Saturday, 4 August 2012

Finished Project: Lisette 2059- The RWB Cake Dress

Red, White and Blue... I'm so proud to be British right now, with the Olympic Games! Also, it's the colours of the Dutch flag, too (my fiancee is Dutch, Q). In accordance with my promise that there will and indeed needs to be more cake in my dressmaking and less icing- I give to you a first in my new wardrobe!

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

Some windy shots, Ireland weather...  


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!