Tag Archive | fall for cotton

And talking of the Jif Lemon Dress…

The final mention of the Fall For Cotton challenge… The video of All The Makes is now up at Lucky Lucille’s – hooray!

I’m at 2 minutes 51. It’s the unadorned version of the dress, of course, but I still think it’s a good dress.


Presenting… The Jif Lemon Dress – Updating the Fall For Cotton Jiffy Dress

The Jif Lemon Dress - All finished!

I said in the original FFC Finished post that I wanted the appeal of this dress to lie in the embellishment. I’d posted about decoration back here, and I knew after writing that post, that I wanted it to be those citrus appliqués. I didn’t want mad colours, so it was a case of sticking to one citrus fruit only, and as soon as the phrase “Jif Lemon” popped into my head, the colour scheme was set!

I made up one dummy run lemon slice, as soon as I had my felt. I didn’t have any embroidery thread in the right colour, so I just did it with white cotton and a plain running stitch, and I wasn’t taken with that effect- I worried that the edges would get fuzzy. But it gave me an idea of how the dimensions would work, and I could gauge how many I’d need to make, for my dress’s hem. Then I tried one using cotton perlé embroidery thread (Again. I like that stuff, its shiny!) and with a whip-stitch, and that felt better.

I cut out 14 of these slices. I wasn’t too worried about making them identical, but I wanted them to look broadly similar. It was boring and repetitive to sew the pieces together, but as with all such boring repetitive jobs, you just have to be able to watch tv while you’re doing it and keep the overall goal in mind.

Lemon slices

Then it was a case of sewing the slices onto the dress- another repetitive, boring task! I’d done my calculations for how close to each other they needed to be, and how far up (they needed to clear the hem, as I didn’t want to muck up my lovely zebra print binding). I’m quite proud of how neat they are inside.


Another neat inside shot

The dress is now a bit more zingy, and a lot more me. The weight of the lemon slices gives the hem a liddle bit of swing now. It’s odd, because they didn’t feel heavy before I sewed them on. I suppose it’s all a matter of distribution.

Again, I seem to have alighted on a colour that I would never normally consider wearing- the bright yellow felt that I got cheap on Ebay was waaaaaay out of my normal colour palette. For that reason, the appliqués are all on the hemline, nowhere near my face. It doesn’t look too strong because of the white. I really like how they’ve come out. I have to acknowledge to myself that this year has been a strange one for being attracted to yellows and oranges. It started back in February when I was in Cairo, and ended up getting one costume with yellow as the main colour, and one in black, red & yellow. And I kept spotting cute shoes in orange and yellow. And then there was the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt last month. I’m not sure if this is a long term trend for me. We’ll see…

Some of my Fall For Cotton Favourites

So all the queens of the last minute are posting their photos on the Fall For Cotton Flickr photo-stream, in time for today’s deadline. And I love so many of those challenge garments, but it’s not really feasible to post all of them. These are some of the highlights for me.

This is an unashamed picture post, and I hope that none of the owners of these photos will mind me promulgating them here on my own blog. If anyone has any problem with me hotlinking to their flickr photos or blog, I will happily edit them out. If they’re posted here, it’s because I really liked their make, so it’s honestly intended as a compliment, but I understand that they aren’t my pictures to share, and it’s your call.

First, I do appear to love a shift dress. This one is the Marnie Dress by Sew Classic. It’s a really elegant, and sexy-as-all-get-out wiggle dress, and the lace print fabric is so pretty.

The Marnie Dress

And talking of pretty fabric, how about this AMAZING print. I love the green and all the over the top Indian patterns. This dress is by Allie, from Through the Alley. And click here for her blog post about this dress, including the best detail- a little back bow.

And here comes another slinky dress, this time by Milena of the Home Blues. I love the autumnal print on this dress (blogged here).

Love those falling leaves!

