Monday, 20 January 2014

A new year, a new post.

A new year, a new post. Sewing took a back seat over the christmas period, but I'm back now. The business is still in business, although I have so many things I want to make for myself I don't know when I'm going to fit in making bags for other people!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a whole day to yourself? A special 8th day that only exists for you to get stuff done in and you don't have to worry about the day job, the children, the spouse, the house. Everyone else skips straight to the next week!

So anyway, back to the real world: this is my current project. For me.

I want to wear it on Saturday for my anniversary meal with hubby (its now Monday), but it probably won't be complete from a finishing point of view.
Its actually meant as an evening gown for a ball next month, but without the underbust corset and the petticoat and the gloves I have lined up for that event, I think its a perfectly wearable restaurant dress. Bit busy maybe!

I chose Vogue 2903 for my evening gown (a 1957 design) - its as close to what I have in my mind as I could get. Its more calf/ankle/tea length than the illustration suggests - her thighs are disproportionately long!.

I went for the Katie Kandles black peacock fans fabric - first hurdle - ordered 8 metres but Fabricland rang me to tell me there was only 5 metres left! I ordered it anyway, and managed to squeeze it all in by also utilising the 3/4 metre I had left in my stash from bag-making. There is a mixture of pattern
directions (feathers up and feathers down) but I decided that its not that obvious because the pattern is so busy.

I do have issues with the sizing. I very carefully noted my measurements and adjusted the pattern accordingly (normally wear a 16, but measured as size 20 with 22 waist so cut the pattern as a 20 from the waist up and a 22 from the waist down) I'm both short and fat waisted. Unfortunately after my adjustments it was too big around the waist. Gah! I had to take it in, and have a large seam allowance at the shoulders for it to sit properly. (I'm shorter waisted than I thought!)

I also decided against sewing the full folds in as per the pattern. The nature of the print means that you don't really get the effect, and having tried to do a full fold (There are 6) - the skirt didn't sit how I wanted it to. So that was unpicked.

OMG this dress is seriously hard work!

Its finished as far as construction goes, but there's still a long way to go - removing the basting stitches, hemming, and seam binding which is going to take aaagges.

I had to re-do the sleeves twice (try on, sigh in dismay, unpick, snip a bit off, re-baste, try on and repeat) because they were just too puffy. I don't mind puffed sleeves, in fact I quite like them, but not with an off-the-shoulder dress, because the sleeve doesn't sit on the shoulder but below it, so too much puff just looks wierd, especially for someone with bigger arms. I've gone for two folds instead of gathering. I actually don't think they were ever meant to be gathered, just 'eased' but there was so much fabric I had no choice.

The yoke section is more complicated that anything i've done before, because there is an inner and outer section, and the sleeve is connected to both. I can't even begin to explain quite how that works, or why it's necessary frankly, but I just did what I was told! They didn't half make life difficult for
themselves in the 50's! There was a bit of hand sewing involved because it was too tricky to get the machine in all the corners.

Its shown with a two-layer net petticoat underneath for a small amount of flounce. It is 'bigger' when I wear it - but of course Kirstie (my dressmaking form) has no legs...The petticoat is from dreampetticoats - I ordered a 30" which is a length hard to get off-the-peg - but actually I'm starting to wish I'd bought a 32" with a satin trim (and an underskirt 'cos boy its itchy ) Too late now though.