You guys have heard of 6 Degrees of Separation right?
New Zealand has a bit of an inside joke regarding that saying (we even have a mobile phone company named for it), but in Wellington it seems even less and we often joke that it’s actually 0 Degrees.We know this is technically not possible but live in Wellington for even a short period of time and you’ll quickly realise the exaggeration is no understatement. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve met someone new and we’ve discovered some way we are linked through circumstance or mutual friend/s.
So, moving on to the point of this post: The Wellington Sewing Bloggers now number more than 30 lovely ladies with a passion for sewing and blogging and Wellington. With a group this size you won’t be surprised to learn that several of us own the same patterns and we also often buy the same fabric.
Sometimes inadvertently, sometimes deliberately.
This is what spawned Leimomi’s idea for the 0 Degrees of Sewing Separation Challenge. We would all link up by pattern or fabric and create a branching chain of fabulous clothes that all link us together.
Excuse the wrinkles, I wore it all day at Fabric-a-brac :)
It links to Kat who has made the same dress in a cute mushroom fabric and Jenna who used the same mushroom fabric to make a Pauline Alice Alameda…and that’s how it goes. Check out all the links in the chain as they are published on Leimomi’s post.
The main fabric from Cotton and Steel and it is AMAZING (capital letters required). It was beautiful to sew and feels great even after a few washes. Japanese fabric is like that.
I had 2.5 yards but due to the narrow width I didn’t have enough to cut all the final small pieces. So I picked up some matching pink broadcloth of similar weight and weave from Spotlight.
Spot my new sewing toy – an ElnaPress – Squee! Perfect interfacing.
I initially thought I would cut the button band (which I cut off last time), collar, bow and sleeve bands from the pink but I was worried it would become too bitsy and the beautiful main fabric would be less special. In the end I squeezed the button band and upper collar (by piecing the under side) onto the Tangrams and only cut the collar upstand, bow and cuffs from the pink.
Kat helped me alter the sleeves because I didn’t want the gathers and puffiness and then I decided I wouldn’t use the chunky cuffs.
I stitched most of this on a Sunday and I had the dress about 80% finished (just needing collar, sleeves and hemming) when I put it on my dress form at the end of the day.
I felt so happy with my fabric choice and I decided that, although I normally prefer dresses with sleeves, I actually quite liked this one without. I consulted with members of the WSBN who mostly agreed with me but suggested I make up one sleeve and baste it on to check.
I tested the altered sleeve in calico first and it was pretty close. There was still a bit too much width so I folded that out and cut the first sleeve from the tangrams. I basted it in place and then I decided it needed more pink. I cut one of the cuffs down to bias width, folded it up and pinned it in place. It looked so good that I just went ahead and attached the second cuff and didn’t bother asking any more opinions ;)
I’m not very good at inserting sleeves. I usually catch each side three or fours times and have to do a lot of unpicking so this time I tried something new. I can’t remember where I first saw it or if it has a technical term other than Use All The Pins but it worked really well.
My only real hiccup with this make was running out of thread while sewing the hem the night before our meet. I had to steal some off the bobbin and even then I only just made it.
We celebrated our challenge with Yum Cha:
And then we wandered over to Te Papa for some fun group photos:
Pattern – Deer and Doe Bleuet Dress, straight size 42
Altered sleeves, removed self button placket and reattached.
Fabrics – Cotton and Steel Moonlit Tangrams Navy, pink broadcloth from Spotlight Kaiwharawhara.