Monday, 24 February 2014

Victory Hazel dress and signs of spring.

So for the last few weeks I have been enjoying doing the Wardrobe Architect exercises on Coletterie and having a lot of fun with Polyvore doing colour palettes and outfit combinations.  So I think I have in mind my ideal spring wardrobe.  The reality might be a little different, however ..... well because it's real life and there are budgets, time factors (if I want to make some of it) and, of course, our lovely spring weather!  Whilst I absolutely love my boards I created and would enjoy wearing all of those clothes and jewellery,  I have also to be realistic.  Reality - the weather here will probably not be that great until the end of May'ish, also my lifestyle is a lot more casual than some of the clothes I picked.

One of my Sewing New Year resolutions was to try and make more fitted-type dresses.  I have made two dresses neither of which are fitted, but I love both of them.  (I do have plans, however, for an Emery dress which I think will fit the bill)

The first one is the Victory Hazel dress which I downloaded last year but only got around to making now.  My hubbie and I were going to an anniversary dinner so I thought it would be ideal.

I chose two fabrics I already had in the stash, both from Tessuti fabrics, the upper body is a silk/rayon mix which was rather slippery to work with and I had to unpick the collar and redo it as there was an unsightly pleat in it, most annoying! The lower shell is a heather grey silky crepe mix.  I can't remember exactly it's mix, but unfortunately it creases big time.  I had originally bought these fabrics with trousers in mind so in retrospect I'm glad I didn't use the fabrics for that.  It does have a lovely two tone sheen off it, however.

Apart from the creasing, I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I used the size 14 and graded down to a 12 in lower dress.  I think if I was making it again I would lengthen the upper bodice by about an inch. As you can see I made this version sleeveless as it was an evening semi-formal dinner.  I just used black satin bias tape around the armholes.  The lining fabric I used was a lightweight pale blue chambray which gave the dress a bit of body.

The beauty of this pattern is that it has no closures, just an over the head job, so it is really quick and easy to make it up.  (unless you fall out with your silk fabric)  I would love to make this again in more 'everyday' type fabric.  It has a touch of the 'Mad Men style' about it with the bow detail, mine actually stayed tied the whole evening, but I think it could work just as well for a dress for work especially with the sleeves.  I have seen lovely colour-block version and chambray or Liberty prints would be great too.

Not sure what I'm looking at there, just wanted to show you more of the lovely venue which was the Harbour Commissioner's Offices in Belfast.  Lovely to get the chance to see such an old and historic building which dates to 1854.  It has beautiful ceiling cornices and coving and a marble mosaic floor. Amazing to think of the skills involved in these trades in years gone by.

So that is my first dress of the year, I have made a second one (an everyday easy type dress) which I will share soon.  There are signs of spring and I will probably be going into mega seed sowing mode in March so less time possibly for sewing.  As regards knitting.... oh dear, I have only got as far as knitting a swatch for my new spring sweater and it was a bit small, so I will have to get moving on that!

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