Tiny Dancer Bellasigma

Are you getting tired of my Bellasigmas yet? Because I’m not! As much as I love the Belladone bodice, I guess I’m a sucker for the simplicity of a darted bodice. You can find my previous iterations here and here.

This is my favourite one so far because of the fabric. I’m pretty sure I can’t go back to cheap cotton now. The crispness of this fabric made it both a joy to sew and to look at. It just holds the pleats of the skirt so nicely! For once, I’ve sewn from my stash that’s >1 year old, so this fabric is actually still available if you like it and want some of your own. It’s called “Tiny Dancer” from Art Gallery Fabrics. I got mine from Fabric.com. It’s also available in a dark brown colour way.

The only thing I did differently with this one is I hemmed the skirt with satin bias tape. Inge from ingemaakt.com mentioned at some point that hemming with satin bias tape can help the skirt from getting all bunched up when you wear leggings. When I finished making the dress it was still rather chilly outside, so I had  the opportunity to test it out. While it’s not as good a fix as wearing a slip or attaching a slippery lining, it helps quite a bit! So I will be using this trick from now on on dresses I plan on wearing all year round.

What I’m pretty proud of is how I pattern-matched the pockets, which was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be because although it looks like the pattern repeats pretty often, it’s pretty large! There are slight variations between the bunches of dandelions. So I just did my best with what little fabric I had left over to cut out the pockets. It’s matched well enough that you can barely see them unless you look really closely. 🙂

Sophia Brown

So, I went a little bit overboard with the photos. What can I say? This dress makes me feel like a sassy movie star! Especially when I throw on a pair of sunglasses. It fits like a glove without being overly tight. It’s sexy without being overly revealing. It hugs my curves in all the right places. I don’t think I have a bad thing to say about this pattern, which is the Sophia dress from By Hand London, if you were wondering.

This isn’t a dress you throw on for any occasion. It’s not really office wear (at least, not my office), so even though I finished this dress about a year ago (maybe more…) I have only worn it twice. Once out to a fancy dinner in Washington, DC, and once for a funeral. It’s definitely a special occasion dress, or fancy date night dress. I think if you made it out of a more casual fabric, it would be a more flexible wardrobe piece.

I have no clue what this fabric is. It’s some kind of synthetic (probably polyester) non-woven stretch fabric that I purchased at the Stoffenspektakel (seasonal fabric market) in 2015. It’s kind of spongy, but not as spongy as scuba. It doesn’t press very well, so it was a little bit difficult to work with. It also means the darts aren’t as crisp as I would have liked, but I’m okay with it. I lined it with a leopard print satin to add to the sexiness factor.

I love the interesting Y-shaped darts on the bodice and skirt. It is such a unique and flattering detail. Just make sure to match your seams really well! I was so nervous about putting in the invisible zipper that I took about half a year to finally put it in. I did it before I left for Washington DC last year around this time so I’d have something fancy to wear if we went out. And I’m so glad I did and got a chance to wear it out on Halloween. I met up with Mr. Livana there (he was there for work) and then we met up with a couple of friends from Canada for a great holiday. On Halloween (which is also their wedding anniversary), we went out for an amazing tapas-style dinner, then out to a haunted house, and finished the night with at a whisky bar where they had thousands of different whiskeys.  It was quite an evening!

Bellasigma wax print

I love this dress so much I don’t want to wear it. Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s so pretty you don’t want to wear it out. I made this dress last year but it still looks like new, no? I hoarded the fabric for a couple of years deciding what to make with this beautiful African wax print I picked up at the stoffenspektakel the year before. I got it as a 4m piece, so I’m able to make another garment (or two) from it as well.

This is an indie mashup of the Sigma bodice from Papercut patterns and the Belladone skirt from Deer and Doe patterns. I made this dress out of linen as well and loved it so much I had to make another. This time, I did not make inverted pleats, but the knife pleats that originally come with the Belladone pattern. I might try gathering the pleat section on my next version, so it’s kind of like the Sigma skirt. I’d also like to make the pockets a bit deeper in my subsequent versions because I’m always afraid my phone will fall out.

