Monday, 21 May 2012

Another Peony, this time in gingham....

I'm currently in a state of trauma and it's all because of The Bridge.  Two reasons: 1) the series has now finished so there's officially nothing good on telly any more and 2) the events at the end of the final episode completely finished me off emotionally.  Maybe you need to read point number four from this post to get a better idea of what I'm wittering on about, but basically I need cheering up, big time, which is where my new gingham dress comes to the rescue. 

This is my second version of the Colette Patterns Peony dress, which is in navy gingham.  If you've read this post and seen this board on Pinterest, then you'll know I've got a serious crush on gingham - it just lifts the spirits completely, which is why it's the perfect dress to photograph on my sad "end of The Bridge" day.
Sad face to start off with.....
...wahay, a big smile five minutes later 
The fabric is a cheap-as-chips poly cotton, which my local fabric shop was selling off for £1 a metre in a closing down sale.  The quality of the fabric was pretty shoddy and transparent, which is why I decided to underline it. Blimey, what a difference. From looking pretty sorry for itself and actually a bit grey around the edges, the gingham suddenly looks fresher, cleaner, whiter and quite frankly much more expensive, when coupled with a nice white muslin underlining.  I'd highly recommend underlining a cheap fabric -  as well as massively improving the appearance, it also gives the fabric much more structure and strength.  

When I made my first Peony, I made quite a few adjustments to the back bodice, which still came out baggy due to the stretchy nature of the cotton pique fabric I used.  This time though, my beautiful underlined gingham behaved itself and the bodice sewed up without a hitch - all my adjustments from the first time round working perfectly with a woven fabric.  Fit-wise, this second version is more or less spot on, but I still decided on  a few further tweaks to the overall pattern:

I reduced the width of the boat neck in order to hide my bra straps, and lowered the curve of the neckline by about an inch.

I added pleats to the skirt section rather than gathers, inspired by Beth's lovely version.

I eliminated facings in favour of gingham bias tape. This was used on the neckline and also on the sleeves.  I blatantly copied this from Lauren whose own sleeveless gingham version of the Peony I adore.  Here's her tutorial for using bias tape as a facing. 

In a rare moment of forward planning, I also took a bit of time to try and cut the pattern pieces out to ensure the gingham lined up. It was MOSTLY a success and luckily it doesn't bother me too much if my makes aren't absolutely perfect.  Considering how slapdash my method was, I think the lining up of the checks is pretty damn miraculous.

This could well become my favourite dress of the summer - it's comfortable, fits well and feels fab to wear because of the lovely underlining.
It's also navy blue and white, so goes perfectly with most things, especially red accessories!  What's not to love? Hoorah for gingham, it definitely cheers you up! Happy Monday everybody. x




39 comments:

  1. Lovely dress Jane, it's very 'you'. I wanted to make something in gingham this summer so it's great to get some mmore inspiration.

    I'd agree with you about lining - I've been underlining a dress I've been making and it's given a light fabric a lovely weight, and makes it feel like a more quality garment.

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  2. Ah that's just gorgeous Jane. Such a good idea about underlining - have just made a 'wearable' muslin in a cheap fabric and it could have done with some! This is adorable and reignites my love of the peony.

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    1. Mine too, I've already got a third one planned! X

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  3. So pretty! I have a huge crush on gingham at the moment, and need to get some to whip up into something pretty this summer. ;) Isn't underlining magical sometimes? I usually keep a little stash of broadcloth or muslin on hand for just such things like underlining; it can make a world of difference with certain fabrics. Not to mention I feel like it makes the garments (usually) "drape" better!

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    1. You're right, it is magical. I've underlined a few things but never seen such a dramatic improvement in the look and feel of the fabric before now! x

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  4. So beautiful! That fabric is one of my favorite prints. You did a wonderful job. As far as the telly, I understand nothing to watch. I have been watching shows I liked as a child on youtube, enjoying the hair and dress styles from that time. Maybe there is something you can watch there. Great Job on the dress!

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  5. Thank you Jane, you've actually cheered me up with this lovely little post of yours! What a wonderful make and just in time for the glorious weather we are apparently going to be having! Yay!

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  6. Gorgeous! I love the result, it's beautiful.

    I'm using a fabric right now that I feel is a little questionable in terms of how it will hold up, so I probably should have underlined it, though it's not something I've ever done. Hopefully I won't be sorry. I'll keep this in mind for next time because yours came out great!

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    1. Aw thank you! I think it's worth the extra effort sometimes. X

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  7. This is so lovely! I think the Peony is a perfect pattern for a gingham fabric... it's simple enough so that pattern matching isn't an endless headache, and really lets the print stand out on it's own :) Wish I'd had the foresight to make my bias tape gingham too, because yours just looks so fresh & pretty!

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  8. I'm with you on The Bridge. I'm in mourning now it has finished. I am very envious of your lovely gingham dress! I'm battling with the fit of my first Peony dress at the moment.

