Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Janet revisited

You remember two years ago when I lauded my Janet Dress?

You remember it was perfect?

I should have added one thing to that post on "things I wish someone had told me when I started sewing". DO NOT MESS WITH ARMHOLES. Whatever the pattern, DO NOT MESS WITH THE ARMHOLES

Busts and backs and bumps and bums are weird enough but DO NOT MESS WITH THE ARMHOLE or you will be in a world of pain.

Convinced the fit of my Janet dress was perfect, I've made a further three off the same pattern: Mod, Jerome and Lizzie. That's what you do when you're convinced that a pattern works. Big mistake. One shows sweat patches, one has bust darts as high as my collar bones and one is so tight in the chest that it's tough to climb the stairs to my flat.

I'm considering putting them on eBay. Imagine the notice. "Handmade red dress. Would fit child, weedy geek, house plant or amputee. In latter case, will require assistance with back zip. £8 ono."

So I started again.

The modified pattern pieces from 2013 were a hot, alien mess so I retraced the original V8766 and spent a few fitting sessions trying to improve the muslin. I must be one of the only people in the world to bloody hate this pattern. I hate the shoulders, the armholes, the darts, the darted sleeve caps, the waist, the side seams, the tiny tiny upper chest... I hate it. I got it as part of Lynda Maynard's Craftsy class - which is a great teaching tool and has a lot of good principles.

I'll cover fitting adjustments in another post, but I'm quite happy with the results. The sleeve pitch is still off as I hadn't altered the original at all. Otherwise it looks good.

This is the Unsquare Dress - named after everyone's favourite 7-count Brubeck number.


The outer is a Milly (who dat?) silk charmeuse from Emma One Sock, and the design is still recent enough to show up on eBay in the original garments (450USD NWT?!) and in Google image searches. It's got a bit of a sheen and I love the mix of colours. I didn't make any major attempts at pattern matching but have at least kept the black horizontal lines matched across the seams.


The bottom band is a black sateen from my stash, originally a remnant from Misan Textiles. It doesn't rip at all, which would make it great for pockets or high-stress areas. I also used a strip as a trim on the neckline - with hindsight it may have been better to measure this instead of winging it. It would have made the neckline look a little more refined.

Optical illusion alert: there isn't actually a waist seam on this dress

There's a lapped zip in one of the side seams and the lining is a cotton duvet cover I got from Hema when I lived in Brussels. It's so comfy, is well worn and laundered so it won't shrink or run. It's also slightly warmer than I'd have expected, which means I don't have to bundle up so much.

This was originally planned for a friend's wedding but also helped land me a new job (Kaisla also helped), so I'm quite fond of it already. Hopefully there will be more like this to come!


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