Sunday, 5 November 2017

Chores #1

Or: Reasons I'll never be on GBSB

Every time I used to watch GBSB, I'd swear that my approach to the alterations challenge would be to take the item and immediately turn it upside-down. I had a theory that this would free one's mind from the constraints of the existing garment and that it would help to "transform" it more effectively.

Naturally, sometime I brag and sneer but don't actually follow through. Example: I refashioned the Drape Drape dress and an unloved RTW dress and they are both still the same way up as before.

Self-deprication aside, I had set myself a very low bar to make these dresses wearable. They didn't have to be good or exact. They just had to have the right qualities so that I'd open the wardrobe, look around and say "you know what, I'll wear that".

For the Drape Drape Dress

I cut off the top and removed the bra panel, as well as the elastic casing. The lining and the drapey panel both stayed. I was quite pleased with my hemming of the georgette on the initial make so I kept that in tact too.

The bodice went through a few iterations as I kept realising that more complicated did not mean better. I had enough spare fabric to keep some continuity in the print placement (bet you can't see the CB seam!). Again I was applying alterations to V8766. The waist casing came last and pulled everything together. (Pun partially intended as I was aiming for a drop-waist style initially.

Now, let's talk about the sleeves. These sleeves are SO BAD. I still haven't fixed the pattern and I still haven't developed a block from scratch. Here's the thing. They are bad quality and dowdy. They will always be hidden under a cardigan or jacket, but I was never going to wear this dress without sleeves (because it won't suit a t-shirt underneath) so they're staying. And I'll just have to live with this strange brand of hypocrisy.

For the RTW dress

I got the original from Ultra Orange in Strasbourg in 2010, right after I'd first started sewing. I was going through the "reversible everything!" phase that is common to many new sewists, and finding a reversible RTW dress was just amazing.

The original is somewhere between trapeze and a-line style, the hem dips at the centre back and there are two sets of shoulder straps.

I've tried to refashion this dress at least twice before. In 2011 I merrily cut 2 holes in the back (with the intention of adding a drawstring) saying "this would be a terrible if someone didn't know what they were doing!" (turns out, I didn't). At some point I hid that smart idea with some darts.

It's been sat in my refashion pile for a few years as the neckline/shoulders gaped and the darts were straining whenever I put on/took off the dress (because it had no openings/closures).

This time I modified the shoulders and inserted a zip. Now the zip is an invisible zip, inserted as normal on one side and treated like a lapped zip on the other. The zip pull isn't reversible though so one side is a bit awkard. I think that my next work on this dress will involve making some sort of pull.

I'm pleased to have these two off my mind. They deserve to be worn, so hopefully this is the start of better things for them.

I've sewn so many dreses over the past few months that I feel a return to trousers is long overdue...


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