Tag Archives: Dressmaking

My Birthday Georgia Dress

So I turned 30 in November. I was a little worried about how that would feel – it feels like a massive milestone and everyone (!) asks how you feel about turning 30. It wasn’t actually as traumatic as I feared. I had some drinks with friends to celebrate – originally I was going to make it a costume party but I ran out of time to make my costume of choice (Cyd Charisse in the green dress in Singin’ In The Rain – I will make this costume one day!), so I decided to just have drinks.

I did still have time to make myself a dress though! I’ve been a fan of By Hand London for a while – I’ve made the Elisalex dress twice (1 & 2 here). I’ve also made the Victoria Blazer twice now (1 & 2 here). I also definitely am attracted to the Holly Jumpsuit, though I’m not 100% sure I have the balls to wear a jumpsuit! I decided the Georgia Dress was a suitable dress to celebrate/ commiserate turning 30! There are some great Georgias around the blogosphere – I especially like What Katie Sews’s one – in fact I like her style in general!

Birthday-Georgia-11I made the dress out of a sateen cotton in navy blue from my favourite shop, Rolls and Rems in Holloway Road. Since my drinks were just in a pub, I didn’t want to look super over-dressed by going for something really shiny or sparkly – though I do love sequins! I went for navy as I find it more forgiving than black. I did consider going for something brighter, but instead of a bright dress I might have felt self-conscious in, I went for bright shoes – in an obnoxious shade of pink (my favourite shade of pink!)

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I made a size 2/6 at the bust and graded to a 6/10 at the waist and hips. I did a small bust adjustment of 1/2 inch on each cup – so 1 inch in total. To make the bodice fit, I sewed it (and then the skirt) with 2.5cm side seams, instead of the 1.5cm standard seam allowance. I also had to shave some off each of the seams in the skirt – I probably didn’t need to grade out to the larger size. I took out 1/2 cm from each of the front side seams, 1cm from the side seams (once of which is the zip), 1cm from the back side seams. I took all of this excess out at the bust/ waist and smoothed them out over my hips, until it didn’t look wrinkled or puckered.

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After all the taking in and measuring, I found that I couldn’t do the dress up – oops! So I let the dress out by 1.5cm at the zip. It now is perfectly snug and the zip sticks a little bit – but luckily I have a very understanding boyfriend who helped zip me in!

I’m not a huge fan of invisible zips, especially as I finally bought an invisible zip foot and it did not like this zip/ fabric combo. It kept veering off and trying to sew through the teeth of the zip – I don’t even know how this happened! It ended up looking okay though.

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Birthday-Georgia-14Birthday-Georgia-15I really enjoyed making this dress – and only just got it done in time! I felt a little exposed while I was wearing the dress, because I don’t normally wear such low-cut things, but I just kept telling myself that I could see a lot more than anyone else! I fancy making this again, with the wider straps and maybe in a more stretchy fabric to make it more every-day.

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What I got for Christmas…

My Christmas presents this year mainly had 2 themes: tea and sewing. You can’t say my family and friends don’t know me! I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while….well since Christmas! But I’m glad I waited because my uni friends and I had our ‘Christmas 2’ last weekend and I was really lucky to get some sewing presents from my friend. We did Secret Santa this year, buying for 2 people each, because as people have paired off, the group has grown to 10 people and that’s a lot of presents to buy! Me and my 2 girlies meet up more often than the whole group does and we all discussed who we were buying for when we met in December but I didn’t notice that Farn only told us one of her people – because the other one was me!

I got these 2 books:

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They’re really good books and cover a lot of techniques. The sewing one covers loads of things like drafting and sewing pockets, collars, how to sew pleats and everything else you could possibly think of. The crochet one is also great and will hopefully help develop my crocheting skills – and help me not forget what I had already learned! It will also go well with a book one of my other friends bought me for my birthday:

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For the Secret Santa I also got this amazing box of threads and bobbins:

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Another of my presents, from my mum’s best friend was some lovely fabric:

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I’m hoping there is enough of the blue to make a dress – probably an Emery, if I ever finish my first one! Here’s a close-up – it has lovely little yellow flowers on.

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And I think there will be enough of the cream flowery one to make a blouse, possibly a Colette Violet.

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My sister got me some really sweet retro dressmaking and knitting cards, which show you all the techniques you could possibly think of, like sewing for special occasions, setting in sleeves, knitting aran and cable knitting, and everything else. So between the cards and the books I don’t have an excuse for getting any technique wrong!

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Possibly the pièce de résistance of my crafty presents came from The Boyfriend’s mum. I got a lovely vintage-style flour shaker and inside were some little packages. I first opened this:

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And I thought ‘ooh, lovely, some thread. That will match the fabric I’ve just been given.’ Then I opened this:

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And I thought ‘oh, good, needles are always useful.’ And then I opened a present that contained these:

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They’re personalised labels saying I’ve made things!!!! It was so great that I happened to open them last! I’d been thinking for ages that I should get some labels to sew in my me-made clothes and now I have some! I’ve been slack and haven’t sewn any in yet, but I do intend to sew one of these in each of the things I’ve made so far 🙂