Seamwork Savannah in Silk

Yay! I’ve finally made a camisole that is almost perfect, ;). I’ve had this Seamwork Savannah on my to-make list for awhile. For anyone not currently a subscriber, you can use my referral link for half off your first month (usually $6/month, so only $3 for 2 patterns!). I love Seamwork’s patterns. Overall fairly easy and simple quick projects that look great! I have quite a few on my list but was really excited to finally get this one made ever since I had some leftover silk from previous projects.

My first attempt at making a 3″ dartless FBA failed so I decided to try again using a 4″ FBA and adding bust darts. The 3″ wasn’t enough room but the 4″ fits much better! And the darts help with the shaping. I used this tutorial. The only thing I need to change for the next one is to move the darts up about an inch and start about 1″ further to the side, but could just be partially the bra I was wearing as the fit was much better over another.

I had to take in the sides a little bit (pinched out 3/4″ darts) before finishing up my french seams. Definitely a must on a silk camisole. French seams take a little extra time but result in such a nice finish. I also used my fancy new narrow hem foot to hem the neckline and bottom before sewing everything together. On this version I opted to not use the recommended lace trim.

Then I ran into the fact that the scoop of the back was much too low for my personal tastes, so following a similar design feature on the Aurora tank on the back on my camisole and it worked out really well and I think it looks pretty great. Not sure why my skin tone is so crazy!

Overall, I am pretty happy with how my fancy new silk camisole turned out. So shiny! Love silk charmeuse.


Anna dress from By Hand London

The Anna dress from By Hand London. I’ve seen this dress floating around Instagram and on people’s blogs and just loved the look of it and the fact it was “easy”. I mean, when you look at the FBA explained through their sew along it did appear to be very simple. Well, things are never that simple for me. I used a size 10 top which needed at minimum for me, a 4″ full bust adjustment. Well, when using the FBA explained through By Hand London this didn’t give me the length needed, the top of the pleats were placed halfway up my bust instead of below, and added bust darts which I couldn’t get angled correctly. So I Googled and found this amazing tutorial by Another little Crafty Creation. This version was more like my usual method, took away the bust dart, and added the length I needed in the front bodice without adding it to the sides. Yay! After adding my 4″ using this method, I then lowered the top of the dart pleats down an inch, added 1 more pleat but ended up adding a fourth as I still had extra each in the bodice when attaching to the skirt, and an inch of length which I added to the back too. I ended up adding 2″.

After a few tries and hours, I had my front bodice drafted and fit and thought I needed to add length to the back. I did, but not the 2″ I ended up adding, an additional inch would have been perfect. So I had to take out my zipper and undo my seams to take out the extra inch but it was worth the time and effort.

Other than fitting issues, the construction of the pattern was fairly easy and straight-forward. I chose to do French seams as the fabric I chose was a rayon challis. Beautiful flow but unravels like crazy. And of course I wanted to add pockets. Looking back I should have added slant pockets as explained how here, but I decided to add side-seam pockets for which I created a tutorial here on the extra steps needed to make them French seamed. I used a pattern piece from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book and the notch lines as well. Basically they sit about 2″ below the waist.

Overall the project took much longer than I had anticipated but it looks gorgeous. I hand stitched the thigh high split seams and machine stitched the hem at a 1″ allowance. I folded the hem up 1/2″ and then another 1/2″ to enclose the seam. Before cutting out the pieces I had chopped 3″ off the length of the skirt pieces but ended up cutting another 2″ off. I prefer to wear flats most of the time and didn’t want the beautiful fabric which I purchased from to be dragging on the ground. For the record, I am 5’7″. This dress is made for very tall people! Or very tall heels…

I had the intention of fully lining the dress but it turned out the fabric was opaque enough I didn’t need to. So I self-biased the neck line instead of using the facings using the method from So Sew Easy. I got to use my new bias tape maker, :).

Just to recap: I added a 4″ FBA, 1″ of length to the front and back bodice pieces, cut off about 5″ of length off the skirt portions, added side seam pockets, and self-bias tapes the neckline. I used a size US 10 for the bodice grading out to a size US 12 for the skirt.

And voila, a pretty dress I plan to wear to a wedding this weekend, :).

French Seamed Side Seam Pockets

I decided with the rayon voile of the Anna dress by By Hand London dress I’m working on would benefit from French seams but I also wanted to add side seam pockets. Was a little tricky but this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew was super helpful! She used 1/2″ seams so I had to make a few changes for my 5/8″ seams but I followed the same steps.

For my pockets I used the usual recommended seam allowances for French seams on a 5/8″ seam allowance garment. That is, I sewed the first seam with garment wrong sides together at 1/4″, then turned garment wrh right sides together and enclosed the raw edges in a 3/8″ seam. I just showed the process for one side of a pocket, then did the remaining three in the same manner. Here is my attempt at a pictorial tutorial. Not the best fabric choice for easy visibility, sorry!

First I used a side seam pocket piece from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book and used the notch marks on one of her skirt pieces to align the pocket piece properly. You can use any side seam pocket piece you have available. Mine are placed about 1 3/4″ below the top of the skirt panel. I cut 2 pocket pieces for each side, a total of 4. First step: pin the pocket piece to the side of the skirt piece wrong sides together and stitch at 1/4″ seam allowance.

And the pretty line of stitching.

Then you turn the pocket over so now the right sides of the pocket and skirt are together, smooth down the seam with an iron, pin, and stitch at 3/8″ to enclose the raw edges.

And I would give the finished seam another press then do the same for the other pocket piece for other skirt side piece.

Then before attaching the sides of the skirts to enclose the pockets, trim the side seam of the skirts pieces right above and below the pocket pieces the 1/4″ seam allowance in order to make stitching the skirt sides together easier.

So it looks like this at the top and bottom of each pocket piece.

Then you get to pin the skirt sides together pinning the pocket pieces together as well, all wrong sides together. After they are pinned, stitch the 1/4″ seam allowance and trim any pesky fabric strands away. I stitch 1/4″ up into the pocket pieces as well to ensure all unfinished edges are enclosed.

How your pocket should look after stitching. I circled in purple where you can see where I stitched 1/4″ into each end of the pocket.

Then turn your pieces inside out so the fabric pieces are right sides together now, press down the edges, then pin together to keep fabric from slipping around. Sew at the 3/8″ seam allowance to enclose all the rough edges. Give another press with your iron.

And voila! A nearly invisible side seam pocket, :). Once all stitching is done give the pocket a good pressing with the pocket bag and side seams turned to the middle front of the dress, going the direction the pocket will face when you put your hands in them.

And there you have it, a lovely completely finished side seam pocket without any of those pesky threads!

I’m still finishing up my dress but here is a pick up the skirt with the pockets added, :).