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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Make a Garment a Month Challenge - My October Dress Finished (New Look 6095)


I have finished my official garment for the month of October for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge.

I have finally made a dress, New Look 6095:



 It is years since I have made a dress  so I decided to make something simple.  This was for two reasons:

1. To practice basic dressmaking techniques such as facings and inserting a long zipper (lapped).

2. To see what fitting problems I will have with dresses so that I can learn how to fix them for future dresses.

Some of you have seen my fitting muslins, and yes, I do make a lot of muslins!  I do muslins for lots of reasons:

1.  To check the fit on me and make alterations if need be

2. To see if the style suits me - and if not, is it just because I need to alter a feature such as a neckline or is it just not going to suit me.

3. To see if the pattern works as all - fit, style, sewing, pieces.  Sandra Betzina, in her book "Power Sewing"claims that some patterns just will not work.  

4.  And sometimes just to learn concepts...

I made up a test garment and here it is:

Dress Front
 I raised the neckline of this dress as the wider neckline was going to allow my bra straps to show.  I also added another 5/8 inch to the sleeves as I found the original sleeve just a little too short.

I added extra to the shoulder width to accomodate my shoulders.

I also lengthened the dress by quite a few inches.

Dress Side
For those of you who read my posts on the muslins for this dress, you may recall I was having problems with drag lines from the bust through all the way to the hips.

With my last alteration (extra ease bust and waist to match that of the pattern) the drag lines have gone.

My other fit issue with the original pattern was the shape of the back and the way the zip gave a really big curve through the mid region of the back.

With my last alteration (the extra ease at the waist plus making my short waist adjustment not at the waist but just under the arm) I managed to eliminate the unsightly bulging zip and the back looks much straighter - like mine.

Dress Back
Looking much better and hanging pretty straight - the excess pouches of fullness have dropped out.

I'm happy about the results on this first test garment.

The issues I have noted are:

1.  Because I have a very upright posture and prominent rib cage, and, flat hips at the side, and  very narrow flat back and bottom, the dress is slightly longer at the sides and  back and a bit shorter at the front.  This doesn't bother me with this dress - no-one will notice, but I will attend to this in the next dress.

For those of you who are very observant - yes, the hem is a little uneven - I am aware I have a very slight congenital scoliosis and I tend to watch my posture - and in photos I often over compensate !  In real life it is not worth adjusting because I lean one way or the other, depending on whether I am watching my posture or not.  And in real life, dresses are always moving.

I also noted on the side view that the armholes are quite big and my bra showed slightly.  On the other hand, it was delightfully easy to move in.

So, for a test garment it is really very wearable - and I wore it last week on a very hot day and it was lovely and cool and comfortable to wear - and I wore it to the office and in the garden watering :)

Dress Belted
 I have also made a matching fabric tie belt - and the dress looks wonderful belted.  The photo above shows my very angular inverted triangle shape - I have broad shoulders proportional to my hips, and wide rib cage proportional to my hips, small narrow hips (the dress is not close to my hips at all but ballooning out a bit in this photo which gives the illusion of a waist and hips) .  I only wear an A cup bra, so my chest, ribs and posture give my quite a prominent chest line.

My high rib cage is also quite prominent which lifts the front line - I really did have to do upright posture (include books on the head) as a child - part of an old prep school background in England.  I also did elocution and all those sorts of things.  And Latin.  Memories....
 
I also checked the dress on  Scarlett, my birthday dummy:



And she will be okay for preliminary fittings that will then be checked on me.  Her  posture is not as upright as mine but she is not a bad match for my shape.  I'll have to give her a  bit of a tummy though !


 And her back is as narrow and straight as mine - again, without the upright posture, but still good for a starting point for fitting a muslin.  Her bottom is a bit bigger.

So this dress achieved all my objectives and gave me a wearable garment.

The next one will be even better :)

Sarah Liz :)

P.S.  For those of you interested in fitting, I'll be doing a post on fitting on Thursday.







33 comments:

  1. It is very nice, and looks great on you.

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  2. Clearly I am not very observant because I can barely see the hem differences you are talking about. Lol. It looks lovely and certainly not like a test garment. Congratulations. Cheers, Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen - I'm being hypercritical of course :)

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  3. Lovely dress Sarah Liz. Great fabric. You have achieved a great dress - especially for a trial.

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    1. Thank you BeaJay - I'll be making more of these :)

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  4. I don't think you can count this as a wearable muslin - it's version 1 because it looks really great. Especially with the belt it gives you a very flattering shape, and you're right about the hem not being noticeable in real life because of movement

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    1. Thank you Kristy - it certainly is wearable, but sometimes you get to the stage of "ready or not" - so I wasn't sure if it was going to turn out as good as this :)

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  5. Congratulations on working out the fit. I think the belted look is sharp and I like that you used self-fabric for the belt. I look forward to reading about how you removed the drag lines.

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    1. Thank you L :) . Self fabric is great if you want to add a quick belt. Especially if you only want to semi-define your waist.

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  6. yea! you did it! it looks great!
    Helen

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  7. Looks like all those muslins paid off! Very nice looking dress.

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  8. You did a great job on your first challenge garment Sarah. Love that pattern.

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  9. Very pretty! I like it with the belt the best, brings out a nice shape.

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    1. Thank you, yes the belted look does look good :)

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  10. A wearable muslin is always great! Looks good. I really like it belted.

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  12. Beatiful dress. I love the version with a belt. It looks great on you!

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  13. Great job .. all the muslins you did , paid off. Your dress is so pretty, and fits wonderful. I like it belted too.. Happy sewing.

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  14. I'd say this "test" garment passed the test with flying colors. This looks great on you and since you've not made a dress for yourself in years, I'd say you mastered this one! This may end up being one of your favorite dress patterns!

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    1. Hi, I agree - I love it and its so cool to wear in the hot weather. I'll be making more of them :)

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  15. It looks really cute on you! I love that it's so simple and flattering. I bet you'll end up wearing it a lot!

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    1. Thanks Chris, I will wear it a lot - I love simple things :)

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