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    1. I was pretty lucky with the fit on mine, but I don't think I know of anybody who's been able to sew it straight up without quite a lot of fiddling with the fit. Good luck with yours. X

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  9. Lovely dress. Beautiful inside and out. You inspired me to line a dress of my own earlier this year, and I can vouch for it making such a difference to the end result.

    And with you all the way on The Bridge. I was emotionally drained and devastated by the end of that final episode and have been thinking about little else since!

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    1. Oh I'm glad I wasn't the only one affected by the Bridge, it completely haunted me! X

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  10. Looks lovely, gingham is great!The inside is so neat,a finish to be proud of!

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  11. That is gorgeous Jane - so spring-like and happy!

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  12. That is totally gorgeous! You look awesome in it. Love!

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  13. Oh wow. Jane it's perfect. You look gorgeous. It's such a flattering shape. Thank you for the heads up on underlining floppy fabric. There is much more choice of great prints in lighterweight cottons and this would be a great way round the issue. Did you mean you used actual muslin fabric? Did you prelaunder it? Wasn't it a bit stretchy? I'll stop the questions now!

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    1. Thanks Janene! Yes I used very thin cotton muslin fabric, it's almost transparent. You can get it on Goldhawk Rd or on the market, usually about £1 or £2 a metre. I washed it with the gingham and it was fine. It's a bit stretchy but once I cut out the pattern pieces I ironed it on top of the gingham pattern pieces, the heat seems to make it adhere together. I then sewed the pieces together quickly whilst they were stuck, any bits that stretched were just trimmed around the pattern pieces once they were attached. Hope that makes sense! x

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  14. So summery and perfectly YOU. I'm always so attracted to gingham on other people, but don't actually wear it myself. Some people are just suited to it and you are one of them!

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  15. Really lovely dress ans it does go well with the red.

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  16. Yum, Jane! It looks fabulous and as Lauren said, the Peony seems like the perfect pattern to showcase the gingham. I love the pleats in the skirt.

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  17. Another great version of the Peony dress. Really love the gingham!

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  18. Lovely dress and great fit. The gingham really shows off the structure of the dress

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  19. This is lovely...so summery and chic. I love the red accessories...they just pop against the dress.

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  20. It's perfect for summer, and I love that you've paired it with red accessories! Wonderfully done!

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  21. It's gorgeous, I'm glad it cheered you up!! :)

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  22. That's a great dress. You've made it to fit perfectly. the proportions are delightful. Looks like youve created a go-to pattern.
    Miz Spike

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  23. I know you love the outside of the dress, but I was more than a little impressed by the lining. Is this the gingham you bought on our shopping trip?

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  24. Thanks Gail. I think the gingham was bought on another occasion, but then again I'm always buying gingham....and polka dots! x

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  25. I love your dress...

    I made a peony, but the back is gappy, I flash my bra straps all day long (so inappropriate) and the neckline cuts into my throat... Sounds like I need to make the adjustments you made... Can you explain a little how you adjusted yours?

    Sarah xx

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    1. Thank you!
      For the neckline I re-drew it a bit lower on the pattern, just using a top I liked the neckline of as a guide. I then increased the depth of the neckline by about half an inch on either side. Those two things stopped the neckline cutting into my throat (I know exactly what you mean by that!) and kept the bra straps at bay!
      The front bodice was fine but on the back bodice pattern piece I increased the shoulder darts a bit and then took a horizontal tuck all the way across the back which stopped it being so gappy.
      Hope that all makes sense and helps, email me if it doesn't. x

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  26. Your dress is cute cute cute! I love it. And I totally agree about the last episode of The Bridge... I've been dreaming about it, I found it so stressful...

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  27. Jane you look gorgeous as ever, and the dress is super-cute. Also LOVE the red accessories.

    We don't have The Bridge here, all tv is footy and Australia's got Talent (NO IT HASN'T) so will rush out and buy the DVD. xxxxx

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    1. Thanks love! Oh Beck, you've just GOT to get The Bridge DVD, you'll love it, especially if your current TV watching is dire. Have you seen The Killing? Or Homeland? Both also brilliant. xx

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  28. This is FAB, I want one. Might have to make a summer peony, I need to loose a little weight (hey, my youngest turned 5 a couple of weeks ago, the shame I still carry so much weight I gained when pregnant is getting boring now) so daren't make clothes at the mo. The gingham is so great and as you rightly pointed out looks fab with red accessories and it is so beautifully made, you always finish your clothing to well. Thanks for the link-back :) Bethx

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  29. PS, have never watched the bridge but know it's going to be a favourite, we've been saving it up and I'm really looking forward to getting into it. Bx

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  30. This is so much fun! I really love it.
    Stitches @ http://thehottoddiesofwa.blogspot.com/

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  31. You look gorgeous Jane. :) The Peony seems like the perfect pattern to showcase the gingham. :) :)
    Cheap DIY Christmas Tree Projects Ideas For Beautiful Christmas

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