Tag Archives: French Seams

A sneaky peak of my Dressmakers’ Ball dress

I thought I would share a few snaps of my Dressmakers’ Ball dress – because I want to keep the grand unveiling until the night. And also because I haven’t finished it yet!

I haven’t hemmed it yet:

I’m using the leftover fabric from when I made my By Hand London Alix Dress, because I ended up with quite a lot left after ordering almost twice as much as I needed so I’d have enough to underline the whole dress. I still love the colour, but I don’t like how it frays and creases like a bitch – I did iron it before taking these photos, but you wouldn’t know!

Because of the fraying – and to give it a ball gown-y feel – I’ve used french seams. You may be able to make out 2 lines of stitching, though. I trimmed the seam allowances down to what I thought was teeny tiny, but then I sewed the second part of the french seam and the fabric edge was sticking out on the right side. I trimmed it down as much as possible, but you could still see the edge on the right side, so I sewed another line of stitching with a slightly bigger seam allowance. This slightly ruins the couture effect I was going for, but I didn’t really want to unpick the original line of stitching because this fabric does not like being unpicked!

My dress has sleeves! (And darts, which you can just about make out)

And although the bodice is lined, I decided to do french seams through both the shell and lining layers because of the fraying problem, and I feared any hand stitching would show on the right side of the fabric – it’s pretty thin and bruises easily, so even picking up one thread might have left a mark.

Also pockets because pockets. And pockets with french seams (except for the first seam where you attach the pocket to the skirt pieces, because I forgot/wasn’t sure that was possible.

Part of the skirt is pleated….

And there will be a split on the front, if I can ever bring myself to cut the fabric! I found a Burda tutorial that said you can make a split by sewing fabric on the top in 2 lines really close together, then you cut between the 2 lines of stitching and turn the fabric to the inside, which neatens what would have been an exposed edge. It said to interface the piece you sew on the top, but I haven’t because I didn’t want to mess with the drape and didn’t have any interfacing light enough. This weekend I’ll have to suck it up and cut the split. Or unpick it completely, but that might leave a mark!

Are you going to the Dressmakers’ Ball? If so, do you have as much to finish on your dress as me!? What colour are you wearing? Are you making something new or wearing something you’ve already made? I was tempted to wear my navy lace dress I made to go to a wedding in last year – if only it was like the Oscars and there was an after party, then I could wear both!



Banksia no 2

Yesterday I went to Goldhawk Road to meet up with lots of lovely sewists, some of whom I’ve been stalking online since I discovered sewing blogs! (too creepy?) It was like meeting celebrities! I had a lovely day and wore my second version of Megan Nielsen’s Banksia, with my refashioned yellow skirt from shorts. I only bought one 3-metre length of some liberty fabric, in a William Morris-esque print. I’ve been to Goldhawk Road a couple of times before and I find the choice of fabric and the number of shops a bit overwhelming! Especially since I didn’t have anything in mind to buy – the most successful trip I’ve had there was when I had a list of things I needed. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, though, to not have added too much to my stash as I don’t have room to store any more fabric, and I have only sewn for about an hour since Christmas, so it will take me a while to get through my existing stash!

I actually finished this about 2 months ago, but I’m pretty behind with posting makes and bakes! I have about 15 posts queued up and waiting. I’ve worn it quite a lot and love it as much as my first one. I made the placket the same as the first one, but it puckered slightly on this second version. I think it’s because the fabric was a bit slippery so I didn’t cut it out as accurately as I should have, and it was shifting  a bit in the machine. And speaking of the fabric, this was a tiny remnant from Rolls and Rems on Holloway Road, and it cost me £1.50. The buttons were from my friend’s stash which she lent me. So all in all, a pretty cheap make!


The buttons match the green colour perfectly 🙂

This is a slightly crappy photo, but it shows the puckering of the placket. I don’t think when I’m wearing it, anyone would spot the slight mistake, so I don’t really care. And I’ve worn it quite a few times, and no-one said anything.

The back is a little gapey, just like with the first one. As I mentioned, it is my new year’s resolution to fix my fitting issues with my narrow back. But this was made in 2013, so it doesn’t count!

As with the first Banksia, I used all french seams to make it all neat on the inside. Which was good for this top, because the fabric frayed like a bitch! This is also the first thing I’d made in ages where the fabric had a definite right side and a wrong side – which was a pleasure after several makes of ‘wait, is this the right side or the wrong side?’