children, sewing, women

Dress Up This Town – Emma Dress

19577502_10210849879577726_8228798660457248297_o

Welcome to today’s stop on Sewing By Ti’s, “Dress Up This Town” blog tour! I’m excited to share my labors of love with you today! (We also have a giveaway going too! See the rafflecopter at the end of my post!)

35205421733_dc32863e59_b

When Ti announced this tour last month, I figured I would sign up, use a pattern I already owned, and use up some fabric that I bought while in NYC last month.

And then the Rebecca Page Emma Dress* came out and Fabric Mart Fabrics (whose newsletters I have subscribed to for years but had never purchased anything – until I attended an American Sewing Guild Workshop last month with Pamela Leggett of Threads Magazine and Craftsy, and she raved and raved about them!) had an amazing sale on this beautiful chiffon by Maggy London. Of course I had to get both.

35626572280_bd5da742d5_b

35892143961_8745849988_b

About the Fabric

35626570080_cfb58c4f5d_b

Chiffon.

Oh so beautiful! Oh so billowy! And oh, what a bear to cut out and sew!

35626571680_7659a85bcd_b

Thankfully I had purchased “The Essential Guide to Sewing with Sheers” on Craftsy* during a sale a few months ago, so I watched some of that in preparation — and was “watching” it as I cut out all the pieces.  Which I think, by the way, took me at least 4 nights to cut out all three dresses on my dining room table!

35844991332_2660e12979_b
The SASS! She’s only 5… I think we’re in trouble 😉

Even though this project took way longer than I anticipated, the fact that this fabric is so beautiful really did help me to keep working on it (well, that and a blog tour deadline, haha!)

35626570110_3448b2f0d8_b

Growing up, my mum always told me that you should always use the best quality lining that you can find. So armed that advice, I found this NY Designer Pongee Lining – also on sale. I have to say: this lining is *amazing*! It’s not wriggly or shiny – it is just a perfect lining. I want to use it on everything!

35844993392_9c579856cd_b

For the interfacing, I used Palmer/Pletch Light and I have to say – if you have only been using Pellon interfacing products in your garments, you HAVE to try the Palmer/Pletch ones. They are SO much better!! (I’ve also heard great things about the interfacings from Fashion Sewing Supply).

35844991812_093f334cd7_b

If you’ve never worked with chiffon before, it’s not all doom and gloom, I promise! Here’s a couple of tips:

  • Cut your patterns in one piece — do not cut on the fold.
  • Use a large cutting surface so that the fabric doesn’t shift around/drag.
  • Use a rotary cutter and self healing mat.
  • Use a sharp (microtex) needle, size 70/10.
  • Particularly when serging, use washaway stabilizer. This stops the fabric from rolling under and your seams looking really wonky.
  • As much as possible, use French Seams.
  • Use masking tape to mark the wrong side of the fabric (remember to take these off before you close up any linings…. sigh….)
  • Use washable marker to mark your notches (I use Crayola ultra washable markers)
  • Don’t back tack.

35844992872_63747f72d1_b

35854606522_af4dfe2515_b

About the Pattern

The Emma Dress by Rebecca Page* comes in three size ranges – doll, child (newborn – size 12) and womens. It has multiple length options – top, tunic, knee, tea and maxi. I made the maxi for me and my eldest daughter, and the tea for my youngest (though I used the 12-18 month bodice and 18-24 month length, so it is a bit long for her still). Both my girls ADORE their dresses – I’m not sure which one loves it more!! Even the 17 month old was giddy as I put it on her, and bolted to our photo spot so she could have her shoot done!

35205420033_a833e66258_b

While this dress looks gorgeous, I just don’t think it’s really a good choice for chiffon. There’s no traditional armscye in it – the side pieces are straight, and just have notches to show where you need to stop your seam. As a result, there’s no way to successfully do a French Seam (the instructions have you do a plain seam with clean edge finish but call it a French Seam). In the end, I resorted to individually serging the side seams (using washaway interfacing to keep them looking nice). I am hoping it all holds up in the wash!

