Monday, 8 October 2012

Wiksten Tank Dress

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I am so happy that I finally have something finished that I can share today! Oh, and if you manage to read all the way through this post there may be something in it for you....just sayin' ;)

A little while back I was contacted by the kind folks of Kollabora and asked if I would be interested in making something from one of their sewing kits to help promote the launch of the new website. In their own words; 'Kollabora is a brand new fashion and design forward DIY community, connecting makers with inspiring projects, tutorials and the best hard-to-find supplies.'
If like me, you enjoy the occasional venture into dressmaking, knitting, embroidery and other techniques you may enjoy this website as well. What I like about the site is the community aspect, you can find tips and video tutorials on different techniques, post a question, share your own projects or just shop for patterns and pretty fabrics.

wiksten dress


I chose to make the Wiksten tank project as I adore Jenny's patterns. They are simple and stylish with lovely details and they fit me well, what more could a girl want! I received this beautiful Vera Wang silk courtesy of Mood Fabrics to make my dress, it is lush! Honestly it was such a treat to be allowed to pick something out at Mood, they have lots of fantastic fabrics available it took me forever to narrow my choice down. 

Sewing the slippery silk was a little challenging for me having grown used to the ease of sewing with quilting cottons. I needed to take frequent short breaks from trying to control the slipping and sliding whilst cutting, pinning and sewing. It was hard on my hands and shoulders, I kept tensing them up for fear of messing up my entire project!

wiksten 1
Hand on hip, it's my one and only pose!

The Wiksten tank is definitely a beginner friendly pattern but depending on sewing skills and the type of fabric can have it's little challenges. Especially the bottom hem and the neck and arm binding can be a little tricky. 

 When I made my first top I had trouble with gaping at the back of the neckline. Rae has a good solution for this here, if you have enough ease this will definitely work. But I was worried I would not have enough ease in the armscye so I simply lowered the back neckline which solved the issue nicely. First tricky part tackled, no more gaping -excellent!


wiksten tank dress 2

On to the binding, one thing that is not mentioned in the instructions but I find quite helpful is clipping the curves before pressing the binding seams open. I also made the binding slightly wider than the pattern calls for just to make my life a little easier when tucking under those raw edges.

I could not iron my fabric too hot so the binding was not laying as flat as I would have liked but I found a solution for this. After ironing my seams open I pressed them towards the binding side and stitched a second seam very close to the first one. This line of stitching is not visible from the outside of the garment so it does not interfere with the look of the finished dress. What it does is to help set the seam so it falls neatly towards the inside and helps the binding to lay flat.

wiksten binding
The line of stitching right at the top, that's the one I'm talking about!
For the hem I sewed a row of basting stitches just shy of 3\4" all the way along the hem this helped a little in getting a neater hem finish. I had to do the bottom hem twice and still it's not exactly perfect. There is some excess fabric in the curve that would not behave and the corners needed lots of clipping to prevent them from pulling. The bottom hem could definitely be better!

All in all I love my new dress, it's simple but the luxurious shiny silk makes it so special! I would definitely wear this on a night out or to a party.

You made it all the way down here that means it's Give Away time!!
The Kollabora kit I received came with a copy of the Wiksten tank pattern which I already own so we thought it would be nice to give it to one of you!

Comments are now closed
  • If you would like a chance to win a copy of the Wiksten tank pattern, simply leave one comment on this post. 
  • Anyone anywhere can enter, this is a simple give away- no hoops.  But of course the people of Kollabora would love it if you paid a visit to their website, follow them on Twitter and Facebook 
  • If you are a follower of my blog, new or old, you may up your chances by entering twice. Just leave one separate comment on this post. 
  • Entries will close October 19th at midnight. Mr Random Number Generator will pick a winner to be announced later that weekend. 
  • Last but not least please make sure there is a way for us to contact you should you win, this means you will need to make sure your profile is set to include your email address or leave an email address in your comment. If we can't contact you you can't win.

