Hey there sew-pals,
It’s been a busy few weeks here at FOB HQ- since last posting I’ve had a few sewing adventures including The Great British Sewing Bee Live, the Anna Sui exhibit at the Fashion and textile museum, plus plenty of gigs, one ballet and also a ride on the Post Office Museum’s Mail Rail (been showing off on Instagram if you fancy being nosey, @f_ckoffbunting)
Autumn has been pretty gorgeous in London, so I was keen to make one of those dresses that you can wear all year round. I have really committed to long dresses and boots for my autumn look and I have finally formed a friendship with flesh coloured tights.
I thought the Seamwork Catarina would fit in well, as a cami-dress that can be layered with tees, jumpers or cardis. All of the Seamwork patterns are supposedly makable in 3 hours and I really wanted some wham-bam makes. We should be honest that sometimes a gentle, loving ‘sew’ won’t do and we all just need an honest, swift ‘sew’. WINKY FACE.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t my first Catarina- I made one ahead of my trip to Australia last year.
That make was eventful to say the least…after an afternoon of delicious wine, I sat at my machine and sewed up my Catarina, but in the process managed not only to cut clean through one of the straps, but also to set fire to the skirt (don’t worry it just singed a hole that I patched up), so was hoping to get through this one without incident.
The pdf pattern is pretty hefty at 45 pages, mostly due to the voluminous skirt, but ends up with just a few pattern pieces so the construction is really speedy.
So now what for the fabric? On one of my many (many) eBay browses I came across this little beauty at a blinding £3.00 a meter. Its a nice mid-weighted viscose and the red flowers remind me of christmasy poinsettias, to take me through to winter as well.
Reading through the pattern and from making it before there were a few changes I knew I was going to make, right off the bat- I took about an inch from the length of the bodice, omitted the adjustable straps for straps cut to length and I was going t add in pockets.
I love pockets on a dress so nabbed the pocket pattern piece from the By Hand London Zeena dress and added them in using the same technique from that pattern dress. The gals from the Love to Sew podcast mentioned that they keep a pocket pattern piece to hand, so they can be ready to add in and I’ve since followed their advice.
I didn’t quite have enough of my main fabric fabric, so the pocket pieces and lining of the bodice are made up in a plain navy polycotton I had in the stash.
Construction was really simple, with only four main pattern pieces, plus the tie belt & straps. Turning straps is one of my favourite sewing techniques, I know others find it a pain, but I rarely do the tricksy teeny weeny rouleau straps so love this part!
The waist has added elastic, which I put in but at a rather relaxed length- I prefer to rely on the waist tie to cinch in and not have elastic that can become irritating after a days wear.
And here’s the finished number…
Now guys, my standard photographic aide Mr. FOB was out, so I had a bit of a fight with the self timer. Here’s the dress on it’s own, and thinking I might take the bodice in a little and make it less blousy. Then there’s some pics of me wearing it with a cropped jumper and boots. I loved this outfit even though wearing boots and dresses like this reminds of a school production of ‘Oliver’ and faux Victoriana, though it must be mentioned that in said production, I didn’t get a female part and then also narrowly lost out on the role of the Artful Dodger, leaving me as a generic member of Fagin’s gang and my only line was “…Snot Rags”, I’m over it now, but yeah, “Snot Rags”.
I love the silky version as per the sample photographs above and have also seen a midnight blue velvet version, that was very very delicious and I am feeling a bit of a velvet obsession coming on…what are you obsessing over this autumn?