Happy New Year and a Galaxy Dress

ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy DressWell hi! Did the new year begin already? Its been a sluggish start and I admit I have a huge backlog of hand-made lovelies to share, starting with this one, a second Vogue 8280, my beloved, aka the Roland Mouret Galaxy Dress in a particularly galactic looking fabric. I can say straight up, that this project was a queue-spiter (aren’t all the best projects?!). I was part way through my first attempt at sewing a capsule wardrobe, for last Spring, which had started giving me the shits when I realised I’d bitten off way more than I could actually sew in a season. If there is one thing I do well it’s setting the bar un-reasonably high and getting upset when I can’t meet said expectations. Still, the Spring Wardrobe wasn’t a complete failure, I got about half of the things sewn, which I will share over the coming weeks. And I did also learn a lot about how I want sew and how much I can realistically produce in a season without the sew-jo taking a beating. It is not twelve items in three months, not it is not. More on this soon.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy DressNow, the story of this fabulous frock is a great one! Sometime last Spring, I received a very lovely and random email from a woman in Australia, announcing she had set up an online store, Designer Fabrics Australia, to sell off her stash of beautiful gourmet fabrics acquired from around the world and could I please help her get the word out to the people of sew-landia! But of course. The timing really couldn’t have been more perfect with the Brisbane edition of sewing get-together, Frocktails, coming up and the fact that I was desperately needing a sewing pep-up in the face of Perceived Spring Wardrobe Failure. As all the best relationships start, Liz sent me some fabric and I vowed to love and hold it forever more / make it into something spectacular. Which was not hard considering it’s freaking intergalactic, geometric SCUBA! Because of the nature of selling ones stash, the pieces listed at Designer Fabrics Australia are mostly once-off cuts, with enough meterage to make a garment but no more once its gone, so if you see something you like you have to pounce. Alas, there is no more of this particular fabric but there are new pretties listed weekly by designers such as Anna Sui, Oscar De La Renta, Isabel Marant and friends.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy DressScuba, aka, Neoprene, faux wetsuit material is pretty exciting stuff to sew with. It’s thick, but not too thick, stable and co-operative (I feel like a dirty one-liner belongs here but I’m all out of sass today) much like a ponte knit. If you want to know more, I preached its joys with my previous scuba project here. And I knowwwww its a novelty and probably one of those trends we’re all going to look back and laugh at in the next few years still I have not had my scuba fill, it really is so fun to play with. Quite a few online fabric stores are stocking scuba, like Emma One Sock and Britex Fabrics among others. The thing I love is that it holds it shape perfectly and makes for super plumped up pleated sleeves like these ones. Volume Baby!

ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy DressADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy DressThe most exciting bit of all was getting to tap into my SEWERS INTUITION!My first Vogue 8280, I followed the instructions religiously as I tend to do with most things because I get scared to go off the path. But because I was feeling wild and unchained and using a stretch fabric I figured I would just size down to a 10, remove all the darts, join the bodice and the skirt, leave out a lining and eliminate a zipper. And tie it up with a bow, honey. It was all ‘I’ll just tape this here, pinch that out there, see if this will join up here’ and so so rough. I felt like I was on a reality sewing show. Will she make it? Will it work? There’s just so much potential for things to go wrong when you’re doing a hack-job. The whole time I felt like I was following the quiet guidance of that little inner sewing guru, the one who chimes in at helpful times with things like: ‘ Girl, do you REALLY want to place that uterus shaped print right THERE?’.
ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy DressWithout a lining, the whole construction changed and the instructions became even more useless than they were to start with, although they were absolutely necessary for the sleeves, which have a little contraption underneath for extra puffed-up-ness. My first Vogue 8280 took the good part of a week. Condensed, it would still have been a day or two worth of sewing. Sub in scuba and it sewed up in an afternoon and a night and mostly on the overlocker. I then switched over to the coverstitch for the hem, sleeves and backline, which sped things up again. Anyway, suffice to say, there are days when you become your own sewing legend!ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Scuba Galaxy Dress

Photography By Daniel Maddock

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  • Sarahwrote:

    Ladies and gentlemen….she’s back!!! You have been sorely missed! Love this dress!

  • Chachawrote:

    I hope there is an award somewhere called Garment of the Year as this dress is on fire! And thanks for the link to a new place to send my cash

  • Katiewrote:

    WOW! That is a killer dress!! and welcome back, i’ve been missing your posts!

  • Olga Beckerwrote:

    This is absolutely stunning! I love everything about the dress! Amazing!

