Vernon Fashion Studio’s Blog

Archive for April 2009

I finally finished the white eyelet dress. I have been working on it on and off, for over a month. I wore it on Monday so I could get feedback from myself and others. I have to wear a dress for a day or two to get the feel for the dress.

First, I started with an Inspiration Dress. In this case it was a dress I saw for sale on eBay. It was a runway dress from Michael Kors’ 2006 Spring/Summer Collection. I can’t find the picture anymore on eBay but it was an ankle length, white eyelet dress in a shirt dress silhouette. The model wore a white leotard under it. It was a very open eyelet so something was needed for some modesty. The dress had a light, airy feel to it.

I found some lovely white eyelet at Fabricland, less open than the inspiration dress, with sparkles in embedded in the fabric. I just love the fabric. I used white cotton lawn as underlining/mounting fabric and lightweight interfacing. Buttrick #5194 is a shirt dress pattern that is not exactly the same lines but looked like it would work for my version of the dress. I made the sleeveless version without pockets.  

The first thing that went wrong is that I bought the fabric and pattern on separate shopping trips. You guessed it, I didn’t buy enough fabric to make the dress ankle length and they were all sold out and so was Kelowna. I wanted the dress to be as long as possible so in the end I made a very small hem.

The one pattern glitch came when I got to the collar assembly. The under collar was intentionally smaller than the upper collar. Those of you that do tailoring, know this is a way to get the collar to stand up and then roll nice and neatly. The under collar is stretched to fit the collar opening. I was using fusible interfacing but not in the seam allowances. Didn’t matter, it wouldn’t stretch. Since this was not an important element for this dress, I cut two new upper collar pieces and they fit perfectly.

The next problem arose when I used colored chalk to mark the buttonholes. There is no warning on the package to not use it on the right side of the fabric because you will have to practically ruin your fabric to get it out. If you look close there is still a hint of blue around the buttons. Colored chalk might have a place in sewing but not on the right side of fabrics. Plus in the process of removing the blue chalk, most of the glitter was removed as well. Very disappointing.

Eyelet Dress on Dress Form

Eyelet Dress on Dress Form

Would I use this pattern again: Yes I probably will. Next time I will try a solid color material and embellish it abit.

Would I change anything about the pattern: I already told you about the collar situation. So next time I would address that differently. The other thing I would change is the way they finish off the armholes. It is the bias tape method rather than using a facing. It is just not as neat. If I make it sleeveless again, I will make a facing for the armholes.

Armhole Detail

Armhole Detail

This just does not look as nice as a facing would.


Did the dress come out as expected: Not quite, no. It is not as long and it has a heavier feel due to the underlining and the lapels. It is comfortable and looks nice on me. It will be a favorite this summer but it isn’t quite what I was hoping for.

Flat-felled Seam and skinny hem

Flat-felled Seam and skinny hem













Saw this on Off The Cuff Blog and had to share it. It is a hoot.

Borrowed from Pam: It is the opening scene from a 40s musical, The Perils of Pauline, starring Betty Hutton. Hutton’s most notable film role was the part of Annie Oakley in the 1950 musical of “Annie Get Your Gun.”

I have been pondering what my first real post should be about. After some thought I decided to tell you about a product that I use a lot and can’t live without. Eight or 10 years ago while perusing the Notions section of Jo Ann’s Fabrics, I discovered Wonder Tape by Collins. It is truly a wonder.

Wonder Tape is a basting tape but unlike other basting tapes, you can sew through it without gumming up your needle. And even better than that, it washes out in the first washing. And for a bit of added convenience, it is ¼ inch wide. On the down side, it is more expensive than other basting tapes or emergency fix type tapes.

How do you use it? When rolling a ¼ inch hem stick the tape down along the edge of the fabric. Tear off the roll. Run your fingers along the paper backing to make sure it is stuck down. Press down or pinch hard on one end then using your thumbnails, separate the paper backing from the tape. You can remove all the paper backing at once or a little at a time, depending on the length you are working with. Warning: It is very sticky! But it will release easily also. Mostly you just stick it on to something, remove the backing and stick to something else. Easy and convenient.

What do I use it for? Almost everything. Anytime I need to roll fabric over a ¼ inch I use it. On napkins, I use it to make the first roll. It adds some stiffness and stability so when you make the second roll you don’t need pins. For a flat felled seam you can either put the Wonder Tape on the wrong side of the seam allowance you are rolling so it sticks to the wrong side of the fashion fabric when you roll it over or you can apply it to the wrong side of the fashion fabric and roll the wider seam allowance over on to it.

I use Wonder Tape to hold zippers in place when I install them. I use it to hold buttons in place when I am machine sewing them on. It keeps the button from shifting as you work it under the presser foot. I use it to keep underlining/mounting fabric attached to the fashion fabric during construction. You can use it to hold trim, badges, patches and appliquéd items in place while sewing them on.

Besides the price are there any other downsides to Wonder Tape? Since it is pricy, I try not to waste it. It not only firmly sticks two materials together but it sticks to itself and when that happens, you have to start over with a new piece. I use Wonder Tape in my classes and suggest the students get some. The problem is that my local store keeps running out of it. And sometimes they sell my students the wrong thing. That is frustrating.

I find myself reaching for Wonder Tape all the time when I sew and I am sure you will too. It comes in a blue and white package but I have also used a version in a yellow package put out by Dritz. I don’t know if they are related products but they both work. You will hear a lot about how I use Wonder Tape as time goes on.

Welcome to my Blog.  I want you to know that when I review something, be it a book or a pattern, or if I recommend a favorite Blog or website, I will not have been compensated in anyway. You can trust that my opinions are truthful and honest and you will hear the good and the bad.

I am not a fast sewist and I am not a perfect sewist as I am sure many of you aren’t also. I hope we will muddle along together doing the best we can and going as fast as we can.