Saturday, 29 December 2012

Thanks to SG (And RuthieK)

Holiday Clothes Part 1

I've read, followed and took gratuitous advice over the years from Stitchers' Guild but only recently have I started to join in, share and reply. There is an absolutely overwhelming amount of information on this sewing forum but the links, personal communication and support have been invaluable recently - mostly from Ann Rowley's Chanel jacket make. However, RuthieK started a new thread the other day about boiled wool and it reminded me about a dress I made for Christmas two years ago - before I started blogging. I can't, therefore, display "work in progress" pics but I can show you the final item and a few details. I didn't wear this dress at all last year, so bringing it out again this year almost made it feel like new.
Fabric is not quite white but a pale ivory and I was concerned that it was too thick for a dress preferring to be made into a coat or jacket. But for a winter dress it turned out fine.  The boiled wool was purchased at my local fabric shop - Craftswoman Fabrics - and cost an arm and an leg per metre! There's 2m used here. 




The pattern, I think, is McCall's 2401 - an easy, very basic dress with neck and sleeve variations. I wanted the v.expensive fabric to do the talking here, not the design. I like this simple dress as it has no cut-in-half waistline and can be as fitted or relaxed as you want. I made the V neck style but lengthened sleeves to 3/4 length.

Have I told you how much I love 3/4 sleeves? Shows off bangles and bling; don't have to push up when washing dishes and covers the upper arm - perfect in my book.



When making this dress, I seem to remember that it kept growing as I was sewing. I darted the fronts and back and then made bigger darts. With a bulky fabric, such big darts were not not going to be as svelte as I had envisaged. To over come the bulk, I sliced the darts open to within a hair's breadth of the ends and then topstitched the excess flat. This sort of created a design feature, while doing what I really wanted - smooth lines.



Boiled wool doesn't fray or unravel - a blessing but it does seem to stretch while working it. The neckline gapped and sagged when I kept trying the dress on, so there was nothing left to do but make more darts. I added four along the back edge, two long and two short and seemed to do the trick. If I remember correctly, there wasn't that much to take in, just enough to make the fit better.
The dress is fully lined in a slightly stretchy lining. For such a bulky fabric, it was see-through when worn and I still wear a slip underneath too.
















Mince pie, anyone? (My Mum made these ones!)
The dress is still growing BTW. I love my food as evidenced by my womanly figure, and the frock fully accommodated my increasing midriff as the day progressed.



On the actual day - Christmas Day this year that is, I seem to remember more of this....

 .... and in reality, I think this is how I looked most of the day - no-one saw the dress until 7.00pm! And by then they were all dozing and sated and didn't really care.

 Come to that, neither did I.

23 comments:

  1. What a toasty hosty! You look gorgeous- a major boucle babe! Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. Oh one tries, one tries....but whose to judge? Food or appearance?

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  2. Lovely winter dress! Isn't company supposed to arrive early and spend the afternoon complimenting our amazing skills non-stop?

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    1. We had a lovely day - lots of food, laughs and lots of mess too.

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  3. Hostess with the mostest:) you look lovely!

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  4. Enjoyed this post! Funny how we get all "dolled up" and then throw the apron over it all for most of the day!! You look stunning in your dress :-)

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    1. I think next year I'll wear a fancy apron as my Christmas Day dress - two in one!

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  5. You look gorgeous in that dress.
    I'm a huge fan of 3/4 sleeves myself.

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  6. That is a lovely dress, at least you managed to dress up - I just wore jeans.

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    1. But I bet they were fabulous jeans

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  7. Very, very pretty and a perfect pattern for that boiled wool. Thanks for the tip that it grows, who knew? You look lovely even in an apron!

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    1. My pleasure Carole. Thank you

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  8. You looked so chic Christmas! I just wore jeans and was happy to get a shower in, lol! Thanks for the tip about boiled wool growing, I never knew that.
    Also, thanks to the link to Anna Rowley's jacket sewing. It's inspirational!

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    1. Us mere mortals just drool over her workmanship and dream that maybe one day......

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  9. Stunning dress - it really suits you!

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  10. You look mahvelous, dahling! What a fab dress...this pattern is my go-to sheath. Beautiful in the boucle...especially in the winter white. Love it! Happy New Year!! xo dorcas

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    Replies
    1. Cocktails at 6? No wait, need a cocktail dress....

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    2. Gorgeous dress - I LOVE cream wool whether its boiled wool, jersey or a wool-knit sweater. Love the apron too !

      Janice.

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  11. Stunning dress, Ruth! Please don't wear it in the kitchen anymore :)

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  12. Gorgeous dress. It's very flattering and I love the fabric. Happy new year!

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