Out Of The Closet: Heart Shape Button Dress

One day I was scrolling through my blog (which I have been keeping now for a year already!) and discovered a dress I had kind of forgotten about.

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I promised to write a post about it back in September, but never got to it, one reason being that I moved to Estonia shortly afterwards and only the last month here has been giving enough reason to think about summer dresses; and secondly, I am not exactly thrilled with the dress for purely emotional reasons.

I was extremely stressed the time I made it (in late 2011) and I believe this is the reason why I have been wearing it only a few times, it just brings back memories. Purely objectively thinking, I think the dress is beautiful and I really liked the fabric when I bought it, but nevertheless, it is never the first item I pull out of the closet.

The pattern is Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2215, view A.

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I cut size 12, but the bodice part of the dress was extremely long, which I somehow failed to notice until it was nearly completed. For a moment I even thought of dropping the project, but then realized that I could fix the problem relatively easily by ripping the shoulder seams, cutting off approximately 2 cm from front and back pieces and stitching again. Because the bodice is lined, doing this was not too much fun, but after this trick, the dress fit just fine, so it was worth the trouble.

The fabric is viscose, and also found really cute heart-shaped buttons. It was my first project with buttonholes and it took me a few tries with the first one to get it right.

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The pattern is not too difficult to sew, just a lot of patience is needed with the countless pleats on the skirt.

After a very long time, I wore this dress for a barbecue evening with friends and I must admit, it is very comfortable. So comfortable, that I was riding my bicycle with it!

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Out Of The Closet: Bow Tie Blouse

This blog was not started the day I made my first garment and therefore there are quite a few items in my closet that I have made some time ago already, but nevertheless love to wear and share with you.

As I am in the middle of a huge change in my life (post about it will come soon), I will probably be less “productive” for some time at least, but in order to keep this blog alive, I will post some pre-blog projects until I restore a more stable rhythm of life that allows me to continue with the hobby.

The first in line is this bow tie blouse, based on Burda Easy Fashion A/W 2009 issue blouse/tunic/dress pattern. I haven’t been able to find a technical drawing online and at the moment I don’t have access to my pattern stash either, so for now, just this hard-to-interpret Burda photo:

 

AN UPDATE:

This pattern is one of the few I have used more than once. By combining details and materials, it can be used for so many different garments that it is nearly impossible to recognize that the basic pattern is the same.

Now that I look back at this project, I wouldn’t say it is very difficult to make, but the front detail really requires patience and precision. I think I would be able to get a better result now, but that’s how it is with sewing – you constantly get better and more skilled and at some point might revalue the previous achievements.

Despite the little errors on the blouse, it is one of my favorite items in my closet (unfortunately it doesn’t mean also the most worn) and never goes without compliments, even from men and even when the person is not aware that I made it myself. When my fiance proposed to me on a trip to Pilio mountains in 2011, I had packed the blouse with me for a night out. So, the very first photos of us newly engaged are with me wearing it and needless to say, it has become somewhat of a keepsake.

The fabric was bought from Estonia, back when I was still able to limit myself to “one fabric at a time” rule. It is polyester charmeuse, with a powdery shine. I thought such a fabric, with the tiny cream dots on it, was crying out for a bow tie pattern. I couldn’t really imagine it any other way and still can’t.

I cut size 38, but I would say that it could do with a little bit of more ease in the bust area, I have to choose the bra very carefully when wearing the blouse, since with anything push-up-like, there is a danger of popping a snap open. Yes, although the blouse has buttons, it is actually snaps that keep it closed in front. Remember, this is an Easy Fashion pattern (the snaps were suggested in the instructions) and back then I was not ready for trying to make buttonholes. A mistake, as I learned later, since they are actually manageable!

The most difficult part was sewing the pintucks. The pattern first makes you sew them on a rectangle piece of fabric and then cut out the front yoke pieces. The fabric is quite slippery and measuring the distance of the lines and sewing them up took me forever.

I really like the sleeves, there are eight (!) pleats on each sleeve, two of them opposing and lining up at the shoulder seam. The sleeve end is gathered with an elastic band in the tunnel.

The following photos show how I like to style the blouse, I think a fancy riding horse would be a nice accessory :):

The boots are a Greek brand named Gianna Kazakou, as I notice now, they have a surprisingly decent online shop and deliver outside Greece as well.