Summertime calls for fun playful dresses! We enjoyed the chance to be part of the testing team for the Petite Dressmaker’s new release the Mirabel Dress.
Mirabel Pattern Details
The Mirabel dress is a cute, asymmetrical babydoll style. Perfect for a beginner or intermediate maker it has a square neckline at the front and back with no need for a zipper as you can pull it over your head.
The main design feature is the slanted waistline and two slanted tiers. To showcase these design lines there is an optional ruffle feature.
This PDF pattern includes 12 size options in the layered PDF files with A/B and C/D cup options along with high options of Petite (5’2”) and Standard (5’7”).
You can find your copy on The Petite Dressmaker’s website here or in the babydoll bundle here.
Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Golden Gaytime Cotton
This pattern called for a Light/Medium weight woven fabric such as cotton, quilting cotton, linen/cotton blends or broderie anglaise. Given how playful the design lines were with the asymmetrical feature we wanted a fabric that would match this character. We went into our stash to pull out the Ellie Whittaker Golden Gaytime Cotton we had been waiting to use for a fun project.
To showcase the design lines we included matching piping between the tiers instead of the ruffle.
Finished Mirabel Dress Make
This is a fun Summer dress that is easy to stitch. You can create your own details by showcasing the design lines like we did with the tiers by adding a ruffle or piping. Have fun with the designs! The Petite Dressmaker has provided very detailed instructions to help you construct your own playful make. We can’t wait to see your version of this pattern!
Photographer: James Christie Media Pattern: Mirabel dress by Petite Dress Maker available here Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Golden Gaytime Cotton Print
Our family loves a matching outfit opportunity, and there is no better excuse than family day! Stakes Day at Flemington is known as family day so here we go! We selected our fabric for the year which was a floral polished cotton from Spotlight. Mum created our outfit this year, what a task! All five of us wore a garment in this fabric.
From the left: James in a handmade tie, Erin in Butterick 6482, Mum in Vintage Simplicity 7083, Dad in McCalls 4321, and Lauren in Simplicity 8594
Floral Dresses Butterick 6482, Simplicity 7083 and Simplicity 8594
We had the honour of being invited to our dear friends Max and Cassidy’s Wedding in New York! This called for new dresses, a winter black tie wedding in New York isn’t something we have hanging around in our closest. This was a wonderful opportunity to tackle more advanced Vogue Patterns! Off we headed to the fabric stores to find some inspiration for some wonderful fabric and patterns.
Erin in Vogue 1520
We couldn’t think of anything more fitting for a winter wedding than a full-length velvet dress!
We’ve seen Vogue 1520 by @badgleymischka in the pattern books for a while, but never had the opportunity until now to make it!
The pattern only has 5 pattern pieces for the outside layer, each a really unique shape given the side gathering! We sewed about 70% of the dress just on the four-thread overlocker and completed gathering stitches and hems on a domestic sewing machine.
We deviated from the pattern in two ways: 1. added gathering around the wrist (by extending the sleeve piece and using the same method of the side waist of the dress) instead of the lace feature. 2. removed the train to allow for maximum dance floor moves but kept the shaping at the back
Lauren Vogue 1908
A winter black tie wedding in New York was an excellent opportunity to tackle Vogue 1908 in a challenging fabric
This pattern is a wrap-style dress with a button-bodice closure and a wrap skirt. We loved this pattern for the self-covered button and collar feature, even though the self-covered buttons were challenging in the metallic georgette!
This fabric was tricky to work with and looking at the photos afterwards could use a popper on the left side seam to help hold the wrap strap into place. If you would like to follow along with the construction of this dress check out our Instagram Highlight here.
Photographer: James Christie Media Pattern: Vogue 1520 and Vogue 1908
In July we headed to Melbourne Frocktails! We have seen this wonderful event for several years but this is the first time we got tickets. Melbourne Frockails is an annual cocktail party for people who enjoy sewing their own garments so the stakes are high for the dress code. Obviously, me-made is a must!
The brief was “Sew your finest outfit, and come to chit-chat to sewing peeps from near and far, over cocktails and canapes.” Th event was hosted at The Bank on Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne. Eliza joined us for the event creating a stunning version of By Hand London’s Anna dress in dark green velvet.
Lauren’s Frocktails Dress
We started this dress in 2019 for an event but didn’t get it finished in time – so it got its first outing for this event. I wanted to create something whimsical with a maroon striped lace I had found a Darn Cheap Fabrics and the vision became creating a “maroon fairy”. I was particularly inspired by Needle and Thread dresses with the light lace in gathered ruffles. I had been collecting some images on our Pinterest Board to bring together the concept.
The Pinterest Board
Once I had picked some elements to focus on I started with the bodice of New Look 6494. I liked the rounded bodice detail and sleeves. To test the design lines I took the line drawing from the pattern, which you can just see a faint line of in the sketch and overlaid the additional ruffles.
I wanted to create a soft neckline so I opened up the neckline line and added some gathering into the pattern piece then I used these stand collar pattern piece back to front and added a ruffle at the top edge.
The skirt was formed with three gathered tiers onto a poplin backing (thank you gathering foot, you lifesaver). I wanted to make sure the backing material was not too heavy and take away from the light characteristics of the lace.
The bodice was constructed with the lace basted on a matching poplin which was then treated as one fabric and bagged out with an interfaced support that included boning.
