Hollyburn Skirt

Yay, I finally purchased the Hollyburn skirt pattern from Sewaholic patterns and it was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be, :). The pattern is listed as being for beginners and it truly was a breeze to work through. The instructions are fantastic, the photo illustrations very helpful, and the pattern lines are just perfect. I went with Version C minus the button tabs.

I decided to make a size 10 after measuring my waist at 30″. I did end up taking the waistband out about 1″ so maybe next time I will make up a size 12. Other than that and cutting the skirt front out on the fold, I made zero alterations and didn’t even make a mock up. I usually do with new patterns but I was pretty sure this would fit from my experiences with the Thurlow trousers I had made previously from this designer.

The skirt fabric I purchased from a local vendor here in Nashville named Moondance Sister. It is a 100% cotton tapestry hand dyed in India. Loved the pattern and knew it would make the perfect skirt. The Hollyburn skirt had just enough curve to make it work out perfectly. I even managed to make the slip pockets match up with the pattern pretty well, :). I also decided to cut the skirt front out on the fold rather than 2 pieces per the pattern design in order to not break up the pattern as much as possible.

I decided to line the skirt to make it easier to wear over leggings. I neglected to trace back in the side pocket cutouts on the front skirt piece though, oops! It ended up working out just fine. I attached the lining to the skirt front at the top and sides through the pockets, then stitched the sides of the lining separate from the sides of the skirt from the pockets to the hemline. I also shortened the lining about 1″ from the exterior skirt hemline.

Here is an inside view of the skirt lining and the pockets.

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The other adjustments I made were to insert an invisible zipper (good thing since I had to let out the back about 1/2″ on each side) and putting an hook and eye in the top. I plan to add belt loops later but may leave it as is.

And more pics!

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Pockets!!!!

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Back view. Back seam is almost invisible, :).

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African Wax Print and Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book

Ever since I saw that Gertie had another book coming out I knew I had to look it over and it is still currently in my Amazon queue for a future purchase someday… In the mean time I was able to find a copy of Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book at my local library, yay!

I must say, the instructions and information are amazing, as are all of the pattern pieces and combos available. I decided to go with the sweetheart neckline strapless bodice pieces, three-quarter circle skirt, and pocket pieces. Because, well, every dress possible should have pockets! For the fabric I ordered this gorgeous Ankara African wax fabric from Tambo Collection on Etsy. They shipped it to me very quickly and it looked exactly like the photos, :).

I saw Gertie’s green faille dress in the book and loved it but didn’t have enough fabric for the box pleats and as I decided to alternate the bodice pieces with teal I thought it looked better without the decorative bias tape across the front.

For the sizing I traced out and sewed up a straight size 10 other than making a full bust adjustment of 3″ to the bodice front. Always make a muslin! This one took me 2 tries but it looks great and I felt much more sure putting together 2 layers without worrying about fitting as I went. I did my usual full bust adjustment on a princess seam. So basically I cut a slash in the side front piece going from just under the front middle notch to the double middle side notch (you can see this in the photo in the bottom right corner). I spread this a total of 1.5″ and then I cut a horizontal line on the middle piece at the same notch point and spread that piece straight up 1.5″ keeping the front middle section straight as it is cut on the fold.

dress mock up

The I used the same muslin pieces I’d used for my trial to underline the front pattern pieces which I cut out of alternating patterned and solid teal fabric. For the top I did have to take in the top middle seams in a tad to make the top curve over my chest properly. Gertie has you stitch a row of gathering stitches which I might try next time. Then for the inside structure of the bodice I followed her inserting boning instructions to apply a total of 9 strips of rigilene boning to all of the top seams and a small bit in the middle front. Next time I will put some casing around the rigilene. Even though I melted the edges they still dig in to my skin a bit. All in all it looks quite lovely, :).

inside boning

Then I put the zipper in the bodice to try on the fit again before attaching the bodice to the skirt. At this stage I decided an invisible zipper would look nicer than a lapped zipper, for which Gertie goes over in great detail on inserting either option with and without lining. Then it was time to work on the skirt! I used her handy tutorial on inserting the pockets which was easy peasy before attaching the skirt to the exterior bodice pieces. Love it when everything is notched and matches up so nicely, :). I opted to not put in the 1/8″ edge stitching on the pockets since the fabric is so sturdy, I just pressed them really well with my iron. After I had attached the bodice I put in the zipper and then hand slip-stitched the lining in place.