Moving on to frocks of the less saucy variety, I fell hard for this black & white number by Katie Kadiddlehopper. Check her blog post for the full benefit of this fifties fashion print fabric. I love how she’s used the black for contrast.

Monochrome Gorgeousness

This dress & jacket suit is by Melanie of the Seed of 3, and is just adorable. See here for the blogging of it. I also love how Melanie’s accessorised with a pale pink hair ribbon- sweet!

Polka Dot Sweetness

There were a couple of tops that caught my eye. The first is another monochrome black & white number, from Elena Knits,  blogged in more detail with more photos here.

More black & white goodness

And I love the blouse that Tasha of By Gum, By Golly, one of the founders of Fall For Cotton, made. I particularly love the red buttonholes.

Isn’t this lovely?

There were a few makes from people who don’t seem to have a blog (if I’ve got that wrong, do please let me know and I’ll be happy to link)

40sVintageMama posted this fab cowboy print skirt:


Woolbothy posted this snuggly looking zip top:

Doesn’t that look great for the autumn?

And as ever, I’m unable to resist a gigantic floral print!

You’ve gotta love a gigantic floral print!

And last, but by no means least, here is a selfless make, for the gentleman in her life, by Sanna of Space Dices. If you read Finnish, you could find out more about that make here.

A very stylish shirt

All the FFC photos are here, if you want to check out all the challenge garments that I haven’t posted about! And there may well be more last minuters, because I guess the challenge is still open until midnight USA time.

The Black Jiffy Dress – the Fall For Cotton Just in Time Post

The black jiffy dress in all its glory

I was using Simplicity’s Retro Jiffy Dress pattern, 1609, and plain black cotton drill. I wanted the appeal of this dress to lie in the embellishment. However, the embellishment isn’t going to be happening in September, unfortunately. It will happen soon, just not in time for the FFC deadline.

I adapted the pattern by adding an FBA, lowering the neckline slightly, and lengthening the hem, because I’m not 22 any more, and I can’t get away with flashing that much leg! And I wanted this to be work-appropriate.

Stuff I did that was new for me:
This was my first FBA. I researched it like billy-oh, and I think it came out ok.

Also I did a toile for the first time in my life, although I’m determined that the toile will become a wearable garment in its own right shortly.

And I hand-picked the zip. I was worried that my hand-sewing wouldn’t stand up to the rigours of actual wear, but actually I think it’s looking robust and I’m happy that it will bear up. I will do this again. I like the control that it gives me.

Stuff that stressed me at the time:

I did the toile, and made the resulting adjustments to my pattern and nevertheless I *still* had to adjust the dress again once I had started sewing it. I don’t mind that it got more adjustments, because that makes it a better dress. But I found it annoying at the time, and that reflects my basic desire to get things made quickly. I try to be patient, I try to remember that the seam-ripping and re-sewing is all part of the whole process. But inevitably this bugs me.

I usually have a To Do list for each sewing project, so that I can tick off all the things as I complete them. This To Do List just seemed to get longer & longer. I started out listing things like “sew darts”, “sew front seam”, “sew shoulder seams”, etc. Then as I got going, I kept realising that “sew front seam” also meant that I needed to neaten the seam edges, so I had to add a new To Do item for the neatening. And some of the darts needed neatening, so I had to add an item for “enclose dart seam edges with the bias binding”. Then there were all the “resew top of front seam, and re-neaten” type items! I need to chunk down my To Do Lists a lot more!

The bias binding I used was pretty but not really very practical. It was too wide, really for the arm & neck binding, and it certainly wasn’t bias-stretchy enough. So the more curved parts of the neckline & armholes are not as flat as I would have liked. And I will know next time, to be more careful about cutting bias binding narrower- it’s all over the shop! You live and learn…

What I love about this dress:

Stealth Zebra Print! I got this zebra print bias binding a while ago, and realised it would go perfectly with this dress. So I used it for neatening the raw edges of the darts that needed it, and for the neckline & arm holes, and for the hem.