As I mentioned in my other Bellasigma post, the back darts match up perfectly, but the front pleats need to be moved a little to match the bodice darts. I also overlocked the seams on the inside with bright green thread, which looks fabulous.

I also cut out another dress from it, I just haven’t sewn it yet. It is also a mashup of patterns. BHL’s Kim bodice, Papercut’s Sigma skirt, and Deer & Doe’s Belladone waistband (the waistband is not yet cut). I’m kind of intimidated by my idea. It might not work and then I will be so sad 🙁 Maybe if there’s a hack challenge during Indie Pattern Month, I’ll have to finally sew it up.

Jumping on the Anna Bandwagon

I’ve had the Anna dress pattern from By Hand London for quite some time now. Ever since their kickstarter campaign, actually. This is not unusual for me. I very often get patterns when they’re on sale and then forget about them until I get a wave on inspiration. I don’t know how I managed to miss the International Anna Party. And let Anna swish by in my instagram feed for years. But seeing the March challenge at The Monthly Stitch was just enough motivation to get my butt in gear.

First of all, I can’t believe it took me this long! This dress is UBER easy to make. Fitting is a breeze if your boobs are average sized. But with their adjustment tutorials it would also make it very easy. I knew I would have to do a low bust adjustment, which is normal for me. I first did a quick tissue fit and added 1.5 centimetres above the bust pleats and lengthened the back as well by the same amount in the same place. I did a quick toile of the top after that and found that they had to be lowered a bit more, I think by 2 cm. I didn’t fit it again after the second adjustment, I just cut right into my fabric.

I followed all of the instructions in the booklet, as it was my first time making the dress. I referred to the sew along post about finishing the dress because the instructions and illustrations didn’t look very clear about what should be done with the facing when you insert the zipper, as the instructions have you attach the facing before you add the zip. The sew along instructions clear that right up.

After inserting the zip and finishing the back seam, I tried it on and saw that the back fit terribly! It wasn’t very flattering from the side at all! And thankfully I referred to the sew along because it showed how to easily fix a gaping neckline. I just took it further by pinching out the whole back seam. I put it on and pinned it and marked where the pins were with chalk. Luckily this worked because I did it by myself. So I unpicked the zip and positioned the teeth on the chalk marks. It fit a lot better after that, but still not  ‘like a glove,’ as there is a bit of scrunching at the back. Someone on Instagram told me that the bodice looks a tad long, so maybe I just need to shorten it a little bit.

Other than that, the construction went along quite well. I serged all the seams with green thread which looks fabulous. Oh, I almost forgot, I accidentally cut off part of the underarm while serging, so I had to restitch it, but you can’t tell. Next time I think I’ll use a french seam instead. Yes, there will definitely be a next time!

The details:

Pattern: By Hand London Anna dress, Variation 3

Fabric: 100% cotton

Notions: 55cm invisible zipper, thread

Adjustments: lengthened the bodice, took 2cm out of the centre back

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Red Floralex

I wanted to recreate this gorgeous red dress I found on Pinterest. It’s being marketed as a bridesmaids dress, but it’s of course a lovely cocktail dress as well. From the way the skirt holds it shape, I think the original dress is made from a scuba-like fabric.

This is a hacked version of the Elisalex bodice paired with the Flora skirt, both patterns from By Hand London.  Originally, I was going to use the Kim dress bodice with the sweetheart neckline, but I noticed that the bodice on this dress looks more like the Elizalex bodice and I decided to challenge myself to recreate the neckline.

For the fabric, I chose a medium-weight solid red cotton. I ordered it online from herberttextil.de, so I wan’t entirely sure of what I’d get. It’s a little bit heavier than I thought it would be, but it makes the skirt drape beautifully.  The bodice is lined with black broadcloth.

How I did it:

I’d never made the Elizalex dress before, so I just traced out the size I’d used for the Kim dress and made a toile. It fit very tightly across the bust, so I did a 1cm FBA. I muslined it again and it seemed to fit much better.

