Monday, 22 May 2017

How To Make a Reversible Dress

I have had lots of questions about the reversible dress I made for the #sewtallandcreative2017 challenge.

To make a dress reversible it needs to have no zippers or buttons.  For this dress I used the Sweet Summertime dress by Sew To Grow as it is a straight forward design with no closures.  I did make some modifications which you can read about here.

In fact, many of the Sew To Grow patterns would work as reversible garments as they are simple designs with no zippers or buttons etc.  I am now thinking that I need to make a Bondi Top or Noosa Shift Dress reversible!

Basically, to make a reversible dress (I'm using a dress as my example, but the same steps would apply to a top or skirt or loose pants)  you make 2 dresses in different fabrics. 

Here, you can see that I've got one dress made in a sheer silk, the other in a satin.  Using a sheer fabric is more challenging, particularly because you need to have really neat seam finishes.  In this dress I used French Seams so everything would be tidy.

To show off the underneath layer I put a split in the front of the silk layer.

Place the 2 dresses with wrong sides together. 

Finish the neckline and sleeves with bias.  If making a skirt or pants, you would use the waistband to sandwich the 2 layers together.
As you can see here, I made bias binding out the same fabric as the satin side of my dress.  Use the bias to sandwich the 2 pieces together. 

In this dress the 2 sides are only attached at the sleeves and neckline. 

When hemming the dress, make sure the hems are the same length for a tidy finish. 

It's just that simple to make a reversible dress (or any other garment!).  If you make yourself a reversible piece please send me a pic or tag me on Instagram (@the_tall_mama) because I'd love to see it!

Happy Sewing! xox

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Big Reveal! #SewTallandCreative2017

Here it is!  My dress entry for the #SewTallandCreative2017 competition hosted by MARGE Clothing and Tall Guides.

Before we talk about the dress, I'd just like to say that I truly feel honoured to be selected to take part.  Yes, that sounds a bit like an Academy Awards speech, except that I really mean it.  Being part of this challenge tested my design and sewing skills.  It encouraged me to work with fabrics I wasn't as comfortable sewing and to make and design a dress which made the most of the quantity of fabric provided.  Although I had periods of indecision, worry and second guessing myself on the whole I loved the entire experience.  More importantly I LOVE my dress!  I love the weight of the fabrics, I love the way it swishes when I walk (you can't help but add a little swagger!!) and I love how I feel wearing it.  And isn't that what Tall Guides and MARGE is all about?  Feeling confident and beautiful in our tall bodies?!

So without further ado, here is my dress!  The challenge required we use 2 fabrics generously gifted by MARGE.  All MARGE fabrics are ethically made in Europe & USA.  To make the most of the divine fabrics I made my dress reversible.  Two dresses in one!  The dress pulls on over my head and doesn't have a zip or buttons.  I based my design on the Sweet Summertime Dress by Sew To Grow.  I've made this dress before, so knew the bodice fit.  I did modify the skirt of the dress by making it fuller and longer and making the front pleats bigger.  I added pleats to the back of the skirt for extra fullness & swish.  I made the hem of the skirt longer in the back so you could see the underneath fabric better, this also gives more swish when you walk.  With the gorgeous drape of these fabrics, I was all about the swish factor!   

I love the how you can see the silk layer underneath as the dress moves!
Please ignore the patch on my arm; it's for pain medication.

As I move the silk shows at the hem which adds such a pretty detail.

The weight of these fabrics make the dress SO swishy!
Just look at the movement in that skirt & the way the satin shines!


Due to fabric restrictions I had to put a seam in the back of the silk layer,
but the movement wasn't effected.

Just look at that movement!
I'm so pleased I opened the front of the silk layer to show the gorgeous satin underneath.

I added a little tie belt to tie in (pun only a little bit intended)
the satin trim around the neck & sleeves.

I love the way this dress hangs and feels!


So there it is!  My entry for #SewTallandCreative2017 
I'm very proud of it!

Please check out the other fabulous ladies: 
Beth at www.sewdiy.com
Janet at www.diywardrobe.co.uk
Tiffany at www.prettytallsewnsew.com

Thank you for following my progress in this challenge!  xox Allison

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

#SewTallAndCreative2017 Sewing Process

This challenge is really speeding along!

I am about half way into making my dress for #SewTallAndCreative2017 hosted by MARGE and Tall Guides. 

I am making my dress out of the gorgeous dotty silk over the peach satin.  In my last post I was still tossing around design ideas but I really love the 2 fabrics together.  My design is still changing and evolving as I sew, which is such a fun part of the creative process. 

Typically I would advise someone to make a muslin of their design (a mock up in cheap fabric), which I haven't done in this case.  We don't always follow our own good advice, do we?!  However, by working with the fabrics as I go I feel a little more free to make changes based on how they hang on my body.

Thus far, I have used French Seams in the satin to give a beautiful finish.  For those who don't sew (yet!) they are essentially seams which double over on themselves. They're twice as much work but well worth it! I am finding sewing the silk (dotty fabric) a massive challenge. Working with this fabric is far out of my comfort zone and really testing my sewing skills. It's great that this competition is really stretching both my creativity and skill, I just hope it doesn't turn out to be a hot mess!

The bodice of my dress is very simple.  It's based on a pattern I've used a couple of times before (see here) so I know I don't need to make major changes as I don't have a large bust or very long torso...all my extra length is from the waist down!

For the skirt of my dress I've gone with as much fullness as the fabric I had on hand would allow.  I'm still tossing around ideas of how I'll really show off the beautiful satin underneath the silk layer.  I am not usually an indecisive person AT ALL but there are just so many options I'm not sure which is the best to go with!

The final reveal of my dress will be 20th May, so stay tuned!

Check out the progress of the other fabulous ladies who are participating:

Beth at www.sewdiy.com
Janet at www.diywardrobe.co.uk
Tiffany at www.prettytallsewnsew.com

Happy sewing & wish me luck!
The silk is just gorgeous over the peach satin. 
I'm being careful & using lots of pins, something I rarely do!
These strips will be ironed into bias binding, which may be used around the neckline.
Talk about cutting it close!!  I had only a tiny handful of scraps left after cutting the silk. 
There is NO room for error here people!!