Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Billie Jean Dress & Giveaway!

A few weeks ago I reached 50 bloglovin followers and over 5000 page views. Woohoo! To celebrate I asked Caitlan, from Indie Stitches, whether she might help me run a little giveaway. She said yes! We decided on the Billie Jean Dress from the local designer Bluegingerdoll Patterns. Billie Jean is a vintage inspired dress with off the shoulder straps and a choice of pencil or gathered skirt. Bluegingerdoll Patterns have also just released a new dress pattern called Winifred, go check it out.

Billie Jean Dress

For my dress I had planned to make up the pencil version and even bought some fabulous fabric. However I had some fitting issues and time was flying by so I decided to go with the gathered version for now. I used a vintage single bed sheet picked up from an opshop recently and there was only just enough fabric.

Billie Jean Dress

The dress is drafted with no ease so after some trial and error I ended up cutting and sewing a size 8 to give myself 1" of extra room. Next time I might need to use the size 10 as I had to sew up the side seams and zipper seam with 1/4"seam allowance rather than the 5/8 instructed. I NEED ease, otherwise known as food and movement room!

Billie Jean Dress

This was my first time sewing princess seams and I can't wait to try more patterns with them. After an initial few minutes trying to figure out how that big curve fitted into that little curve I clipped the S/A and eased the curves together. They sewed up really nicely (although I've still got room for improvement!). I LOVE the bodice on this dress. The sleeves, neckline and princess seams are beautiful!

Billie Jean Dress

And the skirt; it's so freakin' big! Before I shortened and hemmed it I felt like a barbie doll cake, and I mean that in a good way. I loved the look of the mid-calf length poofy skirt but thought a shorter skirt would fit my lifestyle better. I cut 4" off and used 1" for hemming. Do you think this dress is too fancy for everyday wear? I can't decide, but I want the answer to be "no, you can wear this dress everywhere!".

Billie Jean Dress

I love how it turned out! It's got a really feminine vintage feel. The fit isn't perfect but its pretty damn good. I feel ready to conquer the pencil version next...maybe. Well, I'll try anyway! I'll also try the lapped zipper next time. I had to omit it in this dress due to the tiny centre back S/A's after fitting.

Billie Jean Dress

So, the giveaway! If you'd like to win a copy of this beautiful dress pattern leave a comment between before next Wednesday (19th March). This giveaway is open internationally. Let me know what variation you'd make and out of what fabric. I'm so excited to be able to send off this lovely pattern to one of my blog readers! I hope you're not all giveawayed out after Sew Grateful Week.
Giveaway is now closed. 

72 comments:

  1. This dress looks great, the vintage sheet is really nice! Congratulations for reaching 50 followers and 5000 views, that's awesome!
    I'd love to sew this dress, I haven't made a dress yet but hoping to have a crack soon. I would definitely make the gathered skirt version, I don't think pencil skirts suit me! I've got a vintage sheet that I've been saving for something like this when I work up the courage to try it out, I think it would work well.
    Also, I think you can definitely wear this dress any time, any place!
    Lou :)

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    1. Hi Lou,
      Thanks! I'm super excited about it and so glad to be able to give something back to the sewing community :)
      Yay for vintage sheets! I need to look out for them more often when I'm opshopping.

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  2. This is so dang cute- it looks absolutely smashing on you and that fabric is delish! And pencil version for sure!

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    1. Ta! I can't wait to give the pencil a go it would be such a dramatic difference to this poofy affair.

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  3. This dress is great! I wear dresses like this a lot so I say wear the hell out of it. I've been eyeing off this pattern for ages because of those beautifully placed straps on the shoulder. I'm all about the full skirt so I'd go for that version.

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    1. Thanks! The straps are a winner in my book too. I need a nice cardie to go with it so I can wear it through Autumn I think.

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  4. I love your dress - perfect for Spring and I think you should wear it a lot!

    I would also go for the fuller skirt and I think this would be the perfect dress for a Sew Dolly Clackett print!

    Louise

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    1. Hi Louise,
      It is perfect for spring, pity it's Autumn here! But its a classic style so i'll look forward to bringing it out next spring :)
      It would look fanatic in a SewDollyClackett print. Great idea!

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  5. Congrats on 50! I am so close to that number ;) .

    The dress is lovely and reminds me of summer! I would love this pattern and probably make the wiggle version first in a solid color for a date night.

