Saturday, 27 September 2014

Selfish Sewing Week - Monochrome Clover Dress

I've been doing some selfish sewing for Selfish Sewing Week! I'm delighted to be a featured stitcher this time around and it has been great to have an excuse to make something for me despite being inundated with work at the minute and there being a half finished top for my Mum and shirt for my Stepdad looking at me from a pile in the corner! Rachael from Imagine Gnats runs this event bi-annually and it is all about taking some time to sew something you really want to sew just for you. All week a wide selection of sewing bloggers are going to be sharing their finished projects on their blogs, using patterns from a huge range of indie designers.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the new Clover Dress from Papercut Patterns to treat myself with. I did actually have my eye on the Midsummer Night's Dream wrap dress (and actually have had my eye on that since it's first release which must be nearly two years ago! Ha!) but after requesting that Katie offered up the yet to be released at that point Clover and I could not resist! It's a design from local Kiwi fashion designer Brooke Tyson's collection, who has collaborated with Papercut to make her design available to us in pattern form. The pattern even includes instructions for making your own tasselled belt from embroidery floss, I haven't got round to that part yet but can't wait! To be clear from the outset I'm not just saying that I like it because I received it for free; I genuinely love the relaxed style and fit of this dress, it really fits with what I like to wear and I've received a fair few compliments on it at work which I'm really chuffed about!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

I sewed it up with a beautiful viscose print which I picked up in Fabric Land on Goldhawk Road a few weeks ago (when I was shopping for work...oops!). I'd intended it for an Alder Shirtdress but something about the lovely drape and silky lightweight nature of it said it would be better suited to this project. I know a few other bloggers have bought some of this before, Kathyrn in particular made some great trousers out of it! The print is really interesting and kind of reminds me of those crackle effect nail polishes or rag rolled walls! I think it was only about £3/m and I got this out of exactly the recommended 1.8m.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

Viscose is the perfect fabric for this dress. I'm a huge fan of both working with and wearing viscose in general because it has such a gorgeous drape and is so easy to wear. I've got a bit of a rule that if I ever spot a beautiful viscose print at a bargain price I absolutely must buy it as too many times before I've passed it by thinking 'I'll be able to find something like that in future' and when the time comes to make a floaty dress or top I never can!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

I was slightly concerned about how much ease there was involved in this pattern as it's kind of hard to tell how much fabric is being pulled in by the belt in the promo pictures. I like to avoid having too much going on around the waist and didn't want it to be too much of a sack worn without a belt. I was between sizes on the Papercut guide so because of my ease concerns decided to cut the smaller which was the XS. I'm really pleased with how the fit turned out; it's nice and comfortable around the shoulders and bust and I actually like the shaping at the waist, I don't feel swamped in fabric at all. I kept the length as it is in the pattern, although I did trim a fair bit off while trying to level it up as it dropped all kinds of wonky when I left it to hang overnight. In the promotional pictures it looks as it it has a slight dipped hem on the model but I just levelled mine straight off. I really like this length for wearing day to day as it's not so short that I need to worry about flashing people as I get on and off the tube but is short enough to be fun and youthful.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

Construction wise this is a fairly straightforward shape to sew up. I really like how the short raglan sleeves look and how easy they are to sew up compared to setting in a sleeve! I also don't often sew dresses that don't have a waist seam so it came together quicker than most dresses I've made. I overlocked all my seam allowances, some of them I pressed open and then back together to finish them as one as the viscose is quite fine and my overlocker was producing much better results with a double thickness.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

I was slightly dreading adding the binding to the neckline as this technique has very rarely turned out as neat as I would have liked in the past and in this shifty viscose I had a feeling things were going to get fiddly. It did take a bit of patience but I'm really pleased with the result, it's a nice and even width all the way around. I was helped by the fact that the viscose really responded well to the iron. Next time I will make sure to stay stitch these areas after cutting as my neckline isn't sitting quite flat at the top of my shoulders and I think this is to do with a bit of stretching at the top of the raglan sleeve pieces rather than the application of the binding. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

My favourite thing about the design of this dress is the V shaped feature above the bust which is actual diagonal inserts in the front pattern pieces. However, I totally messed up piecing these bits together accurately despite being really careful when pinning and sewing that centre front seam. They match up perfectly at the top of the V but are a good few millimetres out at the bottom. This means the left diagonal strip has ended up wider than the right diagonal strip at the centre front. I was super duper careful about sewing these pieces together with accurate seam allowances so I'm inclined to think it might have something to do with the fabric stretching out as those long diagonal edges are all on the bias. I spent ages deliberating what fabric to use for it and ended up using some left over scraps of rayon/viscose crepe from my La Sylphide Dress, which texturally and weight wise were a perfect match for the look of the main fabric. You do have to be a bit careful with handling rayon and I think this might have added to mysterious size difference issue. At one point I was thinking of using black silk organza for the inserts which would have been much less likely to stretch out. I definitely want to make another one of these so has anyone got any tips to help combat this and help me achieve a nice neat intersection? I've thought about maybe stay stitching or interfacing the insert pattern pieces?

