red Disco
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Left: outside the Hilton Americas hotel wearing Untouched World Moonless Lofty Merino Cardi,
V1410 Jack and Charlie dress and United Nude Rico Boot Neon Red Disco
Right: outside the George R Brown Convention centre, wearing V1410 Winter Floral dress,
DKNY Navy & Milk Dot Leggings and United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix booties
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
On the Paula Nadelstern carpet at the Hilton Americas, wearing
Victory Patterns Ulysses Rainbow trench, Moochi Level Layer tunic,
DKNY Navy & Milk Dot Leggings and #UnitedNude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix booties
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Hard at work writing this blog, wearing Untouched World Moonless Lofty merino cardi,
V1454 DKNY Gorgeous Butterflies top, Andrea Moore True Love trousers
and United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix booties
Today we fly away home and I feel I could have managed with less. Although the travel wardrobe still has to be used for three days at work next week so maybe by the time I get home I will have changed my mind about packing too much.

Updated 18 November: Even after my days at work I still had three garments that weren't worn: Andrea Moore Zen Layers top; Andrea Moore Fly My Pretty top and Silhouette Patterns #312 Giorgio's top. I would probably have been happy with this travel wardrobe for three weeks away which is really useful to know and will hopefully enable me to pack even lighter for the next trip.

The miscellaneous travel photos

Arriving back in Christchurch before the big international trip I took this series of photos as we came into land. It makes you want to live above the clouds!

Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
Descending back below the clouds to a damp grey Christchurch
I am much more fascinated by airports and the towns they are in at night. I especially loved the multi-coloured light show I got to enjoy at San Francisco airport both as we landed from Portland and as we took-off on the way to Houston.

Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
San Francisco airport runway light show
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
San Francisco coming and going
Creates Sew Slow: The Houston International Quilt Festival Travel Wardrobe
En-route to Portland


Monday, 5 November 2018

Sewing with Gertie

The international sewing starlet (by her own description) is touring little ol' New Zealand. Whilst Gertie's class was pretty expensive by local standards my girlfriend and I decided to indulge for a bit of fun. This was the prize for working hard.

Thanks to Linda McCarthy Studio for organising the tour, which all started with Jasmine and her Facebook conversations with Gertie.

I have to confess to being a bit unsure about taking this class. Not being into retro chic, as you can tell from the class photo. It was however a great way to spend a relaxing couple of days. Gretchen is very down to earth, was attentive to our needs and abilities and provided good sewing advice. Gretchen also managed to sew up a pink jacquard version of the Night and Day dress during her quiet moments.

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
Gretchen and I, posing for photographs before the start of day 2

The finished garment

So there is no finished garment and I wasn't going to publish this post until I had the finished dress to show you. But I decided to publish and be damned as I am still debating about ordering more fabric to re-do the skirt back. I will try hard to finish the dress in time for the end of year round up!

I made a small cutting error with the back skirt pieces, which were cut out after tea on the evening of day one of the class. I cut the piece single layer, carefully lined up the centre back seam on the straight of grain and made sure I had enough fabric left to match the centre back seam when I cut out the other half. Unfortunately it wasn't the centre back seam I lined up on the straight grain but the side seam. It took me over an hour of moving the pattern piece around, not understanding why I couldn't match the flowers before the penny dropped. Because it was a stupid mistake it bothers me especially when the bodice is pattern matched beautifully.

Here is the photographic evidence of the almost beautifully fitting bodice for the Night and Day dress.

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
The perfectly matched back seam. Hope it still looks like this after the zip is inserted
Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
The not perfectly matched skirt centre back seam

The fabric

I have rather a large fabric collection so resisted the lure of a Gertie fabric from Spotlight as well as the discount offered by Bolt of Cloth (Gertie class attendees were given a discount code) and used something from my collection. The fabric must have been bought with a dress in mind as there was plenty, but the dress had not yet materialised. Oh that would be because I am much more prolific at buying than I am at making.  It actually felt good to use something I already had.


Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
Liberty of London Carline tana lawn
In all honesty this fabric was probably unused because it is a bit too pretty for me. Not sure what I was thinking when I bought it, during my visit to Liberty earlier this year, but at least I didn't buy the pink colourway. When I found it and realised I had three metres the fates spoke it was destined to be a Gertie Night and Day dress.

The pattern

The class was to teach Gertie's (Charm Patterns) Night and Day dress. Whilst I am not a 1950's glamour dresser there were enough options in this pattern to be excited to try it.

For class Gertie wanted us all to use the sleeveless bodice with the flared skirt and for it to be unlined, although we could choose whether to use the round or square neckline. I chose the round neckline and managed to comply with the sleeveless and full skirt requirement but had to line it. Even though the class size was small (limited to seven) I can imagine it would be challenging to teach and assist us all if we all made different versions of this dress.

From the Charm Patterns website: "This is the most versatile dress pattern you’ll ever own. This vintage-inspired design has two bodices, three skirts, six sleeve styles, and two collars, giving you 72 dress designs in one package. The “Choose Your Own Adventure” style of instructions lets you decide how you’ll finish your dress—neckline facing, all-in-one facing, partial lining, or full lining. Be the heroine of your own sewing escapade!"