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    1. You certainly are, well don to you too!
      The wiggle dress would be lovely for a date night. Very sexy!

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  6. Great post Liz, and gorgeous dress! Congratulations on the 50 followers and your first giveaway!

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  7. the dress is lovely, I'd really like to make the full skirted version in navy with polka dots!

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    1. Thank you! Polka dots would be lovely.

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  8. Love the pockets :) .. Thanks for the giveaway .. Probably I would make it in chiffon and add some draping to the front bodice.It will look awesome :) Yours is a nice dress too.. Its got the great fit ..

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    1. Yes, I forgot to mention it has pockets! They are great, but with the massive skirt they can be a little hard to locate ;)

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  9. That is one of the prettiest bed sheets turned dresses I've seen. The print is just lovely. I've never sewn a princess seam. Until recently, I thought I wouldn't like the shaping of it on my figure, but I WAS WRONG. I tried a friend's garment on and was amazed by how nicely it contours and fits the body. I'd love to give them a try in future.

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    1. Wow! That's a wonderful compliment! Princess seams are really flattering, can't wait to sew more.

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  10. Thats is a beautiful dress, I love your choice of fabric. I think I would make one out of some large black gingham first time around, then maybe make another one later. Loving seeing what you are making via google plus too, keep it up. Zoe x

    http://tadpegs.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hi Zoe,
      thanks for the encouraging words :) black and white gingham would be magical!

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  11. That turned out beautifully! I would love to make the full skirted version like you did and it would be a bonus to find a gorgeous sheet to use for it. I am making a Deer and Doe Pavot jacket currently and it is my first time with princess seams. I love how they turned out once I figured out how to get the pattern pieces together correctly.

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    1. How exciting! look foward to seeing your Pavot.

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  12. I love your dress, it's really pretty and I think it's fine for everyday wear - I know I'd want to wear it all the time! I'd make the full skirted version, possibly using some multi-coloured polka dot material that I saw recently and loved!

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  13. Your version is gorgeous! So springy and lovely in the floral fabric. The Billie jean pattern is very pretty and I would make up the pencil skirt off the shoulder version. I think the full skirt is just too much whoosh for my small frame. :)

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    1. Thanks! I agree, it is very spirngy. Pity it's Autumn hear :/

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  14. Hi Elizabeth, new follower to your blog, found it via Twitter! Can't wait to go through your blog archive :)
    Firstly wanted to congratulate you on your blog milestones, that's really great and exciting.
    I love your version of this dress, so romantic and girly, very pretty. If I had this pattern I would make something Mad Men inspired, using floral cotton voile or cotton sateen (plenty in my stash!!).

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    1. It is a perfect pattern for a mad men inspired dress. This dress makes me want to make a matching apron, get the oven pumping and set my hair in curlers ;) Thanks for popping by!

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  15. Congratulations lovely lady! Awesome dress too! I may have to add it to my ever growing wish list!
    (Don't include me in the giveaway, I already know how fabulous both you and Caitlan are ;) )

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    1. Always such kind words :) Yes, do. I want to see many other versions in the blogosphere.

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  16. Great job on this dress! And reaching 50 followers is a great milestone!
    Bedsheets really make great dresses, as is shown again in your make! You can wear it everywhere, I'm quite sure about it!

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    1. Yes they do! now that I've realised this I'll be on the hunt for many more sheets!

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  17. Congratulations Liz!! Great to see you doing so well, love following your blog :)

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  18. It's beautiful Liz! I'm not usually a florals girl but I think I could make an exception for this gorgeous dress :) If I use a floral, I would make the gathered version but as you mentioned, something Mad Men inspired in the pencil skirt would be awesome too. So glad I found your blog via our recent pattern test - you're really inspiring me to increase my own handmade wardrobe and not just sew for my boys!! :)

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    1. So happy to hear your planning to sew more for yourself! Look forward to seeing what you come up with :)

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  19. I would love to make the pencil skirt version in a floral sateen!

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  20. Hi Elizabeth, I love your dress and the fact that you made it out of a vintage sheet from an op shop! I would definitely make the fuller skirt version and would use either Shima Howaito or Blue Carnation Street cotton fabric from the Tessuti online store. From Sarah. splarose@gmail.com

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    1. ohh, a Hawaiian style dress would be so lovely!

