Zero degrees of separation and the WSBN

So three months ago, Leimomi from The Dreamstress came up with a challenge for the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network: as we all shop at the same fabric stores, and often have the same patterns, could we make a chain of fabric and pattern links that spanned those of us who wished to participate? The short answer is yes, but it took some serious organisational skills to get us there! The plan was that each of us would share a fabric with someone, and a pattern with someone else, who would share a fabric with another person, who would make the same pattern as the next person…Leimomi does a much better job of explaining this than I do! 


My link is my silk chiffon Alder dress. I jumped the gun  when I posted it two weeks early!  I share a fabric link with Sandra over at Sewist Stitch, who posted her gorgeous Sewaholic Granville shirt yesterday, and Zara will be blogging about her version of the Alder dress on Monday.

It was a really interesting exercise to be part of, I find it fascinating seeing all the different ways patterns can be interpreted, and how different they can look in different fabrics! Best of all, this challenge finally got me to a WSBN social function. We met for Yum Char then had photos at Te Papa (our national museum). It was lovely to finally meet some local bloggers in real life!

(Photo from The Dreamstress)

If you’re interested to see the rest of the chain, pop over to The Dreamstress, where Leimomi is linking to a different blog each weekday.

Adventures with Silk Chiffon

Hello! Its been a few weeks since we moved into our new house, and I’ve finally had some time to get sewing. I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about neglecting the blog, ridiculous as that sounds, but I think this is a good garment to get going again!  These photos are taken in my new sewing room (photos to come) against my lovely teal wall.


First things first, before I talk about the dress, check out my new hair cut! I’ve wanted an Emma Watson style pixie cut for years, and last week I finally did it. And I really like it, thankfully! 

So, to the dress. Its another Grainline Alder dress, this time view A (the one without the butt ruffle). Because I am a sucker for punishment, I made up in a gorgeous black and white silk chiffon from the Fabric Store. I’ve had it sitting in my stash for a while, but I’ve been a bit wary of using it. There are so many horror stories out there about silk chiffon! Every time I picked it up I was put off by just how shifty it is. Its not slippery, as such, just really mobile.

To tame the writhing, shifting mass of fabric, I starched the whole length of it before starting! It made the silk feel pretty gross, but that was a small price to pay for a nice crisp length of fabric which didn’t shift out from under my pattern pieces or twist and warp under my presser foot. And it washed out, so that was a relief! As I’ve made an Alder before I knew it would fit, so it was a fairly straightforward sew once I had the fabric sorted out (though the above photo makes me think I should have done a sway back adjustment. Must stop being so lazy)! I wanted a slightly dressier version, so I left off the collar, and didn’t topstitch the collar stand. I may have to go back and top stitch it down though, as the silk is a bit bubbly now that I’ve washed the starch out!

I think I should have used a slightly heavier interfacing, probably silk organza rather than the lightweight fusable I went with. Again, I was just being a bit lazy, but I regret it now! The button bands and the collar stand are a bit droopy. Lesson learned! The rest of the finishing on this dress is pretty good though, I slipstitched the collarstand facing and the armscye bindings down, the seams are all frenched and the hem is machine rolled. And I think I’m finally getting to grips with nice buttonholes, these ones are lovely and neat! I still need to get the manual out (thank you thank you Nana for keeping it!!) every time to remind me which order the levers get flipped, but thats ok.

I used smokey, sparkly buttons, just because. They’re incredibly hard to photograph! I like that they’re subtly blingy.

So thats my new dress! I can’t decide if I prefer it belted or unbelted. I might try it with a self fabric tie as well. I am going to need to try it with a different slip, as this one made everything super static-y and clingy! 

Finally, a huge, spectacular, massive thank you to everyone who voted for my jammies in the Carolyn Pajama Party, because I won! I’m so excited and grateful to get such an amazing prize, it was an excelent way to start my weekend. And to make it even better it was a Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network clean sweep, with Sophie-Lee taking second place with her awesome dog print pair. Thank you all so much 🙂