To alter the neckline, I put on a bra that looked like it had the same curvature as the neckline in the picture. I put on the toile, stood in front of the mirror and traced a line that was about 1 cm away from the top of my bra line on one side of the bodice. Then I took off the bodice, folded it in half along the center and redrew the line so it went down to the center line and 1.5cm (5/8″) from the edge of the front bodice. I cut it out and tried it on again and was pleased with how it looked. I took the piece I’d cut away and laid it on the center front pattern piece and traced it onto the pattern. I then marked the seam allowance and cut out the modified pattern.

When I cut out the center front lining piece, I made sure to mark the seam line on the wrong side with some tracing paper because sometimes it’s tricky to know when to pivot on a sweetheart neckline.

I cut out the Flora skirt in the same size as the bodice. I also cut out two pairs of Chardon skirt pockets, because, well, dresses are just 100% better when they have pockets.

I followed the instructions on how to attach the bodice pieces together. I only had a quick glance at the instructions, to be honest, because the technique is almost exactly the same for the Kim dress, of which I’d made two versions and two toiles. I did clip the curve of the bust and basted the bodice front pieces together because when you do a FBA, the seam becomes curvier, and I didn’t want to have to unpick it on account of puckering (which I ended up doing on one side anyway, so I’m kind of wondering if I should’ve added another millimetre to the side front bodice length).

Next, I attached the pockets to the skirt using the method in the Chardon skirt pattern, with the exception that I sewed them to the skirt at 4/8″ instead of 5/8″, which hides the pockets a little bit better, in my opinion. Then I sewed the skirt side seams.

For the pleats, I wanted them to match up with the bodice seams, so I measured each side of the princess seam, front and back, and transferred the measurements to the skirt, because the pleats marked on the pattern weren’t quite right. One measurement going from the side seam and the other from the center front/back. I then brought those ticks together and basted a vertical line about 2cm down, pressed them all into box pleats, and basted along the top to keep them in place. I prefer this method to the method used in the Flora instructions, which doesn’t have you do a vertical basting stitch. I then attached the skirt to the bodice.

I followed the rest of the instructions regarding inserting the invisible zip and hand-sewing the lining. The skirt is hemmed with self-made polkadot bias binding.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bellasigma in linen

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new and improved weblog! I’ve been working on it for quite a while and I’m so excited to finally be launching, even though I still have a few kinks to work out like the featured images.

I’ve added a few new features, like “My Closet,” where I’ll be keeping a portfolio of my makes with a short summary of the project details. You’ll also be able to filter by type of garment. And I’ve added a de-stash shop where I’m selling stash items that are just collecting dust and I’d like to find a new home for. Let me know what you think of the new website in the comments, or try using my new contact form.

I sacrificed my ill-fitting Dahlia to make this dress, and it was totally worth it. After I made my Sigma dress, I was so pleased with how I got the bodice to fit, I immediately had to make another one and this time I decided to mix it up and attach a different skirt. One of my favourites: the Belladone skirt. (And I actually did make it immediately, it’s just taken me a year to blog about it)

I am so behind on blogging that I don’t actually remember exactly how I did it. I do remember that I had a bit of trouble getting the darts on the bodice front to match up with the pleats. I know this because I serged the bodice to the skirt and then had to unpick it near the darts. I am too inexperienced with the serger to just redo small areas, so I just zig-zagged the areas I unpicked. Which is a shame, because I’m really proud of how I finished all of my seams on this dress. I don’t know how I did without a serger before. Wait, yes I do. I just left all of my seams unfinished before. haha. I think I remember the back darts on the bodice and skirt just magically matched-up, which is awesome!

The other modification I made was a box pleat instead of a knife pleat, a decision I kind of regret. I think it’s due to my fabric choice; linen is just not stiff enough to hold its shape. But I’m ok with it, because other than that this dress fits really well. I get compliments every time I wear it. Sometimes even from the same people over and over. That’s definitely a win for me.

Two Summery Kim Dresses

Hello everybody! If you’re following the Monthly Stitch, this is a repeat for you. This was my entry for week 2 of Indie Pattern Month: one pattern, two ways.

