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:
I added extra to the shoulder width to accomodate my shoulders.
I also lengthened the dress by quite a few inches.
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.
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 :)
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.