Sunday, 9 September 2012

My little Lisette traveller


Before I start showing off my new creation, I thought I would remind you all of my first ever GIVEAWAY that is still open. Remember, all you need to do is commenting on that post before 30th September 2012 for your chance to win (the winner will be selected at random)! Good luck! 

Now I cannot wait any longer to show you my new dress ... voila!

With belt:                                                        Without belt:


So here it is, my very own version of Simplicity 2246, the Lisette Traveller dress. This was a pattern that I've had, and been wanting to make for a while - as it turned out, I was simply waiting for the right fabric. 

The fabric
I bought this gorgeous lightweight cotton (poplin?) from my mini-moon at Paris, from a store called La Folie Des Coupons on Rue d'Orsel, not far from Sacre Coeur. As the name suggests ("coupons" mean pre-cut fabric lengths in French, and typically they come in the length of 3 metres), this was a 3 metre remnant, which only cost me €10 (see proof)! I simply fell in love with the print - it was subtly floral yet sophisticated, and I just had to have it. The good news is, I only used just over 1.5m for this dress, so there should be plenty leftover for another project ;-) 

The pattern



This was my first Lisette pattern, and I loved it! Lisette is a relatively new line designed by Liesl Gibson, who had worked as a designer at a couple of top brands. I seem to recall her designing another pattern brand, but I think that's for kids clothing only. 

The pattern has been standardised by Simplicity, so it has a similar sizing and ease with your usual Simplicity patterns. The instructions were a little bit different though, as they are even more helpful than the usual Simplicity patterns. There are lots of Lisette tips along the way and it reminds you to finish seams after each step. The pictures were very illustrative too, and I had no problem making the collar and the button placket, both of which were a first for me. 

I think this is why a few people on PatternReview have rated this pattern easy and great for beginners. My view is that this is a wonderful pattern, though one that I would not recommend to beginners. Whilst the instructions are very helpful, I thought that this pattern had quite a few steps which may well be overwhelming for a beginner. I remember the days when I started sewing, and feeling nervous about making one single buttonhole (on the Cath Kidston bag from the Sew! book), let alone 10 of them, and not to mention inserting a collar and all the topstitching. 

Another thing I liked about the pattern was that it had a cute name - the traveller dress. 

Pattern alterations

I made a view C (the one with the gathered A-line skirt) and made a few alterations to this pattern:
  1. A small bust adjustment - this pattern included a total ease of 5 inches around the bust for a size 6, which I thought was a little excessive. I halved the ease for my dress, by doing a SBA. I'm planning on doing a series of tutorials on how to make SBAs, including alterations on a number of different basic bodice patterns (please watch this space!). UPDATE: see tutorial here! 
  2. I made a petite adjustment on the bodice.
  3. I also shortened the skirt by 6 inches so that the skirt finishes above the knee.   
  4. I also made a self-fabric belt from view A/B but am currently unsure whether it actually adds anything to it (let me know what you think?)
My "new" gadgets!

and some of them not so new actually...

First of all, I tried out my brand new "gathering" foot. Did you know that this existed? I bought a universal one and it cost me less than a fiver! I thought it was an excellent investment given how much I hate gathering. It looks like this:



Although it is not a snap-on foot, it is really easy to attach - all I needed to do on my Singer 8280 was undoing the screw and swapping the shank with the gathering foot. I then set the stitch length to the longest, and increased the upper thread tension to 6+ and off it went! There was no need to do parallel stitches, pull bobbin thread, baste and unpick. All done in one step (unless you wanted to unpick this one stitching line, if it bothered you - yep I am one of those pedantic people!). 

I used this helpful gadget on the waistline of the skirt, and on both sleeve edges! It was really easy and I was a happy bunny. 

Next I used "new" gadget number 2, the button foot. I made the purchase over a week ago, at the same time as buying the gathering foot, making comments like " oooh isn't this just soo clever? I can't believe I have not come across it already!" Guess what, when I was putting all my new sewing feet away after making this dress, I realised that I had one in my toolkit already!!! There it was, sitting quietly in my little zippy bag, only a shade darker than my newly purchased one. In fact, it was a standard accessory that came with my machine. D'oh! So if you haven't done so already, I would suggest checking what sewing feet came with your machine before purchasing new ones... 

