Thursday, 2 January 2020

Me-Mades in 2019 - A Year In Review


2019 in the year of sewing has been an absolute joy.

I've had more time in front of my machine then I have had in over six years.

I celebrated my ten year sewing anniversary, and I fell head over heals in love with hand sewing and tailoring. I made my first (and second!) hand sewn, tailored jacket and I'm making good strides on my first three piece SUIT.

Click above to see more progress shots

I've had the extreme pleasure of being interviewed for 'Sew Organised Style' Podcast, been featured in 'Sewn Magazine', participated in two 'Celebrity Copy Cat Challenges' with my friend Faith, and got to indulge in the #sewfrosting delight that is Melbourne Frocktails!

Clockwise from top left: 1. Podcast episode with 'Sew Organised Style'  2. Sewn Magazine Feature 3. Olivia Palermo copy-cat challenge 4. Rihanna copy-cat challenge

This year I have made the total of 25 new garments (three not yet blogged), which include:












Judging by the above data (Oh my God how good is a pie chart, though?!!) in 2019 you were likely to see me make a dress using silk with a solid colour.

On Reflection

There's nothing like the closing of a year to make you stop and reflect back.

I know new years resolutions can seem like a set up, but I love the energy and hope that surrounds the early weeks of a new year, where anything and everything is possible and people seem more engaged and optimistic.

In 2020 I hope to see more hand-sewn, couture additions to my wardrobe and I am excited and grateful for the new year ahead.

THANK YOU to my readers for all your love and support you've shown me and my makes this year; it means more than you know <3

Scroll below to see all my makes for 2019 - CLICK ON THE IMAGES to be directed to the blog post :)


Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Christy Slip Dress + Kate Bias top HACK - Just Patterns


Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns

The Pattern
To make this dress I used the Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns, with the front neckline of the Kate Bias Top also by Just Patterns.

I've made the bias top THREE TIMES, and it's just a balanced, well engineered design, so it knew it would translate well into a dress.


I'm wearing the dress with my me-made leather jacket, which you can read about here.

Pattern Hack
Because these two patterns are from the same company, this was a super easy hack.

I lay the Kate Bias top over the pattern for the Christy Slip, which both have the same width and shape from the side notch, which is conveniently positioned in the same spot.

I then simply traced the Kate Bias Top neckline onto the Christy Slip Dress pattern and cut out the modified pattern.

Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns

The Fabric
A glorious silk satin from Tessuti Fabrics.
It has a 22mm weight, and is the colour 'almond'.
Tessuti always stock the most beautiful silk satins, and I'm yet to find better quality elsewhere.

The fabric is cut on the bias, interfaced at the necklines with silk organza and fully lined with a poly georgette.

Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns

The Details
This is a classic, straightforward dress, and I love adding extra details that make a dress more wearable and more precious.

I FULLY LINED the dress, and FRENCHED my seams.

Instead of under-stitching the neckline with a machine, I PICK-STITCHED the neckline on the inside of the garment. This gave me so much more control, and allowed me to reach spots on the neckline that you normally can't get to with a machine.

Narrow bias cut SPAGHETTI STRAPS hold the dress up at the shoulders.

I finished the dress with a delicate NARROW HEM that looks so polished on bias cut fabric.

Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns

Neckline Tip
To stabilise the neckline, I forewent the iron-on stay tape and used the pattern pieces to cut out a facing of silk organza (about 8cm in length).

Silk satin cut on the bias is a tricky textile to deal with, and iron on interfacing, even stay tape, can distort the lovely drape of the bias fabric and the stiffness can show through to the outside of the garment.

Using silk organza, which is about 6momme (mm) in weight, gives the neckline structure, support and strength, without adding bulk and is invisible from the right side.

Just like regular interfacing, you attach it to the individual pattern pieces on the wrong side. I hand basted my organza facings along the necklines and side seams, and pinked the organza edges.

The finished result is a smooth, sharp neckline that doesn't pucker, pull, flip out or bulge. It's well worth the extra 15 minutes it might take to cut out and attach.

Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns


The Changes
I cut the pattern in a size 42 as the pattern was drafted with negative ease, and I wanted to make sure I allowed enough room for my lower body.

Aside from hacking the neckline from the Kate Top, there were no fit changes.

I added 18cm to the length at the hem, as I love silk in a midi length and the original hem sits just below the knee.

Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns

Final Thoughts
I love the proportions of this bias cut dress and I love how it can transition from a day look to a night time look, depending on the shoes or the accessories.

It's super comfortable, straight forward to make and surprisingly flattering to wear on this curvy frame.

I think I just found my new favourite pattern for summer!

Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns
Julia Bobbin - Christy Slip Dress by Just Patterns

Thursday, 5 December 2019

The Lamour Dress - Charm Patterns By Gertie and SEWN MAGAZINE FEATURE

Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie

Well look at that, your girl is in a VINTAGE DRESS! 

When I first started sewing, my favourite thing to make was vintage dresses. I still dearly love vintage fashion, but over the years my style has evolved with more of a modern influence.

So when Michelle from Sewn Magazine messaged me and asked if I'd like to feature in their fabulous magazine and would I mind making something VINTAGE (and with a Christmas theme!), I jumped at the chance!!

Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie

The Pattern

It's the Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie. This pattern has recently been updated and expanded, ranging from size 2 (US) to 20 and cup sizes A to H.

With different bodice, skirt and finishing options, there are 18 different dress combinations that you can make with this one clever pattern.

I made the princess seamed bodice with bodice sash, and the sarong skirt.

Sizing

I originally cut a size 10 and after making the toile, went down to a size 8.

As is suggested in the pattern, if you want minimal ease in your dress (i.e. more fitted to the body) it is better to choose your size based on the 'finished measurements', rather than the 'recommended measurements' chart.

I am larger busted but maybe because of my shorter torso combined with a bodice that is strapless and not covering the complete breast area,  the A/B cup version fit me well. I find this is often the case when I sew strapless patterns.

Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie

The Fabric

I used a beautiful quilting cotton from GJ's Fabrics and the print was perfect for this Christmas themed, tiki style vintage dress!

It was also nice to branch out to more a loud print! I typically sew with solid colours. They're often bright colours(!) but solid, so this felt different for me and I really enjoyed it!

The bodice is underlined with silk organza and lined with a polyester lining.

The Details

More and more these days I get excited by garments that have more engineering and structure on the inside. Typically this requires more time, but I really enjoy this type of sewing and it has never failed to produce a garment that is more likely to be worn and loved.

This dress has a bodice with THREE LAYERS - the garment fabric (the part you see on the outside), underlining (the middle layer) and the lining (the layer that touches your body).

THE BONING AND CHANNELS were attached to the lining layer, which was new for me.
In the past I have placed the channels on the middle layer (the underlining) which is then sandwiched by the other two layers. The result was just as effective in any case.

The hem of this FAUX WRAP SKIRT comes with a HEM FACING which I absolutely love.
The long width of the facing gives the hem body and weight, which is missing from so many modern dresses these days. It also ensures the shape of the hem is exact and not distorted.

The dress is closed with a LAPPED ZIPPER which I think looks so beautiful on a vintage dress, and the lining of the bodice is HAND STITCHED to the garment waistline.

Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie
Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie

Look Out For

With all the construction and shaping of this dress, it is really important to make a muslin/toile first. You don't want to go to all that effort for a dress that doesn't fit right, and in this type of silhouette, a poor fit is hard to hide.

The instructions for this pattern are wonderful and well thought out, but even still the construction of the flounce and faux wrap can take a little bit to get your head around. Making a muslin means you get to practise the steps without making irredeemable mistakes on the real thing.

Final Thoughts

What an honour and thrill it was to be featured in the Nov/Dec issue of Sewn Magazine 2019!
I'm so grateful to be included amongst such talented seamstresses and thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting my love for vintage sewing!

Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie
Julia Bobbin - Lamour Dress by Charm Patterns by Gertie