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Tabatha’s April Challenge 2013 – Week Two

April 15, 2013

I’m back after another week’s sewing!  Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Monday 8th April

Baba Tweedie was extremely obliging today as he slept for about 40 minutes in the morning, and Little Tweedie played with my button collection whilst I sewed.  She doesn’t get to do this very often, and she really enjoys doing it, so it’s like a treat for her.  It’s a win/win situation because she becomes really engrossed in it, making up all sorts of scenarios about the buttons and who they are and what they are doing, which enables me to sew without being mithered by her!

Baba Tweedie had a proper sleep in the afternoon when Little Tweedie had gone to nursery, which gave me about an hour and a half of total peace!  Bliss!  I sewed the facings to the Gertie Shirtwaist dress and slipstitched the inner yoke in place.  The end is nigh!

Tuesday 9th April

No sewing today, and I’m not going to make the week difficult by trying to make up the time.  I spent today with the children up until 3pm when I set off on a 150 mile trip to surprise a dear friend who was celebrating her 30th birthday today.  It was a fabulous evening of dinner, cocktails and catching up, and I wore a new ‘me-made’ dress, which I haven’t gotten round to blogging yet…

Wednesday 10th April

Today my two hours of sewing was covered by the new course I’ve enrolled on.  For the third year running I’m taking a sewing class to keep building my knowledge on pattern cutting.  I’ve decided that seeing as my body shape has changed since my second pregnancy, now is not a good time to continue with my Vertigo dress, as I had already started sewing it up and it would be too small at the moment.  Instead I spent the time drafting a new block which will fit me for now and I’m plotting some design ideas for a new self-drafted dress.

Thursday 11th April

I managed half an hour of sewing this morning whilst Baba Tweedie was napping, but it meant leaving Little Tweedie watching TV in the next room during that time.  I feel like a terrible parent, but I guess half an hour of watching cBeebies on her own isn’t going to do any harm, and I could hear her if she needed me.  Still, I’d rather not make a habit of it!

I got the rest of my sewing done in the evening.  This time was spent making the windows for the bound buttonholes in the bodice and skirt front facings.  I didn’t have any white organza for the job, so just used some of what I had – this bright blue silk organza which I used for my Colette Crepe dress when I did Gertie’s Crepe sewalong in January 2011 – something tells me Gertie must be a fan of silk organza!  This is not the best colour for my Shirtwaist dress, but seeing as it will be mostly hidden away I just used it anyway!

Blue silk organza patches for the facing windows - (mid-construction photo)

Blue silk organza patches for the facing windows – (mid-construction photo)

Here is a photo of the bound buttonholes (you’ll have to look closely – I was able to do some good pattern-matching!), and their accompanying windows on the facing:

Bound buttonholes (left) and facing windows (right)

Bound buttonholes (left) and facing windows (right)

I’m pretty darn pleased with how neat this is!  This is how the facing looked once the windows had been slipstitched to the back of the bound buttonholes:

The facing windows, now slipstitched to the back of the bound buttonholes.

The facing windows, now slipstitched to the back of the bound buttonholes.

Tonight’s cocktail was a B-52.  We had run out of ice, so my choices were limited…



For 1 glass:

  • 1/4 measure coffee liqueur (Tia Maria or Kahlua)
  • 1/4 measure Irish cream (i.e. Baileys)
  • 1/4 measure Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

Place the coffee liqueur in a shot glass, then float the Irish cream on top using a spoon.  Add the Grand Marnier in the same way, making three layers in all.

Friday 12th April

In today’s sewing slot I finally finished the dress!  It feels as though it has taken FOREVER.  Here are some large photos of the details:

Front view

Front view

Back View

Back View

Bodice view

Bodice view

Innards view

Innards view

Buttons and buttonholes

Buttons and buttonholes

Back yoke

Back yoke



What do you think?  I posted a front view photo on twitter and got so much love for this dress!  But do you want to know a secret?  I don’t love it as much as everyone else appears to!  I mean, it’s fine, but nothing special!  It is super-duper-comfortable though, and good for breastfeeding, so it will definitely get worn a lot this summer.

