I conquered my confusion

I made myself a new dress for work from freebie houndstooth, and conquered my mental block on sewing bodice linings.

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I have long struggled with trying to work out how on earth a fully lined neckline and armholes work.  Wanting to make myself work-suitable dresses meant that I really needed to get over this.

So when one of my colleagues gave me some black and white houndstooth crimpolene(!) that her mother was clearing out of her stash, I decided it was time to face this conceptual block once and for all.  This dress made up like a dream – apart from a few weeks in the middle of making it when I got a bit busy with other stuff…

Houndstooth Dress

I had to alter the pattern (Burda issue 01/04, style 111) somewhat, as it is quite fitted through the skirt, and while my top half might fit a Burda 38 well, the lower half is something more like a 42.  There are no side seams on this dress, rather princess seams front and back, and long underarm darts for shaping.  I didn’t get the adjustment quite right on front panel, so I had to take those darts in a little more.  I’ve still got a little too much fabric across the front waist, but nothing that I can’t cover up with a belt or cardie.

Is it possible to be coy while wearing houndstooth?

The seaming through the back on this style is really nice.  I realised as I was cutting that the darts had slightly different shaping on each side, so I marked them carefully with chalk and basted by hand, matching up the lines before stitching.  I’m sure this helped with the overall fit and finish, especially for the side darts.  You can’t really tell from this image, but the invisible zip is near perfect :-).  I love how they are so much easier to insert and I especially love that you don’t have to handstitch the lining to them in the back.  Because you don’t topstitch like you do with a normal lapped zip opening, you can just flip the lining over so you have the right sides facing, and then stitch the lining into the seam allowance along the teeth of the zip.

And it turns out I had nothing to be worried about with the neck and arm edges.  I followed the directions in the Burda magazine for pushing and pulling, and got a really neat finish, even without using a wooden spoon!

I think I nailed the neckline and arm edges!

Forward Planning

Help Elisabeth choose her first project for her handmade makeover.

Ok, so here’s my list of projects that I want to complete in the next wee while.  Help me choose what to make first!

  • new casual trousers
  • new trousers for work
  • new top for work
  • new dress for work
  • new jeans
  • new jeans for the hubby
  • new handbag (for me!)
  • re-cover my lounge chairs
  • new roman-blind for my bedroom

So, what should I start with?  Leave a comment below to help motivate me 🙂

Hello and welcome

Welcome to HandMakeMeOver.

Welcome to HandMakeMeOver!

I’m a bit of a fabricoholic – my stash is rather large.  In the past, I used to make lots of clothes for myself, but recently I haven’t been so good at actually sewing up that fabric into stylish garments.  In the meantime, my wardrobe has got to feel a bit boring, and mainly bought.

I decided that this needs to change, and  I’ve started this blog to help me stay motivated.  I’m going share my revamp with you, but also, I hope that you’ll help me out along the way with comments, feedback, and most importantly, advice.  Help me look stylish again!  Help me with my Handmade Makeover – help me HandMakeMeOver!