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Monday, 28 March 2016

Inner Beauty - Lining a dress with sleeves

I love making a dress that's as pretty
 on the inside as it is on the outside!


Way back when I started this blog, one of my goals was to make the insides of my garments as pretty and finished as the outsides. I've definitely come a long way! Mostly because I'm getting a lot better at wrangling slippery lining fabrics and partly because I've gotten good at predicting and avoiding situations where a finished inside would be beyond my skills.

Trying to show off how nice the lining is but damn
it's hard to photograph something that's all white! 

I've also started using more tried and true patterns, which I've cut out of card stock. This lets me trace the pattern more easily for cutting out the pieces.I just trace around it! As opposed to putting the tracing paper over a paper pattern and tracing over the lines, you know? All this to say that tracing, cutting and assembling a lining used to seem like such a huge task that I always tried to avoid it. Now I've gotten quicker at sewing and found ways to make it less of a chore. Trying to work smarter not harder!

Using a pattern piece made of card
stock to trace the pattern in seconds!

Another trick that I love is to enclose the raw hem edge of the lining within the folded hem of the garment. It makes it so the lining doesn't hang free and ride up or get twisted when you wear it. Best of all, none of the dicking around required to hem the lining. I always found that to be the biggest pain in the ass and it never turned out as clean looking as I wanted to. Learned tthis from Cabrera and it was totally game-changing for me.

Here's the hem, with a Hong Kong finish on the raw edge of the fabric
and the lining edge enclosed in the hem. Gorgeous!


Anyway, I was thinking about all this stuff because the Iznik dress that I made was my first time lining a dress with sleeves. Crazy, right? I've been sewing for like 5 years. I still have no idea that the right way to do it is. I tried looking it up in my books and online and what I ended up doing was basically what I do for lining a jacket. I sewed the sleeve lining to the sleeve hem before attaching the sleeve to the rest of the dress, then I attached the sleeve, then I hand stitched the sleeve lining to the dress lining at the armscye. I even used the jacket lining instructions to cut the sleeve lining for the dress (basically adding a little extra fabric at the top of the sleeve, especially in the underarm area). Seems to have worked out fine so far! Is there a better way to do this?

Here's the sleeve seam, The sleeve really, really
didn't want to turn inside out to get photographed!



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Iznik Style

Hi friends! How has your winter been? 

I've been slow in both sewing and updating the ol' blog but I really wanted to do this dress justice with great photos! Getting professional photos is the best! I'm so lucky to have a friend who's so talented and is a great hang. Thanks Brian!


Last year I started going to the gym and did a "cut" to drop 15 pounds. I can't believe what a difference it has made to how I feel and how I feel about the way I look, if that makes sense. The one downside is that not only are my clothes too big, but my patterns are too! I'm still wearing much of my old wardrobe, because it's not such a big difference, but I know my old clothes don't fit the way I want them to.

With this dress I finally took the time to re-fit my pattern. It's still not 100% perfect but it's getting there!


I'd been planning this dress since last summer when I bought this fabric from emmaonesock.com. I'm pretty shy of pattern matching. This pattern has a waistline seam and a centre back seam and I was a little worried how the fabric would look. I had seen this version on Diary of a Sewing Fanatic but the pattern she used was more of a shift dress, without the waist seam. Luckily, the pattern is so busy and bold that you can hardly see the seams.