And the hem

This dress reminds me a bit of a black linen dress I once paid about £80 for, it’s just shorter. I spent about £15 on making it, so I’m happy with that comparison! I’ll be even happier once I’ve got the decoration on it that I’ve got planned.

And now for the obligatory goofy shot! I’m channelling Una Stubbs in Summer Holiday!

A Proper Sixties Pose!

Eeeep!!! Fall For Cotton Panic!

How many days left before the end of September??? I’ve done NOTHING on this dress since I cut it out about 10 days ago.

So I decided I needed to get my act together PDQ and I am now getting it sewn. But it’s black, and the bulb in my sewing machine has gone (or the connection for it has gone- whatever, it’s not lighting up) so I’m having to concentrate *really* hard when I’m sewing, and let’s not even talk about having to unpick & resew.

And it’s dispiriting to remember that a simple instruction like “sew the front seam”, which sounds like you can get it done in 45 seconds actually takes a good deal longer, because of neatening seams and checking the fit and resewing and pressing…

But I’m doing it.

And I’m doing it properly. See? Neat seams. I do feel like I’m almost learning Sewing Patience.

Neat Seams FTW!

Neat Seams FTW!

Wearable toile

I got started on the actual sewing of the teal dummy run dress. There are a few adjustments, as one might expect, but the FBA seems to have been successful, in that the dress accommodates my upper curves suitably, without messing with the armhole- so YAY! for that! My bust dart is gigantic, though, and could probably be moved up a centimetre or two.

I needed to take in the top of the centre front seam, and add an extra back neck dart to make the top bit of the dress fit nicely. I must have a big curve between my shoulders and neck, because I had to do the same thing for the Blue Floral Dress, although I made that adjustment through the zip placement. So that’s important for me to remember for the future. I also need to taper down the hips.

I had cut the neckline a lot lower than the actual pattern, because I’ve got a thing about high necklines- they make me feel very uncomfortable, but actually, I reckon I can add back an inch or so, without difficulty, on the actual dress.

I was trying the toile on with the zip opening pinned up, and could get in & out of the dress without difficulty, so I could forgo the zip, if I really wanted to. But dammit, I got a teal coloured dress-length zip for this, and I’m going to use it! And the same goes for the actual dress.

All the alterations have been marked onto my traced off pattern, ready for use on the actual FFC dress. This toile dress won’t count towards the Fall For Cotton Challenge, because it’s a stretch cotton, so it’s got some lycra content. But the fabric for the actual dress is 100% cotton, as required.

And I’m a good blogger and I know that you’re supposed to add pictures, but honestly, it’s really difficult photographing yourself wearing something pinned together and inside-out and still make yourself appear even half-way attractive. So I wasn’t going to make a song & dance about this, and I’ve just cropped it to kingdom come!

Jiffy Toile- pinned

Jiffy Toile- pinned

Now that I know it’s going to work, and I know what I’m changing, I’ll be sewing this dress together, so that I’ve got the shell of it set up. But I’ll be leaving the finishing of it until after the actual dress is made, because that’s the important Challenge garment that I need to get done by the end of the month.

Pattern Futzing

I’ve only gone & done my first FBA!

I’ve spent a good part of this evening sellotaping lots of bits of tracing paper together and crossing out lines, and making new ones. I won’t know if it’s worked until I start actually sewing stuff together, obviously, but I’ve done a tissue fitting, with the darts all taped into position, and so far, it’s looking like everything *ought* to work. At least it’s a good starting point. Everyone keep their fingers crossed for me.

I’ve also added a lot more markings on the pattern pieces, for my own information, like where my waist is, where my hips are.

I’m not showing photos of myself in my undies and paper on the internets, so you’ll have to make do with pictures of my poor mangled bits of tracing paper. Poor and mangled they may be, but they are going to make me an ACES dress!

Futzing the pattern

Futzing with the pattern