Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wren Wonderment Part One

Those who know me know I can get a bit excited.
When I love-I love with my all.
Ask my opinion-and I will give it-honestly.
(But I try to be kind).....

When I first found the Clever Charlotte patterns,I was a little excited.
I think my grammatically incorrect statement was ''Me Likey'' and I did(and do)

Now my heart remains with oliver+s,for a 'sewing lesson in a pattern' and a classic designed children's outfit,they more then fit the bill.
However,my soul was yearning for something more......a little edgy,a little more sophistication,something different.
Well Baby-baby,I have found it!

I have started with the Wren Dress.
Its clean lines but gorgeous fullness was just begging to be made in some slate blue/grey floral poplin that I have been keeping for just that sort of dress!
The material is one of those rare finds from Spotlight,a no name,from the $2 /m bin from memory,but that is just what I wanted. I want this pattern to speak-not a designer fabric to do the talking for it!

The pattern comes in its own ziplock bag(which I love as I always transfer my patterns straight in to one).
Its printed on nice tissue with sweet little twirly's printed around the pieces. I am a philistine and always cut out the largest size and then draft the smaller sizes,so my twirly bits ended up in the bin,but I thought them very pretty!

Off we go chiblings!

Transfer markings

Following the patterns instructions,transfer ALL your pattern markings!(Yes,you need to,No,you can not  'wing it')!
The clever Colette recommended this tailors pencil to me and it is brilliant!

Cut your interfacing(I do like that these are separate pattern pieces).

Apply interfacing to the dress facings as directed. I use a pressing cloth.

Following the pattern(step 4) reinforce the neckline and clip into the neckline fold taking care not to snip the stitching.

For step 5,I put my edges to be stitched together,clipped the curves and then neatened separately before stitching them together.

The seams neatened over the clipped curves.

Stitching together after neatening.

When I pinned  this seam I panicked as they didn't seem to match!
But never fear....

This little snip at the neck fold...

Allows the seam to open and meet beautifully!

The finished seam pressed open.

Taking shape,the sleeves sewn to the front and back.

Ready for the zipper!

NB, The next time I will sew the sleeve seam together,clip,neaten and press to one side above the neck edge and the other below.
I think in a fine to medium fabric it will sit just fine.
I will let you know!

So far......So very good!
Clever,clever Charlotte!


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you like the pattern so far. I was thinking of ordering one, but whenever I've branched away from O+S before, I've been disappointed.

  2. Aw, don't leave us hanging like that, Nicole! Can't wait to see the finished dress!

  3. I agree with Susanne- don't leave us hanging! Anyhow, where did you get that tailor's pencil. I'm in the midst of a marking crisis (okay not really- just not exactly happy with what I've been using). Also I am not sure what you mean about neatening your seams. Do you serge each edge before you sew the seam?

  4. I am enjoying it Camille. Its nearly finished(just hems)and I wish it would fit me!
    I have tried to pick the trickiest(in my opinion)first and so far it has been very manageable.
    My little tips are just that,MY suggestions,for a certain fabric.
    So far I would say they are a good stepping stone from oliver+s.

    The dress is so lovely Susanne,but I didn't want to blog until I had finished(in case I muffed it) and it would be a HUGE blog!
    Won't be long......I am so pleased that you are interested!

    I purchased my pencil from my sewing store,it is a 'Sewline'(I think),Colette has put the details in our forum.
    By neatening I mean overlock,serge,zigzag what ever is your technique.
    I did neaten BEFORE sewing the seam as I find it hard to do so after and the pattern called for a flat(open)seam.
    By clipping it first,the ease is still there,but the seam is neatened.
    If I made this is wool(which I intend too) I would do the flat seam,but I think you could sew the seams together and press to the side as I explained above.
    Sorry my explanation was not clearer,it came to me after finishing the dress and I like to follow the pattern exactly the first time.

    Thanks Girls!
    x N

  5. Oh, Nicole - go sew, sew, SEW!

  6. I'm interested to know a bit more about the sleeves on this pattern -- I can't really tell from the photos -- bubble? band? elastic? And those deep pleats at the neck -- you think they'll work in wool too?

    They are nice patterns. I'm back from a week without my sewing machine so I'm ready to try one of those tops now. Our shorts need a new friend!

  7. Patience Justine!!!!
    It is gorgeous though but Miss Z wants to do a proper 'reveal' for the photos.
    I think Rosie will like it.....

    The sleeves have a light elastic casing,very pleasing Icicle.
    The pleats are deep but very even and I think with care beautiful in a fine to medium wool.
    I have some silky soft merino wool put aside for the baby.

    I am thrilled with the patterns and so frustrated that I am spring cleaning the house after a cat incident(don't ask) and only have a n hour or so in the evening to work on it!

    Thanks Girls

  8. Nicole- great tip about neatening the seam before sewing. You are right- it is hard to finish the seam after it's sewn when a flat seam is called for. I never thought of doing that. Thanks for the tips, I love them! ♥

  9. My pleasure Sarah,my machine is such a man eater it is really hard to finish afterwards.
    x N

  10. Once again you've saved me! I am up to the part where the sleeve doesn't match the back bodice. Panic! Hurry and check Nicole's blog! And, relief! I should have known to check your tute in advance to save me some skipped heartbeats!

    I'm unsure of this pattern...making it up anyway as true to CC form, I usually am pleasantly surprised after it's finished.

  11. Ha ha ha,I had to double check when making Tilly's birthday version!
    I am positive you will love it!
    xx N