Orange Checked Twist

Posted Saturday, 24 November, 2018

Hello sewists!

I hope that this post finds you well. I’ve been feeling a cold coming on and unfortunately, I got hit full force this morning. Thankfully I already had my dress finished, so please forgive me if these photos are a little dull. (I definitely think I appear paler than usual!)

So, what is the occasion? And why did I feel compelled to get frocked up? Because today is the final day for Stitched With A Twist submissions and I won’t let a cold get me down. (Although, technically, yes, the 5 minutes it took to take a few snaps did result in me needing to lie down. Let’s not get bogged down in boring details though.) 

Stitched With A Twist is a sewing challenge that encourages participants to take a pattern and hack, embellish and personalise it in some way. There really aren’t any limitations to what you could do. To be eligible to win a prize, all you have to do is share your make using the hashtag #stitchedwithatwist. This competition is the brainchild of Chantelle (@i_seam_so_happy) and Louise (@oh_liverpool_lou).

I was so flattered when I was approached and asked to be an ambassador for this challenge. I hope that some of you will have seen posts on Instagram and in my stories regarding my progress, or perhaps have been encouraged to take part?

There’s so much creative freedom that comes from being involved in something like this. I thought I’d start small, having limited sewing time. I ordered some cute iron-on patches and thought that would be that. At the back of my mind though, I knew I was lying to myself. I love details and can’t ever, ever leave well enough alone. Why should this be an exception? Of course, it wasn’t.

Somehow, I’ve made it in under deadline. No, I cannot make it to coffee with my uncle or to the optometrist on time, yet somehow, I can carve out time to redraft a dress pattern and sew said dress. I’m not too sure that I like what that says about me as a person, but there you have it.

Sewing Notes:

  • I took the basic bodice block from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book and redrafted the neckline, from a high, rounded neck to square. I’m not entirely happy with it, but it was a first attempt and is wearable.
  • I created a faux button placket and adorned it with lace and vintage milk-glass buttons.
  • The skirt is a self-drafted dirndl-style, with pockets. (So handy for storing hankies to wipe tiny faces with! I’m not usually on ‘team pocket’.)
  • The fabric is a lovely fine cotton from The Fabric Store (sadly, no longer available online). I’d like for the bodice to be more fitted, but also don’t want to run the risk of popping stitches or putting too much stress on this cotton. For less ease I recommend a heavier cotton or cotton sateen, but this is nice and casual. I tell myself it's similar to the day dresses from Call the Midwife....but I could be kidding myself.....

It’s at this point that I should mention that the inspiration for this dress came from a course that I took in Brisbane with Gretchen (aka Gertie) last year. Gretchen sewed a very similar dress, demonstrating how to redraft the neckline. I was so in love with the style that I wanted to try it. It reminded me of this vintage pattern from my stash: 

There is definitely something very transformative about a bright dress, so thank you Chantelle and Lou for providing the impetus for me to finally start a project that had been swirling around in my head for a while. 

Until next time,