Apples and Pears

So apparently I’ve decided to break my own record for longest time between taking pictures of a garment and blogging said garment. I took these on May 26th, close to three months ago! These three months flew by between a very busy end of school year and a whole month of July in Spain. And when I remembered these pictures after coming back from my holiday, I found them so bad that I didn’t feel like publishing them. Then I realised that they were actually no worse than my usual pictures, so here we are! I even threw in a few holiday pictures at the end for good measure!

I sewed this dress last summer, right before leaving for Spain that year. The pattern is the Lucie dress from République du Chiffon. It’s a very simple pattern; I think I made it in one day, two days tops. The most time-consuming part (still not very time-consuming) was finishing the neckline and armholes with self-made bias tape, from the same fabric as the dress.

While we’re on the subject of fabric, I bought this one from Les Tissus du Chien Vert yeaaars ago. It’s a lovely apple and pear print viscose (as always, you can click the pictures to enlarge them and see the details), which at first glance looks like the same kind of fabric as this one, but is way better quality. My only quibble with it is that it is quite see-through. This, coupled to the quite low back, makes it a holiday only dress: I’d never dare to wear it at work even on the hottest of days!

I made a couple small modifications to the pattern in that I added side-seam pockets and lengthened the skirt pieces (but not the bodice pieces) by 3 cm. I then added some more skirt length by sewing a 0,5 x 1 cm hem instead of the 3 x 3 cm hem of the pattern.

This is by far one of my most comfortable summer dresses. It really feels like I’m not wearing anything (in a good way, not in a “I feel naked” way). It’s so comfortable in fact that I wore it so much in Spain last summer that I didn’t even want to take it with me this year for fear of not giving my other dresses a chance to get worn! Look, it’s the perfect dress:

to eat arroz con leche,

to eat your bodyweight in churros,

And to pretend you’re freakishly strong! I mean, what more could you ask for?

In all seriousness, though, I’m wearing this dress on half our vacation pictures from last year. So this year it stayed in Belgium, and I was very happy to find it when I returned during this August heatwave!

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Marcianita Dress

Viviane1Oooh, shiny! Maybe too much? And also too puffy? That’s what I thought when I sewed the yoke on and saw it on the dress for the first time, especially after my boyfriend saw it too and started singing this (warning: that link makes noise!) and joking about how funny it was that I was going to a 1920s party with a futuristic costume.

Viviane2But as I said yesterday, even though it’s a bit kitschy, I actually like the end result and I’ve worn it a few times already on days when I wanted to be comfortable yet put together, so I call it a success! It’s not perfectly comfortable, the armholes are a touch too tight (and they have a tendency to wrinkle after I wear the dress for some time), but it’s subtle enough that I don’t really think about it while wearing the dress.

Also, the fabric I used (a silk voile I bought for a song!) is so lightweight that the slightest gust of wind makes the skirt portion fly out and reveal, well, everything under it, oops! Let’s just say there have been a few instances when I was grateful I was wearing opaque tights.

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I don’t really know what is happening there. Is that my Marcianita pose?

The pattern (Viviane by République du Chiffon) is a pdf you have to assemble and trace, which doesn’t bother me too much as I trace all my patterns, and at least this means you don’t have to print and assemble too many sheets of paper, but it was a MAJOR pain assembling those sheets as none of them did match! I had to “gather” the paper in many places so that all the lines would remotely correspond to each other, not a pleasant experience. Other than that the pattern was ok and the instructions were clear, though if you ever make it I would advise drafting a facing for the lower part of the yoke to get a rounder and more even edge: if you follow the instructions for that part like I did and just turn the edge under, it’s pretty much near impossible to get a smooth result, especially with a lamé like I used.

Viviane4Oh yes, and I know I’m really slow, but I was surprised at the time it took me to sew the dress compared to how easy it looks, but this may have to do with me using French seams and adding side-seam pockets, or just being even slower than I thought I was… About the pockets, I added them in the skirt part and I was afraid they would be too low, but I don’t need to perform contortions to put my tissues in there or take them out and my hands are in my pockets in most of the pictures I took, so I guess they must be in the right place.

So all in all, this was not the perfect project I hoped it would be, but it’s still a nice dress and I would not rule out making it again with a few modifications now that it’s already been traced.

PS My blog is one year old today!!! Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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Sketchbook: Viviane Dress

VivianeWhen I first saw the Viviane dress by République du Chiffon, it was love at first sight. I immediately bought it of course, yet it got pushed to the bottom of the pile every time a shiny new pattern got my attention, even though I had the perfect fabric in my stash.

But when I was invited to a 1920s costume party by Hibbis, no more excuses, I had to sew it!

I had a few moments of doubt, especially when I saw how puffy and shiny the yoke looked, but I powered through, thinking worse comes to worst, it would make a decent one-night costume (a one-night costume for which I had sacrificed one of my favourite lengths of fabric and hours of precious sewing time on details such as French seams and the like!). And the result is actually perfectly wearable, yay!

I’ve already worn it a few times since the party and it’s pretty comfortable and easy to style down for daily life.

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished dress!