23 August 2011

Sewing WIN


This was another one of those outfits that looks much better made up and on a person than it does on the outside of the envelope.  It's Butterick 5451, from their "Cut Line" series, which are patterns featuring the exact same design in different lengths (top, tunic, dress).  I think I stumbled onto someone's blog and they were wearing this as a top, then I decided to get the pattern and try the dress.  I wanted something I could use to practice making bodice adjustments and this looked like a good candidate, as it has a fitted bodice and wrap skirt. 

So I got out the pattern and some stretch sateen that I had just ordered on clearance in an otherwise ill-fated order.  I get a lot of my fabric from Fabric.com, but I get annoyed sometimes when they have sales, because the site doesn't update in real time, so often I will order something but by the time they get to filling my order they have run out, or only have odd yardages (like, I'll order 4 yards of cotton lawn and they'll only have a 1 1/2 yard piece and a 2 1/2 yard piece).  I pulled out the pattern and started adjusting with abandon.  I cut the bodice much smaller than I would think I needed so it would fit my shoulders and neck properly, and did a full bust adjustment and took in the back waist and side seams. I also had to move the skirt darts over.  A couple don't match up perfectly, but you can't really see that. 

I forced myself to not rush this time.  I tissue fit the bodice, then cut and stitched up two muslins before deciding the pattern was where I wanted it to be and then cutting the fabric.  I even hand-basted the skirt on TWICE:  once to see if everything fit and lined up and again after making adjustments and prepping to sew it on.  I started sewing before I started my job, so I have been working all year to get out of the expectation that I can get something done in a couple of marathon sessions.  I simply don't have the time.  And rushing never nets good results.  This dress took me about a week and a half to complete, including a birthday weekend where I left work early on a Friday and took two days off.

After cutting out the dress I realized my leftover fabric was not big enough to accommodate the frankly HUGE one piece collar.  Seriously.  You need about a good two yard piece to cut it.  I am kind of obsessed with the white collar, so I used some white stretch poplin I had around.  Attaching it was a pain in the butt, but once I had it on and neatly bound with white bias tape I became super excited about what was otherwise just an ok dress.  I think it's a lot of fun, it actually fits properly (I didn't even need a camisole!) and was comfortable and people kept stopping me to ask about it all day long, not knowing I had made it. 

This weekend I'll be working on the suit from the last post.  And more quilting.

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