Monday, August 10, 2009

FO: Dotty Dress

This weekend, I was determined not to lose sewing momentum. I almost scuppered myself by sulking about the non-arrival of some new fabric, for which I had great plans to make “instant” summer dresses. However, I gave myself a good talking to and set to work on the Dotty Dress which was ready and waiting.

The pattern book (“Sewing Lesson”) had fewer diagrams than the previous Japanese designs I have sewn. Only the unusual parts of the design warranted illustration. This caused me some confusion at the neckline, because I was unclear about how long the bias strip neck-binding should be. The pattern piece seemed too short, and studying the cutting layout, they seemed to have extended it. As the bodice and sleeves are gathered to fit the neckband, it is crucial that this is the right length, so there were a lot of contortions in front of the mirror in a pin-encrusted bodice!

Of course, I made it too long. I only needed the length of the pattern piece after all. The “extensions” in the cutting layout were actually the cuff bands. Duh! But by the time I realised this, I had extended it by 8 inches and sewn it all together. “Off the shoulder” would be a polite description. However, having owned a “gypsy” top many moons ago, I realised that if I ran elastic through the neckband, I could pull it up to fit, without losing the ability to get in and out. Hooray!

After that, it was plain sailing: gather the bottom of the bodice to fit the top of the skirt, sew side seams, hem and insert zip. I was very pleased with the side-seam zip, which is almost invisible. I decided to line the skirt section rather than wear a separate slip.

Result? Big success! The elastic stabilises the neckband and ensures I don’t expose any straps. The gathered bodice gives the illusion of a larger chest, while the body-skimming skirt section hides any lumps and bumps – a good style for a “pear”! If I was to make it again I would probably cut the skirt slightly longer, as I took up only a tiny hem to hit the right part of my knee.

Stats: dress M from “Sewing Lesson”, available from Pomadour at Ebay or Etsy. 2.5 metres of Anna Maria Horner’s Chocolate Lollipop fabric (from Eternal Maker) and 80cm of ordinary lining material. I made size 11, which is the middle of three sizes on the pattern sheet. The whole thing could have been done in a day, but I was interrupted by dog-walking, shopping, cleaning and cooking duties, so it took me a relaxed weekend.

I sewed and sang along to Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s 5-track promo CD on repeat. WHO?! They are a Danish indie band, of whom I heard a snippet on Radio 2 a few weeks ago. I am no music critic, but if you like Nouvelle Vague, Bjork, and the B52’s you might just love this band. I can’t wait for their album to be released in the UK!


RooKnits said...

Yipee. Photos are back. I love love love the dress - it looks fabulous.

Penny said...

That looks gorgeous. Love the fabric, and the pattern really suits you.

tea and cake said...

This is fabulous and suits you so well!