Monday, February 6, 2012

Sewing with Gorman

Way back in September or October (it’s so long ago I can’t actually remember which month it was) QueensPlaza did a promotion with Gorman where they ‘gave away’ a free Gorman dress pattern.

When I say ‘gave away’ I mean you signed up for a promo email and they sent you instructions on how to download the pattern and instructions.

Well I’ve finally got around to making this dress and let me tell you it was not easy. I am lucky I have a wonderful mother with superior sewing skills to mine who saved the day!
The first problemo?
The pattern was out of scale. Sure I can hear you ask ‘Maybe you printed it wrong?’ Rest assured my friends I did not. I followed the careful printing instructions laid out for my by Gorman (as did some friends of mine) and the pattern was still not right. Luckily I actually already owned the Backgammon tea dress of which the pattern was for (you can see it here) so I was able to use the cut out pattern and my actual dress to mark and cut out the fabric.

The second problemo?
Man those instructions are hard to understand! Trying to sew a dress without some printed ‘how to’ steps accompanied by instructions was a first for me – and my mum who’s been sewing for about 35 years.

It was like reading a foreign language to be honest.

"Join front and back fabric bodice side seams and join front"...join front what?? Can you be a little clearer?
It was about here that my mum took control of the situation, decoding the instructions, advising me what to do and basically taking over the whole project.

And thank god she did. If I had persevered any longer I may have fallen into the ‘danger zone’ *


The third problemo?

I was too god damn tired (and a little unwell) which is never a good time to start a new sewing project. Sewing when you’re not in the mood is pants.

But it was all worth it because look what I (ok so really my mum should have most of the credit) made.


I really wanted to buy this Gorman dress because I love the fabric so much but instead I used it for fabric inspiration and ended up with this.

Ain’t she a beauty? What do you think? I wore it for my birthday party this weekend and everyone loved it just as much as I do. Also please excuse the wrinkles in the pics - I was too tired to iron before outfit photos.

How are your sewing projects going? Have any of you tried sewing your own Gorman dress with the free pattern? How did you find it? And more importantly have you seen the latest collection? I LOVE Lisa Gorman for always giving us patterns and colour and I promise I'll do a post on the Winter Collection soon.

Until then, Happy sewing everyone!

*the point at which sewing makes me so crazy frustrated I resort to eating peanut butter from the jar and crying during the advertisements for the new series of ‘Biggest Loser’.


  1. Hey,
    I've had this pattern downloaded for awhile and I've just got some fabric for it. I tried the actual dress on a while back and it fit me perfectly, but I had been thinking the pattern pieces didn't look quite right.
    I was wondering if you could help me with something.. I'm not sure whether to cut the pattern pieces so that the selvedge would be running vertically down from the shoulder to the hem. I thought that was the usual way to cut for a dress, but the direction lines running through the pattern make it look like they're meant to be cut with the selvedge running horizontally through the dress.

    Sorry if that doesn't make any sense! I'm just a bit confused with it, and didn't want to cut all the fabric up wrong.

    1. Hi Chelsea!
      It is a while since I cut it out but if it helps I cut my fabric on the straight (which I think is what you mean by leaving the selvedge running vertically)..?? The pattern is SO CONFUSING!!

      I found it quite distorted (as did my friends!) so I was lucky to have the actual dress to work with too. If it helps I had to lengthen the bodice quite a bit to match up with my actual dress and get the proper fit but the width didn't seem to need widening by nearly as much.

      I hope this helps you! If you're still confused perhaps try piecing it together with some scrap fabric and getting the fit right before chopping into your pretty stuff?


  2. Hey! Thanks for replying! I think it must be the same thing. From memory, every other dress I've made has had the length-wise grain (paralell to selvedge) running down the dress. And that seems to be the norm from what I've been googling.

    I actually asked Gorman if the pattern was the exact same as in store (because I fit sz 6 in store, but the instructions said I would be sz 8) and they said it was. Maybe they've only released an early draft or something like that...

    Thanks for the tip about the bodice! I think when I buy some lining for it, I'll get some cheap fabric as well to make up a quick trial of it!

    Yours turned out amazingly! I love the fabric.
    It's such a great style of dress. Hopefully I'll be able to figure mine out ok!

    1. No worries - I just hope your sewing goes a little easier than mine! Good luck and let me know how it goes :) Would love to see another DIY project as I haven't yet found any others on the blogosphere!

      And thanks!


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