Look at that pretty inside! And those things sticking out are the pockets.

inside of dress

And ta-da! I now have another gorgeous summer dress that fits like a charm, :). Love how the contrasting panels just add to the beauty of the dress and pattern.

ankara dress front view

Pockets!

anakra dress using the pockets

Side view

ankara dress side view

Back view

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And of course I needed a spinning shot, or 2… 😉

ankara dress spinankara dress spin 2

Famous Frocks Twiggy Dress

I got this book as a gift for Christmas and I LOVE it! I’ve admired many of the dresses in here and now I can make them, :). You can purchase a copy at many places such as Barnes and Noble.

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For NYE I went to a 60’s themed party with my boyfriend, so I made the Twiggy dress from this book in a size Large. I chose the longer color block version with pockets. I think it’s fantastic when a dress has pockets. They were the perfect size for my phone. This is my first project using a book. So happy it came with traceable patterns. Took some time.

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Overall the instructions and pattern were easy enough to follow. The pattern was listed as being an intermediate. One part I found tricky was putting in the placket, first time putting in a placket. The instructions were a little hard to follow and ended up putting it in backwards even though I followed the pictures exactly, or thought I had. Just a little weird to button it on the wrong side. I also discovered why when seam ripping open the button holes you should put pins on each side…ripped one a bit too far but patched it up so it’s barely noticeable.

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The neckband was also a section where I had to pin it a few different ways to finally get it right but I did, :).

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Overall the dress required minimal fit adjustments, only decreased the side seams by 1/2″ on the sides in the top/bust area due to me being 38″ and the pattern designed to fit a 37″. I love how it turned out! As for the fabric I used scrap and donated fabric I had around the house. The blue was leftover from covering boards when I was a teacher, the gold/cream was gifted to me, and the white was scraps from a previous project. Worked perfectly together. My only purchase was the beautiful set of 1″ buttons.

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And pockets! Did I mention how much I love the fact that this dress had optional pockets? ;). They are even the era common circle pockets.

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And of course the obligatory Twiggy pose, :).

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McCalls Purse 6045 with added Divider

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I’ve been making these McCall pattern purses for awhile now and decided to make some adjustments for a Christmas gift for my mom. First of all she LOVES blue jeans. Blue jean anything: jackets, pants, purses, etc. I had a couple pairs of ripped jeans so I decided to cut them up to make this purse, :). She also loves pockets so I saved the back pockets on one pair to make the outside pockets on the purse and added a zipper divider in the middle.

I basically cut each pocket out and attached to the central panel on each other side of the purse.

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I then also made the inner side pockets a little taller as I’ve noticed sometimes the things I put in the pockets fall out.

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And of course a few pen holder pockets.

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The tricky part was adding a central zipper divider. For this I added half an inch to the inner lining gusset pattern piece leaving the outer piece the same and then cut it in half. I also cut out additional inner lining side pieces to make the central divider attaching the pieces to the zipper like you would for the outer purse sides/lining and then basting the bottom of the divider pocket. I then attached each side of the gusset that was cut in half to the divider sewing it all together. I was then able to baste the other gusset piece to the inner lining piece per the pattern directions.

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I basically followed the pattern for everything else adding belt loops saved from the pants to the purse handle.

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Very happy with how it turned out and my mom loved it!

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And check out my Etsy shop for current purses among other things for sale at HazelJaeDesigns.Etsy.com