Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Hi Everyone

cut-outYet again I have left it quite a while since my last update, I have been sewing but not blogging for some reason.  So I decided to make a grand entrance with this little ditty!  Now when I say I have been sewing, not as much as I have in previous years, so I felt the need to prove to myself that I am indeed still capable, and as such gave myself a bit of a challenge…

The pattern is Simplicity 1277, I thought a 60s theme would be a grand choice for my fabric which I already had from the last secret sale at Abakhan Fabrics back in July 2015.  It is cotton with a very fetching pattern, on the one hand fantastic to sew on the other, attention to detail is a must.

Now, just to give myself something more to think about (I quite clearly thought I needed it) I decided to line the dress. Pattern matching, lining, concealed zip, the only thing missing to make it one serious challenge were the set in sleeves (oh how I love those bad boys) – five years of sewing and they still escape me.

close-upSo the game was on, time to get my board out for cutting the pieces to ensure everything was in line before I started.  The black side panels were a doddle, to throw something more into the mix I reversed the pattern on the skirt, creating diamonds along the waistline.  Because the pattern is a perfect-fit type, the seam allowance is 1″ so a bit of measuring was in order when placing the pattern on the fabric.neckline

All going well so far, on with the construction, first off sewing top to bottom on the front and back to create the diamonds, this took me at least four attempts, at this point I thought things could only get worse when trying to get the zip in.  The side panels went in next, which contained little pockets, followed by the shoulder seams, then I created the lining and inserted this around the armholes and neckline.

All going swimmingly it was time for the pièce de résistance – the concealed zip.  Much basting ensued, the first side went in without a hitch, I then basted the second, paying particular attention to creating the triangles down the centre.  It is a well known fact in the sewing world that zips move or tighten on the second side, which would mean where I placed that zip ever so carefully on the fabric, frontmatching horizontal and vertical patterns, would not be the case when it was sewn it.  I was ready for at least half a dozen goes to put that zip in and much head scratching to boot BUT to my utter amazement it went in first time, boom, straight down the middle! Wahoo!!

What followed was a piece of cake,  I did have to sew the centre back seam, but without a zip to complicate matters it was easy peasy lemon squeezy. I then created the side seams, which were mainly black anyway, so no big deal. I finally hemmed the lining and the dress and hand stitched the lining to the zip and that was it, job done.back

I think I can safely say I have redeemed myself in the wonderful world of sewing. Even after a slow twelve months my creative side has not diminished. Yay! all is well with the world.