Thursday, 3 January 2013

Faux leather yoke dress with vintage print

I have inherited lots and lots of wonderful fabric from my husband's Mom and Grandmother and now that the wedding dress is out of the way, I can have a good sort through and see what I can do with it all.

Instantly, I loved this funky print. It reminds me of a crazy paisley print in peacock colours.


I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it to make the most of the print. I was inspired by a dress from Whistles which incorporated a really cool leather yoke. As a vegetarian I don't buy or wear leather, so I had a hunt around and found a really good soft faux leather at Dalston Mill Fabrics. It was 9.99 pounds per metre - and I only needed a short amount. I can use any leftovers for maybe making some cool detachable collars or cuffs in the future.

The dress had princess seams running up to the start of the yoke. I drafted the pattern and then made it in some cheap cotton I had left over from making my wedding dress toile. I was happy with the fit, which surprised me as sometimes princess seams can be my achilles heel. I think at some point I do want to reassess my pattern blocks as I am thinking my bust shape has changed somehow (possibly smaller...great, need all the bust I can get!) as I think the dart needs to be pinched in a bit more as I finding a little bit of gaping. Nothing drastic but I would like to refine this when I get time - I just didn't feel like messing around with the princess seam dart - not after the wedding dress. I still have emotional scars from that :)

So far I have cut my fabric and sewn together all the dress pieces. I then cut the faux leather and assembled that. This caused some difficulty - sewing machine setting, tension etc, which I messed around with for a while. The stitching was skipping leaving some, about 1/8 inch, length stitches. I tried everything then googled that it was worth trying the blue tip stretch needle. Hey presto! Worked like a dream - so that is something useful to remember in future.

My new machine that my husband bought me for my birthday is really wonderful though. I have the Janome 5124 and it's handled some really great projects - including my wedding dress with all those layers and lace! What machines do you all have?

Here is most of the dress put together.


It's been folded up over Christmas so excuse the ugly creases - I haven't done a recent pressing - oops!

I drafted and cut the sleeves last night (in the print) so I need to sew and serge those and then attach to the sleeve. I am not looking forward to easing the sleeve on to the faux leather armhole but maybe it won't be so bad. It's just the pinning which is difficult.

Then I'll need to insert the zip - am using a brass trouser zip which I want to leave exposed at the back. I am toying with whether I am going to line this or not...I am thinking I should as I know this type of fabric catches on tights - you know when the dress sort of rides up and sits crappily on your butt? I think some lining would no doubt prevent this and also would make life easier finishing the neck line.

Darn it - now that I have decided on lining, I could have bought some at lunch when I was in a fabric store :) Who always lines? Who doesn't?


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