StyleARC Trixi dress – Challenge 1

Before I commenced on my RTW Fast challenge, I decided to tidy and reorganise my sewing room, ready for my challenge ahead. I bought additional cupboards and boxes giving me more storage space and clearing the floor, and now have all my tools at the ready for sewing.Black dress

With this task accomplished I had a couple of garments to finish off from last year, the first being my very last dress purchased in 2013. The dress looked fabulous online, however, after trying it on there were quite a few areas that needed altering.  The major alteration was to remove the centre back zip, as it buckled and gave a hunchback look (not pretty). I decided I could do without the zip due to the ease of the jersey it is made from. As I started to unpicked the zip I notice other faults that affected the finish of the dress. After resewing most of the seams and shortening the dress length I was happy with the final look.

Finally, I could start my long desired project of completing a couple of dresses that I had been put aside and languished in my sewing pile, in favour for more pressing designs. 

Style Arc pattern: Trixi dress

Fabric:  Silk jersey and lined with mesh

 I had previously sewn this pattern in a crinkled jersey for autumn and loved the style. The construction is relatively easy as I have worked with styleARC patterns before, and understand that they rely mainly on written and not visual instructions for garment construction (something I found difficult as I am a visual learner). For those new to styleARC, I suggest reading the instructions a few times before proceeding with the construction.  Having said that styleARC, has a good range of modern styles which I love; the pattern fit for me is very good with only slight alterations mainly to the length to accommodate my long legs.

The fabric I chose was a beautiful silk jersey that had a lovely drape and felt cool to the touch, perfect for Adelaide’s hot summers. I like working with knit fabrics and usually don’t have any difficulty with the construction. However, I did encounter a few issues with this Trixi dress 2fabric, firstly, the jersey was relatively sheer and in need of a lining, but it had to be a light lining to keep the dress cool for summer wear. I decided to use a mesh fabric and sew the lining and jersey together as one fabric, due to the style of the dress having a wrap shirt. It worked very well until I came to hemming the dress.  Both fabrics worked against each other and I ended up with the jersey buckling over the hem.  After unpicking and restitching the hem a couple of time and getting the same result, I then decided to roll hem with woolly nylon thread, but did not like the result on the sample I tried.

I opted to separate both the lining and fashion fabric and hem them individually, with great results.

The dress is cool, stylish, and a lot easier to make the second time around.  I will definitely make this dress again.

Trixi dress 3

This entry was posted on January 22, 2014. 2 Comments

Time for Resolutions

As the New Year draws closer, I am beginning to reflect on the previous year. Especially on my year of sewing explorations. September saw me venture across the Pacific to learn the craft (and benefit) of couture sewing, spending six informative days with the wonderful Susan Khalje and learning from her how to construct ‘The Classic French Jacket’.
The whole process from choosing the fabric, trims and buttons was an experience in itself. As the stores had such an extensive array of goods, that I was overwhelmed in the beginning unable to make a choice, but with Susan’s experience eye and great advice I was very happy with my final selection.  The next five days were spent blissfully absorbing as much information as I could, not only from Susan but also from the other lovely ladies attending the course.  I loved the whole process of couture sewing, preparing toiles, fitting techniques, studying the pattern repeat of your fabric, correct placement of the pattern pieces. Then my favourite process, hand sewing all of the seams, sleeves, applying the trims, buttons, pockets and finally the chain all of which takes time but the end product is just worth it. Not only does my jacket fits me beautifully, but I feel wonderful wearing it and I have received lots of comments from family, friends and strangers wanting to know where I purchased my jacket.
Chanel Jacket
With this new found sewing knowledge,  I now feel reinvigorated and bursting with ideas on outfits to sew for myself and family.  I’m looking forward to the coming year 2014 which I have decided to join ‘Goodbye Valentino’s Challenge – Ready to Wear Fast’ for myself and my daughter (http://goodbyevalentino.com/). An added personal challenge is to use at least 50% of my fabric stash by the end of 2014.    
Fabric haul NYC
 This blog is a way for me to not only record my sewing adventures, but share any handy tips with the sewing community.
2014 is going to be an amazing year and I cannot wait to begin.