  • Jennywrote:

    This is BEYOND! I have some crazy scuba print that I’ve yet to get the courage to sew with, but you’re inspiring me right here. It’s the perfect match of fabric and pattern, and you did an admirable job in avoiding any unfortunate pattern placement. Go you!

  • Amandawrote:

    You are just so charming. Great work on the dress, quite impressive. I didn’t realize I missed your posts but insure have. Get it!

  • Jillwrote:

    This is perfect! I love how you placed the pattern. The uterus shape makes it! As does the pattern around the neckline! Bravo!

  • Loriwrote:

    That is such a stunning dress. Amazing job.

  • Jenwrote:

    It looks AMAZING!!! love the print placement and well, the whole thing! I agree on the wardrobe thing, even though it’s basically my job to do things like a sewn wardrobe, I just can’t always get myself moving on them. I think it’s to do with the self imposed lack of flexibility. This is non-sewing related thing but that little “pin it” cactus is the best Pinterest button I’ve seen yet, hands down, 100%

  • Noellewrote:

    Wow! Great combo of pattern and fabric. Love the tailored style in scuba.

  • Trinewrote:

    Amazing!!!! Sophie, you’re the best. The fit is perfect!

  • Jillian - SewUnravelledwrote:

    Oh wow, this is lovely! The fabric is stunning and oh lord you look a babe in this (is that weird to say?). I’ve not taken to the scuba trend for my own clothes. I always wonder if it feels a bit… sweaty? I don’t know, it feels kinda thick and non-breathable. But I would totally have this dress in a heartbeat.

  • Christywrote:

    So nice to see you back and with a cracker dress at that! I think you did really well with pattern placement, especially with such tricky fabric. Looking forward to seeing your other finished projects.

  • Fionawrote:

    I’m drooling over here! That is a killer dress! Perfect pairing of pattern and fabric. It’s projects like this that get me excited to sew!

  • Sewionistawrote:

    It’s good to have you back! I have missed your stunning projects and this dress is perfection! Fit is perfect and the pattern placement gives you a nice hourglass shape. Hope to see more of your backlog soon 🙂

  • Gabrielle UpSewLatewrote:

    You’ve got to trust sewing intuition more often; this dress is utter gorgeousness! I think the pattern reminds me of a Escher print really – no uterine associations are coming through…

  • nicolewrote:

    Wow! That print is amazing! Seriously you are the queen of prints, I hope you have taken this dress out for a nice cocktail!
    Another gorgeous make Sophie and btw your hair looks amazing too.:-)

  • catwrote:

    Drool! Will you ever push me over the edge and make me try scuba? Just might…

  • Sandeshwrote:

    Absolutely stunning, great mix of pattern and print…..love it!! (Happy New Year!!)

  • Natalie from Sewoutnumberedwrote:

    Holy scuba lady! This dress is fabulous!! I’m happy to take you on for the award “Great unrealistic sewing expectations”. If it’s not already a thing, I’m sure it could be…perhaps there’s a group we could join? Meanwhile I can’t wait to see the rest of your summer sewing deliciousness 🙂

  • Blogless Annawrote:

    Could this be the perfect dress? The fabric, print, style look super fabulous on you. Rocking it! And welcome back… we missed you.

  • Rosalindwrote:

    The sewing community lets out a collective *sigh* – yay Sophie’s back! The dress looks freaking fabulous.

  • Chloewrote:

    Beautious! You have outdone yourself with this baby, and it sounds like it was a really fun process.

  • salliewrote:

    AMAZING!!! You always deliver the goods! This dress is stunning. I love the nice, close fit of the dress paired with the extra ‘oomph-i-ness’ of those sleeves. And all in that out-of-this-world print!!! Killed it.

  • Sue Wwrote:

    Love the dress and the fabric. Have yet to try scruba fabric although I have a couple of pieces set aside for winter dresses. Have bought fabric of Liz a couple of times and it is pretty amazing. Great to have such lovely designer fabric now hanging in my wardrobe knowing you are not going to see any one else wearing it.
    Looking forward to your next creation.

  • Lilianawrote:

    Oh wow, this dress s awesome!I never thought neoprene could look so hot 🙂

  • crab&beewrote:

    I decided to observe Chinese New Year instead of Jan. 1. It just seems like a better fit and you’re right on time! I wish you could teach me your ways with print fabrics – this is spectacularly well-placed.

