Thursday 24 March 2016

My Firework Shingle Dress and Giveaway Winner

When I first took possession of my lovely pile of Maai Design fabrics, I had a definite plan for my Froy & Dind Firework knit fabric.

It was going to become a Marcy Tilton knit dress - pattern Vogue V8813

Of course, being a stripe addict, I would still love to find jersey fabrics of the same colour with three different stripe widths and recreate that exact dress, but I digress. I was going to make it with my firework blue knit...

So I made a test run first. I measured, chose my size and cut a muslin out of a very stretchy, pilling jersey of a beige-y khaki colour.  It was not looking good. Stupidly, I tried to get some feedback from Flipper but the big beige mess was too awful, and he couldn't even get enthusiastic about the model in her version on the pattern cover. The fabric was maybe too stretchy, but the whole thing was enormous, heavy, saggy and such an awful colour that I just completely lost interest.

But while I was looking for sizing tips or inspiration for that pattern I kept seeing another pattern popping up in my searches...

So when I went to buy the smaller size range of Vogue V8813 (which I will make one day) I found myself buying Vogue 8904 - The Shingle dress too.

Having just cut an oversized mess based on my measurements I decided to just dive in and cut the same size for this pattern. After all, how tight could it be?... Well, quite tight was the answer to that ;)

I added an overall 2 inches in length, which took a bit of thinking through. In order to keep the layered shingles looking even I added half an inch to each shingle, and lengthened the underdress by half inch increments at a mid point under each of the shingle layers.

 - before I add another image, a quick explanation for the strange modelling: To try and make some fun out of a forced outing for blog post photos we played Simon Says and that did include me. Perversely the best images of my dress are the ones that are somewhat odd in terms of sewing blog modelling.  :)

As I sewed it was becoming obvious that I should have paid attention to the part that said 2 inches of negative ease. I was not going to make the 5/8" seam allowance and be able to wear this dress. I sewed the full side and underarm seams at only 1/4" seam allowance on the overlocker, and from the bust down that was necessary. Above the bust and through the sleeves was really baggy, so I went back and took it in to the indicated 5/8" seam allowance.

I like it a lot, but it definitely feels like a date-night hold it all in kind of dress, rather than a go about the long, busy day in a comfy knit dress kind of dress. Know what I mean?

I'll definitely make the pattern again with a size or two larger below the waist and perhaps in the long, sleeveless version. I love Meg from Cookin' and Craftin's version- stripes of course!

The pattern would probably be better suited to a yarn dyed rather than printed knit. That way the raw edges wouldn't be so obvious. I did an overlocker rolled hem on all of my raw edges and you can see the sleeves and bottom edge lay nicely. The rest tend to curl. It gives the dress a more casual look, and I'm surprised to find it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might.

What's with the backdrop change? Giant hairy knuckles to you too!

We hunted high and low for a suitable backdrop for our photoshoot for the Maai Design Blog Tour. I wanted something monochrome since we all had different coloured fabrics to wear. I'd dragged the whole family into the city as I recalled one of the galleries had concrete stairs, white walls and giant windows. I'd recalled wrong, it was redwood stairs, concrete walls and busy, smaller panelled windows. Add in that the gallery happened to be really crowded that day and a photoshoot just wasn't going to happen.

But of course close to home is always better. The local community arts centre has a great wall with the black and white painting on it, and down by the river is a giant mural paying tribute to a local indigenous elder - Uncle Larry Walsh

I hope Uncle Larry doesn't mind being hand model to my awkward dress modelling ;)

And now, a couple of lucky blog readers can start planning their own sewing with some gorgeous fabrics that I purchased from Maai Design to share with you....

Drumroll please.

The winners are:

Maaidesign Fabric Giveaway

In a happy coincidence they can both have the fabric they wanted! I'll email you both straightaway.

Then we're off on holidays for a bit. Hope everyone has a happy and safe Easter!


  1. Your dress looks great!! I was worried the raw/rolling edges would drive me nuts, too, but I'm cool with them now.

    1. Yours was such an inspiration Meg. I definitely want a sleeveless stripey version as well as this one!

  2. What a great dress. Nice match of fabric and pattern.

  3. Your posts always make me laugh! Love the dress, even if it is not an eat a parma and still look fab dress ;) I think you look great in it!

    1. Ha ha. that would be the holy grail of dress sewing, wouldn't it?!

  4. You make that dress look great. X

  5. You look AMAZING in this dress! And you rocked that photo shoot, too! Well, I think it's great to have a husband who tells you the truth. Dan is always very honest with me, too. I appreciate it, even when it's not what I want to hear sometimes. (Though, of course, I ultimately make my own decisions.) I know I can always trust him. This dress is a win! You nailed it!

    1. Oh thanks Rachel. My bloke so rarely says anything, especially when it comes to sewing that I guess he must have felt pretty strongly about that big beige sack dress! Doesn't mean that I'm not still planning on making it ;) I've got a navy "washed cotton" lined up for it. In my head it will look very French countryside chic (ha, we'll see!)

  6. You certainly tamed this dress, it looks great on you and love the photo location.

    1. Thanks Sharon. It's a fun challenge to find backgrounds for photos that isn't always the same neighbours garage wall, and nobody, I mean nobody, needs to see the state of my garden! :)


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