Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Drowsy Dress

My dress, my dress, my fancy dress I don't know why I'm wearing it I must confess. My dress, my dress, I love my dress...will someone tell me why I put it on?

A wedding, a wedding hooray!

Lines, if you didn't know, from The Drowsy Chaperone. I feel like Janet Vandergraf in this dress...
(did you see they're making a movie too????)

Anyway. A dress for a wedding. In August. Last August.

It's Vogue 8766, which came free with Linda Maynard's Craftsy class. I've been putting her points into practice with my Sewlution/MW/Advent dress, but it seemed like a good idea to get her basic pattern right too. I had an almost perfect muslin bodice, then made 3 big errors of judgement:
- taking out length across the upper chest, thus raising the darts out of place
- taking in the side seams quite late in construction to add more curves/angles to the whole affair. I also think this has contributed to the bodice riding up
- arm movement is restricted unless I move like a ballet dancer. I think this is a sleeve/armhole issue
So that's some stuff to be corrected over my next few makes.


It's a burgundy cotton sateen from Goldhawk Road, lined in black Bemberg from the stash. Design-wise it's got a wide neckline with a squarish sweetheart detail. I copied the Rooibos for the neckline and did the same on the sleeves. There's also black piping at the neck, sleeves and waist. It's based quite heavily on one of my ancient pins but I think I must've also been chanelling the lady from Night Hawks while making it...

So the thing I'm most proud of on this dress is that there are a lot of different edge finishes and techniques going on. Including the facing and hems, I'm counting nine different techniques. NINE! Wanna see some of them?

Some guts for you to see
Some other guts for you to see

There's an all in one neckline and sleeve facing. I am incredibly proud of this, it took so long to figure out and a lot of different sketches  but the whole thing is machine finished and very sturdy. There's also no visible stitching on the outside (or the right side of the facing).

There are bound edges. Using fabric "liberated" from an old university event. Good stuff.

There area couple of flat-felled seams too...

The bodice side seams are turned under and secured to underlining using a herringbone stitch

French seams on skirt lining. I'm still new to Bemberg, but this is a technique I like a lot anyway.

The lining hem is a bit dodgy, the Readers' Digest 'The Sewing Book' advised the best method would be turn under once, zigzag and trim. YOU LIED READERS' DIGEST! YOU LIED! This is messy, but as long as it holds I don't care. Trying to level out the skirt after leaving it to hang was bad enough. The cotton didn't budge, the lining did.
Messy hem, for everyone to see
Some skirt seams are self-bound. This is fiddly, but quite sweet. It's my first time trying it out. Definitely using it again.
Self-bound seam

Finally there's a blind hem on skirt outer. The white basting is still in there, but I quite like it. This hem took about 3 evenings but none of the stitching shows so it's very smooth when worn.

There you have it! 


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