Orion Bar dress

Friday, July 11, 2014
The Stitchy Details:

  • Challenge Theme: Monthly Stitch - June 2014
  • Pattern used: Sewaholic Cambie
  • Fabric: Black and Orion Bar fabric ordered from Spoonflower + salmon colored bemberg lining
  • Notions: zipper
  • Did you make any pattern alterations or design changes? I used a size 8 but the shoulders and darts from size 6. Also I took out ~10 cm of the length. And straightened the neckline with Tasia's instructions.
  • Total price: ~106 € (Spoonflower fabric is fairly expensive, especially with postage to Europe...)
  • Time to complete: ~22h

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Orion Bar dress - goofing Well, I'm a bit late, since it's July, but I actually finished this in June (30th, to be exact!), but I didn't have time to take photos or blog it as I had a presentation on July 1st. And I actually was finishing the dress for the presentation. The Cambie has been on my list of to-sew for a long time now. There are really awesome ones in the internet and I've been very inspired by many (few examples: Les Mademoiselles: love the piping! Scruffy Badger: the edges on the blue one, so cute! Young Seamstress: just plain lovely, Sewing in the Rain: so classy and I just love the color...)

Actually it was the blogpost of Sewing in the Rain, that gave me good advice when choosing the size. She said that she should have chosen the size according to her full bust instead of the actual bust. I did that now, I actually would be pretty much size 8 (except way shorter) according to the sizing chart. But my problem is that I have super narrow shoulders (as in my upper body is kind of small, and then there are the boobs, if that makes sense...).  So I chose size 6 for the neckline and shoulders and this was the best choice ever! The shoulders fit perfectly and then I just draw to the waist for size 8. I didn't do an FBA (I actually have never done this and I was glad I didn't have to learn it now, as my schedule was kind of tight), I just added a bit to the side seams, but I didn't need much to fit. But there are some problems with the fit. Actually I think I should've done the FBA: there's some wrinkling under the bust, but the front doesn't look too bad. The back, however, is too big as you can see from the back and side photos. So I think the added length did a lot for the bust, but as I added it to the back as well... not so good. So, fitting will require some work next time. Because there will be a next time for this dress :) Maybe with a fuller skirt... Or maybe I'll make this same one, but better.

Orion Bar dress - front Orion Bar dress - side Orion Bar dress - back
I had a bit of trouble attaching the lining. There is a pretty good tutorial on the Sewaholic blog, but still had some problems... I wasn't sure when to sew the lining under the zipper, so in the end I did it before attaching the lining. Now then, I was reading the comments on the post and someone was asking about trimming the seam allowance from the center back of the lining and it was advised to trim it off completely. I didn't trim it off completely, but I still run into problems, and actually with the method Tasia is using, you really don't need to trim the seam allowance at all for the lining before attaching it.

Orion Bar dress - seam finish
Finished seams :)
I got a bit carried away with this dress as this was the first time I used my pinking shears and I loved it as a way to finish the seams. Especially since most of the seams are not exposed anyway, but under the lining, they don't need a whole lot of finishing, but I feel uncomfortable of leaving them totally unfinished. I'm in love! I also used the glue pen to attach the zipper for sewing and it worked pretty well. Lot less hassle than pins. I might really adopt this method in the future as well (this was Stuart Hillard's advice in the Birmingham craft fair).

Orion Bar dress - lining All in all I think the result was successful. I love the salmon colored lining (not looking like the right color, I'm still photography-challenged), and the dress was a big hit at our Journée des Thésards (PhD student day), where we were supposed to dress up as our research subjects... Yes, the picture in the fabric is of the Hubble image of the Orion Bar (photo credit: NASA, C.R. O'Dell and S.K.Wong (Rice University)), which is what I study at the moment :)

Back into sewing: Tractor shirt for my nephew

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Just a quick update about something I did for someone else for a change, as I haven't been sewing a whole lot. I bought this fabric from the craft fair in Birmingham, if you remember. When I saw it, I knew my nephew would love it, due to his love of tractors.
I used the Maxwell Top pattern. The sizing was a bit weird. Well, I knew my nephew is skinny, so I did ask my sister to measure him. When the chest size corresponded to a size for a 3-year-old, I asked her to measure the length too... So, I took the 3-year-old size, but the length of a 7-year-old...

So, when I visited my sister in the beginning of June, I had a shirt. I didn't have buttons so I used snaps, and sewed them on the last day of the visit... The boy tried the shirt on for the fit, but was too fast (it was a hot day and he wanted to go play in the water outside), so I only have a blurred picture of him in it (hadn't adjusted the settings of my camera to inside...). But I do have a picture of the shirt that turned out well.
Stay tuned for a new dress update! It's coming soon, I just need some photos...