Behind the Seams: “A letter to St Patrick” Dress

We are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on The Sew Weekly Challenge and everyone is making something in green! Green has been my favorite color like forever, I even chose to go to a primary school which had the word green (in Mandarin) in it when I was six and my mum was crazy enough to agree to it!

I have never sewn a green dress and since I had just a few green fabrics in my stash I thought it would be an easy straight forward decision this week. How wrong can I be? I spent almost half the week deciding and through all that change of heart, I ended up washing all the green fabrics I have. ALL! That’s how fickle I was this week! At the end of it all, I even started on one project and ended up finishing another! Without further ado, here are the combinations of patterns/ green fabrics which got my brains working overtime!

The crazy combos

I wanted to sew the sundress in lime green with the floral fabric for the yoke and the blouse from the other pattern in lime green too. They could be worn together or as separates. However, I realized after studying the dress pattern closely that the seams for the front yoke and at the back didn’t meet and that spoilt the fun for the florals.

A knit dress in an animal/ paisley print was also considered but I was motivated to create more casual dresses as my son has requested that I pick him up from school in dresses. LOL! My lil man!

A dress with tie neckline using a chiffon with splatter of colors. This one troubled me a little intermittently as I felt there wasn’t enough green on the fabric.Okay, I used this Echino print on the project I started on but didn’t finish. I have actually completed the bottom but have not started on the top so I will continue with it later.  Eventually, I started on a sage green/ choco mint dress and that was when the drama really started. Read my letter to St Patrick here to find out when happened!

Pattern Review

I used the bodice from Simplicity 6327 and created my own skirt for the dress without a pattern. The bodice pattern was well designed with gentle cowl neckline with I adore. I decided to sew a different skirt as I wasn’t a fan of drawstring versions. The instructions were easy to comprehend and follow. The cowl neckline was created by sewing what I could describe as a combination of darts and pleats which I found pretty interesting since it is the first of such that I have sewn. The Take Manhattan tunic required an additional piece of fabric to create the neckline. I love the hairstyles and shoes featured on the cover of this pattern:)

Off course, I created a challenge for myself when I accidentally ripped bits of the bodice fabric near the back zipper. I hyperventilated even more when my seam ripper went missing (It is still missing!). I had to cut away the ripped area and zipper to savage the dress. Strips of the skirt fabric were cut to create two interfaced panels for the buttons and buttonholes in place of the zipper. I gave myself a lot more work on an otherwise easy to make dress.

The Gallery




The Photography Session

The location is Emerald Hill, a few blocks of conservation architecture tugged amongst shopping malls along Orchard Road. I have almost forgotten about the place though I have walked past it numerous times. The entrance to the lane is blocked by a pub so it’s not that visible from the main road. There are a few commercial establishments near the entrance but as I walked down the lane, most are private residences of the super rich.

It’s funny but a scout from St Patrick’s School (Yes, St Pat’s can you believe it!) actually asked if he could help me with any task for a small donation and he ended up taking these three photos for me.


Thank God for him as those were the only shots I had with the balloons which I thought added to the atmosphere of a St Patrick’s Day Parade. They flew away while I was busy setting up tripod for some barrel shots at a pub nearby. *Sigh*

The marvelous thing about Emerald Hill is so few people live there so there were hardly anyone who walked by while I was taking pictures and even when they see you doing so they are used to it. Many tourists drop up just to take photos of the place as do couples having their wedding photos taken. The buildings are just gorgeous!

Nice finishing for facings

Thanks to the brilliant Tanit-Isis, I now know a more efficient method of finishing the facings and I took photos of them too! I hope I understood the method correctly:) No more zig zag stitching on the facings for those of us who are serger-less!

Step 1: Pin the wrong side of the interfacing (non iron on) to the right side of the facings

Step 2: Stitch together

Step 3: Trim, clip and notch the seam allowance

Step 4: Turn the fabric right side out and press. When you press, the iron-on side of the interfacing will attach itself to the wrong side of the fabric.

It is now ready to be attached to the neckline:)

I was too stressed to take photos of the button panels but if anyone is interested, I will try to document it next time I do button closures:)

Eva Dress Contest: Do some voting!

Last but not least, I’ve submitted my Abandoned Hangar Dress for the Eva Dress Contest and all the entries are now up!  There are so many amazing works!!!  Go to Facebook and friend ‘Eva Dress’ and you can vote for your favorite entry (one only per category). Winners get vouchers for even more yummy patterns.

