Saturday, 27 June 2015

SEWN: THE QUIRKY DIVA

Meet The Quirky Diva.


Not me! The dress!


Though to be honest she makes me feel quite the quirky diva myself.

I am finally creating pieces that make me squeal with delight at how very me they are. I'm not joking about the squealing, I'm squealing now. It's getting a little embarrassing. I'm not normally a squealer...


This mind blowing fabric is a divine Collette Dinnigan brocade I scored from Pitt Trading*.

But boy was she quite the diva. She actually sewed up beautifully, no slippery shenanigans and pressing quite nicely, though I only pressed the reverse side. Her diva-ishness showed up in her ability to unravel before your very eyes, her fraying eating away at my very modest 1cm seam allowance like a crazy thing at the lightest of handling. I am sooooooo thankful I didn't pre-wash and if you do I would definitely suggest overlocking/serging the raw edges prior to that process.

I decided to keep this dry clean only and skipped a pre-wash. I adooooooooore the hand of this fabric. Huge amounts of body and little to no drape. It was exactly what I had in mind for my Frocktails dress. I did not want to potentially lose those properties to a dunk in the sink.


Yep, you'll be seeing this just as I'm donning its gorgeousness and swanning off to Canberra Frocktails for an evening of cocktails, fun and frivolity (and a fair bit of fabric stroking) with a bunch of other sewing/crafty bloggers. Squeeeeee! So much excitement!

And it's a remake! Did you pick it? It's another Traffic Stopper albeit with some alterations and deviations from the original (click on that blog link for further info).

I removed all topstitching...

Utterly perfect neckline
... instead blind handstitching the neckline bias binding to the inside.

Definitely a TNT sleeved dress pattern for me - perfect fit across the shoulders
And let me tell you - I'm converted. This is the most perfect neckline I've created. I'm sure sending that neckline through the machine twice with completely machine-stitched bias facings just lends itself to significant stretching and warping of the neckline, even when I'm careful and have stay stitched (which I always do).

I finished all seams with my overlocker. I originally considered French seams, but this fabric is quite lusciously heavy and I wasn't convinced it would work. The overlocking has kept those raw edges perfectly well-behaved.


You'll notice I also omitted the neck slit and sewed the top sleeve seam slit closed whilst retaining the beautiful tulip shape to the sleeve (also hand stitching the hem).

I envisaged echoing the tulip shape of the sleeve by creating a definite A-line shape to the skirt. I achieved this by grading the pattern from the size 8 bodice out to size 12 at the lower hem. I knew this fabric would hold the shape well and I'm so pleased with the result. (NB: excuse all the "penguin" poses as I was trying to show the full shape!).


It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is, for me, my biggest ever WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO! It's everything I would want in a winter appropriate cocktail dress that I'd likely never find in store, in a perfect fit and at a price that allows me to get the cocktails in. Next up.... the matching leather clutch.

I'm off to Frocktails now...



*Thanks go to Pitt Trading who provided my choice of fabric and notions free of charge for this project in exchange for images of my completed make for their use. Opinions are all my own.

43 comments:

  1. Its gorgeous! That fabric is stunning, and the tulip sleeves are so pretty. That neckline really is perfect :)

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  2. it truly is a woooohooooo dress! what a gorgeous fabric!

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  3. Wow - that neckline! Those sleeves! Simply stunning. I do hope we hear all about frocktails. Wish I was there xx

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  4. GORGEOUS! Fabric, style, hand-stitching...all. I LOVE those sleeves.

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  5. Oh - this dress is DEFINITELY a winner. I love the structure, the flirty A-line, so '60s mod to my eye. And the tulip shape of the sleeve. Really a masterpiece and a true squealer of a delight.

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  6. This looks fabulous, quirky, fun & stylish all at once. It's it great when you suddenly hit your stride and start making things that are a real mirror of your soul!

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  7. You so completely nailed this dress and you looked stunning in it. It was so great to see you over the weekend xxx

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  8. Ahhh this is such a treat to look at! Beautiful.