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  21. I'd love to make the full skirt variation in a blue or pink gingham - à la Brigitte Bardot! :)

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  22. What a gorgeous dress! Good work on tackling all the ease issues.

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    1. Thanks! its turned out swell (the dress is making me talk like someone from the 1950's )

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  23. I would do everything possible to incorporate this into everyday wear. I'm yet to try princess seams, on the to dolist!

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    1. They really make for a flattering fit. Trying my best!

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  24. Oh yes princess seams are one thing I never tried and I want to learn. And your dress turned out so beautifully!

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    1. Thank you Yvonne :) they are certainly a fun new skill to learn with great results!

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  25. I think the poofy skirt is me! And I totally think this could be an everyday wear kind of dress. I have a great floral I got on sale the other week. I think it would make this dress beautiful!

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  26. Well, I'd love to sew it in a cotton voile, I have some white one with small coloured polka dots... I don't know if it's enough, anyway, it would be some colourful fun fabric :) Thanks!

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  27. Hi I just found my way over her from @bluegingerdoll instagram feed, love you dress it is so beautiful and something I'd love to wear, the fabric and the patter is perfect for etch other and it I wear to make thins pattern it would probably be in a happy fabric maybe this http://www.pandurohobby.se/Katalog/40-Sy-Sticka/4010-Textil/401005-Bomull/7/480427-Tildatyg-110-Pernille-MiGreen I think that it would be a summery and lovely combination. I hardly ever ust patteren fabric but when I do I generally love the dresses, so I trying to use the lovely print a little more.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words :)
      That is a beautiful fabric!

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  28. Definitely a full skirt version! I love full, poofy skirts! I probably try to make it in red polka dot, navy and white sailor inspired, or an elegant white eyelet. It looks like such a great dress for experimenting with. I'm not a huge fan of the off the shoulder look for the top but I'm sure that with a little tweaking I could fix it to how I like it!
    Thank you for this lovely giveaway and congratulations on 50 followers!

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    1. Thank you.
      A nautical dress would be to die for!

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  29. i LOVE your dress!! These are the kinds of dresses I want to learn to make for myself!! If I don't win, I think I'm going to buy the pattern sooner than later! I'm not sure what fabric I would use, but I LOVE what you used! maybe something like that. a vintage flowery pattern. Thanks for the chance to win.

    you SHOULD wear it every day!! I would!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad you are going to try out the pattern either way, that's great news!

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  30. Gorgeous, definitely everyday wearable esp with pretty sandals
    Great dress!

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  31. So pretty Lizzi, make me one!!! I need to come over for you to make me my outift soon. You could sell your items Liz, they are that well done- I would pay for your made clothes :)
    Love, your favourite sister, the non ditch bitch XX

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    1. Thanks Gen! Still waiting on you to decide what you want me to make you.
      You can't sell clothes made using others home use patterns, but you can gift them :)

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  32. Omg, I love this cute dress! huuum I would love just cut the length above the knees!

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  33. Such a gorgeous shaped dress! I'd love to make this with my best friend, fingers crossed :)

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  34. Wow! You look stunning! If I made the dress, I'd probably use up some pale blue cotton that's been hiding in my stash for quite a while..... About time it's used up!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks Sophia! It's great you can see yourself doing some stash busting if you win the pattern.

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  35. Oh, very pretty dress! Totally wearable for everyday, I reckon. :-) Coloured tights and boots and a cardigan, and you're all set for autumn/winter, too!

    Thanks for the chance to be in to win the pattern! I've had my eye on this one for a while, so will be keeping my fingers crossed! ;-) I'd make up both versions, but I'd do the pencil skirt one first, in a purple-and-black tiny houndstooth print cotton.

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    1. I hadn't thought of coloured tight and boots but you are so right! I don't think I can pull off bright colours but perhaps great will work.
      Your ideas for the dress sound splendid! good luck.

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  36. This is such a gorgeous dress - what a great find that sheet was! Id definitely say you could wear this everyday - if it was my dress I'd certainly be tempted to wear it all the time! Thanks for the great giveaway.

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    1. thanks for the kind words Kathryn! Good luck!

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  37. Wow, what a gorgeous dress! The combination of the cut and fabric is so light and feminine - perfect for warm weather. Great job on the princess seams - they can be a nightmare when you first try to sew them!

    Just discovered your blog and added you to my blogroll. :)

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    1. Thanks! heading over to check out your blog now :)

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