Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A New Dress - Part 1

a couple weeks ago, had linen and linen blend fabrics on sale.  since i've been on a garment sewing kick, i bought two pieces of yardage, same print in different colorways, to make dresses.

i had a mental image of the dress i wanted to make . . . easy to wear, no zipper, cap sleeves.  yeah, not so much luck finding a pattern i loved that i thought would look good on my body shape.  i found a pattern pinned on pinterest, Vogue 7871.   it does have a zipper, but i find invisible zips to be super easy, so i didn't mind! of course, it's out of print!!!

anywho, after a ton more time disappeared into the void while i searched online for a pattern i could print off, i stumbled across LEKALA Sewing Patterns..  they sell patterns in PDF format through their website and also on craftsy for less than $3 each.  but the best part is that you send them certain measurements, and they send you a pattern to fit YOU, not some hypothetical person!  i bought three different dress patterns for less than $7 total around 11 p.m. thursday night.  by the time i got up friday morning and checked my email, all three patterns were waiting in my inbox ready to print off!

i'd washed and dried my fabric the night before, so i printed off the pattern for the 5813 dress as well as the instructions and spent a fair amount of time taping together 23 pages and cutting out the pieces.  then i kind of held the pieces up to myself to rough check for fit.

it seemed like this dress had a more fitted silhouette than i wanted, and since i plan to take this dress when i go to turkey in the fall and comfort is key, i decided to add just a wee bit more ease into the bodice and waistband, about 1.5" total.  i also measured the length of the bodice, and the pattern as printed put the band at a really unflattering level for me, so i added 3" to the length of the bodice.

i discovered i had thread and an invisible zip in the right colors, so i got down to work.  let me say that these patterns aren't for beginning sewists!  unlike most commercial patterns, the instructions only have a drawing of the finished garment, with no pictures to demonstrate the steps in construction.  the instructions also seem to assume you've already got a good working knowledge of garment construction.  fortunately, i was able to make this dress with only checking the instructions once for the front neck facing, and only because i had initially decided to omit the center front seam.

after i was 95% complete, finished except for hemming the bottom and the sleeves, and hand tacking the facings on the inside, and adding a hook and eye above the zipper, i tried on the dress.

hmmmmm.  not so good.  while i was glad to have the extra ease at the bustline, it turned out i didn't need it at the waist, which ended up falling almost straight to the hip.  there also seemed to be too much extra fabric in the bodice between the bustline and the waistband, as it seemed excessively . . . .puffy.  the bodice back also seemed to need some small darts, but that's likely because i'm fairly swaybacked and the kimono sleeves construction.

unfortunately, it's hard to pin a garment for adjustments while you're wearing it without some help.  so what's a girl to do?  phone a friend!  while my friend wasn't able to come right over, we did plan to see what we could do about the dress on sunday morning.

next obstacle - sunday morning in the wee hours i was stricken with either a stomach bug or food poisoning and ended up spending the whole day lying in bed reading magazines!  i definitely didn't feel like working on my dress!

tune in next week to see whether i ended up with a wearable dress or not!

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