35626570040_e265ddfd30_b
This is the back view – I still need to sew the buttons on!

Overall, I didn’t love the directions. They do have two sets — one is a summary with high level instructions for advanced seamstresses. The other is the full tutorial. I found myself flipping between the two when things didn’t seem to make sense.

35882603811_d4f4d46b86_b

The major change I made from the instructions was the way I installed the lining. Ultimately, I sewed it as a traditional lining – one inside the other, stitching the openings together, understitching, and then flipping out the right way. The underarms ended up being rather bulky and a bit bunched up with this method, but I found the method of wrapping the outer fabric around the lining (as described in the instructions) to be way too cumbersome.

35626570700_34776a926a_b

I also decided to hand stitch the collar lining in place rather than machine top stitching it. (Since my collar was sheer, I ended up cutting two linings out. One lining I spray basted to the outer collar, and the other I fused to the interfacing. By doing this, I prevented the seam edges from being visible through the fabric).

35205424913_3953bc36f2_b

To make it easier to hem this dress, I started by serging the hem (with washaway interfacing) and then folded it over twice and stitched down with my sewing machine.

So, would I sew this again? I think I would do it again, but in my opinion it would be most successful as an unlined knit. The inability to do a French Seam in the bodice is a big drawback for sheers. (Though, as I ponder more about this, there might be a workaround by using a tricot binding tape).

35892144171_45eeec24c2_b

Enter to win!

19575017_10210860229436466_5777773994274996044_o.jpg

Remember to enter our Week 3 Rafflecopter Giveaway for some great prizes from Sis Boom, Patterns for Pirates, Designer Stitch, and Simply By Ti!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by today, and don’t forget to visit and share some comment love with the the rest of the stops on our tour!

35205419943_4d3cc96769_b
Baby girl always wants to copy her big sister!

Week 1: July 1st-8th

1- Sewing By Ti (Intro)  and Stitching At Night

2- Me Made

3- Tenille’s Thread

4- Sewing By Ti

5- Seams Sew Lo

6- Anne Mari Sews

7- Sea of Estrogen

8- Lulu and Celeste



Week 2: July 9th-15th

9- Living in Twinado Valley

10- Ma Moose

11- My Heart Will Sew On

12- Seams Sew Lo

13- Kate Will Knit

14- Creative Counselor

15- Sewing With Sarah



Week 3: July 16th-22nd

16- Stitching and Making

17- That’s Sew Lily

18- Sprouting Jube Jube

19- Auschick Sews ***You are here. 😀

20- Anne Mari Sews

21- Lulu and Celeste

22- On Wednesdays We Sew



Week 4: July 23rd-31st

23- Stitching At Night

24- Sewing Curves

25- My Heart Will Sew On

26- Indulging Mum

27- That’s Sew Lily

28- Adventures With Bubba and Bug

29- Capture, Craft Cook

30- Sewing By Ti

31- Sew Like a Sloth

 

*Affiliate link

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Dress Up This Town – Emma Dress”

  1. wow, this is soooo impressive!! The fabric is just stunning, and the dresses too! It looks like the 3 of you could go to a big movies premiere in it! Really gorgeous! I love how the kids pose too, so funny to see how even little girls can be so self-conscious, or so it seems 😉 But you can’t ‘blame’ them in a dress like that! My daughters would also feel like little big queens in them! I’m also so much impressed with you making not 1 but even 3 dresses, and all 3 not with the easiest fabric and techniques! What a great job!! Thanks for all the advice too, by the way 😉

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! All my kids ADORE the camera! I think the baby’s first word was “cheese”!!!! She is queen of the camera smile – it cracks me up! At least I was able to get on a bit of a roll with them after doing the first one — though all that gathering takes *forever*!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of unpicking was done — it is so billowy that the wrong bits kept getting under my needle as I was sewing!! 😥 😥
      But I do love it (now that it is done!)

      Like

  2. I am so happy I read your post. I considered that pattern when it first released, but I’m not sure it’s suited to my body type, now I’m extra glad I passed. Your dresses are beautiful, and I’m sure it’s marvelous, just not for me.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s