Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

It’s Not Rocket Science


It’s sewing…….

I know it might take a wee bit of effort working out seam allowances and perfect fitting; there’s the figuring out how to put in an invisible zip and then actually making it invisible; then there’s any extras that you might have added or redacted from the pattern, but this Saturn dress has taken me to, at the very least, Mars and then back again……

The pattern is a custom and self-styled design from Bootstrap. The fabric is from Fabworks, and I was aiming for Roland Mouret Galaxy dress.

The dress itself took about as much time as a dress takes to make – I don’t know, like about 3 or 4 hours? The lining has taken A WEEK!

I undertook a minor engineering project with the lining. I managed to gather some power mesh lining, mega stretchy, in order to construct something akin to shape wear inside the dress.

With a bit of draping and pulling and pushing, pining and marking the ‘lining’ was made on Doris. I attached the dress facings along the neckline and two strips down centre back for extra security for the zip.

The first zip was an invisible one – truly invisible, down centre back with a little gap at the neck edge because the zip was too short. But it looked fine and the high neck edge was closed with hook and eye.


Now the thing is….I could get the unlined dress on. I could squirm my way into the lining, but when I put the two together – it took two men and a wee lad to get the zip up and to be honest, we never got it up!

Back to the drawing board.

The power mesh lining was literally cut out and replaced with a conventional poly satin – leopard print skirt and sleeves with coordinating bodice. For some reason I decided to completely hand sew the lining in – I’ve no idea either……


There’s a waist stay – bit of elastic fastened with hooks and eyes and holds the dress in place and holds the waist in.


Long story short – the centre back zip was ripped out and the seam sewed closed; the left hand side seam was ripped out and a new conventional zip was put in, which means I can at least reach it and do not need the assistance of friends and neighbours to get in and out of the dress.


The skirt is straight so for ease of walking and sitting and everyday stuff like that, I added a split which can be closed with buttons, this idea was lifted directly from the original Galaxy design.



This is not an exact replica of either the original Galaxy dress or even my Saturn pattern: skirt was shortened by about 3″ and the excess was made into a belt; all seams were ‘fitted’ to me so the seam allowances vary .



Neither do I have the ‘Galaxy’ silhouette – but then again, I don’t have a Galaxy figure either – must check out neck to knee foundation garments. But I do have a very wearable day dress and it’s such a lovely colour that it might join the rag-tag bunch of other stuff that is slowly forming a badly going SWAP.


If you’ve got a few minutes to spare then watch this little video about a Roland Mouret Titanium Dress. You will notice that this dress has a hefty metal zip and the lining has 18% elastane. This was the purpose of my first lining. Anyone else think the outside finishing is slightly lacking and what’s with the serged edges?


49 thoughts on “It’s Not Rocket Science

  1. You look lovely Ruth. The colour and shape are great on you. And the lining is amazing. I would be very pleased with this dress despite the stress it caused you. Well done.

  2. I think it looks lovely. Remember, pictures are photoshopped, and too, a sketch is done on a hard body figure. We would all look incredible every minute of the day if we could have a photoshop artist following us around. In my opionion, you do have galaxy figure 🙂
    Almost forgot, the limit is killer!!!!

    • Rhonda I used to work in advertising and printing – retouching the very same pictures, you’d think I’d know better. I could tell you some stories about what the photographer presented and what I transformed the image into. Thank you.

  3. Suits you really well, shows off your figure very well. Make five more 🙂

  4. Lovely colour, I favour side zips for ease of dressing too.

    • Especially early in the morning or very late at night Jay, the side zip saves one from sleeping in your clothes! there’s also something a little vintage about a side zip.

  5. Lovely dress. Both the style and color are very flattering to you. I especially like the back slit with buttons.

  6. I love that neckline on you! I would love to know the physics behind the fact that lining and dress both fit, but not the two together. The new lining looks truly awesome though.

    • The power mesh lining was so tight that it pulled the dress out of shape even though I left it floating inside. I need a rethink on the engineering – maybe for the next one Maggie….

  7. That is one great dress. And it suits you so well. I want to talk about heavenly bodies but that is probably taking the puns too far…

  8. You look great in the dress.

  9. I love your dress! As always you look lovely in it.

    I am shocked at the poor finishing in that video! Serged edges! I don’t even have a visible serged edge on my hems. Another reason to sew! Thank you for posting the link.

