Lace Wiggle Dress

I purchased the Wiggle dress pattern by Patterns for Pirates a few months ago with the intention of making a formal dress for the cruise I was taking, but when I discovered there would be a white night instead, I made my white Anna dress. I finally got around to making my green lace version, and I love it!

I made a test version of the Wiggle dress using a sparkly purple spandex fabric a couple months ago as a cold-shoulder version. It turned out really well. I love this pattern because there are so many options for it! For my test version, I traced out a size medium for my upper bust, did a pivot-and-slide FBA (tutorial here), then graded out to a size large for the waist and hips. I used the 3/4 length sleeves traces along the off-the-shoulder marking at the top of the sleeves, then sewing the sleeves on at just the underarm area to get the cold-shoulder effect and hemmed the top of the sleeves using the 1/2″ seam allowance. Patterns for Pirates has a great list of possible pattern hacks here that I used as inspiration. I used the sleeved versions of the knee length main dress pieces. This gave me more of a strapless version to cover my bra straps while allowing sleeves for a cold-shoulder look. Definitely plan to wear this version on a girls night sometime. I never took very many good pics of this version, but you have an idea of how this looked in the image below:

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Then for my green lace wiggle, I found this gorgeous green stretch sparkly lace on sale at Jo-Ann’s. Unfortunately, I did not test which direction the 2-way stretch was going…so instead of the normal cutting layout, I had to cut out my dress the widthwise way of the fabric. Luckily, the fabric was very wide and I was able to get the floor-length off-the-shoulder version of the wiggle dress. I didn’t add any length to the dress this time, but next time I would add about an inch as I am 5’7″ and the dress is designed more for someone a little shorter. Then for the underlining, I used swimsuit lining fabric in nude as this matched my skin tone fairly closely. I basted the underlining to the lace fabric pieces before serging everything together. Love my serger. Then for the hems, I used a narrow zig-zag stitch. For the floor-length version, I used the short off-the-shoulder sleeves in a straight medium. Next time in a fabric with this amount of stretch, a large would have been a little more comfortable.

For my floor-length version, I used the same pivot-and-slide method as for my short dress version, I just cut off the top parts on the pattern line so I now had the off-the-shoulder version. I also put in a zipper this time as I knew the fabric wasn’t quite as stretchy as my purple version. The directions are for a regular zipper, but I used an invisible zipper as I liked the look better and my invisible zipper foot makes putting in invisible zippers so easy. I didn’t need a zipper, but I wanted the getting the dress on and off process to be a little easier. I misread the suggested zipper length though and used an 18″ long zipper in this version, oops. It worked out fine. Then I just put in a simple 1/2″ hem.

The directions are fabulous and so well-written. Putting in the elastic around the top portion was so easy with P4P’s directions. And as per other reviewers, so secure I had absolutely no worries about the dress falling down at all at any point.

I definitely see more versions of this dress in my future in a variety of styles, :). It’s a very flattering style and required very minimal adjustments for me to have a good fit. I like the idea of a tunic for the winter months in a nice stretch merino…

Here are some pics of me wearing the green version out to see Love Never Dies at the local performing arts center, :).

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Anna Dress in White

So as per my previous post, I recently went on a cruise. I was going to make a fancy Wiggle Dress (Patterns for Pirates) but then learned there wasn’t going to be a formal night, but instead a white night. So I decided to make another Anna dress from By Hand London in a white rayon voile. Due to the sheerness, I fully lined the dress.

This was a little tricky. I used the same bodice adjustments I’d made the last time (more info here) and just adjusted the long skirt pieces to be the right waist size used from my first version. I’m not sure how, but all the seams are off except for the center front seams with the pleats. I may need to re-trace all the skirt pieces again. Or maybe I mixed up the skirt side front and skirt side back pieces… Either way, that’s why the seams are wonky at the waistline.

I decided to do the thigh high split, but instead of hand-stitching the layers together, I just machine stitched them with the lining and exterior fabrics right sides together, then turned them right side out. Such a nice, clean finish.

I was going to hem the lining and exterior layers separately, but decided to hem the two layers together as I had already connected the two layers at the split and in the back center seam. Turns out this wasn’t the best idea, as now the seams are terrible to iron now. But, I may need to re-hem it anyway. I had let the skirt part hang for a few days to let out any bias, etc., but I guess after hemming it added different weight to the hem because after wearing the dress out for a day, it seemed to have lengthened about half an inch to an inch, :(. As you can see in the images, it was the perfect length.

Other than that issue, I am in love with this version of the Anna dress. It has beautiful drape and swish. Fabric was purchased via Etsy from FabricLA.

Photos were taken in Miami while I was on vacation, :). The Wynwood Walls make for perfect photo opps!

Colette Chantilly

I decided to finally attend the Big Yellow Bird Bash this weekend, which of course you are expected to wear yellow. I never buy or make anything yellow. So I looked through my patterns and looked for fabric and decided to finally make the Chantilly by Colette. Love it!

I found a gorgeous yellow floral on white chiffon from Stylish Fabrics via Etsy. I’m not a big fan of wearing yellow, so I decided to get a floral instead of something solid yellow. The lining is white Bemberg rayon. Honestly, this fabric just makes you feel like a happy, sunny day.

I went ahead and did my usual FBA. I started with a 2″ on the bodice and realized it wouldn’t lengthen it as much as I wanted, so I did a 3″. Was perfect on my first try! Glad I used the lining, ;).

The rest of the pattern wasn’t adjusted for size, but I did kind of meld Versions 1 and 2. I wanted pockets (version 2), but I also wanted to use a chiffon (version 1). Basically I underlined the chiffon with the lining up through the pocket, then constructed the lining and shell separately. Took some time and was a bit of a struggle, but so worth it!

