Thursday, June 6, 2013

Double Trouble???

Last weekend I started making two dresses that I think will be the staple for my winter wardrobe - and what better way to make two dresses than to make them at the same time!

....until I realised that this means twice the amount of the crappy jobs like cutting out, and darts, and underarm gussets, but more on that later!

After the Mad Men Dress Challenge where I turned the Gertie Wiggle Dress into a dress just like Joan wore, I knew it would be the perfect winter dress for me.

Warm, with sleeves, and a sexy curve hugging silhouette

So I purchased some more fabric in a couple of colours.  One being the every popular and servicable black

Black Italian Herringbone wool from Gorgeous Fabrics
(Seriously, how gorgeous are the fabrics from Gorgeous Fabrics!)

and another, more unusual choice for me, a dark teal green wool crepe

Changes colour every time I look at it...

Now the green wool was inspired by these shoes...

You can find these shoes here

We all know this isn't the first time I've let what should be an accessory define the dress I make!  I'm sure we all remember the tropical dress for the sparkly pineapple bag, or the cherry outfit inspired by another pair of shoes... anyway!

And the lining... I chose some lovely vibrant rayon.

Magenta for the green dress, and red for the black one

I had to retrace the pattern (sigh!) because I wanted to change the neckline again, so once I did that I cut out a couple of pieces using the lovely sheet we saw last week and pinned them together on my dress form.  I then drew all over it with texta...

Somehow I managed to remember which lines were the ones I wanted, and I adjusted my pattern and started cutting.  Which took forever.  Since I'm fully lining the dresses I had to cut out the pattern 4 times!  5 pieces for the dress outer, 5 pieces for the dress lining, 8 gussett pieces, and front and back neckline facings for EACH DRESS!!!!

I seriously didnt think I'd get it done before the weekend was through!  But I kept at it and by Sunday lunch time I had it all cut out... so I started on the darts.

Now, for some reason I HATE sewing darts!  They are just a pain!!  Totally necessary but a pain none the less.  So I knuckled down and I sewed 24 DARTS!!  24!!!!

But that wasn't the worst of it.  Next I had to do the underarm gussets - there are 16 in all.  I've worked at this during the week and at this point I've done 10, and I'll have 6 to go when I start sewing again on Saturday.  But I suppose all this repetition gives me the chance to master a technique...

I'm hoping to have both dresses finished this weekend because its a long weekend, so that means I have THREE DAYS TO SEW!!!!  Wooooo!!!!!

Have you ever sewn more than one garment at once?  How did you go?



  1. I can"t wait to see them finished! My fav is that teal green fabric! Very pretty.

    1. I'm enjoying sewing them Lorie - there is something about sewing wool (and excellent quality wool at that) that just makes me happy :)

  2. I sewed three Colette Sorbettos at once. That was much more manageable than what you are attempting. It's times like those that I wish I had 2 sewing machines so I didn't have to keep changing my thread.

    1. Ah yes, changing thread! That was something I didnt complain about in my post that I could have. I'm working with 4 different thread colours!!!

  3. You are "sew" inspiring:) I love your Joan dress. I'm starting my first dress. I'm keeping it simple:) I'm also looking for a dress form, this is a chore in itself!

    1. Keeping it simple with your first dress is a great idea. You need to get the techniques down before you start doing the complicated things :)

      And once you get a dress form you will never look back!

  4. Love the teal green ! The most I've sewn at once is just recent ! 6 taffeta poodle skirts with "inbuilt" double tulle petticoat, all with slightly different sizes for these toddlers (and my 2 year old has the 60 cm waist ! the biggest of them all !). This is for their end of year show on saturday. And because the boys' outifts looked a bit lacking to me and the boys' mums (just white chinos with white and navy striped t-shirts) I've now made 7 matching neckerchiefs with poodle and all; and I made a bigger one for the teacher ! (she doesn't know about these little extras yet !). The long and short of it is indeed practice practice...I have at last mastered the hemming foot on my machine ! (youtube tutorials were also helpful on that one I must say). I think I will take a well deserved break for a few days and get cracking on a gorgeous brocade in teals and turquoise that has been cut to a 50's pattern since last summer ! I have never ever sewn a garment to a vintage pattern and this business of sewing the lining together with the fabric is causing me great panic (hence it's been abandoned :( ) I so admire that you can do these underarm gussets ! Gertie has recently posted a technique on that one but it still terrifies me !

    1. Oh my goodness Johanna, I could not have done that! But I would have done the neckerchiefs too... can't have the boys missing out on all the fun! They (including the teacher!) are all going to look amazing on stage I'm sure!!!

      And don't panic about the lining - sometimes vintage instructions are hard to follow, but you'll get there!

      And Gertie condensed everything in that technique she posted into a short paragraph in her book. I read it about a thousand times and I still couldn't make it make any sense to me. I was soooooooo happy when her tutorial came up when I googled 'under arm gusset tutorial' when I was doing my Mad Men dress!!!!! And before I started all these ones I read it over again for a quick refresh. Gertie is wonderful, in my opinion, I love her!

  5. Love the shoes! I have the same style but in black and white with a little ice cream cone on the front. I bought them as a graduation present to myself, so I may need to get a graduate degree and get the green ones too:)

    1. Aren't they fab! These ones have a dessert spoon with icecream and chocolate topping on the front!!! And did you know they also come in red???

  6. All the pretty colours, yummy! I can't wait to see them finished. I think it's a great idea, sewing a few of the same style at once sweatshop style. So much quicker. I'm sure you will also be an expert of all techniques involved by the end of it. Best part is probably that you get to have a whole bunch of dresses at the end of it all at once.
    PS; great shoes!

  7. those fabrics are just gorgeous and the linings will be so pretty :D only you will know they are there but they will make your heart wing every time you get a glimpse :D
    those are awesome shoes. i almost got them once but i have feet probs and if i cant try them on in person i worry about it. i did order some irregular choice shoes against my better judgement (blue with bolkadots) but had to send them back :(.
    it's funny but the cutting is such an ordeal to me. and the tracing. and the darts. and and and... i cant figure out if im a process or product knitter but i know for sure im definitely a product sewist even though my sewing "career" is inthe fledgling newbie stage.
    i am currently sewing 3 portrait blouses at the same time. i had bought two cheapo but pretty sheerish fabrics to make beautiful drapey light weight summer blouses and had the fabric left over from my dress (YES! i finally finished something :D) so i started with a wearable muslin version. saw it would fit so decided to cut the other two blouses out at the same time to get all the cutting and tracing tools out at once and put back away. right now all three are at pretty much same stage (hems and zippers left to do)and on hold because i'm trying to make a pair of pj pants for my dd before end of june - in fact am cutting them out now.