PREMIERE: the "atonement" dress

I finished this dress a while ago but haven't gotten around to putting the tutorial together as I have been busily sewing costumes at Elstree Studios the last few weeks! Thought I would just share the pics first and then post the pattern alterations later. My gorgeous sister saw the dress when she came to visit and wanted to try it on. As you can see she looks amazing so we did a little photo shoot. I will still snap some pics when I finally get the opportunity to wear it but without further ado I present my "Atonement" inspired dress!

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Details and tutorial coming soon...

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EXTRAS: Burda 8280 for my Mum

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I knew when I picked this calf length skirt pattern for my class that my mum would want one, and she did! This is the first garment I have sewn for her and I think it looks great on. I used a medium weight suedette in a versatile taupe colour. I went between two sizes to get a good comfy fit. The hem is hand picked, like mine as there are no other topstitched areas. Now I think she needs a summer version for our upcoming trip to Turkey!


I am making progress on my Atonement project, slowly but surely. The long length makes it quite tiring to sew in the evening... I have to buy a loop turner before I can do the spaghetti straps anyway so I am going at a relaxed pace. I have just got the side extension, straps, hem and hip swag to go (it seems like a lot now I'm listing it) but it fits yay! 

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EXTRAS: burnt ochre anna dress

I made my second Anna before Christmas and kept forgetting to photograph it every time I wore it, which has been a lot! It is effortlessly glamorous to sew and wear, if that makes sense. This time I used a mystery synthetic silk of some sort I found on sale. I was drawn to the burnt ochre colour, which happens to go great with black tights for the winter. 


I made the same size as my red polka dot Anna, only this time I remembered to press the bodice pleats to the centre, which does result in a better pleat. I think the gores in the skirt make this pattern more suitable for solids or small scale prints otherwise I would make one with a large polka dot fabric I have. I know it's only a matter of time before I make another Anna, maybe the maxi length as the v neck doesn't appeal to me for now. 

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EXTRAS: printed mustard chiffon on burda 7188

I found this lovely printed chiffon on Goldhawk Rd with my mum last Autumn and knew it needed a simple pattern to show it off. I am teaching the blouse Burda 7188 at the moment at The Sewing Barn and thought the clean silhouette and minimal style collar would be a good match for the busy print. The blouse is long enough to wear with jeans but I like it tucked into my black Zinnia


Having seen a lot of contrast blouses I really liked lately I wanted to have back cuffs and collar/ placket. I had some black satin leftover from my Jasmin blouse that was perfect. As the collar and placket is very narrow the chiffon can take the weight of the satin fine. I moved the buttons up so it can be buttoned to the collar and as it is sheer it won't look frumpy. I have already worn it twice this week so I consider that a successful make!

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KIT & EXPENDABLES: "atonement" dress supplies


My fabric arrived, and it is perfect for my "Atonement" inspired dress - Thanks Lynne and Abakhan! I am quite relieved as ordering fabric without a swatch can be risky. The description said "looks and feels like silk" so I was hopeful it would be thin enough and it is definitely more like silk than satin. So onto the dressmaking! For this project Abakhan supplied five metres of silky satin in emerald and Superstitch thread. My size 10 takes two metres but as I am drafting the hip-swag-piece-thing after the dress is made I will share how much fabric it takes all together in the end. I am using the pattern Vintage Vogue 2859 which also requires six 3/8" snaps. I still can't believe this fabric is only £4.55 a metre, look how she drapes!


So far I have traced the patterns onto swedish tracing paper and checked the fit. Next I am adding fullness to the lower skirt portion using the 'slash and spread' technique, which will be my next post.

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COSTUME CHANGES: "mr selfridge" (2014)

I just started watching the second series of "Mr Selfridge" on ITV, which starts in 1914 on the five year anniversary of the store Selfridges in London. The story centres on Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder, his family and the many staff employed at the store. I won't spoil the plot for any of you who haven't seen it yet, but here are some of the gorgeous costumes. So far I am loving the sumptuous detail in the embroidered blouses and skirts, and the interesting design lines on the dresses, I wish contemporary clothes were half as interesting, just look at those scalloped edges!

My fabric arrived from Abakhan for my Atonement dress! It is absolutely perfect for the project and I can't wait to sew it up. I am finishing up tracing the pattern, Vintage Vogue 2859, and will have a post on my progress soon.

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