I had a bunch of other ideas for this contest. I was thinking of something easy to whip up like Megan Nielsen’s Brumby skirt, or Deer and Doe’s Ondee sweater. But once I made the first one, I realised that the Kim dress is super easy too (especially if you have a one-piece skirt)! So I made up the second one in no time flat. I never time my sewing, but I was able to knock one out in a couple of afternoons. The instructions are very clear and if you’ve ever worked with a BHL pattern before, you’ll know the instructions are super cute. It’s not overly technical. It kind of sounds like a girlfriend just trying to explain in plain English how you’re supposed to put it together.

Version 1: Variation 1 of the Kim dress bodice (scoop neckline) + circle skirt

BHL Kim dress version 1

I made a quick toile of the bodice to start out with, because my sister got me this beautiful quilting cotton as a gift and I didn’t want to cut right into it. It seemed to fit me right out of the pattern envelope. My sister got me enough to make variation 1, but for some reason I was  a little weary about making the tulip skirt. I didn’t toile it and I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted something more ‘fit and flare’ without having to make a gathered skirt (which I didn’t have enough fabric for anyway).

BHL Kim dress version 1

To make the circle skirt pattern, I measured the bottom of my toile and put that measurement in the circle skirt calculator as my waist measurement. I chose the half circle and went for the mini length (because that’s all I would have enough fabric for). The calculator said I would need 75cm of fabric, and that it would only work on 150cm wide. But I am a rebel and took my 115 wide fabric and folded it on the crossgrain, and it fit perfectly! I was able to get all the pieces out of 2m of fabric.

BHL Kim dress version 1

The quilting cotton version with turquoise flowers uses variation one of the bodice. To hem the skirt, I used narrow bias binding so I wouldn’t lose much length.

Version 2: Variation 2 of the Kim dress bodice (sweetheart neckline) + circle skirt

Kim dress version 2

Then it was directly on to version 2, which uses variation two of the bodice.  I originally thought this variation would be too ‘cutesy’ on me, but I got so many compliments on it! My partner even said, “Wow, you look beautiful,” when I came out wearing it, and he has never said something so ‘extreme’ about any of my makes. Usually he just says it looks cool or nice. So that is most definitely a win, in my opinion.

Kim dress version 2

I used a dark blue cotton poplin with red roses on it. I would describe the print as kitschy, and originally bought a bunch of it on sale for €3/m to make muslins with, but I’ve seen so many dresses on the inter webs using crazy looking fabric, so I thought I’d give it a go. And I like I said, the compliments spoke for themselves. Besides the bodice being different, I hemmed this version by just overlocking the hemline and turning it up once. I also attached the zipper lower than the first version. The first version, I lined up the top of the zipper with the top of the bodice, whereas the second one I lined up the zipper tape with the top of the bodice and added a hook and eye, because I thought the first version was a little bit bulky at the top.

Kim dress version 2

I was so enthusiastic about the toile ‘fitting’ as soon as I put it on, that I just jumped into it with both feet. After finishing the second version and wearing it for a whole day, I found out that I really needed to make a few changes. I noticed for example that there was a little bit of puckering at the top of the bodice and I have to hike up my boobs to get them into a good position so they’re not being squished in a weird way. I always think  I can get away with not doing a FBA, but I’m starting to realise that that’s probably not the case. I spent an afternoon toiling the bodice again. I did a FBA and a lower bust point adjustment, and now I’m fairly confident that the next version will fit well and that I’ll be able to breathe normally. (True story: at the end of the day after wearing V2, I unzipped my dress in the car on the way home and literally got dizzy from all the oxygen I got in one breath)

I already have a third and fourth version cut out. I’d also like to make a version 5, and probably 6. I might even try out the tulip skirt on one of them.


PatternBy Hand London’s Kim Dress

Fabric: V1 – Quilting cotton, V2 – Cotton poplin, cotton batiste for lining

Notions: matching thread, invisible zip, bias binding

Pattern alterations: switched out the skirt pattern with a half circle skirt, drafted using the BHL circle skirt app

Zig Swag Sigma

I couldn’t help myself but give this post a ridiculous title. This is the Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns. I got this pattern a little while back when they were having a sale. It’s a semi-close-fitting dress with some lovely little details like pockets and gathered skirt.


