Hello, I hope you are having a lovely Sunday. I'm hoping to crack open some mulled wine and have a mince pie in a bit. Have to wait until after my pilates class though, I rather think a tummy full of wine and pie would be frowned upon by the tiny Japanese lady that takes the class (not to mention making me feel even more like a heifer than I usually do in her company). I have finally finished this dress which I started in the summer, inspired by Karen at Did You Make That. Six months later, here it is!
Excuse the photo, Matt is in bed with suspected flu, so I've had to learn how to use the timer on my camera and this was the best of a bad bunch. So, here are the points I will take away from this experience:
Well, the first thing I learned from making this dress is DON'T leave it lying untouched for 5 months, after which time you realise you've lost the second page of pattern instructions. This wasn't going to deter me though! Thankfully I'd made the pockets already as there was no way I would have been able to figure those out on my own. However I had to make up the rest of the pattern myself. The only thing I think really suffered from this was the armholes - I sewed in the interfacing, however I forgot to fold in the raw edges before topstitching, so they look pretty awful on the inside. There may also be some shaping details I missed out such as cuts around the curved seam. Oh well - no one will ever see the inside apart from me.
As in, I should learn how to sew them properly. I chickened out of attempting to use the zipper foot on this occasion because of the expensive fabric and lack of instructions. Instead I machine sewed the zip into place then topstitched it by hand. It looks fine but I need to gain more confidence in this area.
If you are a sewing novice, it's probably advisable not to shell out on an expensive Liberty print fabric for one of your first projects, no matter how pretty it is. That is all.
Karen had said that the pattern was on the roomy side and that she'd gone down two sizes with it. I erred on the side of caution and cut it just one size smaller. Nevertheless the finished product was roomy. I fitted the bodice as I went along, so it fits reasonably well. It's perhaps a little blocky around the armholes (although this might have more to do with my putting together than the pattern - see above). The pattern includes a little gathering at the back waistband, however once the dress was sewn up I felt there was far too much material in the region of the derrière, making for an extremely unflattering fit. I ended up unpicking the back seam, zip and part of the waistline and removing most of the gathering, bringing the back skirt seam in by about 2 inches at the waist and probably nearer 4 towards the hem. Thank goodness for seam rippers!
And the good...
I realise I've dominated this post with all the bad things about this project - but there are good things too. I love, love LOVE the fabric (a little 'busy' for some tastes but it's very me). Here's a close up as you can't see it that well in the above photo:
I am also a big fan of the pockets, I actually hadn't realised the pattern involved pockets - the picture doesn't show them at all, but I love them.
In the end, the dress is wearable, just. Result! I'm a bit scared about wearing it out though - does anyone else have visions of their self-stitched clothes splitting at an inopportune moment? Or people looking at the ever so slightly wonky seams and thinking you're a weirdo for making your own rubbish clothes?
I learnt a lot making up this pattern and am looking forward to using my newfound skills on the Colette Rooibos pattern which is next on my stitching list. I promise I won't lose half the pattern and bodge it together myself this time!