The long and short of it – Named Reeta (again!)

greenreetaside2Hi all

It has been a bit quiet around here for a few weeks – much sewing in progress but not very much getting out to take photos.

My latest project took a bit longer than planned to complete as I fought a bit with the fabric and then waited even longer to get round to finishing off the hems. After all the hassle of sewing I wasn’t sure if I liked the finished article but I think I may be ready to forgive it now!greenreetafront1This is the Named Reeta dress again – I made my first version for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and I have been wearing that version regularly this summer – I love the swishy long skirt.

I wanted to try it again with a shorter skirt though – I had a really clear picture in my head of a 70’s vintage style khaki shirt dress (minus the huge collar of course) and I thought Reeta would be the perfect match.greenreetafront3I decided to make this in a silky cupro fabric from Fabric Godmother – currently only available in gold. I used cupro once before – when I was making a prom dress – and it was a bit of a nightmare then so I knew what I was getting myself into.

Cupro has a beautiful  washed silk appearance, it is a fibre similar to viscose so it is washable and breathable, but it is incredibly shifty and slippery and stretches out of shape as soon as you look at it. I used spray starch for the first time which made the cutting out much easier but I still struggled with the slippery fabric and the hem dropped quite a lot.greenreetafront5I managed to squeeze this out of 2m of fabric and I used strips of the self fabric to make the belt and casing, rather than using ribbon as the pattern suggests.

My starry Reeta is a size 42 bust and shoulders, graded out to a 44 waist and hip. in practice the hip is very loose so you don’t have to worry too much about the sizing there. I shortened the skirt by very unscientifically folding about 12 inches/30cm out of the skirt at around knee level – I did remember to shorten the button placket/facing pieces as well. greenreetatopThis time round I ignored the instruction to hem the placket/facing pieces and this allowed me to adjust the hem length right at the end – and allow for evening up the hem after leaving it to hang for week or so!Named ReetaSo – now that the pain of the sewing is almost forgotten (but not quite…) I am really pleased with how this dress turned out – annoyingly I wish I had left it slightly longer than it ended up – an inch or two below the knee would have been perfect!

Does anyone have any tips for sewing with cupro – apart from ‘don’t!’ – I love the way it looks but I think it is too much like hard work for me!






9 Comments Add yours

  1. Lynsey says:

    This dress looks great on you, the colour is fab but it must of been so hard to sew, I’ve used it once as a coat lining and swore never to use it again (although didn’t use starch!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I think I have forgiven it now! The starch really helped with cutting out – stopped it being so shifty but it’s hard to spray the fabric completely so some pieces still stretched out of shape really easily – lots of stay stitching!


  2. Janet says:

    I’ve never sewn with cupro… But when I was having a ‘mare with some polyester crepe de chine recently, another blogger recommended Microtex needles, which really helped. And for cutting, sandwiching a single layer between two sheets of tissue is a good way to subdue a shifty fabric if you cut with shears. The trauma you went through doesn’t show at all in the final result – it looks like a great dress to get you through all those warm autumn days we’re hopefully going to get.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I did use microtex needle but I find that cupro has a tendency to stretch out of shape really quickly – especially if cut on the bias! Back to sewing with something nice and easy for a while!


      1. Janet says:

        A wool coat will be a real treat after this then 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. notsewsimple says:

        I may have made a tshirt or two first! Have to gather strength for coat making!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynne says:

    Your dress is fabulous, and definitely worth all the trouble! I haven’t used cupro myself, so unfortunately don’t have any tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I always find slippery fabrics a challenge so I will just need to learn how to handle them!


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