Last month I quickly made a muslin of this dress. I cut out my size according to the size chart. I lengthened the bodice above the dart using my shoulder to bust point measurement because that’s a standard adjustment for me. Once I’d sewn it up, I realised that I forgot to add seam allowance to the shoulder to bust point measurement, so I moved down the bust darts by 1.5cm using this tutorial, but left the bodice length as-is because the waistline hit where it was supposed to. The other thing I decided to change was the length of the skirt. Not that I didn’t think the short skirt looked cute, but mainly because I couldn’t sit down in it. I have fairly large hips and thighs, so the hem was digging into my legs and riding up in an almost ‘basic instinct’ kind of way.


I kind of thought that this dress would be a super quick project, because I cut out and sewed the muslin in a matter of hours. But muslins are not an indication of how long a project will take by any means! I sewed this dress in short bursts and took about 2 weeks in total sewing an hour at a time here and there. The insides look pretty pristine if I do say so myself. I used a combination of different seam finishes. The side seams are finished with an overlocker, the waist and hems are finished with bias binding, and the back seam is pinked. That being said, I think someone who sews more often would probably have a quicker time with this dress.


I haven’t sewn sleeves in a dress for quite a long time. I figured it was about time I had a dress with sleeves. Looking through my closet, I saw that about 90% of my dresses are sleeveless. The other 10% are long-sleeved winter dresses. I think I only have 2 dresses with short sleeves. So setting in the sleeves were a little bit of a challenge for me. One of them is perfectly smooth, but the other has little puckers at the top. It doesn’t bother me enough to unpick it though.


The other thing I changed was I decided to put in an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper. I’m not a big fan of installing invisible zippers. I think mostly because I don’t have a real invisible zipper foot. I have a cheap plastic universal one that sometimes does a good job and sometimes doesn’t. I used this youtube tutorial, which explains it very well, but I kind of messed it up by the zipper stop anyway. It looks ok right now, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to withstand being washed… Stephanie from Love Teach Sew also suggested the tutorial on Megan Nielsen’s blog, so if I do it again I will try this tutorial as well.


The fabric I used is a cotton poplin with navy blue and white zig zags.  It looks kind of like a solid from far away. Up close, you can see that I didn’t take the time to match the zig zags, but I’m not torn up about it at all. I guess in that way, it helps that I chose to do an exposed zipper to break up the pattern a bit.

sigma-fr5 sigma-bk2

While I’m very happy with how this project turned out, there are a few changes I’d make on the next one. For one, I think I’d use a shorter zipper. I tried to get a 55cm zip, but it was either 50 or 60. I think that might be why it looks a bit funky on the back (but if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments). Two, I would make the pockets deeper. They aren’t really useful for, say, an iphone. And three, I’ll have to lengthen the skirt by another 1.5cm if I want to hem it normally, not with bias binding.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂


A light pink linen Dahlia


I didn’t mean to be gone so long! I think I lost a bit of momentum after making my maid of honour dress because it was such an intense project and it wasn’t something I chose to make myself. I made a few things here and there for other people, but in general I think I was battling the winter blues and loss of my sew-jo.

But Me-Made-May and the Indie pattern challenges going on over at the Monthly Stitch have inspired me again. That, and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having. It’s been rather mild and not too much rain here in Holland.

Today I’m sharing the Dahlia dress from Colette patterns with you today. It’s described as being a perfect wardrobe staple that will transition through the seasons. I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it in my inbox. I bought it right then and there! It just looked easy to make and has so many special gathered details that really seem to be flattering. I printed it out and traced it quite soon after I bought it, but I wasn’t sure what fabric to use at first.


Then I had this trip coming up to visit my family in Canada (back in April) and I thought it was a perfect time to dive back into sewing. Yay! New dress! But when you’ve been out of it for a while, it can take a little bit to get back into it. I found that I was slow and clumsy and I wasn’t able to finish before I left. Mind you, I always seem to take on large projects when I want something new last-minute. Not that this dress is super-complicated to make, but it has quite a few pieces (11 in total) and a lot of little bits of gathering, so it just takes time.


