Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Thanks to SG (And RuthieK)


Holiday Clothes Part 1

I’ve read, followed and took gratuitous advice over the years from Stitchers’ Guild but only recently have I started to join in, share and reply. There is an absolutely overwhelming amount of information on this sewing forum but the links, personal communication and support have been invaluable recently – mostly from Ann Rowley’s Chanel jacket make. However, RuthieK started a new thread the other day about boiled wool and it reminded me about a dress I made for Christmas two years ago – before I started blogging. I can’t, therefore, display “work in progress” pics but I can show you the final item and a few details. I didn’t wear this dress at all last year, so bringing it out again this year almost made it feel like new.
Fabric is not quite white but a pale ivory and I was concerned that it was too thick for a dress preferring to be made into a coat or jacket. But for a winter dress it turned out fine.  The boiled wool was purchased at my local fabric shop – Craftswoman Fabrics – and cost an arm and an leg per metre! There’s 2m used here. 
The pattern, I think, is McCall’s 2401 – an easy, very basic dress with neck and sleeve variations. I wanted the v.expensive fabric to do the talking here, not the design. I like this simple dress as it has no cut-in-half waistline and can be as fitted or relaxed as you want. I made the V neck style but lengthened sleeves to 3/4 length.
Have I told you how much I love 3/4 sleeves? Shows off bangles and bling; don’t have to push up when washing dishes and covers the upper arm – perfect in my book.
When making this dress, I seem to remember that it kept growing as I was sewing. I darted the fronts and back and then made bigger darts. With a bulky fabric, such big darts were not not going to be as svelte as I had envisaged. To over come the bulk, I sliced the darts open to within a hair’s breadth of the ends and then topstitched the excess flat. This sort of created a design feature, while doing what I really wanted – smooth lines.
Boiled wool doesn’t fray or unravel – a blessing but it does seem to stretch while working it. The neckline gapped and sagged when I kept trying the dress on, so there was nothing left to do but make more darts. I added four along the back edge, two long and two short and seemed to do the trick. If I remember correctly, there wasn’t that much to take in, just enough to make the fit better.

The dress is fully lined in a slightly stretchy lining. For such a bulky fabric, it was see-through when worn and I still wear a slip underneath too.

Mince pie, anyone? (My Mum made these ones!)
The dress is still growing BTW. I love my food as evidenced by my womanly figure, and the frock fully accommodated my increasing midriff as the day progressed.
On the actual day – Christmas Day this year that is, I seem to remember more of this….

 …. and in reality, I think this is how I looked most of the day – no-one saw the dress until 7.00pm! And by then they were all dozing and sated and didn’t really care.

 Come to that, neither did I.

27 thoughts on “Thanks to SG (And RuthieK)

  1. What a toasty hosty! You look gorgeous- a major boucle babe! Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Oh one tries, one tries….but whose to judge? Food or appearance?

  3. Lovely winter dress! Isn't company supposed to arrive early and spend the afternoon complimenting our amazing skills non-stop?

  4. Hostess with the mostest:) you look lovely!

  5. Enjoyed this post! Funny how we get all "dolled up" and then throw the apron over it all for most of the day!! You look stunning in your dress 🙂

  6. You look gorgeous in that dress. I'm a huge fan of 3/4 sleeves myself.

  7. That is a lovely dress, at least you managed to dress up – I just wore jeans.

  8. Very, very pretty and a perfect pattern for that boiled wool. Thanks for the tip that it grows, who knew? You look lovely even in an apron!

  9. You looked so chic Christmas! I just wore jeans and was happy to get a shower in, lol! Thanks for the tip about boiled wool growing, I never knew that.Also, thanks to the link to Anna Rowley's jacket sewing. It's inspirational!

  10. Stunning dress – it really suits you!

  11. You look mahvelous, dahling! What a fab dress…this pattern is my go-to sheath. Beautiful in the boucle…especially in the winter white. Love it! Happy New Year!! xo dorcas

  12. We had a lovely day – lots of food, laughs and lots of mess too.

  13. I think next year I'll wear a fancy apron as my Christmas Day dress – two in one!

  14. But I bet they were fabulous jeans

  15. My pleasure Carole. Thank you

  16. Us mere mortals just drool over her workmanship and dream that maybe one day……

  17. Thank you. Happy New Year

  18. Cocktails at 6? No wait, need a cocktail dress….

  19. Gorgeous dress – I LOVE cream wool whether its boiled wool, jersey or a wool-knit sweater. Love the apron too !Janice.

  20. Stunning dress, Ruth! Please don't wear it in the kitchen anymore 🙂

  21. Gorgeous dress. It's very flattering and I love the fabric. Happy new year!

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