    Good luck!!
x Leila

48 comments:

  1. what a great dress! I have loved seeing versions of this tank and really hope one day to be brave enough to tackle something like this dress making wise. Of course winning the pattern would be a great start! :-)

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  2. And I'm a long time follower of your blog!

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  3. Your stitching looks great!

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  4. I'd love to try that pattern! I think you did a magnificent job! Sewing that with silk could not have been easy but it looks perfect.

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  5. Leila your dress looks so perfect and luxurious.. I am really keen on trying garment sewing and seeing all your tova versions makes me want to own one myself.

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  6. I'm an old follower of your blog :D

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  7. This is a beautiful example of this pattern. Very nice execution. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. Beautiful indeed, I am a follower.

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  9. That fabric is amazing, well done for persevering with it!

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  10. i have the tova pattern (which i still haven't made yet) but not the tank. i would love to have it! ;) love this leila! the fabric is beautiful! i need to get to cutting my tova!

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  11. i follow you and am better because of it! ;)

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  12. You are brave to use that fabric to make your tank dress, I would use a lightweight cotton - easier sewing.

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  13. I love the fabric you used - I think your extra work was well worth the effort!

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  14. I would love to make the tank pattern - I've seen several versions but never as a dress!! I like it!

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  15. That is a beautiful silk dress!:)

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  16. This is such a versatile pattern - I have seen the tanks but your dress is so lovely too!

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  17. Oh look at you - excellent!! - I have not been able to justify buying the pattern, but winning is a different story - thanks for the chance x

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  18. Wow Leila, gorgeous job!

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  19. Absolutely stunning choice of fabric. I cannot imagine having a choice some place like Mood, I'd probably end up staying there for a few months:)

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  20. I'm a Follower. Your dress really looks beautiful, I love the bindings and appreciate all the info.

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  21. Beautiful dress! Your seam finish was a great idea too and it looks so neat. Thanks for the chance to win this pattern. :)

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  22. Thank you for this giveaway! :)
    I really like the fabric you used for this top!

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  23. Nice job on the dress, lady!

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  24. the dress and fabric are fabulous - you should be v.chuffed with yourself! I'd love to have a go at making this!
    amchogan@hotmail.com

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  25. oh and I'm a follower of your blog too!

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  26. I would love to win the pattern. My daughter's would love it too, since they are the ones I would be making the dresses for. fran.daoust@yahoo.com

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  27. I just found your blog via the Pink Penguin and it is lovely! This pattern looks like a nice starter (except for that binding - yikes!) since I've not yet ventured into making clothes. Thanks for the giveaway! Junie.None@gmail.com

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  28. would love a chance to win the pattern! thanks!

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  29. You did a great job on that dress, and what a lovely model you make, too!

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  30. I have so fallen in love with the fabric and the dress looks stunning on you. Excellent professional job.

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  31. Lovely! That pattern has been hanging out on my wishlist for a while now :)

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  32. great dress! i like the unusual print.

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  33. I'm a follower....I had a look at kollabora website...very nice. The fabric of your dress is fantastic!

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  34. Great job- just a hint I use tissue paper under knit and thin fabric.
    It"s a stablizer and tears off easy. Thanks for the chance of a new pattern.

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  35. I was just looking online at what others have made with the Wiksten tank pattern and I came across your giveaway. I've been considering getting this pattern so winning would be awesome. Thanks! jen(dot)e(dot)hsu(at)gmail(dot)com

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  36. new follower - jen(dot)e(dot)hsu(at)gmail(dot)com

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  37. Lovely blog. I was actually reading your hand quilting post and it was amazing! thank you so much.

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  38. Thanks for the giveaway! lupus2(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  39. That's a nice give away! I'm in the game! And thank you for sharing information and inspiration.
    astridenpieter(at)kpnplanet(dot)nl

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