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  9. Your dress was wonderful in it's previous version. However using this fabric and your handwork made it look amazing and very Frocktail worthy!

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  10. It's marvellous! I just love love love love love the tulip sleeves. It looks a million bucks on you!

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  11. Love love love everything about this. The perfect neckline & shape on you. The fabric is divine & your vision was spot on. I'm just starting to realise that statement sleeves are my cup of tea. I might just need to make this for myself!

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  12. In my opinion it was a massive woohoo make!! Thank you for coming to Canberra, even though once it let you arrive, it didn't want to let you go 😉

    It was lovely to see you, especially in this amazing frock!

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  13. This is such a lovely make and the fabric is even fancier in person!


    Thank you so much for coming up CBR way- it was awesome to catch up and drink all the bubbles!

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  14. Goodness gracious, this is simply spectacular! Those sleeves! That fabric!

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  15. Thank you so much Kirsten! I was so stoked about the neckline :)

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  16. Thanks Mokosha! The fabric is truly divine.

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  17. It was truly a fabulous event Kate! I'm sure some tales will start to trickle through soon ;)

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  18. Thank you Debbie. Yep, the sleeves are a winner especially in a fabric with this much body xxx

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  19. Thanks Melanie! I was channeling the mod look so I am so very happy it looks that I've achieved it, in your eyes xxx

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  20. Hitting my stride feels amazing, Lizzy. Let's hope I can keep it up!

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  21. So great to see you too Kirsty! And your dress... oh my, your dress xxxx

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  22. Awww thanks Morgan, it was such a joy to wear xx

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  23. I felt very Frocktail-y too Maria! I feel lucky to have been able to use this fabric :)

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  24. Thanks Sarah, it's great to feel a million bucks too xx

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  25. Go the statement sleeve! And you would rock this pattern xxx

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  26. Was so great to meet you Michelle! So glad you were well enough to finish your amazing dress xxx

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  27. ALL the bubbles. Oh my head, bwahahahaha!

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  28. Thanks so much Jenny! It felt great to truly get something just right and exactly as I'd envisaged :)

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  29. Love love love! The shape is perfect on you and I love the detail of the sleeves. You would've been killing it at frocktails. I'm so jealous that I couldn't make it! Next time hopefully.

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  30. Lovely to meet you at Frocktails! Perfect dress for the gorgeous fabric, Love the tulip sleeves. I didn't know about Pitt trading until now, now I'm trying to figure out a visit.

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  31. Thank you Kat! So hope I can meet you at a future Frocktails xxx

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  32. Was lovely to meet you as well Barbara! Thank you for your kind compliments and I do hope you get to Pitt Trading soon. I just saw they got a whole load of gorgeous goodies in :)

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  33. Whoa, that is stunning look on you. Love love LOVE the dark tights.

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  34. Oh thank you Nicole, you're very kind. Those tights saved me in freezing Canberra. Fleece-lined, 'nuff said.

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  35. Oooh, I saw those on the Bonds site when I was shopping for the Twins, I might get some for them ( and me).
    I am going to have a look at this pattern, since Trixie I am sort of 'messy in the middle' but my legs are not too bad. This could work well on me, not as a m a z i n g as it is on you, but it could work.

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  36. So funny! These are the Bonds ones! Soooooo comfy. And you would totally rock this style. Can't wait to see it xx

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  37. What a cool shape and gorgeous fabric!

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  38. Thank you Elizabeth, I'm so happy with the final shape. I was exactly as I had hoped it would be :)

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  39. The sleeves, fabric, and shape are spectacular!

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  40. Oh i love it! I have this pattern book and some Nani IRO fabric that will be perfect together! And i love your modification of the sleeves and swingy shape. its such a beautiful fabric and you look great in it! i hope it got you lots of compliments and creepy seamstress strokes at frocktails! lol

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  41. Haha! I did get quite a lot of non-creepy strokes at frocktails :) I think this would be utterly fab in Nani IRO, and suit your aesthetic to a tee!

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