Love it when the insides are so beautiful, :).

I cut out my usual size 10. Due to my underlining technique the zipper didn’t go in quite as smoothly, but I made it work. Now the hem was a bit of work, but I made hemming the narrow hem of the shell so much easier. I serged the hemline, then I just rolled up the hem twice using the less than 1/4″ line of serging as my guide.

It’s perfect for spring! Now time to make my boyfriend’s yellow vest.

Lacey Spring Dress

I’ve had this mint green lace in my stash for awhile and finally decided what to make with it. Another Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book dress!

I used her wedding dress as my starting point. I used the sweetheart neckline strapless bodice top in nude lining under a lace overlay in the boatneck style for which I salvaged the lace and attached it to the neckline. Then I used the cap sleeves in lace only before attaching it all to a self-drafted half-circle skirt with pockets! And I salvaged more lace to hem the skirt bottom. So yeah, a lot of hours went into this dress but I love it!

I made it in a size 10 with 3″ FBA, but that’s about the only adjustments I made. It is fully lined and the lace skirt portion is underlined. I was a good seamstress and let the skirt hang for a few days before evening out the skirt and hemming. I was having trouble underlining it when flat pinning the underlining and lace together, so I did that part while hanging it on my dress form. Worth the time.

I used spiral steel boning because it’s the best. I’ve used Rigilene and the plastic stuff, but spiral steel boning is amazing! I then make my own boning channels using Petersham ribbon. I plan to add a waist stay at some point.

As for other techniques, I used a lapped zipper. I might add horsehair braid in the future.

Overall, love it!

Seamwork Sonya

I made this awhile ago, but I never got around to blogging about it. I’m a monthly Seamwork member and love the patterns. If you use my link, you can get your first month half off: click here. :).

This is the Seamwork Sonya. I made a few adjustments: 2″ FBA, took in the waist a little (mainly due to FBA), and changed the pocket size. I loved the look of the lines going every which way in the photos on the pattern. It took some time and planning, but I got it to work out, :). The fabric is a gorgeous cotton from Fabric.com.

I decided to reduce the size of the pockets. At full size they bagged out a bit too much for me. They looked like saddle bags unfortunately, so I made them both about 1/4 of the original sized.

Overall, I really love how she turned out and I get loads of compliments, :).

I made version 1 in a size 10. The instructions are very detailed every step of the way making this a great project for different levels of seamstresses.

Vintage Inspired Old Hollywood Glamour Dress


Haven’t had as much time to work on sewing projects but managed to finish this one in time for the local Frist Art Deco Affair. Always love an excuse to make a fancy dress, ;). The theme was “Old Hollywood Glamour”. I think I succeeded, :).
I used this BurdaStyle pattern called V-Neck Evening Gown with Starburst and Godets. A really really long name but gorgeous pattern. I needed to make a few changes first.

First, I decided to use a stretch charmeuse instead of the recommended taffeta. Next, I did a 3″ FBA and moved the shoulder straps inward 1.5″. I made a test mock up and it was pretty awesome on the first go, only needed to shorten the straps about 1″, about the same I had added.


Pic of all the pattern piece changes to the front. I didn’t want to change the pleats so I cut them off and added them back after I had completed my FBA.

Made my mockup in some leftover fabric I had that was the same as I had ordered and it fit!

Now…I had ordered a gorgeous dark red from TheOnlineFabricStore.net but unfortunately they neglected to inform me it was on backorder. So I had waited a week, heard it would arrive to their warehouse within the week, only to find out the following Monday it had not. Hence to say I canceled my order and will never be ordering from them again. On the other hand, Fabric.com is amazing! Great quality fabric and super fast service. Plus, they post a live count of how many yards they have in stock. So I ended up making my dress in a Champagne colored stretch polyester charmeuse and I love it!


Now to make it a bit more “Art Deco” I found this beautiful brooch on Amazon, perfect for my dress! It fit perfectly in the center of the starburst pattern.

I’ve done enough pleats now that forming the starburst pleats were easy enough. The trouble I ran into was from the hips to knees of the skirt of the dress. I mistakenly finished all the seams before trying the dress on. Big fail! Thank goodness for stretch fabric! Much tighter than I anticipated. So I nixed the skirt portion of the lining and work a skirt slip under it instead. I tried Spanx but they ended up with a big hole within just trying them on. Definitely returning!

So all in all, the dress came together beautifully. The back godet was much longer than it looked in the photos so I added a finger loop. I think it only added to the vintage look I was going for, :).


Look at that gorgeous train!



Finger loop was a good idea!


From the event with my handsome date.

Dahlia in Polka Dots

This is my 3rd make of the Colette Patterns Dahlia dress, love this pattern, :). I used version 1 again, my my other make is posted here. This time I chose not to line it and used a pretty navy blue with white polka dot polyester silky fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I also added pockets! Used the in seam pocket piece and instructions from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.

I used the size 10 pattern pieces with a  3″ FBA, more details on my original post with link above. Other than adding the pockets, nothing new to add. You can read about using Gertie’s pocket pattern and instructions more when I added them to my Wren dress here. I made my own bias tape again which was a little trickier with this fabric but I still managed to make it work, :). I wanted to use my bias tape maker but it was not designed to work with this particular type of fabric. So I just sewed it on using a 1/4″ seam allowance and folded it over the seam. A little trickier but not too time consuming.

The other major change I made was to add pockets! Every dress possible should have pockets, :). I kind of forgot about the side invisible zipper though… It turned out fine though, even if is a bit more difficult to get over my chest, I manage just fine. I had to cut off about 3 inches of the invisible zipper. But, the pockets work and are functional!

And of course, the photos, :).

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