DIY: Seamwork Veronica Dress

Dress: DIY from Seamwork “Veronica” Pattern

Shoes: Seychelles

 

I’ve had my eye on the Seamwork “Veronica” pattern for months and months now, but without a dining table to put my sewing machine on, all of my sewing projects have been sitting on the back burner.

The very first free weekend I’ve had in our new place (with our new dining table) I took the opportunity to finally put the sewing pedal to the metal. I bought the digital Veronica pattern, had it printed it a local print shop, marveled at how much easier it was than sticky-taping together 40+ sheets of A4 paper, and took a trip to Sydney Road – Melbourne’s cheap fabric mecca – which is now conveniently located just near me, and bought some fantastically 80’s viscose to give the pattern a dry run.

The Veronica’s a very simple frock with dolman sleeves, a solid banded waistband that’s elasticised at the back. The dress fastens with a zipper at the back and features the slightly blouson style that I’m kind of loving right now.

The pattern seemed straightforward enough; the only tricky part was the waistband, but I took it slow and steady and didn’t have to unpick once.

BUT (and it’s a big but) it was much too big in the waist.

Because it was just a wearable muslin, and I couldn’t figure out how to correct the size issues without taking the entire thing to pieces and starting again from scratch, I just frankensteined my own lazy fix, by pinching a couple of pleats into the waistband and sewing it up.

It’s… OK. The pleats makes the top a bit more blousy than I needed it to be, and the dress is not as flattering as I’d hoped – the neckline’s way too high and the shape’s a bit boxy, plus to be honest the zipper at the back seemed to be totally unecessary – with the elasticised back waistband it would be easy to pull on and off.

The pattern’s a solid 6 out of 10, but I’m not sure I’d make it again. I thought I might actually try the Olivia dress from Style Arc next time, which seems to have everything that I like about the Veronica, and none of the stuff I didn’t.

Stitchin’

  Top: Uniqlo, remixed

Sweater: Uniqlo

Jeans: Levi’s Plus

Shoes: Novo

What’s this? A new post, and not even six weeks after the last one?

It’s cold, grey, wet day in Melbourne today, and I’m procrastinating a few other jobs on my list by doing that embroidered collar tutorial that I promised you. Behold! the first DIY post I’ve done in over a year (the last one was that heart tee remix from the start of 2016, yikes!)

I got the idea for this shirt after seeing a photo of the wonderful Stephanie Beatriz (the actor who plays Det. Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine) wearing a shirt with the words “fuck” and “off” embroidered on the collar. She pulls it off magnificently, but she’s about 193 levels of sass above me, so I thought I’d have a go and DIY myself something similar… but with a slightly less provocative catch phrase.

I chose “Feminist Killjoy” because, well, because I freaking love the phrase, and Stephanie Beatriz may be 193 levels of sass above me, but that doesn’t mean I have zero sass. I wore it and felt fierce and spent the whole day exchanging grins with women on the street and on public transport.

For the tutorial I’ve chosen a very Australian phrase: “Yeah, nah” (International readers – it means no. As opposed to “nah, yeah” which means yes).

For this project you just need a collared shirt, some embroidery thread, and a pencil or a disappearing ink fabric pen.

You can freehand the text straight onto the shirt, but my handwriting is atrocious so instead I used a font generator online and printed out the words to create a template to work from.

If you’re doing it this way the first thing you’ll have to do is position the template on the underside of the collar – make sure you’re using the correct word for each side, I feel like “Off Fuck” would have had a lot less impact!

Once you’re happy with the size and placement of the templates pin them in place (printed side to the fabric)

If you hold the collar up against the window you should be able to see the template through the fabric and you can trace the words on to the right side of the collar. I tend to do little dots, so the fabric doesn’t shift as I drag the pen around.

(Once you’ve got the template inscribed it’s worth going over it again on a flat surface.)

Embroidery floss is usually made up of six strands, which is probably too much for the kind of delicate work that you’re going to sew, so I cut a length and separate the threads so that the line that I sew will be made out of four strands.

Starting at the very beginning of one of the letters (and with the knot on the underside of the collar, but you guys probably could figure that out by yourselves) sew a stitch along the line of the template.

You’re going to be sewing a split-stitch, which is exactly what it sounds like. When you bring your needle back up from the underside, feed it halfway through the first stitch that you did.

Then the next stitch further along the line, and the next one halfway through the previous one. And so on, and so forth. You might have to make slightly smaller stitches around the tight curves.

And voila!

Super easy, and a really great way of fancying up a plain button-down shirt.

If you’re stumped for what to sew, here’s a couple of ideas I’m thinking of for next time:

  • Shine Bright
  • She Persisted
  • Read More
  • Love Thyself
  • Bite Me
  • What. Ever.

Any more ideas? Leave a comment!

 

 

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