Good news from the sewing room this week! In fact two good news, maybe even three!
Susanna (local girl) of Sea Salt and Stitches found a new online fabric shop and negotiated reduced postage fees for us UK residents to enjoy . I went perusing and thought it just rude if I didn’t take advantage of the hard won efforts of Susanna and bought two 2m lengths of wool.
Fabworks have some lovely fabrics and all at very reasonable prices. It was hard deciding what to buy; I settled on a raspberry twill wool and an indigo/denim-look wool.
The raspberry is actually called by a much more romantic name of Winter Cyclamen but I thought more of you might be able to visualise raspberries than winter cyclamen and is fine enough for skirts and dresses. The denim-look wool is suitable for jackets and coats
I ordered late on Wednesday night and my purchases arrived by Friday afternoon. To sum up: brilliant fabric selection, brilliant prices, brilliant delivery. The fabrics are categorised by colour groupings which is an ingenious idea in my book as it makes it so much easier to fond stuff. This might just become my new go-to fabric shop. The only downside is that they don’t do threads or notions – maybe soon……..
For 10 years now Roland Mouret’s Galaxy dress has graced the bodies of the rich and famous and has been the most coveted frock in mankind’s existence. At a very reasonable £1,595 it just might be out of reach for the majority of the world’s population but not for us sewers.
The dress is famous because it makes a woman look like a woman, celebrating her curves and shape – the short gathered sleeves balance out the hips, the waist is well defined, the length covers unbecoming and knobbly knees and visually lengths the body, and there are 100 variations to suit every individual taste and preference.
Vogue Patterns realised the potential and released 8280 and it was snapped up instantly by women who wanted their very own Galaxy. The pattern is now OOP and is like hen’s teeth. Sometimes it comes up on Ebay but is sold immediately or else it is in extra large or extra small sizes. I’ve been searching for alternatives for years but
nothing ever really came close.
Have you heard of Bootstrap Fashion?
This is an online PDF pattern company who produce patterns to fit your measurements. Based in USA they have been going for a few years now but are running out of money and have started a crowd funding exercise on Indiegogo. Bootstrap do an awful lot more than just making patterns with a full range of services and products available when you register as a member free of charge.
BootstrapFashion was founded by Yuliya Raquel, a four-time award winning fashion designer, who in the past revolutionized the contemporary plus-size fashion industry segment….. Not only does Yuliya have a passion for innovative fashion design, but she also focuses on empowerment: she wants to transform the way we consider beauty and democratize fashion.
Yuliya from Bootstrap contacted me a little while a go. I have never bought a Bootstrap pattern and I always turn down offers of pattern testing, endorsements and so on. Although, Mood, if you’re reading this, I’m still waiting on your call! Anyway, I thought I might try out Bootstrap – why? I needed my Galaxy dress, that’s why!
I also like to encourage innovation and independent companies whenever possible, so I also donated to the Indiegogo scheme.
I searched the available dress patterns on Bootstrap but nothing hit the mark close to Galaxy and then I noticed the ‘Create from Scratch” feature. With a quick registration procedure I was in my own design page: choose the garment type, select the style from a collection of basic blocks and then add your preferred sleeves, skirt, darts or princess seams, length, bodice shape and neckline, and throw on as many extras like belt, peplum, frills and ruffles as you want. You can even colour in your finished design.
Here’s mine – Saturn, not Galaxy.
The hardest part of ordering the pattern was the actual taking of my accurate body measurements! Insert your measurements into the table in either inches or cms and a few descriptions about your body type; balance and tummy shape etc and that’s it! And, even better, it’s not very expensive at all.
Before I had negotiated my way out of the website, the PDF was waiting in my email – instant! You can order with or without seam allowances. Note: the seam allowances and 1cm – industry standard.
OK OK, you’ve got all that printing and tiling and sellotape but my goodness, if you ever need a personalised, custom design and unique pattern in a hurry that fits like a glove – this is a mighty fine way to get one – facings and all!
With my pattern ready to go and my fabric arriving quickly, I paired Saturn with raspberry wool and have made a start. My version is not a replica of the original Galaxy dress, I opted for 3/4 sleeves instead of short gathered ones but it’s pretty damn close otherwise.
I have been researching and reading about Galaxy dresses – the inside construction, the design elements and scrutinising every image I can see. Mr Mouret was on a TV show Objects of Desire and he admitted that the secret to the dress’s success was in making the waist 1″ smaller. I can find no information about the use of Powernet or shapewear as being part of the dress’s construction although it is widely rumoured and is like a national security secret – any down and dirty info you may have will be gratefully received and shared….
I made a small alteration to the Saturn pattern by lowering the front neckline by 3″ to have it more in keeping with the original but still daytime appropriate.
The pattern doesn’t come with instructions but I find this somewhat liberating as I can make as I want and place the zip at back or side. Which brings me to my current status – I have no zip or suitable lining but I have got as far as I can without these
The bodice still needs to be attached to the skirt (it’s only pinned here) but I did not have to lengthen or shorten it one mm. The shoulders are a perfect fit, the darts and princess seams line up. So far, so good. I have been in joy this week with sewing.
And maybe the best bit is that my Saturn design is also available for you to buy from Bootstrap but adapted for your own size and measurements – so you too can have your own Galaxy dress. I don’t get a penny only the satisfaction that I may have enabled a few other women to celebrate and showcase their curves.
We sewers have the power and skills and tools to take over the universe – one planet at a time!
And what’s even better is that no one has to be killed, tortured, extradited, alienated or left out. Aren’t we brilliant?