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie

The pattern alterations

We spent quite a bit of time on the first day tissue fitting the bodice. Gertie spent time with each of us tissue fitting the pattern pieces to make sure the bodice fit us well. Darts were moved and lengthened, gaping at the armhole pinched out and shoulder seams lifted. I had made a sway back adjustment before the fitting but wonder looking at the pictures if I should have taken a deeper dart across the back.

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
Front sleeveless bodice: Left - the tissue fitted pattern piece original lines in black pen and changes in orange;
Right - new pattern piece incorporating the changes

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
Back sleeveless bodice - with fewer alterations to make!
I toiled the pattern alterations using the lining fabric before committing to cutting into the fashion fabric. The front waist dart finished quite high so I lowered it an inch for the fashion fabric. It needs further tweaking as now it doesn't remove enough excess fabric beneath the bust. Whilst I have cut out the full skirt it may still shrink to a more A-line shape, as whilst many years since I last wore a full skirt I don't have fond recollections of the look on my body.

The sewing

I debated for some time about which sewing machine to take to class and in the end I used my faithful Singer Featherweight because I was feeling lazy.  The internal justification for that choice was: (1) I couldn't be bothered to bring my Wellington Bernina Activa 210 back to Christchurch for the class; (2) My Bernina 830 is far too big to be moving about especially when I don't need its functionality; (3) My old Bernina Artista 180, which has a trolley bag, is still much bigger to carry about than the Featherweight; (4) the Featherweight was the only hope I had of fitting in with a 1950's theme!!

As I was lining the dress I sewed the seams with a straight stitch and pressed them open then trimmed them using my pinking shears.

Gertie advised us to stay stitch the neckline starting from the shoulder seam to centre back / front then from the other shoulder seam to centre back / front/ This is good advice as it prevents the neckline stretching out whilst you are handling the cut out pieces and when you sew the lining (or facing) to the main fabric at the neckline. Once we had sewn the neckline to the lining (facing) Gertie had us grade the seam (I just pinked mine) and then under stitch before we pressed the neckline.

Once we had sewn the neckline we did the sleeveless armholes in the same way.

There was also a very neat trick to achieve a neat finish for the lapped zipper. Not only is it neat it helps you get the zip aligned at the top without needing a hook and eye.

All of this is detailed in the very comprehensive instructions that accompany the pattern.

The tutor

From Gertie's blog she describes herself as "Author, pattern and fabric designer, teacher, and Instagram influencer. Gretchen Hirsch is a passionate sewist who’s been sharing her love of vintage frocks for over 10 years."

Gertie became widely known through her original blog "Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing" based on the Vogue New Book for Better Sewing and her search for all of the sewing patterns referred to in the book. Now she designs for Butterick Patterns, has her own pattern line Charm Patterns and designs fabric for Michael Miller. All in her inimitable 1950's style.

I felt that the instruction was well balanced and at a pace to suit everyone in the class. Gertie is a true professional able to accommodate the different needs of sewers with quite varied experience.  For some this was the first dress ever sewed and some of us had been sewing for years.

The class

The venue (Woolston Working Mans Club) was great. The room was large and space plentiful. The only slight problem was that the days were very hot and sunny, with the room getting a bit warm even though we had both sets of doors open. We started off at the table looking out of the window. Lots of natural light for those ancient eyes!! The sun drove us to sit facing the wall under the air conditioner.


Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
The sewing studio for six of us - we sat facing the back wall to the left of the doors
Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
Our original sewing position looking out of the window

Creates Sew Slow: Sewing with Gertie
The 2018 Sew with Gertie NZ Tour Class Photo (from @lindamccarthystudio)
I didn't necessarily learn anything new but I thoroughly enjoyed the ambience and relaxing nature of my two days sewing. As usual I wasn't particularly fast but did surprise myself by not getting the dress sewed in two days. This could have been a mental holding back to enable me to buy more fabric so that I could recut the skirt back. Little things like this can be a significant block when you are a perfectionist.
 

Field of Remembrance

And on a completely different topic...  I just had to share these photos which are such a moving display of sacrifice.

A Field of Remembrance is established in Cranmer Square each ANZAC Day (25 April) and ends on Armistice Day on 11 November 2018..  Red poppies are placed by each white cross.  The crosses are provided by the Trust and bear the names of more than 4,300 Cantabrians who died in World War I.. Every effort has been made to identify men from the wider Canterbury region who served in other specialist units e.g. the Machine Gunners and include those who served in overseas forces i.e Australian and Great britain. The numbers have increased progressively each year as the men who died one hundred years ago are added to the Field.

The Fields of Remembrance Trust was established in 2012 to honour those who served and died for New Zealand during World War One.  There are also fields of crosses in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington.

Creates SEw Slow: Sewing with Gertie

Creates SEw Slow: Sewing with Gertie