Tag Archives: Fitting

Damson Gin Dress

When I posted my brown NL6000 dress I asked for help with an ‘n’ shaped ripple of fabric under my bust.

Brown 6000 Fitting IssueI had a few suggestions and speculations but no one seemed confident. Returning to the dress in the New Year I wanted to be able to see the fitting problem in a new light. I took a long hard look in a full length mirror, I pinched, I prodded, I fidgeted… I even tried on un-padded and really, really padded bras (self-SBA and self-FBA without surgery if you will). And then…

Brown 6000 Fitting Issue b

If I imagined the lines of the bust darts and the waist darts extended… *gasp* they didn’t cross at the apex of my bust! The waist darts needed to be moved towards the centre by 1 inch.

Dart position

With no fabric purchases allowed I shopped my stash. At first I went for some mystery black suiting that I had no plans for but when I had the pattern pieces laid out, it dawned on me that it’d be hard to see or photograph fitting issues and the whole point of this make was to get rid of that ‘n’ shaped issue! A quick re-think and I sacrificed this purple suiting that was meant to become a pencil skirt.

Damson Gin Dress 6000
This make made me realise that although we have the same measurement, my bust is different to my dressmakers dummy. The darts look ridiculously close on her. So, has moving the darts solved the mysterious fitting issue on me?

Damson Gin Dress FrontLooks okay from this angle… and more ease in the hips helps smooth things out in that region too.

Damson Gin Dress SideStill no bust ripple from this angle either.

Thank you sewing gods for reminding me of dart positioning.

Thank you sewing gods for reminding me of dart positioning.

Yeah, I think the ripple has been banished. I’m also happier with a bit more ease round the hips.


So why is it called the Damson Gin dress? Ah well the damson purple is on the outside and the gin part is on the inside…

Damson Gin Dress Hem

Over 3 meters of this gorgeous silvery white lining was languishing in my stash. It reminds me of the silvery blue sheen that gin has. I was feeling quite chuffed with my stash shopping and even used the bias binding I’d made from the leftover scraps of my blouse to bind the raw edge before hemming. Bother, that blouse would have gone great with a purple pencil skirt! Nevermind, I’m still on track with my Stash Diet.

Damson Gin Dress CuffI’m considering switching the buttons for fabric covered. Undecided yet.

Want to see more details? I took loads of photos, I think the number of photos in my posts correlates to how pleased I am with my make!

Damson Gin Dress

I fully lined the dress including the sleeves. It’s pretty easy due to the sleeve cuffs but does require some extra understitching to stop the lining rolling to the outside. I found myself swapping the different coloured threads on my sewing machine constantly. Perhaps I’ll stick with matching lining to make things easier in future!

Damson Gin Dress Zip

Another cool lining detail was attaching it by machine to the zip… I thought it’d be difficult but it’s actually pretty easy (following Tasia’s instructions).

Damson Gin Dress Vent

I shoe horned in my favourite skilllining a vent.

It's not easy demonstrating a lined vent while wearing the dress!

It’s not easy demonstrating a lined vent while wearing the dress!

Like this? I’m going to be telling you all about how you can get involved with lined vents tomorrow!

Damson Gin Dress Lined Vent

Global Sureau

I went through a serious learning process to make this dress – pattern adjustments, new to me techniques such as gathers (handily covered during the Mathilde workshop too!), zip insertion (ok I’ve done that once before), sleeve insertion and skirt underlining plus the pressure of fabric purchased abroad. As a result, I was elated when I realised I’d completed it without disaster. I’m calling it my Global Sureau because the pattern is a Deer and Doe design based in Paris, France and the fabric I bought at Tessuti in Melbourne, Australia.

Global Sureau 1

The zip seems to be in without puckers or wobbles but I did fret excessively about it. I’m booked onto a zips course in July so I can build my confidence and learn different zip insertion techniques then.

Global Sureau 2

I tried my best to make it pretty on the inside too but I think it’s looking overly fussy. The underlined skirt and contrast binding just isn’t visually pleasing but it was a compromise between the pressure of zip/sleeves with full lining and having the skirt ride up my tights. Something to consider more carefully when I’m planning future makes.

Global Sureau 3There was a moment before I hemmed it or sewed the buttons on when I thought it might make me look like a character from Little House on the Prairie. I’ll report back after wearing it to work to let you know if I get any Little House on the Prairie comments!

I’d like to make a sleeveless version for the summer (fully lined of-course)… maybe I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the sewing process the second time around!

Triple Toile Trouble for Sureau

I’ve been coverting the Sureau Dress by Deer and Doe for a few months now. Having seen in on so many blogs, it became really hard to choose my favourites but I managed to whittle it down to three:

I was so excited when this pattern was delivered but I’ve had a steep learning curve altering it to fit. I’m worried that all my novice alterations have changed the original features of the dress too much. Here’s my process (hours and hours worth) consolidated into one post:

1. I made the first full toile from the hideous fabric (which is now all used up!) using the pattern size that was closest to my measurements.

Sureau Toile 1

Two major problems were the excess fabric in the bust area and too tight round the waist.

2. At this point I switched to a gingham cotton scrap and just played with the bodice.

Sureau Toile 2a

I made a small bust adjustment (SBA) to the front bodice using Paunet’s and Moonbeam’s tutorials on this technique. At the same time, I made the legs of the dart narrower and widened the button placket to increase the waist. I then had to lengthen the bodice to keep the waist at the same level as before (SBA shortens the pattern). This was an improvement but it was still too roomy and a gape at the neckline had appeared. I made another SBA, shortened the distance over which the gathers are made and tackled the gaping neckline using Phat Chick Designs tutorial. The fit was now better but the dart came too far up and looked weird. I pinched, pinned and transferred these changes to the paper pattern according to Karen’s post on this technique.

Sureau Pattern Adjustment

Returning to my original hideous fabric toile, I replaced the newly adjusted pattern pieces and continued with construction. The sleeves required a 7cm reduction down the whole length but this seemed easy in comparison to the bodice.

Afterwards I had a complete lack of confidence to cut my fashion fabric for fear that I’d missed something crucial or hadn’t copied my changes to the tracing paper properly. I embarked on a third toile, cut fresh from another fabric from my “for toiles” pile. Cutting a fresh toile from new pattern pieces is a labourious but worthwhile task. It highlighted that I also needed to transfer my changes to the facings and it restored my confidence.

Sureau Toile 3

Unfortunately, cutting my fashion fabric and sewing up will have to wait for another weekend.

I can’t express how helpful the Sureau Sewalong was (even though I’m a year and a half late!), I’m sure there would have been more rounds of toile trouble without it.

Sureau Sew-along