GUESS WHAT PATTERN I MADE?
Also, I cleaned out my wardrobe of all the things I didn’t like or didn’t wear, and I was left with about four outfits.
Since there are five days in a working week, this was making things a tad repetitive. And you’ll recall that I said, when I made my first one, that I was dreaming of a teal version. This isn’t voile, it’s cheapo broadcloth from spotlight. I bought it to line the skirt of my flannel version, and just got an extra three metres for this dress at the same time. It was on sale for $5 a metre, which means that the buttons and thread cost more than the fabric. Can’t argue with that – well, I could if I wanted it’s not the best quality, I suspect it’ll have some colour fading issues eventually, given my experience with similar fabrics, and how it looks when I press it. But I wanted a teal version and I wanted it NOW, and I wanted a weight I could wear now, too – everything else in my stash is quite a bit lighter and would be too cold for this weather.
I will say, it was a really pleasant fabric to sew, though. Presses nicely, behaves itself, the lot. And I know what I’m doing with this dress well enough now that I could take my time with the bits I know matter, like getting the pleats pressed right the first time, and paying attention when sewing the placket, and the gathering at the back.
The only thing really worth noting is that I ‘drafted’ a curved waistband by slashing and spreading the existing band. I took my flannel version apart to deal with the too-small skirt issue and after some mucking around I’ve decided I need the size 20 above the waist and the 22 below. Wearing my anchor version I notice that the waistband pulls at the bottom and not the top, so I thought I’d give the curved band a go on this version, as a tester. It seems to work really well! That, and some press studs either side of the waist button, have all but eliminated the gape I get there. I don;t want to make the band much wider itself, because then the centre back pulls down at the pleat/gather, and is baggy and frumpy.
I did the waistband as a half, to cut on the fold, but I need to go back and even out the curve at the centre. I also ‘drafted’ a bigger pocket bag by drawing around my hand, but should have compared it to the existing bag. It IS bigger, but the side seam part doesn’t go down low enough so I can’t get my hands into it. I’m going to go back, cut it in half, and add in a bit of fabric in the middle, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Fit wise, it has a few issues. The sleeves/armscye still aren’t perfect, the front bodice where I adjusted it by trimming some off the centre line is a bit weird, and the dart is too high. As a result of this combination, plus just having a belly so my waist is actually the widest part of my torso, at least on the front, the bodice rides up a bit.
Which I’m not a super fan of, and you can see the pull lines on the bodice that would argue it’s too tight. But loosening it anywhere leads to bagginess, and I’m even less a fan of that, so this is ok.
From the side and the back, though, it’s exactly how I want it and I’m so pleased.
And I feel very comfortable in it, both physically and because it’s basically exactly how I want to look, always.
I especially love it paired with my Bonnie jumper, which is looking a bit hard used, because I wear it almost every day. I need to make some more.
I also hemmed it a bit longer – I find because the skirt is so wide, it does tend to blow up a bit (see above…), so I hemmed it 4cm in total – 1cm turned under, 3cm turned up, which is less than the instructions say, I forget by how much. I think this is about perfect. It also means it’s long enough to wear my petticoat with it.
Not going to lie, I am pretty into this look and also how it feels and sounds when I sit down in it, and I wish I were brave enough to wear it to work like this.
You can see here how the bodice is riding up because the dart is in the wrong place:
I think the dart needs to be lower and maybe also a bit shorter. I did think about turning it into a double dart, but I just wanted to sew so I didn’t bother. As I said, I know this fit could be better but it’s an acceptable compromise to me.
Here are some innards:
Turns out I sewed the snaps a bit wonky so I’ll have to fix that – they make the waistband sit a bit off line. The buttons are in the right spot, thought. Buttons picked, once again, by the lovely Veronica at the Button Bar. I feel very lucky to work right across the road from there. Veronica ALWAYS picks the perfect buttons. She’s just magic.
I french seamed the bodice, overlocked the sides of the skirt, and sewed the skirt together with a straight stitch. Luckily, because that will make fixing the pockets easier! The centre side of the skirts were cut right on the selvage so I didn’t need to finish them, and I overlocked the bottom seam of the waistband once I was sure it was working.
I kept an informal count of how long this took, it was about 7 hours cutting to buttons. And the last two hours were buttons, because I was doing it over a couple of evenings when I was SO TIRED and it took me longer than it should have. I am really pleased with this one – with how it fits, how it looks, my workmanship and how I took it from start to finish without any hissy fits at all! A true winner.