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Patterns Clover Dress in a Monochrome Printed Viscose

With the exception of that little mishap I'm delighted with my new dress and am pleased I took some time out from this busy month to sew something just for me! If you fancy taking part this week and sewing yourself up something entirely selfish then make sure to link up your projects on Kollabora and don't forget to enter the amazing giveaway here. There are going to be 40 winners of different indie sewing patterns and one lucky winner of a $25 gift voucher for IndieSew.

36 comments:

  1. That's a stunner of a dress!
    Maybe block fuse the inserts before cutting them out using a really light interfacing? That should make everything more stable?

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    1. Thank you! That's a great idea Vicki. I was worried about the interfacing making the insert too stiff compared to the beautiful drape of the main viscose but you're right that a super lightweight one should probably work.

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  2. This dress looks great! I really like the contrasting V inset. And the fabric is very pretty and unique. Very nice work!

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    1. Thank you! The V inset and loose skimming fit are what drew me to the design in the first place. It's got a really contemporary feel as with a lot of Papercut designs, Katie did a great job at picking a designer to collaborate with whose style would blend with her existing collection

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  3. sooo cute!!

    when I made mine, i basted the front 'v' joint together first, just to make sure it was all lined up before i sewed it for real. maybe that would help! and i think i might have stretched one an itty bit on purpose to match the other one that was a little longer.

    but it's definitely one of those things that only you will see. i didn't notice until you pointed it out!

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    1. Thanks Devon, that's a great tip. I think maybe I was too keen to get it sewn up and ready to wear and I should have taken my time a bit more with that stage and gone back and unpicked until it was perfect! Good to know that you didn't notice it straight away too!

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  4. This is beautiful! And that fabric is gorgeous, love it with the contrasting black inset. I really want to make this up in dress form now! I have the top version I'm going to post at some point, but I'm not as crazy about my fabric choice as I am about yours, ha!

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    1. Ooo I'm looking forward to seeing your top! I'm keen to make it up but am not really sure on which fabric to choose. I absolutely love this fabric. It's so silky and cool to the touch. I'm definitely going to make up the tassel belt to go with it!

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  5. Such a cute dress! It turned out really great!

    I find that using iron-in sizing (comes in a spray can like starch but is less stiff and just adds more body) really helps with shifty fabrics like rayon and cotton voile. (I talk about it in this old blog post.) If you iron your yardage with sizing before you cut it, everything will be easier to control.

    As to lining up points, pin (perpendicular to the edge) directly through the stitchline point at each end of the chevron. Then ease-pin the rest of the chevron seam allowance. When you get to each point it as you sew, carefully hand crank the machine over the pin (do NOT remove those two point pins until the seam is completely sewn). It's all about learning to ease your fabric back into matching. (And your chevron looks really good as you did it!)

    Hope that helps! =)

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    1. Thanks so much Brooke! That's all super useful. I've never heard of iron-in sizing before and am definitely going to investigate that. Fascinating! I definitely think I should have taken some more time about getting that section all matched up correctly and eased it all in as you say. I'm going to follow your tips to the letter next time!

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  6. This is SO cool - love that V insert, and the fabric is amazing! I love sewing with viscose, or modal when it's a knit - such wonderful flowy fabrics! :)

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    1. Viscose is probably my favourite fabric to wear and despite it's shifty challenges probably my favourite to sew with too! The fact that the designs feel youthful and 'cool' is what I like most about Papercut so it's great to hear that that comes across in the final garment!

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  7. Your print choice is spot on! Great dress. No one will ever notice the insert being out of line...there are far bigger problems with RTW clothing!

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    1. Very good point Margo, thank you! I often comfort myself when I'm not totally happy with the fit of a garment by telling myself that it's better than anything I could pull off a rack!

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  8. Wow such a nice dress! I love the fabric choices, the print with the solid V insert, beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Nathalie! I debated for ages about fabric choices for this dress and even as I cut it out I was unsure about how the bold solid black would work with the print but in the end I'm delighted. And with the drape of both areas too!

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  9. this is gorgeously pretty - like all your makes! doesn't look sack like at all - you still look very trim.

    I came here from Kollabora where I follow your stuff to see if you had any problems with the yoke, as I am having. I don't think you messed up the inserts. Check your pattern pieces against each other. I wrote to the designer asking how to fix the error on the top yoke piece and am hoping to get a reply now the weekend is over:). If you check the insert bottom and top edges, the bottom edge is longer than the dress portion, which means when you sew them together the CF and side seam match. The top yoke piece is exactly the same length at the bottom as the insert, which means that when you sew them together, you get a gap. I think seam allowance must have been left out somewhere - I'm not sure if it's only at the CF, or at the bottom edge too.