My cocktail this evening was the imaginatively titled ‘Bacardi Cocktail’:

Bacardi Cocktail

Bacardi Cocktail

For 1 glass:

  • 5 – 6 ice cubes
  • 1 measure (50ml) white Puerto Rican rum (Bacardi)
  • 1/2 measure fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 measure Grenadine
  • 1 strip unwaxed lime peel

Place the ice, rum, lime juice and grenadine in the lower part of the shaker.  Fit the upper part of the shaker and shake vigorously for 8 – 10 seconds.  Strain into a martini glass using a cocktail strainer.  Cut the strip of lime peel with a paring knife.  Over the glass, pinch it between the fingers to release the oils, then drop it into the cocktail and serve immediately.

Saturday 13th April

I only sewed for one hour today due to friends coming to visit, but during that time I made pretty swift progress with my Sew Serendipity Monique dress.  It certainly feels good to whip something up in a jiffy after slaving away over that shirtdress!

My cocktail this evening was a Long Island Iced Tea:

Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea

For 1 glass:

  • 8 – 10 ice cubes
  • 1/3 measure vodka
  • 1 measure fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 measure gin
  • 1/3 measure Puerto Rican rum
  • 1/3 measure curacao triple sec
  • 1 measure cola
  • 1/2 slice unwaxed lemon

Place 5 – 6 ice cubes and all the ingredients except the cola and lemon slice in the lower part of the shaker.  Fit the upper part of the shaker and shake vigorously for 8 – 10 seconds.  Place 3 – 4 ice cubes and the cola in a highball glass.  Slowly add the contents of the shaker, pouring them through a cocktail strainer so they form graduated layers with the cola.  Add the lemon slice and serve.

Sunday 14th April

I sewed for three hours today to make up for yesterday’s shorter slot, mainly during the day when Mr Tweedie was around to take care of the children (I’m still getting used to this – talking about ‘the children’ or ‘the kids’!!!).  I pretty much finished the Monique dress, so I envisage completing it tomorrow.  I had a slight hiccup with its construction – I had traced the darts incorrectly – so I had to unpick and restitch.

I only traced half of the dart by accident!!!  Oops.

I only traced half of the dart by accident!!! Oops.

Aside from that the dress has come together gratifyingly quickly and easily.  Can’t wait to post photos of it – I just LOVE the fabrics!

Until next week… 🙂

  1. April 15, 2013 10:09 pm

    The dress looks really lovely, and what great details the buttonholes and shirring are. Hopefully you’ll grow to love it and wear it loads this summer.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 15, 2013 10:12 pm

      Hi Kerry and thanks for commenting! I’m sure it will get a lot of wear and it was a great learning experience too!

  2. April 16, 2013 6:31 am

    I think it looks absolutely wonderful. All your hard work has paid off! I hope you do get a lot of wear out of it because it’s just lovely, I especially love the gingham and the bound buttonholes, what an achievement! x

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 16, 2013 8:04 am

      Thanks Jane. I’m sure it will get a lot of wear, it is so practical!

  3. April 16, 2013 7:08 am

    Oh, I love the dress! I’ve been eyeing it off in Gertie’s book but haven’t actually seen anyone blog about one they’ve made. I think I will give it a go in Spring (we’re in the middle of Autumn now).

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 16, 2013 8:06 am

      I think Lladybird has made one but other than that I couldn’t find any other versions either. Perhaps everyone has been put off by the shirring and buttonholes! 🙂

  4. April 17, 2013 12:04 pm

    Lovely dress and I can see it being very useful for feeding baby in. I am intrigued to see the next dress! xx

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 21, 2013 8:20 pm

      It really is comfy and great for nursing. It had its first wear the other day and Baba Tweedie was sick on it four times, so it’s been properly baptised now! 🙂

  5. April 17, 2013 3:37 pm

    This is so cute! I hope you grow to love it in time because it really is nice. 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 21, 2013 8:23 pm

      Thanks Sonja! I’ve worn it now and it’s very comfortable and practical – except in the wind – the full skirt and windy weather are not a good combination! But it was lovely to wear and the girls in my sewing class all liked it too, so I think it’s going to get worn a lot this summer!

  6. April 21, 2013 11:40 am

    SQUEEE! This is all kinds of rad! And that shirring? I am in awe! I can see this with some fierce red ballet flats and necklace as a rad catch up dress. I may style stalk this… 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      April 21, 2013 8:24 pm

      Yes! Red shoes DEFINITELY! Thanks Amanda 🙂


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