Venice Dress on dummy

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:


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 “The garment of Venice: a tale of two fabrics”

There will be only one: a difficult kilt project

Pattern: Simplicity (vintage) 7213

I was doing so well on my last few projects, so I was not anticipating any problems.  Unfortunately this one knocked me down a few pegs – I don’t think I will be attempting another kilt-skirt any time soon.  And definitely not this pattern.

Some Background

I got the idea to make a kilt-skirt last summer, when I went to Scotland for a vacation.  Okay so what I really wanted to do was make something in the clan colors shown in Highlander: the TV series (not the movie), since I have always been a huge fan of the show.  Finding clan tartan fabric was not as easy as I had hoped – I found some fabric from a few of the clan names but they were all in this really heavy wool that I knew would make my skin break out immediately.  And I couldn’t even find MacLeod tartan, which I’m not even sure is historically accurate on the show.

Author’s note: I apologize to all people that may be Scottish reading this!  I am definitely not Scottish and I am probably not using any of these words (clan, tartan, etc) correctly since I have no idea of what I am talking about (and all my knowledge comes from the TV show Highlander).  Feel free to correct my knowledge about clan or family colors/tartans as I don’t mind being educated!   Continue reading “There will be only one: a difficult kilt project”