I love so many things about this dress, but I don’t think this is a great first try. When I traced the pattern, I traced the size I usually do with this brand. I also pre-emptively lengthened the bodice (by 2.5cm I think) so that the bottom of the waistband falls on my waist. These were two big mistakes on my part. First, because I didn’t really realise I had lost quite a bit of weight since I last measured myself. And second, I think that I shouldn’t have lengthened the bodice. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. What do you think? I hope to make it again, and I plan on cutting out a smaller size and leaving the bodice as-is. Oh, and I had to change one more thing, which was adding pleats to the shoulders. Otherwise, it would have been completely unwearable.


Oh man was it ever hot today! It was 34 degrees in the shade in our yard. I have been drinking a LOT of iced tea. This dress is actually great for this weather. The fabric I chose was a dusty rose linen. The thing I love about linen is it’s a perfect summer fabric. It is so incredibly breathable. This is from my 10 year old stash (from when I was working at a fabric store). I originally earmarked it for a suit, but yeah, that was a long time ago.  Those who sew and wear linen know that it does have a downside – it wrinkles like crazy! I just chalk it up to the charm of the fabric.


What I am most proud of is the invisible zipper I inserted. Can you see it? because I can’t! I also loved using my new bias tape maker, although linen is a little bit thick for making the small bias tape. The other thing I love about this dress is the sleeves! I didn’t really participate in me-made-may mainly for this reason. My closet is full of sleeveless summery dresses, but no dresses with sleeves. The weather wasn’t really warm enough to wear dresses like that. So I definitely have to add dresses with short sleeves to my list of things to sew. I’m thinking maybe a Sigma dress by Papercut patterns.

What is your next sewing project? Have you found a gap in your me-made wardrobe?

Thanks for stopping by!


Reveal: A Maid of Honour Dress in Pink


Yes, I know. I’ve been a bad blogger. I have many excuses, but instead of boring you all with them, I’ll just get right into the juicy stuff: my maid of honour dress reveal. It’s been more than 2 months since my sister got married, but whatever. Better late than never, amiright?

My sister and I had discussions about the bridesmaids dresses, and I have to admit I was being a spoiled brat in telling her that I did not want my dress to be orange, which is the colour she wanted for the dresses. Why was I adamant about this? 1) I don’t really like orange as a clothing colour in general, and especially for myself, 2) after researching skin tones and colours that compliment them, I discovered that it wasn’t in my head that orange doesn’t look good on me, it’s ‘scientifically’ proven!  Anyway, her colour choice started to mingle closer toward a pinky coral rather than a tangerine orange, which I was perfectly happy with! She went shopping with her other bridesmaids and found these amazingly cute dresses in the colour she wanted, so they scooped them up! We had agreed that I sew my dress, so we were messaging back and forth about colours and sewing patterns. In the end, she chose Vogue 1289, a Pamela Roland design that had the same kind of feel as the other bridesmaid dresses with draping in the front.

Then, when she was shopping at Fabricland for said pattern, she had a look at some fabric, and snatched up a pretty pink bridal satin so I could sew it up. It was lighter than the bridesmaid dresses, but she liked the idea of having a different colour and dress for me. Isn’t she the sweetest?! Giving in to my demands…

So she sent me the pattern in the mail, and the fabric came  a little bit later, when my parents came to visit at the end of april. And, as a bonus, my sister also sent some hot pink lace for me to play with (: I took one look at that satin and I was like, ooooh noooo. This is going to turn into a hot mess. I’d done enough wedding pinning to know that shiny polyester satin photographs terribly. I was only frightened for a few moments though, as I quickly decided that I would use the wrong side of the fabric.

In the meantime, I had made a muslin, because, well, fancy dresses require a muslin! If you follow my instagram, you would have seen that this dress has been in the works since the beginning of May. I made the muslin out of an old bedsheet. It was a monster as it was to cut out, but when I got to the pleats, I was swearing a storm. It took me soooo long to pin those pleats, then baste them individually. I just kept telling myself that it was for a good cause.

the pleating of my nightmares


When I tried the muslin on, I breathed a sigh of relief that I had cut out the right size, because, well, we all know how it is when it comes to the big 4 pattern companies. I pretty much never go by the measurement chart. Vogue is at least pretty consistent with their sizing, so I always cut the same size. However, there was no way I could lengthen the bodice on this baby, so I opted for lengthening the straps, which actually wasn’t necessary. I sent some pictures to my sister, because I had to show my sis how things were going of course….