Anyhow, it was a helpful little thing nonetheless. The soft blue tip holds the button firmly in place where the buttonhole step 3/4 stitch option does the zigzag stitch without feeding the fabric anywhere. It was rather clever and was so much easier and offers a lot more control than hand sewing buttons into place. A word of warning though, start very slowly by checking that the stitch length and position is right by turning the needle by hand as failure to do so would be rather disastrous. I ended up with one badly cracked button and 2 slightly chipped ones. Oops, I was far too clumsy. 



Where was I?

Have you noticed that the pictures weren't taken on top of our staircase today? No, it's not because I am still waiting for my freshly painted wall to dry, and no, of course we didn't paint it... -- with the weather being 27 degrees (in the UK! in September!), how could we possibly not take advantage of it? ;-) So we went to Mapledurham House and Watermill, which was a 10 minute drive from my house. Isn't it so grand and beautiful? and did you know that some lucky people still live there? 




It was a lovely day/afternoon out, made even better by the fact that my Lisette traveller was ready to travel and see some grand stately home just in time for our little trip. Perhaps next time we'll take a picnic!

17 comments:

  1. Another super cute dress! I was geeking out over the feet you bought. I really have to get myself both of those feet. Hand sewing buttons on is so annoying (I'm not a big hand sewing person). So clever and useful.

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    1. Thank you Ma'am! Yep I would highly recommend both of those feet but I would encourage you to check whether you have the button foot already :p I love accessorising my little machine!

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  2. What a sweet dress! I bought this pattern when I first started sewing, but then I chickened out (so many buttonholes! a placket! a collar!!). You're tempting me to give it a try!

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    1. Thank you! The buttonholes actually weren't that bad - I was putting it off for a while but when it came to it, finishing off the placket didn't take more than a couple of hours. The collar was fine too, and I'm sure you'll have no problem with it at all. I shall look forward to seeing your version ;-)

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  3. I also bought this pattern when I started sewing again - I've been searching for the perfect shirt dress pattern and I think I've owned it all along :-)
    This is just gorgeous on you! Really lovely job. I can't decide if I like it with or without the belt... I think it's perfect both ways!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Lizzy... I'm blushing :p

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  4. I have this pattern, but for some reason I have not made it yet. I really love your version.

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    1. Thank you Dibs and I'll look forward to seeing your version!

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  5. Oh it's a perfect fit - you look wonderful in it. I've got this pattern and made the straight shirt dress but your version with the gathered sleeves and fuller skirt is way prettier, I may have to revisit it now! x

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    1. Thank you, Jane! I was wearing it today again at work and actually thought of a couple of things that I would change when I make my next version, eg. I think I raised the waistline too far (the SBA raised it in addition to the petite adjustment), and I was going to lower the top button slightly (and probably the rest too)! That said, I am pretty happy with this dress and it's always lovely to hear experienced seamstresses like you to comment on my projects :D x

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  6. This fabric and this dress are just a perfect match, it's so cute on you! Not sure if it needs the fabric belt, maybe a contrasting leather belt would look nice? Although it looks gorgeous without a belt too!

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    1. Thank you kindly ;-) Great plan about the leather belt - I love that and will try it out next week I think!

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  7. Fantastic sewing, style and colour really suit you! And thanks for showing your two new toys - must have a look and see if they are in my machine kit...

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    1. Thank you Judith and welcome to my blog! Yep, now that I've discovered the tools, I can't live without them :-)

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  8. Hi Alice. Thanks for sharing the footer options. I have recently gotten back into sewing after about 15 years away from it. Lots of enthusiasm but not so much time... I think you're very talented. Your wedding dress is stunning, and this little number looks fab on you. Since you asked, I prefer it without the belt. Or perhaps you could try a leather belt that matches your shoes?

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    1. Hi Charlie, welcome to Moonbeam and welcome back to the wonderful world of sewing again. Thank you so much for your kind words, and I like your suggestion re the leather belt - I shall be sure to try it out :)

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  9. Wow! I just bought this pattern and looking for real life examples. Your's turned out great! I am a total beginner. This will be my second dress. Luckily I have a sewing friend who is much more experienced helping me along the way. That place is gorgeous!!! I wish something like that was only 10 minutes down the road. I'll be coming back to this post when I start this pattern. Thanks for all the great advice! I really like your blog.

    Your new follower,
    Mandy
    of www.nestledinnostalgia.com

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