This year are taking on the challenge of wearing a different Two Sewing Sisters made frock each day in October. If you have followed along on our Frocktober journey before you may recognise some pieces but we look forward to sharing the making details of the frocks with you.
Sophia is in her penulimate year Law at Deakin University. We worked with Sophia to develop the design for her Deakin Law Ball dress for this year. Starting with images Sophia had found we sketched up the design. Speaking with Sophia we wanted to make something that could transform so she could also wear it to the after party. With the tiered skirt this was perfect! A zipper!
Construction of Navy Transforming Dress
The tulle layers of the design were a key feature and the lengths needed to be suite for both the full length look and the shorter zipped version. The trick to this was the length of the lining. The zipper was concealed by the hem of the top layer.
Making a strapless bodice stable is important; the choice of lining, stabilisers, interfacing and boning need to considered. The ink blue velveteen and navy cotton drill fabrics sourced from Spotlight was cut in Vogue 8849 . For this velvet bodice the velvet would not carry the weight but this would be the job of the lining. We chose to create the lining in cotton drill that was interfaced and boned.
Four layers of tulle sourced from Remnant Warehouse made up each tier of the skirt and was gathered onto the cotton drill base. The closure of the dress was a welt zipper at the center back with the tulle skirt loose over the top.
Georgia has studied Law at Deakin University for the last six years. Also with Erin this would be her last Law Ball. We wanted to make her dress something special. We started with some inspiration and Erin’s key criteria for Georgia was she had to choose a colour that wasn’t black.
Construction of Jungle Green Silk Satin Dress
The bodice for Georgia’s dress started with Simplicity 6408 as it had a beautiful back shape and the gathered front seam created the perfect neckline. The skirt needed to be cut on the bias to create the drape and fall Georgia was after so we used Butterick 5710 as the base for this.
Erin and Georgia went on a fabric hunt and found a beautiful jungle green (not black) silk satin at Rathdowne Fabrics in Brunswick.
The design of the dress evolved from the original sketch. We chose to remove the bottom ruffle section and keep the straps travelling straight over the shoulders.
The thin straps were created using the fabric, creating a thin tube. The strap was turned through using a bobkin sewing needle (a needle without a point used for sewing chunky knits).
The dress was constructed to a point that meant Georgia could try it on. At the fitting we decided that fully lining the bodice would be the best course to finish it off. The lining of the bodice was interfaced with whisperweft interfacing. A piece of plastic boning along the side seam position to provide some stability. The skirt side seams were finished with a french seam to provide a neat finish. This reduced any damage that might be cause to the fabric by placing it through an overlocker.
Pattern: Simplicity 6408 and Butterick 5710 Fabric: Jungle green silk satin from Rathdowne Fabrics
When your sister is nominated for National Law Student of the year it calls for a new dress for the occasion. Erin was nominated for the award as part of the Lawyers Weekly Law Awards with the presentation hosted at The Star in Sydney. Mum, Dad and I were lucky to be able to attend the awards.
Looking to show off the stripes of the fabric the detail in the pattern, Simplicity 1651 has a twisted feature and center front panel. This meant the front panel could have the stripes run vertical while the side panel the stripes could sit horizontally and run through the twist.
The skirt is a rectangle that had a series of 16 darts stitched into the waist line before being gathered. The hem was supported by wide width crinoline.
Erin was nominated for Lawyers Weekly Law Student of the Year for 2019. This was the 19th annual Australian Law Awards, it is the pinnacle awards program for the nation’s legal profession, recognising the outstanding work being done across major legal practice areas, brilliance at the bar, legal in-house powerhouses, innovators and various firm-led pro bono programs.
The dress was designed from some inspiration images that we collected on a Pinterest board
The bodice was created using a black drill bodice from Vogue 9124 and was self lined with the drill. For support the lining of the bodice was interfaced and boned with encased plastic boning.
For the skirt the drill layer was cut to be circle that fell to below the knees and flat at the waist. The top gold layer was a six panel circle that was gathered into the waist seam.
The total length of the hem was 11 meters. The drill under layer (3 meters) was finished with overlocking and turned up to encase a black 15cm wide crinoline and the top gold layer was babylocked in black thread (8 meters)
The bows were attached to the dress following the construction and were supported by black crinoline and floating tails.
We had the exciting task of testing the new release pattern from By Hand London. The new style is called the Jenna Dress. A fitted bodice with darts paired with an empire line dress with a bias cut skirt.
The first options includes a scooped neck and ties on the sleeves, the second a peterpan collar with longer sleeve. These options designed so the elements can be swapped around to create you own combination. We made both version of the dress.
We chose to do the at home print. The skirt pattern which is used for both length options is 32 pages and there is separate file for each bodice style. Variation 1 is 16 pages Variation 2 is 18 pages.
They were stuck together with clear tape before we cut it back to size. We chose to cut a size 12/16. See the images for fit.
Jenna Dress with Ties
We made the Jenna Dress with Ties from Houndstooth Patchwork Stretch Silk Crepe De Chine from The Fabric Store. This striking graphic houndstooth print is a combination of Silk and Lycra and is 115cm wide. You can find the fabric in their online store here.
Due to the light weight of the fabric we chose to line the skirt as well as the bodice. The ties around the arm are finished with a slip stitch and the hem of the top fabric hand finished with a herringbone stitch.
Jenna Dress with collar
We made the Jenna Dress with collar we made in a light woven cotton that was purchased from a fabric store in Paris. A playful confetti coloured print was the perfect modern choice for a vintage inspired style dress.
The collar and cuffs are fused with interfacing and the bodice was lined with pongee lining a softer finish than using bem silk.
The photos of the finished dresses were taken at the Vault sculpture that is in the forecourt of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank Melbourne. You can find out more about the sculpture on the ABC website here.
