Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Yellow Means Summer

One of the retro sewing groups on Facebook has gone crazy this summer over this romantic polka dot dress of Marilyn Monroe. So many people were posting their wonderful versions of it I just had to try myself. The online sewing world seems to definitely influence me more than "real life" fashion. I used my favourite dress pattern ever (Burda 7829) as a base for the bodice but I modified it so much to make it more the shape of Marilyn's dress that I think it's not really recognisable.

I am not a yellow wearing person. I don't think it is a flattering colour on me but I have seen so much yellow around this season and I kept thinking I so want a yellow dress! I actually found the most absolutely gorgeous pale yellow floral satin but I just could not let myself buy it (it's been stuck in my mind for months though, so maybe I should make pajamas or something from it....). I didn't want to put hours into a dress I wouldn't end up wearing though so I compromised with this: yellow piping!

When I was looking at the pics of Marilyn's dress I was wondering why would they gather the fabric both at the top and the bottom of the tier. Why not just the one at the top?? So I only gathered the top of mine. And I quickly realised the reason. If it's not gathered then circumference of the piping is too big and then it will be wavy and stick out awkwardly.

Trying to tell myself that it's fine. No. It's really not fine.

So I cut out the piping between the first and second tiers of the skirt and then gathered both parts (no way was I unpicking that with all the piping stitched in plus being overlocked...). Even then it took four very long hours to redo....  so I couldn't bring myself to fix the last tier plus I didn't want to lose even more length by cutting it out, so I'm just accepting it as it is. This dress took three metres of fabric. The first tier of the skirt is about 2 metres long, the second is about 4.5 metres, and the third is almost six. Thank god for gathering on the overlocker. Seriously, I could not have done this otherwise.

How to gather on the overlocker: Put the differential feed to the highest it will go and make the stitch length the longest possible. It will gather your fabric automatically. If you need more fullness pull the two needle threads - if you use different colour threads in the needles than in the loopers then it's super easy.

I finished the hem with bias binding. This is my favourite trick for when the skirt is too short and you really want to keep it as long as possible. I bought this binding eight years ago in Istanbul, it seems like I managed to carry an entire lifetime's supply of bias binding back home in my backpack! I'm re-reading my old blog posts from that time in Istanbul... how much more crazy and free and fun those days were. Having the doggy has kinda sucked the spontaneity out of my life this year. (But I don't know if I could convince any friends to hitch hike with me these days anyway ;)

Bay my foster doggy is still looking for a forever home! If you know anyone who would like to adopt the most beautiful, happy, energetic, far too intelligent dog in the world let me know!!! I adore him but it is very hard looking after a dog alone, especially a Malinois. The organisation I got him from has so many dogs in their care that need foster homes - a lot of them are reserved for adoption already but they just need a few weeks in foster homes so they can get medical treatment/castration/see how they are in the city etc before they can travel to their new homes so then it really isn't a big commitment. So many of them get adopted to different countries, often Germany. They have all kinds of dogs so you can get one suitable for your lifestyle... And they can provide all the stuff you need to look after the animal, even the food if necessary. They have lots of cats too. Think about it :)

Bay got a bow tie. From now on I'm going to try to make him a matching accessory for every new dress of mine.


Every good dress needs pockets! I didn't have enough fabric left to cut the pockets from the main fabric so I did my usual trick - I appliqued scraps on at the pocket opening. This way the pocket doesn't show. I also do this when I want luxurious pockets, say from satin, but don't want them to be visible.

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