I got my mother in law to pin the changes that needed to be made. I was a little bit nervous about this because the muslin material is a jersey, whereas my fabric is a woven, so I told my mother in law not to stretch it while she pinned. The back was a little bit loose, so I took about 1cm out, and curved it out over my butt. I also added 1.5cm to the hem because I found it to be just the right length on my unhemmed muslin.  After sewing it and trying it on again, I made the changes to the pattern, then I cut into my precious fabric, careful to remember which side I was using as the right side.


And then I procrastinated a little bit… I put together the top pieces before I left for Canada, but I ended up taking the pieces in my garment bag instead of a finished dress.

Not only did I get to be her maid of honour, I also got to be in Canada for 6 whole weeks! One of the only advantages of being unemployed (; (And in case you’re just tuning in, I live in Holland, while the rest of my family lives in Canada.) I arrived 3 weeks before the wedding so that I could do maid-of-honourly things, which included organising a lot of last-minute decorating things, but also included fun stuff like taking my sister on a much-needed weekend getaway with just the two of us, and organising the bridal shower/bachelorette party with my fellow bridesmaids. Crazy times.

So, I was having a wrestling match with the bodice lining pieces, as the princess seams did not want to press in a nice curve  around the bust, and the lining was pulling towards the outside despite having under stitched and pressing the shit out of it. Then I had a brilliant idea to get a bloody TAILOR’S HAM, which, honestly, every seamstress should have. However, scouring the fabric stores of Calgary yielded no results. I remembered having seen them at Fabricland when I worked there (–10 years ago–), and assumed that they were commonplace. WRONG!! Not only did they not have them, the people working at various fabric stores had no idea what they were. WTF?! Even my soon-to-be brother-in-law helped me phone some sewing places, during a planning meeting with my cousin and her bf no less. And my cousin’s boyfriend – who I decided right then and there was the sweetest! – offered to make me one once he found out that they are made out of upholstery fabric and sawdust. 😀

Fast forward a few days, and I haven’t heard anything from said boyfriend. Maybe not the sweetest…

So a week before the wedding, while I’m trying to coordinate a bridesmaids-last-minute-prep shindig, I’m in the garage stuffing a tailor’s ham (pattern here) with sawdust from my dad’s workshop. And let me tell you, A LOT OF SAWDUST FITS INTO THAT LITTLE FUCKER.  I must have been stuffing that thing, with the help of my dad, for a good half hour or 45 minutes. The people in the house thought I was shirking my duties.

So I practically run to the sewing room, turn on the iron, and start ironing away at the bodice (lining) pieces. However, it helped very little, I just had to resign to the fact that my fabric was going to be an asshole every step of the way. I finished the dress up over the next few days. I also fucked up the center back invisible zip by getting the fabric caught in the teeth, and I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another skirt. My sister just reassured me that no one would be taking photos of our backsides.

I finished the hem using a narrow hem (method 2 on this page here). And, when I was sewing the skirt lining, the final piece of the puzzle, I received that tailor’s ham from cousin’s boyfriend. Ok, he’s back to being sweet… (: When everything was finished, I then ran it through the washing machine with the basting still in the pleats because for some reason, I also kept getting black machine oil on the dress while I was sewing…


mine on the right, his under the skirt lining


And another reason I put off posting this make was because I was waiting for all the pretty pictures from the photographer. (: Here they are.

chelseanate_047 copy

me, sister, sister’s husband, best man


the gorgeous bridesmaids



speech time


Oh, and did I mention I had a wardrobe malfunction? I didn’t even know about it until the photos came out. Turns out I got a bit revealing to the congregation… And then again at the reception while sitting at the head table. :S  At least I was wearing a bra, I guess.