Zig Zag Zipper Dress

Hey!

I am usually not into using the same pattern repeatedly, but after stumbling upon some discounted bright turquoise blue double knit which I just had to have, I needed a simple pattern to show off the color and avoid visual overkill.

I immediately thought of my Zig Zag Znake Dress and McCall´s pattern 6243, view C.

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Since the pattern was already prepared, I needed a few evenings to nearly finish the dress, but still had to stitch the last 20 cm of the hem by hand in a few minutes before a concert I attended last Sunday.

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It seems now that this celebrated the last summery evening of this weird summer, where the weather has been into extremes only – either very hot and dry or then pouring rain like there is no tomorrow. The concert took place at yet another beautiful manor of Estonia, this time a wooden one called Kõltsu. If you are interested, check it out here.

I have used zippers for the diagonal seams. It was a random idea that occurred to me as I was wandering around the fabric store and trying to picture the dress in my mind. At first the idea was to use golden zippers for some extra bling, but the ones that I managed to find did not look nice when unzipped, the teeth appeared yellow instead of golden, as if the gold was only sprayed over the zipper.

I finally went with a matching shade and got two 80cm zippers, of which I only used a half on each diagonal seam. The hardest part was removing the zipper teeth from the seam allowances.

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As you can see, I am repeating myself not only with the pattern, but with the color combination choices as well. I do have a LOT of shoes, but when it comes to turquoise color, I only seem to be able to match it with some kind of a pink. I also thought of a pair of golden wedges, but for this particular event I felt more comfortable wearing flats.

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I am not very satisfied with how the dress looks on the backside. The nylon/spandex double knit is lighter in weight that the cotton one I used for the previous version (the Zig Zag Snake Dress). As a result I should be very careful with my underwear choices the next time I wear it and I am also considering adjusting the dress even more for my swayback.

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The fabric doesn´t fray at all so there was a great temptation to leave the hemline and arm and neck holes unfinished. In the end I still went the traditional way and stitched them by hand but didn´t bother to finish the seam allowances on the inside.

The front zipper in more detail:

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All in all it is a great summer project to make – quick and fun!

I will be off for holidays in a few days, so most probably the next post will be tagged as “Travel” again 😉

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Out Of The Closet: Taffeta Stripe Dress

When I saw this striped polyester tafetta fabric on a trip to Estonia back in 2010, the perfect pattern for it immediately popped up in my mind – Burda Easy Fashion spring/summer 2009 dress. This particular magazine is one of my absolute favourites since I would still like to make most of the models in it. There are two versions of this dress in the magazine, one of them with a bow belt:

This is my fabric:

And this is my dress:

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My dear friend Tiina, who is a photographer (her works can be seen here), took the photos of the dress and we had a full session, playing around with different accessories:

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I enjoyed sewing this dress very much, the pattern has a great fit, no alterations whatsoever were needed. The only downside was that the fabric is not very forgiving – once the seam is sewed, the stitch marks stay and if you need to pick the seam, the marks cannot be removed by pressing or anything. On my dress, they are visible on one of the side seams of the skirt, but in order to notice this you have to look for it, so I am not letting myself be bothered by it.

Because this project was my very first using a fabric with stripes, the bodice and skirt stripes do not match up. It didn´t even occur to me to check it until the dress was nearly completed 🙂 But as all of the “Out Of The Closet” items that I am showing you are the first I made after a break of several years in sewing (and prior to that I was a teenage sewist, not paying too much attention to anything, I didn´t even press the garment while in process!), it taught me a valuable lesson. Because of this mistake, I only wear the dress with a belt, so that the discontinuity of the stripes doesn´t strike the eye.

The Easy Fashion also suggests sewing a tulle petticoat, but I didn´t since I am happy with the puffiness of the skirt the way it is.

