This year is just zooming by and a few weeks ago I realised my Fashionable Younger Sister’s wedding was fast approaching and I would need a new dress!
Not being part of the official wedding party meant I could wear whatever I wanted. So I stash dived and floundered around with way too many ideas until Hawes & Freer contacted me about sewing something with their fabric to celebrate the launch of their new website.
I said yes because I buy from Hawes and Freer already and I love supporting Kiwi businesses, especially the sewing kind!
Instantly I was envisioning a gorgeous floaty Papercut La Sylphide (because what I really need in my life is more La Sylphide dresses…) in a silk georgette or chiffon…and guess what fabric Hawes and Freer sell?
Oh yes! Along with amazing wool coating, cottons, linings and more.
So I picked a yummy red chiffon and when it arrived I got cutting. Unfortunately I was a bit unlucky and received a batch of fabric with some weird black dots through it. When I checked with H&F the whole bolt had the same flaw so I picked out a raspberry silk chiffon as a replacement. Way to take it up a notch! Yeah! 😀
In the end I decided that since I had already cut out the chiffon I could use it as lining/underlining which had the extra bonus of really bringing out the raspberry red of the georgette.
French seams require much thread!
All my seams are French seamed and I used my amazing Merchant & Mills Entomology pins for the first time. I won these pins from H&F in a little competition they ran last year. They are perfect for silk and fine fabrics. I didn’t have any snags or runs at all plus black just looks so much more professional (and photographic!)
You can read more about the actual sewing of the French seams on the Singer Simple 3223 in my Singer blog post.
I sewed this (my 5th) version of the La Sylphide pattern the same as my zebra version.
The bodice is underlined with the chiffon but the skirt is lined, both fabrics are only caught at the waist seam and button placket so the side seams are free from each other.
I buy all my interlining from Hawes and Freer – like 10 meters at a time. I have a few different weights and colours so I always have something on hand. I bought their Guide to Interlining in…2013 apparently 😉 I’ve collected a few other samples H&F have sent me when I was looking for a particular product and I just staple them in for future reference.Along with some great tips (types of fusing, how and where to fuse, etc) it also contains samples of all the different interlining options both raw and fused to an example piece of fabric. It’s absolutely worth it.
I used FF Shirt (M902) to stabilise my button placket. I needed enough stiffness to support the weight of the buttons but still keep the placket looking soft.
For the first time I made this dress sleeveless (I was channeling Kate’s amazing Viscose version) so I had to finish the armholes with bias binding. I had the perfect red cotton in my stash. I have no idea where it came from!
I’ve never actually bought pre-made bias, not even a pretty vintage packet from a thrift shop. Mostly because I’ve never seen pristine vintage bias at a thrift shop…I’m usually looking for machines 😉 So I always make my own.
I have a set of Clover bias tape makers and cut my own strips of fabric. It’s really easy and you can have pretty bias tape in whatever colour (or pattern) you want.
My buttons are wooden with printed flowers. I’m not entirely sure where I got them but they were soft! I sew all my buttons on by machine and I may have accidentally stitched through one of them…oops.
I hung this dress for three days before leveling the hem. The fabric is light but it dropped a lot.
And that’s it. Nikki and I caught up for photos on a very cold winter day but we found some awesome graffiti for ourbackdrop. Check out how great Nikki’s Linen Quart Coat turned out!
As the post title suggests in the end I made two dresses to wear to the wedding but you’ll have to wait for the next post to see the other option and which one I finally wore 🙂
Pattern – Papercut La Sylphide, size M
- Silk georgette
- Chiffon (as under lining/lining) from Hawes & Freer
Other notions – FF Shirt (M902) from Hawes and Freer, buttons
I was given the fabric in this post by Hawes & Freer for free to help promote their new website. I freely chose to use and review the fabric, talk about H&F and mention other quality products I have purchased myself because I genuinely support Hawes & Freer as a Kiwi owned, sewing focused company. My views are my own but they’ve been around almost 100 years so they know what they’re doing. I’d love you to join me in supporting H&F so that we can continue to buy quality sewing products right here in NZ.
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Wow! What a dress! The color really pops.
What a gorgeous dress! Your skill really shows through and that color looks great on you. Have fun at the wedding!