The finished dress
Erin’s Frocktails Dress
Having created many amazing formal dresses for events across the last few years Erin pulled out a favourite that she originally made for the Women in Law Awards when she was nominated for Law Student of the Year. The pattern is Vogue 9343 and we altered the bust to allow for an overlap of the bodice pieces. It is constructed in a printed taffeta weight fabric that was sourced from Darn Cheap Fabrics.
Photographer: James Christie Headpieces: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery Erin and Lauren’s Dress: Fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics Lauren’s Bodice Pattern: New Look 6494 Erin’s Dress Pattern: Vogue 9343 Eliza’s Dress Pattern: By Hand London Anna Eliza’s Fabric: Spotlight
Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops a nation. The day is about celebration and vibrant colours. We wanted to outfits that had feminine lines with full skirts while remaining true to the spirit of the day.
A modern day Marie Antoinette out for Erin was inspired by the stunning shoes from Irregular Choice. The quirky design and hues gave a striking base for this outfit.
The cobalt blue fabric was a challenge to work into the curve of the pattern we chose. Both great elements however for future makes we would use a natural fibre for this pattern to be ensure the line around the bust sits flat.
This dress started with a moment of Erin say, “Loz, I’ve had a vision”. Which usually results in a great feat of sewing marvel and a hopefully incredible outcome. The vision this time was a patchwork dress in which we make hexagons that are then fused to fabric with vlisafix then stitched to the fabric then constructed into a dress. This process started over a year ago with a stack of black and white fabric.
Hexagon construction started but with a few days to go until Derby Day last year we realised it wasn’t going to be possible to finish the dress in time. So in came our black a white version of Vogue 1566, which you can read more about in our post here. This year with a little more planning the dress returned and with a lot of determination and hexagon sewing on trams we made it!
Georgia has studied Law at Deakin University for the last six years. Also with Erin this would be her last Law Ball. We wanted to make her dress something special. We started with some inspiration and Erin’s key criteria for Georgia was she had to choose a colour that wasn’t black.
Construction of Jungle Green Silk Satin Dress
The bodice for Georgia’s dress started with Simplicity 6408 as it had a beautiful back shape and the gathered front seam created the perfect neckline. The skirt needed to be cut on the bias to create the drape and fall Georgia was after so we used Butterick 5710 as the base for this.
Erin and Georgia went on a fabric hunt and found a beautiful jungle green (not black) silk satin at Rathdowne Fabrics in Brunswick.
The design of the dress evolved from the original sketch. We chose to remove the bottom ruffle section and keep the straps travelling straight over the shoulders.
The thin straps were created using the fabric, creating a thin tube. The strap was turned through using a bobkin sewing needle (a needle without a point used for sewing chunky knits).
The dress was constructed to a point that meant Georgia could try it on. At the fitting we decided that fully lining the bodice would be the best course to finish it off. The lining of the bodice was interfaced with whisperweft interfacing. A piece of plastic boning along the side seam position to provide some stability. The skirt side seams were finished with a french seam to provide a neat finish. This reduced any damage that might be cause to the fabric by placing it through an overlocker.
Pattern: Simplicity 6408 and Butterick 5710 Fabric: Jungle green silk satin from Rathdowne Fabrics
OCRF (Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation) hosted their annual Silver Style event at the Georges Ballroom in St Kilda. The theme was a touch of silver. Inspired by this theme and some fabulous silver shoes the outfit planning started.
Lauren found this striped printed silk at the Hand Made Fair at Hampton Court Palace in London in 2018. Unsure what she wanted to create with it the fabric waited in the wings. When the theme the event was announced it felt like the perfect occassion and coordinated well with a pair or existing silver shoes.
The pattern was selected due to panel pieces that would allow for the stripe in the fabric. Placing the strip in different directions and using a circle skirt achieved this.
Eager to pair the statement Maude bag and glittery Wittner shoes with a Tweed the hunt for the fabric began. We found the beautiful white and blue with silver fleck tweed at Darn Cheap Fabrics in Port Melbourne.
Returning to use a favourite pattern, Vogue 1392 with a circle. The bodice was lined with bem silk and cotton tape place around the neckline to reduce stretching.
Photo by Cam Davie
Silver Style was a great evening to celebrate the efforts of the OCRF. Every woman, everywhere – free from the threat of Ovarian Cancer. You can donate directly to the cause or find out other way to take part such as Frocktober.
The Millinery Association of Australia is a not for profit organisation. It encompasses a diverse range of millinery, from traditional hats to costume. They host events that showcase quality millinery with professional and enthusiastic members that unite to raise the profile of millinery in Australia.
Each year at the end of the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington the Millinery Association hosts an evening event for their members. As Lauren is a member the Two Sewing Sisters attended the event.
Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070 Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Shoes: Irregular Choice Bag: Olga Berg Earrings: Northside Southside
Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070 Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Shoes: Wittner Bag: Oroton Earrings: Northside Southside
The outfit for Royal Ascot all start with the shoes! Irregular Choice shoes to be exact, and aren’t they amazing!?
The dress was made from McCall’s 7279 with a circle skirt added for a softer line to match the delicate lavender lace sourced from Spotlight in Melbourne. Construction involved tacking the lace to the matching poplin backing before stitching the darts of the bodice.
The details of the make included black piping around the cream Peterpan collar and turned up cuffs
The finished look for Royal Ascot was paired with a black Review belt to highlight the piping and worn with a Lauren J Ritchie Lenox Boater.