Vogue 8630 – a dress with 10 darts for Frocktober

Hello ladies, here I am again. Long time no see. I have valid reasons for that!
I have been super busy making plans for the renovation of our apartment. We have finally agreed on a plan with our architect (and more importantly, a price with our renovator) so we can move forward and apply for the permits.
The past few months I have been very busy scouring Pinterest for ideas, and now it’s a matter of finding the right kitchen, bathroom, floors, tiles, light switches, door handles (… you get the picture) to make our home OURS.
Apart from renovating I have taken up physical activities! And not just one, no, I started 3 different sports! 
Every Thursday I take tennis classes. I am a beginner, but enjoying myself! And I am already dreaming up a few cute tennis outfits. Is it wrong to start a hobby just for the wardrobe possibilities?
The next day, every Friday, my husband and I are taking a dance class. Taking dance classes together has been on our wishlist for almost 10 years now, and it’s finally happening! We found a school here in Santander that teaches Swing and Lindy Hop and it is all kinds of awesome. We’re still learning and so we fall out of rhythm all the time and occasionally step on each others’ toes, but it will all be worth it in the end. And again, I’m already thinking of all the dresses I could make for dancing… Not to mention the shoes!

And last but not least, we took a sailing course. Every Saturday and Sunday of October we have been out on the water with our trusty Julien the Vaurien. We have been having a ball… Luckily the weather has been kind, with no rain at all and temperatures above 20ºC. We are already making plans to continue the course throughout the entire year to learn to sail regattas! It is just awesome. Oh, you want a picture? Your wish is my command!

Back to the dress!

Today I am showing off my make for The Monthly Stitch Frocktober. When I hear the word ‘Frock’ I immediately think ‘fancy dress’.
I have been stuck on straight skirts for a while now and I have a huge crush on Belgian Queen Mathilde, so I chose this pattern. It reminded me of the gorgeous dress the Queen wore to the crowning of King Philippe.

The Queen’s version:


My version:

As you can see, there are a couple of differences.

First of all, I omitted the collar. One reason is that I didn’t think it would work very well with this fabric, and the second is that I barely managed to cut the dress of the yardage I had on hand, a collar was simply not possible.

Another difference: no sleeves. I don’t think those would have worked either. I have never worn a dress with silk twill sleeves, but I can’t imagine that those are really comfortable. Besides, if I want to go dancing in this dress, sleeves would only be in the way.

Last difference: mine is shorter. I don’t have a crowning to attend and I like my skirts a bit shorter.

Apart from sewing 10 darts, this is not a difficult dress! The only difficulty I had was that I only had 0.5 cm of seam allowance on the sides from the waist down (thank you pear shape) and inserting an invisible zipper with that small amount of fabric… Pfffff… In the end I had to handstitch it in place.

The fabric is a great silk twill I picked up on my La Coruña fabric binge. It was the last of the bolt and I got it for 30€. It was just enough and involved a bit of puzzling to get the fabricpattern to line up, but it worked out! Yeay!

These pictures were taken in the entrance of our apartment building, and I really like the setting. We should do something about the lighting though…

I really love the dress, but it won’t come out of the closet any time soon due to lack of an appropriate event… New Year’s Eve is not that far away though.


Colette Eclair

My Colette Eclair is done! Yay! 
Another pattern chosen by my man for my birthday!
I will show you a few close-up pictures because I won’t show the dress on me before the wedding it is made for. My first idea was to make this a maxi-dress but maxi-dresses aren’t really my thing. I love them, and I always try one on, but they’re just not meant for me. Just like jumpsuits – oh, how I want a jump suit…
The dress came together like a dream! I made a muslin first out of a sheet that had been left here, made a few alterations that were easily transfered to the real dress.
The fabric is the most gorgeous silk-poly blend I have ever laid eyes upon. It’s the Violet’s fabric big sister, with (almost) the same background color and big bright pink birds flying around. Cutting this fabric wasn’t really easy because it really shifted around all over the place. And this fabric had a lot less issues with threads running and leaving little white stripes all over the place!
The lining is a simple purple polyester fabric, to which I added black knit fusible interfacing and I used the sew-in boning for the first time, and I am sold! Way easier than making tunnels to pass the boning through. Won’t be doing that again!
I did use a piece of sturdy cotton on each end of the boning to prevent the boning tearing through the fabric, or my skin – that happened to me once with my favourite dress ever, my wedding dress… By the end of the night I had scratch marks all over my belly…
To make the inside pretty again after sewing in the boning, I added a strap of ribbon I had lying around – I think I used it to put a bow on gifts – over the stitches of the boning. No-one will see it, but I will know it’s there. I love that about self-made things, the details are not all on the outside, you can have a little secret on the inside too if you want.
Then there was the zipper – how I do not like putting in zippers. 
I once bought 100 zippers for 30€ from e-bay and they came in quite the rainbow of colors and an enormous variety of lengths. I chose an invisible pink zipper and put it in with my regular zipper-foot. I have one of those plastic feet for invisible zippers but I don’t like using it and I have noticed that putting in an invisible zipper with my regular zipper-foot works just as well.
I had a bit of trouble lining everything up, so right where my armpit is, there is a very small irregularity, but no-one will notice as it is up my armpit and I don’t expect someone taking an interest in that…
I think it would be best if the instructions for the Colette were the other way around when it comes to inserting the zipper. Next time (and there will be a next time, summer is around the corner after all) I will first close the side seam of the skirt, then put in the zipper and then sew the lining and the shell together. I think that will make closing the side seam easier… 
All that is left now is to sew the waistlines of lining and shell together – I will do that last minute so if I have to make changes to the dress I won’t need to separate the pieces first – and the hems. I’m thinking about inserting fishing line in the hem(s) so that I get this nice curly effect.
Image from this page – I don’t particularly like this dress but you get the idea…
When I first showed it to my husband he wasn’t quite convinced that it was festive enough. Maybe because I was wearing leggings and sneakers. So I put my glitter-shoes on and that gave me his stamp of approval too. Yeay!
Only worn twice before, so still considered new shoes.
The wedding is July 5th, we are flying to Belgium on July 4th and are heading back home on the 7th. Very short trip, but it will be massive fun! Pictures of the dress in action will be posted fairly soon after that!