Saturday, 12 April 2014

Brown B-day Dress

I wanted the sewing to be a hobby and not a source of additional stress. Anyhow, that is what happened with my b-day dress. I was slowly planning another dress (for a wedding I am invited to in June) and hesitating on a great khaki wool crepe I bought a month ago, and a black cotton because I really need a black skirt now. I also finally received my fabric order from Germany and my 3 old Burdas. So too many ideas, too many wishes, not enough time and…. a request to wear a new dress “made by me” on my b-day (in 2 weeks time).
Not that 2 weeks is not enough, it includes 1 week-end plus 4 evenings I can sew freely and I can finish a dress in what.. 15 hours… but the idea of a deadline got me totally stressed out.

So I ended up taking a day vacation just to go fabric shopping (again!, but I controlled myself and only bought what I really needed: brown-reddish cotton for the b-day dress, cotton-silk for the lining and then finally dark blue silk and a cotton-silk blue lining for the wedding-guest dress). The same day I also created a test model, because the pattern I have chosen asked for a real precision and I was sure some usual alterations were needed.

The pattern is 108 from 04/2014 Burda where I really like how all the lines flow on the dress. I omitted the pockets, as already said, I consider them on dresses and skirts somehow superfluous. I am wondering if I will ever learn how to sew the pockets, will probably have to try a pair of shorts or trousers one day.
As for the test model: the bodice was too long, as usual, in the front I took in 1.5cm, in the back 1.5cm to equilibrate and additional 1.5cm on the upper and lower side.

 The cotton is pretty simple to work with, so with a little bit of attention to the pattern matching I managed to handle the too many darts and pieces which in the end create the beauty of this dress. But the lining was a nightmare: I did the French seams on all the lining pieces because the fabric is so fine that I was afraid anything else would fray or roll and baby hemmed the border. It is incredibly comfy on the body, but I cannot believe I have another 5 meters of this hell to work with.

I put in the invisible zip, as usual, covered by the lining. I was thinking about the way to insert the lining for 2 days, looking at many tutorials but in the end I followed the pattern instructions (at least I think, because I read them through very quickly). I attached the lining everywhere, leaving the shoulder seams for the end, which I thought I would put together half with a machine, half by hand. I ended up with no more than 4cm of fabric on each shoulder, so hand stitching was the only possibility.

Et voilà, the finished dress, 2 days before the deadline. I am very proud of
-     - Darts matching on the outer dress

-     - Very invisible zip

-     - Not having thrown away the lining
-     - The fit of the dress (lesson learned: it makes sense to make the muslin)

Hopefully my next project will be more fun and pleasure :o)

To see it in the real life, here is a picture of myself in the dress at Opéra Bastille.

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