Although the dress was finished in 2010, I wore it for the first time in February 2012, for the reception of the Independence Day of Estonia at King Georges hotel, organized by the Estonian Embassy in Athens. It is a very nice tradition to invite all the local Estonians and I attended every time. The tradition continued this year as well, but as some readers already know, I am currently in Estonia and couldn’t participate. Here is a photo from February 2012:

And last but not least, two close ups:

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The Jewel Dress

I am so glad that I can FINALLY show you something that isn´t from Out Of The Closet series again! It is the first finished object since I started working in Estonia and the available time and energy for my hobby diminished remarkably.

As I have mentioned before, I wanted to finish the dress for the Christmas party with the colleagues and I managed right on time. The photos were taken during the party and after some prolonged sitting at the table, so forgive me the slightly wrinkled look of the dress.

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The pattern is rather old – Burda 11/2008 issue, model 135, but I think it is kind of an evergreen style. There is a really nice version of the dress here. This is what actually made me fall in love with the pattern in the first place, the black Burda version is not really inspiring.

Burda 11 2008 dress 135 black

Burda 11-2008-135 dress

During my long holiday in Estonia in summer, I borrowed a bunch of Burdas from the local library and traced quite a lot of patterns (because I never thought that just a couple of months later I would make such a huge step of moving here for a longer period). This is one of them.

Burda 11-2008-135

Burda 11-2008-135

Burda 11-2008-135

The pattern is easy to sew and the only more complicated part is the front pleating and maybe the shoulder seams, since the upper part of the dress is lined.

The material, slightly stretchy cotton sateen, is probably my favorite fabric to sew with. I got the fabric among some others just before leaving Athens and it was bought having this pattern in mind already.

I didnt make any major alterations to the dress, apart from having to take in at the shoulder seams, in order to bring the whole thing up a bit. It is a bit of a nuisance as anyone who has sewn similar shoulder seams knows, but I chewed myself through and thankfully this fixed the problem.

I also had to take in slightly at the side seams, which was somewhat of a surprise. I didn´t use double needle for hemming although this is what the pattern calls for. Instead, I folded the hem over and hand stitched it so that the stitches are not visible on the outside. I thought it would look nicer but actually the fold still shows so I don´t think I gained much from all the hand sewing. If I made the dress again, I would probably go for the double needle.

Burda 11-2008-135 dress

Burda 11-2008-135

Due to the lighting conditions when taking the close-ups, my skin resembles remarkably to a very famous lady 😀 :

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The seam allowances were finished off with bias tape. I actually like that the tape is not in an identical shade with the fabric. The lining (or should I call it facing?) is attached at the side seams and front by a few hand stitches.

Burda 11-2008-135 dress

The photos were taken by my sweet colleague Merle:

Burda 11-2008-135 dress

Burda 11-2008-135 dress

The shoes I am wearing are Bourne Christy. Probably my favourite party shoes, they are not too high and they always catch a lot of positive attention.

Bourne Christy peacock shade

The Christmas party was fun as well, I danced quite a lot which is good, since I can´t remember the last time I did so!

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To my great surprise, I noticed that I made this last dress of the year in The Color Of The Year 2013, according to Pantone  (“known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer” as they say on their website) – emerald.

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Anyone who is more interested in the topic, can also check out their fashion color report for spring 2013, that includes more shades in addition to the emerald.

Drape Drape Drop-Waist Gather Drape Dress

Try reading the title out loud, it reminds me of some articulation drills for children 🙂

Nearly a month after my birthday, I finally sat down to make the first dress from the Drape Drape 1 book I was gifted for my birthday. The teal knit fabric for the project was also a present, so there was a very positive vibe to the whole process.

The pattern is No.3 in the book, Drop-Waist Gather Drape Dress.

I had seen a few versions in the internet and all of them looked nice and flattering, so I was hoping mine would be a success as well.

The reason why I was kind of late to start with the dress is that the peculiar pattern design was a bit scary at first. Of course, when I finally decided to face it, I realized that it could be one of the easiest patterns I have worked with.