Enjoy your loved ones and your family. Have a safe week my sewing comrades!


About these ads

17 thoughts on “Behind the Seams: “A letter to St Patrick” Dress

  1. i love this dress! i think your skirt pattern works so much nicer than the pattern’s and the cowl neckline suits you so well! really, i’m a fan of brown polka dot and green colour too. i would buy this dress in a heartbeat if i see it on a rack. :) i too adore the shoes on the pattern cover. i’ve been dying to get a pair of t-strap but couldn’t find one here…

    and oh, do try looking for your seam ripper under the sewing machine. my went MIA under my machine and i only found it after i bought a new one. ;)

  2. Thanks Fiona! Glad you like the color combi:) Yes, I have the same problem finding t-straps too. wonder why they aren’t popular here. I might go check out far east plaza when i’m free to see if they have any.

    Hmm. Thanks for the tip, I’ll check under the machine shortly. hope it’s there!

  3. I love it! Choco mint it is and beautiful. Emerald Hill brings back fond memories of school for me as I had to walk(or run) through the place to get to school on time in the mornings. It’s like time stands still at Emerald Hill even with everything moving forward around it.

    What a lucky encounter with the helpful scout and the pictures are lovely too.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  4. I love the way the button placket looks – it really makes the outfit! I’m sure it was super-frustrating having to fix the mistake at the time, but WOW, what a result!

  5. What a cute dress—shame about the seam ripper. It will show up two days after you replace it, of course.

    Hooray for spreading the facing technique—though I have to add I got it from Sunnygalstudio.bloodspot.com. I think it’s really neat how these techniques get posted and spread!

    Lovely photographs as well, of course! :)

  6. Jali :

    I love it! Choco mint it is and beautiful. Emerald Hill brings back fond memories of school for me as I had to walk(or run) through the place to get to school on time in the mornings. It’s like time stands still at Emerald Hill even with everything moving forward around it.

    What a lucky encounter with the helpful scout and the pictures are lovely too.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day!

    Thanks Jali! You are so right, time stood still there perhaps with the slight change in paint color for some of the units where new owners have used really vibrant colors to contrast the antique windows and doors. Yes, I was so shocked but happy I got help that day:)

  7. Laurel :

    I love the way the button placket looks – it really makes the outfit! I’m sure it was super-frustrating having to fix the mistake at the time, but WOW, what a result!

    Boy are you right Laurel, I was feeling really frustrated at that point. Am so glad you like the placket- that’s the right word for it which i just suddenly totally couldn’t recall haha:)

  8. Tanit-Isis :

    What a cute dress—shame about the seam ripper. It will show up two days after you replace it, of course.

    Hooray for spreading the facing technique—though I have to add I got it from Sunnygalstudio.bloodspot.com. I think it’s really neat how these techniques get posted and spread!

    Lovely photographs as well, of course! :)

    Thanks Tanit-Isis! Haha… I really went and got a replacement yesterday since the seam ripper still wanna play hide and seek with me.

    Yay! Love spreading a great technique like this one:)

  9. This is so cute!!! Everything about this dress is beautiful. The color combination is just absolutely perfect, and you look so gorgeous in it.

    Your photographs are great too! What a great location, and the lighting is perfect.

    That finishing technique for the facings definitely makes the inside of the dress pretty. I really love it when the inside of a garment is just a pretty as the outside. :)

    I’ll have to go take a look at the Eva Dress entries, and of course vote for you. The Abandoned Hangar Dress is beautiful.

  10. such a great story for a wonderful dress! i love this post. and as always your design is stunning. i love the fabrics you paired, and i think your button placket was a very happy accident, it’s so much cooler than a zip!

  11. @Verityclothing: Thank you so much! You are so right, it really makes a difference to the wearer when the inside of a garment looks pretty too:) And thanks for being so sweet in thinking of Japan and having a raffle for quake relief. They are in my family’s prayers too.

    @Oonaballoona: Thanks dear! I am so in love with your “the space between” dress. It’s genius!

  12. hi there, I have been following this blog as a newbie sewist myself. I must say that facing tip is absolutely great! I love it and no more zigzagging for me too, thanks so much for sharing :)

  13. Pingback: Spring Lawn Dress (Colette Pastille) @ Julie Mason | Professional Portfolio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s