  10. You have the patience of a saint Ruth and you look fabulous in your dress.
    I have had the same happen to me…………dress fits, lining fits, put the two together and whoops. I think it happened to me as I later realized that the wool crepe had a little lycra/stretch in it, the silk charmeuse lining had none. In my case they were not sympathetic to each other and yes, I did hand stitch the lining in!!

    Love the button idea at the back split of your dress and do tell us about your lovely treatment at the waistline……….one of your belt designs I think. It looks great. By the way, you don’t need super power mesh in your dresses.xx

    • In this case Marysia, my wool had no stretch while the lining had loads – the two just didn’t work together. There must be a way to make this work though – a nice little thinking project. I’ll let you know if I figure it out. Thank you so much.

  11. You look fantastic! Such a terrific colour on you, and the fitting is marvellous. Well done on the twice done lining as well!

  12. You look faboo, all your efforts were worth it! I contacted Fabworks and they gave me a discounted price on shipping to Canada. You are a great sewing friend to suggest these nice people. I printed out your Saturn pattern but haven’t had the chance to play with it yet, sure it will be great. I made my own swimming suit some time ago, it was a great success, I got some girdle fabric for want of a better name and created an interlining on a one piece suit, from Bramakers supply in Hamilton, Ontario, really worked out great. As I haven’t had a chance to play with this pattern yet I don’t know what I’m talking about, but do check these people out if you fancy playing with so called control fabrics. All the best to your.

    • Whooppee on the postage Susan. Your idea of an inside girdle is exactly what I was aiming for but I might just wear a swimsuit underneath – there, sorted! Thank you and I hope yours turns out well.

  13. Well, you look fantastic in this to my eyes and the finishing touches are excellent- belt, buttons in back. Great colour, too.

  14. Swooningly fabulous and beautifully made. Worthy of the Couture label. Go Ruth!

  15. Gorgeous. Such a lovely colour on you.

  16. It looks fabulous, a wonderful colour for you, and infinitely better finished than the dress in the video. Presumably a famous name means you can take short cuts (and call them design features) and still charge top dollar.

  17. The finishing in the video is inadequate, at best. What a shame for such expensive goods. Your finishing, however, is wonderful. The lining is a delightful surprise, and the color is lovely on you. My favorite bit, though, is the neckline….so flattering! Just a beautiful dress.

  18. The dress in the video looks rather cheap, and made me feel it could be a very bad copy…
    Look at this video ( in which Roland Mouret explains how he created the dress just pinning squares of fabrics as he has (had ?) no patterning skills. Apparently the secret of the dress is the very elastic lining that hides every little things you don’t want to show…

    • Thank you so much Dominique – this video clip is brilliant and I can almost understand most of it with my school-girl French – fascinating!

      The lining that is merely glimpsed in the video is what I was attempting to do. Thanks again

  19. You look fantastic! I think the buttoned back slit is a fantastic idea and so well crafted. Sometimes I worry that if you’ve had to do loads of unstitching and fiddling, the dress looks tortured by the time it’s done, but yours seems to have healed better.

    Forget shaping undergarments! Iif you’re prepared to squeeze yourself into one and be (sweaty too if it’s summer) faking it, you can do the ‘real thing’ and be uncomfortable for 30-60 seconds a day doing ‘the plank’. After doing this (almost) every day for two years, I can swear it whittles the waist nicely. You get a good, strong posture into the bargain. Try it! A minute a day.

    • I managed 10secs! Will that make a difference!?!

      I was very pleasantly surprised by the fabric’s ability to be manhandled so much and still look good.
      Thanks Marianna.

  20. Such a lovely dress despite your trouble with the lining. Love the leopard print insides, the very flattering neckline, the buttons on the vent and the gorgeous colour that suits you so well. Beautiful work as usual!

  21. What a gorgeous dress, Ruth. I love your self-fabric belt. Thanks for the link to the video. I am often surprised by the messy finishing in designer garments. Design feature, indeed. I love the buttoned vent. Gorgeous colour, gorgeous dress!

  22. Great dress and it showcases your figure, a success. I went on to watch the Roland 2016 collection and thought there were some lovely wearable ideas, but watching the Galaxy dress in action I just couldn’t cope with the drag lines at the hips (even though the models don’t have any).

  23. Ooo!! This is fabulous, and the colour is gorgeous. I admire your dedication to the lining, and I prefer the leopard print lining, because – why not! I also love the buttons on the back vent. I haven’t seen that before, and shall have to remember it.

  24. Beautiful! The colour and the fit are perfect. I would need A LOT of foundation to fit into something like that!

  25. Pingback: Get Ready…. | corecouture

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