More: dresses of 2013

More dresses that I made earlier this year. Apologies for the photos being a different size, wordpress is being a bitch.

Firstly, a dress in aubergine bengaline. Apparently the bengaline we have in NZ and Australia is different from that you get elsewhere – think cheap stretch trousers from The Warehouse or Shanton. Gross. Needless to say, I didn’t know what I was buying from trademe – me careful what you buy online!! It’s not actually terrible to wear when made in something a bit nicer than what I’ve seen it in, feels a bit odd but is super stretchy and comfortable.

The pattern is Simplicity 1882 which was rather nice to work with. I did have to dick around with the under-bust seam and you can see I still had trouble with it being in the wrong place. I’ve just had a google look and seen some really cool versions (like this one!) that make me want to try it again. I used this rad green tartan piping which, although makes the dress that much better, does not stretch. Something I thought I had learnt but keep finding myself wanting to do anyway: do not use piping (which is meant to reinforce a seam) for stretch material. This makes the whole thing a bit too tight, mainly under the bust/ribcage area. I think this is why I haven’t worn this dress much, despite thinking it looks pretty nice on me – I like to be able to move comfortably.

My other issue with it is that I hand-tacked down the facing a bit too obviously (did not know how to invisible stitch properly, and used black thread!), so there is a diagonal V of handstitching under the neckline. It also has a hand-picked zipper, and the piping matches up perfectly at the back (that took several tries)

The next is a cheapo dress made from pink cotton broadcloth from Spotlight – I think it cost me about $5/m, so $10 dress. The bodice is made from an old princess seam sloper I had tried making, which had too much gape so ended up with three darts at the neckline. The skirt is from the Cambie.

This is when my sister-in-law Sally (aka Tough Chick) reminded me that the dress is see-through and I’m wearing black underpants.

I usually wear this with a full petticoat

Next is my Tiramisu Cake. I took inspiration from this version, and used contrasting bands for the neckline and sleeves. I bought all the fabric at Global Fabrics so it ended up costing quite a lot – the black is a “double layer” knit that I thought meant double-knit. Wrong. It’s two layers of thin knit “stuck” together with pin holes… it that makes sense. Apparently it’s from some high-end NZ designer but it’s actually pretty horrible – because of the drape the fabric gets these vertico-diagonal lines that look messy. Will try and get a good photo to explain this.

It’s also very stretchy without much recovery, so I ended up taking HEAPS out of the side seams (I like how this dress is sewn in the flat, and have been doing that with some of my wovens recently). When it’s first washed it’s nice and snug but stretches out quickly after an hour or two of wearing.

Unfortunately the pockets are heinous. I now know better (after several attempts in different garments) – in seam pockets are bad on me, especially in a bias skirt, especially in a knit! They stick out like crazy, look like weird lips (or something ruder), and are extremely unflattering. I am going to go back and remove them but in the meantime this dress is inside-only.


I do like the idea of the pattern though – it is crazy comfortable and awesome to have something nice that you can just “slip on” like you can jeans or trackpants (the latter of which I never leave the home wearing). I have another version in a pinkish double knit/ponte which has somehow ended up with lots of stains on it so will not be shown. Same issues with the pockets, though.

I will make this dress again, when I get around do finding some nice knit fabric.


5 thoughts on “More: dresses of 2013

  1. You crack me up! Some awesome dresses and thanks for going over your experiences with them. I’ve learned things today! Very interesting about the piping! πŸ™‚

  2. If these are all 2013 you’ve been very very productive! Wow! You’ve got a lovely sense of style, they’re all very pretty.

    I thought I noticed black underwear v then right it must just be shadows so I laughed pretty hard in the next photo. Thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Curvy Colette #2: Show Me the Moneta’s! | tworandomwords

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