I had a clothes cull (blog entry in relation to this to follow) and decided that although I love a girlie dress and a pair of heels, in reality and everyday life; I love leggings, some flats and a dress that will go over the posterior (I do not like to see a lass with leggings on show and a VERY VPL, nah). It's my day-to-day style. So after a hunt around- I found that in the May edition of Sew! Magazine (which I buy every time I am back in the UK), I had this pattern for FREE:
I did make some changes to the original pattern. I am 5'3'' and the average pattern is aimed at the 5'6'' gal. So I shortened the entire pattern by 5cm
This extensive length change left the cutting-line a bit skew-wiff. I merged the two lines at the waist. No major panic, just a pencil, french curve and a recognition of symmetry of the front and the back, ensuring that I merged them both at the same point and gradient.
By using a 160cm width fabric, I was able to fold the selvage edges into the centre, like a take-away menu, this evidently saved A LOT of fabric in the process. With the 5cm length change and this method, I was able to use only 1.6 meters of fabric and barely any waste.
For the arm and neck bias facings, I used a navy and blue stripe cotton, which I originally used for my second ever make: The Angela Kane Pinafore Dress (The Tattoo Dress) and because of the on-grain stripes, finding the bias was an absolute walk in the park. I just extended the bias grain line with a marker pen and lined up the pattern piece accordingly.
The construction of the dress was so easy and really well explained by Simplicity, it went together like a dream and in relatively no time at all. For some reason (my bet is on the fact that I reduced both pieces by 5cm at the waist) I lost 1cm from the back of the dress, obviously this caused a slight discrepancy with the hemming of the dress- as they were uneven. I used a 1.5cm hem for the back and a 2.5cm hem for the front. Using a hand-hemmed approach to dresses is far more time-consuming, but in all honesty, looks the business both inside and out...
Note: for the visible stitch of the Herringbone stitch, I caught the fabric on the dark and the lighter blue stripe, it is invisible from the outside!
I love this dress, but being a reflective seamstress, here are some negatives about the dress:
- It's very baggy, the ease of the dress is 7"- which I now know to be massive. Next time I will shave off at least 3" from the whole dress and still be happy that it will go over my head without the need for any closures like a zip or button. I wear this dress with a waist belt and it looks fine for casual wear.
- I used the last of my 'new-to-sewing-liked-the-print-didn't-look-at-the-fabric' quilting cotton in this project, and it works... OK. It's very rigid, smells of a quilt shop (despite two washes) and creases like a microwaved crisp packet.
So here you go, some pictures of my first ever 'less icing, more cake' dress:
|Gathered neckline, a subtle but very pretty addition|
|With belt, for sure|
In other news:
- I am well on my way to learning Dutch, my Parents-In-Law-To-Be bought me a Dutch copy of Burda Style Magazine when they went to Belgium for a visit and it's a genius way of getting me translating to Dutch! I am hooked and learning fast! I started translating every word for the first few pages, but now I am picking up words and able to workout a few words, too!
|Two *temporary* best-friends|
- I have 4 days off over this Bank Holiday Weekend and I'm not afraid to use them!