This is a pretty fancy famous frock, a black shift dress with side zip and sheer yoke.
This used the same fabric as the glasses dress.
2m of black suiting
1m of sheer black fabric
I was quite worried about sewing the sheer fabric again as it was going to be really visible and needed to be done perfectly.
It turned out fine though: I used a number 9 needle, matched the tension and sewed very slowly.
The pattern wasn't entirely clear which way around the top should be attached to the collar and I had to cut another out. the long edge is for the collar.
The side zip is a better fit for my square shoulders but a lapped zip is still in the nemesis category of zips. I hate zips. I hand sewed this one before machining it.
This is the first more fitting dress that I have made from the book and I found out that I'm a smaller size than previously thought- S. So I had to take in the side seems and redo the zip. I'll have to cut down the skirt pattern if I make the dress again.
Overall, I'm pleased with how it's turned out and it came together pretty quickly and easily.
Below is the original dress and the dress from the pattern book.
As we approach the revision season, during which sitting outside and using pages of notes to keep the Sun out of one's eyes is compulsory, what more does a budding fashionista want but an equation print dress?
This is another Famous Frocks pattern, the Ava Gardener variation, although it's now pretty far removed from the original! I saw this equation print fabric on Spoonflower and knew I had to make it into this nerdy little number.
The dress is a grey equation print cotton with black mid section and fully lined in black cotton. It has a halter neck top fastened with some black gossgrain ribbon and is backless.
It needed about 2m of each of the cotton fabrics, 1.5m of ribbon, a 16" black zip and some black thread. I added the lining by making the skirt in the black cotton as well as the pattern and then attaching it to the main skirt before it was gathered.
If you want to recreate this smart dress then you might want to experiment with the different types of fabrics available from Spoonflower. There's a lot of gathering in the skirt and this fabric is quite heavy so falls a little more stiffly than it should. At least it means there'll never be a Marilyn moment!
The hemline is hand sewn and the edges of the bodice are top stitched 6mm from the edge to keep it neat.
Overall, I think it's a fun summer frock and I LOVE the fabric. Sadly, I probably can't wear it at school with exam season coming up....
The latest in the Famous Frocks collection: the Mary Quant dress. the variation in the book uses a different colour yoke and hem; it looked really good and I thought it would be fabulously geeky to find a glasses print to use. I'd hoped to find a black with white printed glasses to stick to the original dress but the pink turned out excellently.
The dress is fully lined and made from a poly cotton suiting with white backed cotton glasses print and sheer sleeves. There is a 22" zip in the back and a 1" button on each of the cuffs.
I liked the contrast of the glasses print so much that I decided to put it on the cuffs too.
The pattern was mostly straight forward although the yoke was difficult to sew and became a little ruffled, having to be unpicked. Owing to the cut of the dress and my wide shoulders, I sewed the back neck 2" lower than suggested and that made the collar quite short: next time, I need to redraw the pattern for the back, back facing and collar so that it fits better. It is also quite tight across the chest and could do with a slightly lower front neckline while still keeping the Peter Pan style. Once again, I doubted the length of the dress and ended up cutting off the 2" I added. I should have added 1-2" to the sleeves as they are a little short.
2x fat quarters pink geek chic glasses print cotton
2x fat quarters white cotton as underlining for glasses print
0.5m sheer black fabric
2m black cotton suiting
2x 1" buttons
Lightweight Fusible interfacing
Black cotton thread
2m black lining
The black suiting was very good at fraying. If I were to use it again I'd suggest using hem binding and finishing all of the seams.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the style of the dress- it's really fun while being a sensible length and flattering without being too tight. I should put glasses on all of my sewing projects!
A dress for a friend who loves reading. She gave me my Famous Frocks pattern book and this is one of the last dresses that i haven't tried: the Marilyn Dress. It's an adjustable eight panel, halterneck dress.
The fabric is printed cotton and was quite heavy. I was expecting the bookshelves to be evenly spaced but the pattern only repeated itself every 3 shelves, which was difficult! I wanted the shelves to align on the skirt in V shapes but some of the them are quite shallow Vs because of that.
The skirt is fully lined in rust coloured cotton ( note to self: cotton burns and melts if you use a linen setting iron on it) which is also the contrast waist and the back of the neck straps as there wasn't quite enough space in the fabric.
The bodice is top stitch 6mm from the edge all the way around so that it falls nicely: the burgandy thread is pretty. However, the pattern does not seem to align very well at the neck strap-bodice interface: I'm not sure that it is the correct width as my neck straps turned out thinner. I don't think that's just poor cutting out!
To make it adjustable, I put two button holes (the one step button hole on my new sewing machine is amazing!) 4" apart on either side of the waist and some elastic between. The elastic also has button holes in it so that it can be tightened or loosened. The waist tie should hide any gathering.
Conveniently, the straps can be attached to these buttons too. I've put three button holes into each strap so that their length can be adjusted too.
2 spools of burgundy thread
4m rust coloured cotton
3m library print cotton
4 burgundy 1" buttons
Iron on interfacing
7" burgundy zip
Marilyn Pattern size L
Overall, it's a pretty summer dress: the book pattern worked really well. However, it is quite short: if I were to make it for myself I'd have to add 2-4" to the skirt. The back straps are also quite revealing! But I'm sure perfect for reading a book in the sun!
It's another Famous Frocks dress, this time a little disco number in honour of Diana Ross. I opted to go for the slightly more modern version.
The variation has cuffed sleeves. I also lengthened the dress by 4", added some beautiful gold tape around the edges to make it a bit more glamourous, and made the keyhole a lot smaller (between top two notches).
This dress was very easy and quick to make. It took 2m of black stretch cotton jersey and 6m of gold and black tape.
The pattern comes in four parts but I cut out the back as one piece, removing the seam allowance. If I hadn't put in the keyhole I'd have done the same with the front as seams on a tight fitting dress look clunky. You can cut them on the fold.
I sewed the side seams as princess seams to keep them neat using a stretch stitch.
For the hemlines at the skirt, neckline and sleeves, I folded the fabric over once and used a stretch zigzag stitch. This could have been made neater by folding it over twice: I was worried that would make it roll over but the gold tape was strong enough to stop that.
One of the bad things about the Famous Frocks book is that the inside of the dress looks very messy. They recommended sewing both halves of the sleeve on at once. Instead, I sewed one end of the cuff to the sleeve and then under stitched the other end of the cuff to the sewing line so you can't see the seam or the gathering.
So with the final piece, I'm all ready to party this festive season! Although I am developing a blister from hand stitching 12m of tape- next time I'll use the sewing machine!
You rip what you sew!