    Re shifting - have you seen the gelatine your fabrics tip floating around the net? Sarai of Colette uses sullivan's Spray Stabiliser, which I have tried unsuccessfully to buy on line - won't ship to Europe - but apparently gelatine is great for slippery silk, chiffon etc. Why not for viscose? I'm going to try it on my next shifty make:)

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  10. S'me again - she wrote to me. Apparently they're fine even thought the same length, she says you need to stretch and ease - "All seam allowances have definitely been added, so no need to add any extra :-) You’re best to pin together at one end, then at the other end, easing the two pieces together evenly while you pin the remainder together." So tonight I shall try and tackle my cut out dress again... do try the gelatine tip - I found the link for you. http://makingitwell.blogspot.ca/2012/07/gelatin-your-chiffon-tutorial.html

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    1. Thanks Francseca! After reading the comments on here and now Katie's it seams working carefully, slowly and easing it in is the key with this little pieced segment. I didn't have any trouble with matching up the edges of the insert with the yoke piece/main dress panel, it was the centre front that baffled me! I've come to the conclusion that I wouldn't be very good at piecing together an intricate quilt anyway!
      I'd forgotten about the gelatine trick so thank you for reminding me! I'm a little apprehensive about it (I think it's combining food products with delicate fabrics that is making me feel a little strange!) but maybe these small inserts are the perfect way to give it a first try!

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  11. Lovely dress. I really love Papercut Patterns?

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    1. Me too Gail! They have a real distinctive look and contemporary feel to them which I adore

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  12. The dress looks very very cute and flattering on you :) I totally agree on hoarding viscose! I just discovered the hidden viscose treasures of my fabric store this summer, cute pre-cut prints at a very reasonable price. It involves a bit of digging through heaps of fabric to find the best pieces, which only adds to the fun :D

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    1. That sounds like some kind of heaven! Rummaging through piles of pretty viscose?!

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  13. Love it!!! This looks so cute on you! I really am enjoying this pattern too!

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    1. Thanks Christine! Looking forward to seeing yours! It's a really unique and easy to wear style I think

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  14. Mine is ready and I love it to bits! Next up, the blouse. This is going to be my Belcarra - I made one, but had these wierd folds in front of my raglan seams, both front and back, and no idea how to get rid of them. This has one piece sleeves but stays perfectly, unlike other one seam raglan patterns I've tried! What fun - it's so quick to make and I think will be lovely as a top even without an insert...

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    1. O so pleased to hear that you had success with yours in the end! I've been considering drafting out the insert too as I think it would be a lovely plain blouse!

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  15. Oh, and I forgot - as far as I recall, the inserts strips are on cut on the grain, but the slants which have to meet at the front seam are on the diagonal, ie bias, so it will stretch out. I sewed mine using pins kind of like Brooke says above and eased where I had to, and cut out the insert really carefully on a cutting board with loads of weights, because drapey fabric really moves, and if you don't get the straight and cross grains where they should be, then however well you cut, the pieces will be different. (Does that make sense?) I've found much better results with these fabrics since I finally got a good rotary cutter.... anyway once you cut them like that, then, even if they seem different when you're sewing, you know you can ease them together and not have any unsightly bumps:)

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    1. I did use a rotary cutter for mine but because I was using scraps for my inserts there's a high chance they could have come out a bit wonky! I definitely think that the problem with mine came from things shifting about and then the bias edges stretching. At least I know I can correct it with a bit of easing in next time!

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  16. This is so cute on you! I'm dying to try this dress but don't really have anything appropriate in my stash...

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    1. Thanks Sonja! This would be so great on you! I can see you in it already! I think this could work in quite a wide range of fabrics as long as it's not particularly heavy so fingers crossed you can figure out something appropriate soon. Plus those inserts only need tiny scraps - it almost makes it worth my somewhat ridiculous habit of keeping nearly every scrap of fabric left from a project!

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  17. I made this dress recently and agree that it really is a fantastic pattern! Everytime I've worn it it makes me feel really great and gets loads of compliments. I love the fabric you've used for yours and the solid colour for the v-insert looks fab :)

    Elle

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    1. Thanks Elle, I feel really great in this every time I wear it too, it's really comfortable but still feels stylish doesn't it? I've just been over to look at yours and love the lace insert you've used! That might be the next on the list for me

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    2. Aww thank you, I was so eager to sew it up as soon as I got the pattern, I ended up raiding my scraps Definitely, so draw. But I was really pleased with how it came out, like yours it's just so easy to wear! Can't wait to see your next version :)

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!