As it consists of only one pattern piece, the fabric is cut on fold, there is just a little gathering and stitching to do plus if you use knits you can skip the zipper, I would recommend it even to absolute beginners. The seam allowances are also marked on the pattern and within a few hours´work, anyone could make this cute little dress.

According to the size chart, I am size XL (makes me NOT want to go to Japan), but it is quite loose-fitting, maybe a size smaller would have been better. And a tad longer, because right now I only see myself wearing it with super thick tights, more like a tunic.

I don´t know about others who have tried it, but mine is shorter in front than in the back. At first I wanted to rip the basting out and correct the hemline, but then I looked at the pattern and it seems to me that this is how it is supposed to be. Also, because the dress is generally quite short, I thought it wouldn´t look nice even shorter in the back.

Nevertheless, I am positively surprised and happy with the dress and I believe you will see a bit longer version of it in a different fabric pretty soon.

The weather in Athens is by no means suitable for tights and knit dresses yet, making the photo shoot a tough task. This is also why I am squinting or looking on the ground in most of the photos, the sun was too intense 🙂

I thought that the Tamaris Blistar ankle boots I have would be a perfect match to the dress, but now I see that the fabric is more towards blue than green. I think the blue shoes match even better. They are Calvin Klein Kalina, I only found a photo of the black version though. I am crazy about blue shoes, especially blue suede shoes!

photo from amazon.co.uk
photo from sarenza.co.uk

The “Wedding Dress”

I cannot find a better name for this dress, because it was made for a wedding where I had the honour to be among the guests and because both, the bride and the groom, Tiina and Paap are my good friends and I was as excited as the bride, I guess.

As always, everything starts with the fabric in my case, and this time it was this beautiful cotton sateen in Athens. I find it difficult to describe the colour and after some google search, I would say it is caribbean green. Oh well, you will see it in the pictures anyway.

It was one of the most enjoyable projects I have made, probably a combination of a good pattern, easy-to-work-with fabric, its beautiful shade and the purpose.

I chose Simplicity 2053, view C, minus the flower:

It was easy to make, maybe I mostly struggled with the pleats in front – a lot of basting after a lot of line drawing on the fabric. Because of the sewing instructions, I couldn´t really try the dress on before it was nearly finished. I was SURE that it will be too tight around my hips. But it was perfect!

The dress is a pleasure to wear and the wedding was simply amazing. I don´t think I will ever have the chance to attend something comparable. The venue, the weather, the atmosphere, the couple, the officiant, the party host, the food, the table decorations, the band, the cake… just not enough words.

As I said, I was probably as anxious as the bride, so I forgot to take any photos of the dress that day! But the photographer was one of the best (if not the best) in Estonia and I hope I will have a really nice one to show you, posing with the couple. The photographer was Annika Metsla and her blog entry on that fantastic wedding is here. It is worth checking out!

Today I had an opportunity to wear the dress again, this time for the christening of little Giorgos. And this time I remembered to have some photos taken!

The shoes are Bourne Frida in crimson, that I got from amazon.co.uk last autumn.

The christening took place at Panagia Faneromeni church in Vouliagmeni, one of the posh areas of Athens and the reception at Astir Palace hotel nearby. The church is very new and they have managed to combine tradition and modern architecture beautifully, it is full of light and gives a feeling of serenity. Even little Giorgos didn´t protest too much when the priest soaked him in oil and water!

Because of the event and lots f people we had to greet, I didn´t want to run around with the camera, so if anyone is interested, a few photos of the church from the outside can be seen here and here.

This is the view from the reception area of the hotel:

It was a windy day, so please excuse my hair in the last photo! The little white ribbon on my chest is a small pin that was given to every guest at the church.

I liked that my dress coincidentally matched the colour theme of the party :), here is the boubouniera (a small gift of sugar-coated almonds or chocolate beans given to every guest at Greek weddings and christenings):