  • Janewrote:

    WOW! That is one amazing dress, and you look amazing in it! Very inspiring, I might have to get the pattern just so I can steal the sleeves…

  • Utewrote:

    This dress on you is simply perfect. It looks like a soft armor, the way it is sculpted around your body with that amazing pattern placement. How did you do that?! Was that fabric printed with your body measurements in mind? Yes, sewing legend.

  • Ann T.wrote:

    Absolutely, positively spectacular! I find myself without adequate words to convey my admiration and covetousness for your extraordinary dress. Congratulations!

  • Sonyawrote:

    Spectacular Sophie, another gorgeous dress, and you look wonderful in it! I love your outfits and your style, and I wanted to let you know how much of an inspiration you have been for me.
    I learned how to sew only 18 months ago (sewing basic tote bags and a few baby things) and you’ve inspired me to try and sew for myself. Just before Christmas I made my first dress, and I’ve made a few more pieces since then. It is sooo much fun! I also made a point to visit Tessuti fabrics in Surry Hills (so much beautiful fabric!) and have started my own blog this week.
    You’re amazing, and I’m so glad to see you back 🙂

  • Angewrote:

    Seriously….it does not get any better than this. You can officially do no wrong!

  • Gingerwrote:

    Damn Soph!! This is ridiculously fabulous! I love it so much that I almost hate you!

  • kristinwrote:

    AND SHE’S BACK WITH A BANG!! wow. it’s so awesome. you sew for your body so well, this looks incredible on you. you’ve been missed!

  • Lynnwrote:

    I’m in love with this dress! I love the high fashion look and it fits you like a glove. Great job!! You’ve been missed!

  • Madywrote:

    Another fabulous make as always! Each one of your makes is better than the last one! You are such an inspiration!

  • oonaballoonawrote:

    i saw this at work on tuesday and it was all i could do to keep from interrupting EVERYONE to show them tiny perfect handmade you on my phone! GORGEOUS STUNNING JAW DROPPING!!!!!

  • Sashawrote:

    This dress is so glamorous my eyeballs are stuck to the screen and I lost all freewill! This is what I call classy bodycon (the stability of the scuba is perfect for it) ! Love the neckline love the sleeves ! A killer dress!!!

  • Gailwrote:

    Oh my that is fabulous. I love the fabric.

  • Kellywrote:

    SOPHIE!!!! This dress…I die. Gorgeous, lovely, amazing, a work of art. It belongs on the runway! Even better that it came together so quick and without drama. The pattern placement is perfect, and those sleeves! I have a two piece set cut out in some scuba fabric- it does feel a bit trendy but it’s so fun I had to give it a try 🙂

  • Kat @ House of Lanewrote:

    Welcome back miss! You looked absolutely banging in this dress. I am still in love with it and on the hunt for this pattern. Will you be coming to high tea? I can’t wait to see what you make for that.

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  • Lolawrote:

    omg i cant even. i just want to fly to your house and steal this

  • *Sew and Smile*wrote:

    I loved this so much on you.. everything from the fabric the structure… and the design this the best risk you have taken… the dress looks great on you!

  • Meganwrote:

    This may be the best dress I’ve ever seen on a sewing blog. Upper Level. Top Shelf. Badass.

  • Ariwrote:

    this dress is So perfect on you! I love it. I recently got some pretty wild looking scuba knit at spotlight a few weeks ago and I am IN LOVVVVVVVVVVVVE. I think the most creative thing I can make for myself with it is leggings though, it’s pretty wild and colourful :,)

  • poppykettlewrote:

    Amazingly gorgeous, as always. I did see this fabric on her website… but it looks a million times better made up and on you! Love this dress style – such a winner.

  • Meganwrote:

    You belong in the jet set crowd wearing this and even they’d be jealous! Stunning.

  • Angelwrote:

    What a wonderful dress. The fabric is amazing, the fit is wonderful and it’s very classy. I’m in love with that dress.

  • IZABELwrote:

    WAOUH Magnifique ce modèle est superbe et le tissu très judicieusement choisi BRAVO Elle te va très bien

  • Lynwrote:

    Wow, I love this dress! It may have be added to my long list!! The fabric is fab.

  • Rebecca Pattydoowrote:

    Wow! The print is just PERFECT. Love it 🙂

  • PsychicSewerKathleenwrote:

    Love your dress – I wondered how you got such a FIT when I first saw your pics 🙂 You represent “scuba” so well in this blog with your finished product WOW looks beyond gorgeous.

  • RLD 017: Sophie Parslow of Ada Spragg | REYNA LAY DESIGNSwrote:

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