Threading Lightly

Adventures in amateur sewing

Venice Dress on dummy


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The garment of Venice: a tale of two fabrics

Pattern: Simplicity (vintage) 6216, view 2Simplicity Pattern

The search for the perfect pattern to match an idea in your head is a challenging one.  But sometimes it really works out!

Venice FabricI found this printed fabric by accident in the back room of one of my favorite fabric stores, Sewfisticated Fabrics.  It’s actually really nice quality cotton with a tiny bit of stretch to it. The print looks like the canals of Venice, Italy.  Really cool find, so I had to buy some, even if I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be.

Somewhere I got the idea it would look good as the top of a dress, with the bottom being just plain black.  I also figured it should probably have an empire waist – so the search began for a pattern I could use for this vision.

I started to look at some vintage patterns, because I couldn’t really find many modern patterns of the dress style I was looking for.  I settled on this Simplicity pattern because the picture had a similar look to what I was going for.  For the black skirt, I bought fabric that would dress up the look, but I’m not exactly sure what it is – some sort of polyester.  It’s a little on the thick side, so I knew I was going to have to use a serger so the seams didn’t appear too bulky.

Most of the vintage dress patterns I have used have been really easy to construct, and this one was no different.  For the bodice, it requires you to cut out a facing, which finishes the top and armholes without a lining.  When you cut out the facing and sew it all together, it is one long piece like so:

Facing

Then you sew it to the bodice with right sides together so it can be flipped to the inside:

Facing on bodice

This is before you flip the facing to the inside.  The raw edge is pressed and sewed as well.

I find this “facing” method a lot in vintage patterns and Continue reading

plaids


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Anti-fashion in a new age: the improved flannel shirt

Pattern: Sewaholic Granville shirt (1501)Sewaholic Granville Shirt pattern

New skills acquired

  • Plackets
  • Collar & collar stand
  • Flat-felled seams

I grew up in the 90’s. This was the decade where I awkwardly lived out my teen years and a few young adult years as well.  Say what you will about the grunge music movement, but for a self-conscious pre-teen who had spent most of her childhood bullied mercilessly, that music felt like ecstasy inside my head.  I remember spending many hours listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind over and over to try to numb my pain.  And I actually spent an entire family vacation to Arizona with the Pearl Jam Vs. album constantly pumping into my ears.  People say that music was depressing, but life can be depressing when you become a teenager.  The music mirrored all my thoughts and feelings about growing up and trying to find my place in a world that didn’t seem to want me.   And the flannel!  Flannel shirts were the style – a part of the anti-fashion movement that was sweeping the country. We were no longer going to spend money on brand names and store logos.  We would look in thrift shops and re-purpose old clothes from our parents.  It was casual and comfortable and a way to rebel against corporations.

I miss my flannel shirts.

Anyways, this fashion craze was all finished when I went on to college. Continue reading