This year I have fallen ill with tonsillitis twice, the second time I took some time off to rest and relax, working from home and sleeping a lot. My mind could only handle so much structural engineering jargon, so I decided to make a dress, a dress to wear to a wedding at the end of the week, I don’t tend to do things in halves.
So generally when I make a garment the process is
– Purchase fabric (and pre wash), pattern and notions
– Trace the pattern
– Make a muslin (this can be a calico bodice plus a wearable muslin for dresses)
– Take time and care and sew garment making any required adjustments
Well, the pattern was sitting in the “find amazing fabric to go with me pile”.
Side note – the pattern is the Elisalex Dress by By Hand London, and is a very simple pattern to whip up in an afternoon, I am very much looking forward to making a short sleeved version with a heavier fabric and maybe some embroidery on the skirt. I am very excited to see what else these girls come up with, their patterns a super easy to understand and are extremely fashionable and versatile (the best kind of pattern).
The fabric (a soft cotton) was purchased at the last Global Fabrics VIP sale, on the recommendation by a dear friend and fellow sewer (it was out of my comfort zone, but that is the beauty of making your own clothes, and a challenge I am taking up more often).
I however forgot to purchase the notions and jumped straight tracing the pattern. My large roll of paper is sitting up in Auckland, so I used the next best thing I could find in my room, baking paper – not my wisest choice, but I made it work, then went into making a calico muslin for the bodice, and the size 2 fitted like a glove.
Due to time I didn’t embark on a wearable muslin (it did cross my mind substantially throughout the sewing process).
So I began to sew the dress, and then realised I needed lining, due to my lack of knowledge of good fabric stores in Christchurch, other than quilting, I resorted to popping down the road to lincraft and brought some pretty cheap fabric (big mistake) and didn’t like the right side, so actually used the wrong side for the lining.
After putting the dress together I realised it needed a zip – a very large one – back to lincraft, and ended up being cornered into buying a chunky black zip due to the lack of range for the required length (this actually wasn’t a bad thing, and really has made the dress, shock horror).
Zip in, time to hem – ahem, it needed quite a bit taken off, being a curved hem, ironing it up didn’t work (yeh I know I tried it, it was really late at night and I did have a fever), out came the overlocker, what a beaut.
– this was totally by accident but actually worked out wonderfully, I took and extra 0.5mm off the armholes.
So the downsides to making a dress while sick
– it really needed a lining on the skirt portion (didn’t notice till a wee bit too late), its a tad see through and I resorted to wearing a pedicoat underneath to the wedding.
– it is still a tad long, I would like to take it up a few inches to finish at the bottom of the zip.
– the whole back is a zip, it looks awesome as (girls love it, boys ask me why the heck it’s like that), but I did wear a thin black belt just in case someone got an idea to pull it down (this broke up the pattern on the fabric nicely).
– I didn’t conceal the zip in the lining and also didn’t fold the top portion over at the top of the dress, so there is an inch gap at the top of the dress (and a eye and hook would have just looked weird).
– AND….. to top it off the lining split during the night!
– BUT….. I got a ton of compliments on the night, so it mustn’t have looked that bad.
So the plan… to unpick the dress, yep all of it (well at least remove the zip, skirt – bodice and lining), re-line the dress, bodice and skirt and by doing so fully enclose the zip in the lining and tidy up the zip placement on the back and finally hem it a little shorter.
This will have to wait a while as I am in the process of making a friends wedding dress (and yes I will take more care with that) and also a dress for a friends birthday present, not to mention some more practical winter clothing.