Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Oliver + S 'Family Reunion Dress' ready for action



Oooh it is nice having an uninterrupted block of time to spend on sewing!  

Don't get me wrong, I do get to spend plenty of time sewing, but it's often punctuated with little bits of real life creeping in, like ironing to be done, meals to be prepared, dust to be chased round the house... 

Well today I just concentrated on the one thing, and look - it is done!





I got started yesterday afternoon by being a good girl and tracing the pattern off the original, carefully. 




 I normally plough right on in to the pattern, cutting the size I wish to make, but with the pattern costing £13, I thought I'd make sure I can easily make every size, as and when gifts are required.  It always seems a faff, but to be honest, the hardest thing about it was finding a felt pen that worked!

Next came some sneaky placing of the pattern to make sure I used as little as possible.  With a child's dress, the whole width isn't required so folding a new straight grain line the length of the fabric means that what isn't used is one wider length rather than two narrower pieces.




Will you look at that sunshine!

Next came pinning...




...and cutting...




...and then a break for a nice bit of real life, dinner at a local hostelry with Mr U-t-B (we are daughter-less this weekend as Miss U-t-B is on a geography field trip).

Today as Graham Norton got started on the radio, I fired up the sewing machine and knuckled down.  





First came some pintucks - I do love a pintuck or two!





I found the instructions on the pattern really excellent.  Certain techniques were suggested which I had not come across before, such a sewing a gathering thread close to the edge of the facing in order to achieve a good finish.  I think that with instructions as detailed as they are, these would be good patterns for someone who is relatively inexperienced with dressmaking.  In fact, and I'm not being paid to say this, I think that the quality of the instructions actually makes the price bearable.






The hem has a facing, a technique which I have used before and which I think is excellent on children's clothes as it makes the hem less likely to get caught and fall down. 

 The instructions suggested extra lines of top-stitching near the hem-line, and I was happy to do this!  I find that the key to neat top-stitching is to use the presser foot as your best friend - keep your eye on the presser foot edge going down the line, never on the needle.





I chose flower buttons to both embellish the centre front tab, and for the back closure...






If you follow the instructions, you get a neat finish outside and in...











By the time Graham had solved workplace and pet-related problems, chatted with Angus Deayton and Rupert Penry-Jones, and played some rather excellent music (notably Jack Savoretti, Gabby Young & Other Animals, George Wilding and London Grammar) and Tony Blackburn had played the best of 1974 and 1985 (did that REALLY include The Wombles?  Seriously...) I was done!






Good thing I bought that extra length of cloth, eh?

Thanks again to The Village Haberdashery, for the excellent service which allowed me to while away my time so pleasurably! 








21 comments:

  1. That dress is gorgeous - I'm afraid I had a sneaky peak, and ordered the same pattern
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  2. No need to be afraid! Enjoy making it Julie - it is such a good pattern.
    x

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  3. Wow Alix that was quick! I read your previous post yesterday and followed it up with a lovely browse through the Village Haberdashery - what fantastic stuff they have. I think I'm going to follow your lead with tracing the pattern - I've just bought my first one from Merchant and Mills and am a bit scared about cutting into it - I certainly want to get my £13 worth! The dress is beautiful - would love one in a size 12 ( oh all right who am I kidding - a size 14!) Jane x

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    1. It's definitely worth tracing the pattern - you never know who's going to want one, in a different size, once they see yours! I've been looking at the Merchant and Mills ones too...

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  4. What a beautiful dress and so beautifully finished too. I am very impressed, but then I always am with your work. There's one very lucky little lady somewhere who will get to wear it.

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  5. It is a beautiful dress, I am sure that the wearer will be very happy with it, and it is good that you were so happy making it too isn't it!! I hope that you enjoy tomorrow as much as you did today! xx

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  6. A lovely dress, beautifully made - well done! Sounds like you had a good day. Enjoy tomorrow! X

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    1. I should have quit whilst I was ahead...

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  7. What a beautiful dress. Love the fabric.

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  8. The dress is lovely & I do like the fabric you chose, lunch as well, a wonderful day by all accounts.

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  9. How cute! I also love the hanger, it reminds me of the Mothercare hangers I had (and still have a few of) as a baby.

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    1. We used to have those hangers when we were little, but I bought that one on ebay as I couldn't resist the trip down Memory Lane!

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  10. Beautiful little dress, the whole idea of dressmaking terrifies me! :) x

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  11. Wow, you didn't hang around did you?! The dress is adorable, and I loved seeing all the close up details (and as you know I'm not a sewing person at all but I appreciate such details in the clothes I wear).

    I haven't ever listened to Graham Norton on the radio, but I really like his tv chat show (the best of the chat shows, in my opinion). I will make a point of listening out for it and see if I can catch up on his podcasts - go me all techno savvy and everything!

    x

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    1. Ah - you should listen if you like his chat show. I'm always a little bit sad when I'm out on a Saturday and have to miss it. I never think to listen to it on catch-up.

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  12. Gorgeous fabric & pattern. Love Graham Norton on the radio !

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  13. Beautiful! I do love all these pretty fabrics you are finding at the moment.

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