Looking for a gift ideas for someone who loves sewing? We just might have the answer. As someone who sews or is a maker there are a few things you can never have too many of.
When you first start there are a lot of things to acquire. This can be quite an expense set up and you do not always know which is best to buy for the projects. Even as an experienced maker you can never have too many. These things are just fun and exciting when they are new, no matter the experience level of the sewer.
The outside might be a strange place to start when thinking about a gift but whatever collection of things you are giving how about wrapping it in some fabric? It is a more sustainable idea than paper gift wrapping as they can transform it into something afterwards!
For this gift we chose a printed cotton with enough fabric for it to be made into a dress with a full skirt. Just over 2 meters of fabric. The fabric is folded over the present and secured with ribbon.
Gift idea – the bits and pieces
No matter your level of experience sewing there are some items that make project a little easier. You can put together a combination of things to suit the person you are buying for and your budget. It is nicer to have fewer nicer quality products than lots of cheaper once.
Here are some suggestions to start your bundle of goodies:
pin cushion – can be magnetic or fabric
sewing needles – customise them to the type of work they do.
tailors chalk – The Clover ones are amazing and you can get refills
measuring tape – The Birch quilt measuring tapes are great, we love the length, the number is well formatted and has both inches and centimeters on it.
Embroidery scissors – for small fine work and snipping threads
good quality thread
thread for the overlocker/serger
threads – Gutermann produce a wide variety of thread types. If you are not sure what they are sewing you could chose a variety of basic colours from the Sew-all Thread collection.
As we know our friend is likely to make this fabric into a dress so we also put in a matching zipper and thread. This means she can get started making straight away an doesn’t need to make a trip to the store herself.
Where to shop?
Shopping for these goodies can be done online but also going into your local fabric store is good browse to see the options. If you are unsure ask the sales staff to help you as at a good craft store they should know their products.
Additions to the list?
Let us know if you have anything else to add to the gift ideas for someone who loves sewing. Contact us here.
A new year, a new set of goals. Resolutions for our sewing. While other people may set an ambitious of getting fit, starting a new career or discovering a new hobby at Two Sewing Sisters we set creative sewing resolutions.
In this last two weeks while enjoying the seasonal festivities we started planning for 2019 and creating visions of future projects. For your benefit and our accountability here are each of our three sewing goals for 2019:
Lauren’s Resolutions Number 1: Make winter coat Many years ago Nan had planned to make each of us a wool coat but didn’t get a chance. This year Lauren plans to pull out the beautiful charcoal wool we bought from at Clegs all those years ago and find a new pattern to make it in.
Number 2: Find a good pants pattern to share with you In 2018 we had a few sewing friends has us about what pattern they should use to make pants. To be honest we don’t have one, there are many elements of pants that need to fit correctly for them to feel comfortable and look great. But this year we are going to come up with a better answer… stay tuned pants lovers!
Number 3: Make Erin’s Law Ball dress Last year while Lauren was living in London, Erin was left sew her own law ball dress. While this may seem like that bigger deal, at the time it was filled with drama. It is the first project that we have ever given up on a bodice and started again…. *cue 2019 vision* which is far from even adapting a commercial pattern adaption, Lauren is likely going to have to call on her Fashion Degree to make this vision a reality.
Erin’s Resolutions: Number 1: Finish 5 started Projects As a lower of starting project but not always finishing them in a timely matter… a goal is to finish five already started projects. For any sewing out there with similar creative habits to Erin, you will know what a large feat this will be!
Number 2: Make a suit As a law student, Erin is often spotted wearing a suit. Despite mastering making dresses, she has never made a suit – 2019 will be the year!
Number 3: Upcycling three items Fashion and textiles are one of the largest producers of waste in the world Now more than ever, ethical fashion and environmentally friend production should be at the forefront of the fashion industry.. while we are waiting for this to happen, instead of throwing things out there is no better time than now to clean up the cupboard and fit, change or adapt a style to wear again.
With less than 12 months to achieve these goals, we can’t wait to keep you up to date with the progress of our resolutions! Best wishes for 2019 and all that it may bring.
OCRF (Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation) hosted their annual Silver Style event at the Georges Ballroom in St Kilda. The theme was a touch of silver. Inspired by this theme and some fabulous silver shoes the outfit planning started.
Lauren found this striped printed silk at the Hand Made Fair at Hampton Court Palace in London in 2018. Unsure what she wanted to create with it the fabric waited in the wings. When the theme the event was announced it felt like the perfect occassion and coordinated well with a pair or existing silver shoes.
The pattern was selected due to panel pieces that would allow for the stripe in the fabric. Placing the strip in different directions and using a circle skirt achieved this.
Eager to pair the statement Maude bag and glittery Wittner shoes with a Tweed the hunt for the fabric began. We found the beautiful white and blue with silver fleck tweed at Darn Cheap Fabrics in Port Melbourne.
Returning to use a favourite pattern, Vogue 1392 with a circle. The bodice was lined with bem silk and cotton tape place around the neckline to reduce stretching.
Silver Style was a great evening to celebrate the efforts of the OCRF. Every woman, everywhere – free from the threat of Ovarian Cancer. You can donate directly to the cause or find out other way to take part such as Frocktober.
The Millinery Association of Australia is a not for profit organisation. It encompasses a diverse range of millinery, from traditional hats to costume. They host events that showcase quality millinery with professional and enthusiastic members that unite to raise the profile of millinery in Australia.
Each year at the end of the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington the Millinery Association hosts an evening event for their members. As Lauren is a member the Two Sewing Sisters attended the event.
Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070 Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Shoes: Irregular Choice Bag: Olga Berg Earrings: Northside Southside
Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070 Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Shoes: Wittner Bag: Oroton Earrings: Northside Southside