Sunday, 29 September 2013

fabulous fall for cotton Cami shirt dress

Hello my lovelies!

I'm super happy as I write this because not only have I finished my Fall For Cotton dress but I finished it ON TIME, and I LOVE IT and I'm also WEARING IT RIGHT NOW. Sorry for the caps there. I'm just pleased. I decided to take part in Fall For Cotton - the challenge being to make a garment using a vintage or vintage-inspired pattern out of 100% cotton fabric - partly because I haven't really taken part in any sew-alongs yet and also partly just because I fell in love with this pattern and the fabric as soon as I saw them and knew they were a perfect match.



So, this is my effort! The pattern is Pauline Alice's Cami dress pattern - it's new out, and it's her first! And oh my gosh, that's impressive! It's such a lovely pattern - a gorgeous 50s-style shirt dress with a gathered skirt and different sleeve-length cuff/no cuff options. Sooper dooper loveliness. The fabric is Meadow Vale Dark by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery fabrics. I bought it from M is for Make and it arrived so quickly! You buy it by the fat quarter (£3 each) and it's 44in wide so I bought 14 fat quarters which equated to 3.5 yards. Turned out to be more than enough for me and so I have a little bit left over which I'm sure I'll manage to use for something else very soon! Isn't it lovely?



I made a quick toile of the bodice and sleeves, cutting a size 38 all round. On the toile this seemed a tiny bit too snug at the waist but fine everywhere else so for the main make I decided to stick with a size 38 and just sew with a 3/8in seam allowance instead of the 5/8in. In the end it's actually more than roomy enough at the waist so maybe that adjustment wasn't necessary but it doesn't matter at all - I'll wear a belt with it most of the time anyway and it's always nice not to worry about too snug a bodice and buttons popping off!



Other changes I made to the pattern were to make the skirt pieces slightly wider than in the pattern, to make the skirt even fuller, and to shorten the bodice by about 1.5cm. For the skirt I just used the full width of my fabric for each piece (2 pieces) so it was 44in wide instead of the 39.4in in the pattern. I just felt like a nice full skirt, y'know? I think I've been subconsciously lusting after Dolly Clackett's full-skirted beauties! I decided to shorten the bodice about halfway through - I'd completely made the bodice up and gathered my skirt in, and basted the skirt to the bodice when I tried it on and just felt it was sitting a bit too low for me. I'm short anyway, and I like things to sit quite high on my waist, so no problem there - I just unpicked my basting stitched, repositioned it up by 1.5cm and sewed it in. And now it's perfect.



So all in all, I love this dress! It's going to be perfect for winter with tights and a cardi and then through to spring with bare legs. I'm glad I decided to do the 3/4 sleeve because it made me try a new technique in the cuffs (I'm a cuff virgin), which went pretty well, and also I'm a wuss in the winter and always like as long a sleeve as possible. And I like how you can wear the cuffs down, or rolled up.

Cuffs rolled up

Another new-to-me technique in this make was the collar. It looked a bit scary but I charged ahead anyway and with the really really excellent instructions in the pattern it was a breeze. OK, so I may have accidentally sewed it in backwards, TWICE, but I think that was an over-tired evening when I should have just gone to bed! I'm also always a bit wary of buttonholes as sometimes my machine decides to make them a ball-ache and chew and chew the fabric but with this they went so well! Maybe because it was a nice sturdy 100% cotton? Anyway, they were so straightforward and I decided to use these adorable little gold heart buttons which I think are a perfect addition.



I wore it to work on Friday and got several compliments which is always nice! I feel good to be challenging myself a fair amount with my sewing at the moment - my Elisalex was a make I took a lot of time and care over, and this one was the same. It came together pretty quickly (mostly because there was a deadline!) but I didn't rush it, and it felt nice to have several quite challenging stages in the make that I could take great care with, and then feel really chuffed when they were complete and looking good. Does that make sense? Hope so. Probably not.

Mixin' it up with some bench-posing action

So check out the Fall For Cotton Flickr pool, which has mine and all of the other makes. They're all so impressive! And huge thanks to Rochelle and Tasha for hosting such an excellent sew-along.

Bye all!

Jen xxx

34 comments:

  1. Great fabric! This turned out so cute. :)

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    1. Thank you Sue! It is lovely fabric, isn't it? Worth the price! x

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  2. This is really lovely Jen! It looks great, and I love the fabric.

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  3. stunning!! great match of pattern and fabric :)

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    1. Thanks Shivani! I confess I wasn't totally sure how well the fabric would work as a shirt dress but I'm so pleased I went for it! x

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  4. This is so gorgeous! i'm yet to come across a shirt dress that doesn't gape when I sit down, so tend to avoid them. But this is tempting! xx

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    1. Thanks Kirsten love! It really is a great pattern, go for it! x

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  8. I knew this would be a winner! It is gorgeous. The shape really suits you as does the fabric. I know what you mean about challenging yourself.

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  9. Seriously cute dress! I must get my hands on this pattern, you made a gorgeous version!

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    1. Thanks Steve! I thoroughly recommend the pattern x

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  10. That's sooo cute. I love this Leah Duncan fabric range, and the little heart buttons are perfect with it. I definitely want to sew a shirt dress for autumn and this pattern looks really lovely.

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    1. Thanks Katie! Yes I want so many of her fabrics! x

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  11. Ah thats such a great dress, those buttons are so cute!

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  12. Just gorgeous! I love your fabric and pattern combo, it's perfect.

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  13. Jen, your Camí dress is impressive! The fabric you chose is so beautiful (and what about those cute heart-shaped buttons) and will look great with a cardigan and tights in winter. Congratulation!

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    1. Thanks Pauline! It helps that it was an excellent pattern :) x

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  14. Love your cami dress version!!!! The buttons and the fabric are soooo cute :-)
    I made my version also, here the link:
    http://www.masustak-eguzkitan.blogspot.com.es/2013/09/cami-dress-by-pauline-alice.html

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    1. Thanks Maider! Yours is so beautiful too, what great fabric! x

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  15. Love your fabric! The dress looks wonderful. I barely managed to finish my project - a 1940s blouse - by the end of the month. Congraulations!

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  16. Love your fabric! The dress looks wonderful. I barely managed to finish my project - a 1940s blouse - by the end of the month. Congraulations!

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