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Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Dress and the Drains...




Sometimes sewing is a form of therapeutic distraction and so it was with this dress, Kwik Sew 3956.  I really needed something quick and simple to sew, because outside was the big mess:





Yes, that is the entire half of the garden dug up and they still can't find the drain connection. It's also been raining  again...And we haven't even started looking for the drain connection that runs the other side of the house...

So tomorrow I will run away and do some work at the Rooms - normally I hate paperwork, but it is the lesser of two evils. And I will leave DH to deal with this in the a.m.  I have to take over on Tuesday again.  Not happy.  We have to use buckets and toss water out at the moment, which is very tedious.  And I am handwashing lots of clothes, but this week I am going to call the laundry service for the big stuff and his business shirts.

So, when this mess was being dug up, I had to do something.  I also wanted to hear what was going on, and report to DH - builders are really good at upping costs, even if it is due to  their incompetence , and one is never too sure.  And every so often there is a hello at the back door because they want to discuss something.  I can't hear this hello  in the main section of the house.  So I had a stressful day listening to and watching the mess. I had planned a simple sewing distraction though.

Enter Kwik Sew 3956.  A simple dolman-kimono sleeve dress.  Very simple sewing therapy for the soul.  And a focused distraction away from the anxiety provoking events.


Kwik Sew Ladies Easy Sewing Pattern 3956 Loose Fitting Dresses with Belt (Kwi...

I chose version A, the round neck dress.  I made a very quick muslin shell at the beginning of the week to see if the style would work for me, using size Small.  Then I altered the pattern to make the neckline a lot smaller - the pattern was for a pull over the head round neckline, and I always find them far too wide for my skinny shoulders.  That meant I needed to put in a back seam, redraw the neckline to a smaller shape, and close the top of the dress with a button.  I also wanted a slightly longer length. I then knew I would need a walking split in the back of the dress.  As I thought a slit would not look good with the overall flow of the dress, I decided to insert a godet at the back.  The dress had in seam side pockets, but the pocket bags were huge, so I made them a good deal smaller and neater, with a less sharp angle at the side seam, making the pocket/side seam intersection easier to overlock.  I also removed about 2cm/1 inch from the underarm seam, as I am shorter than average and have a short waist.

 I used a piece of rayon from my stash - I purchased it late last year in a Spotlight clearance - I think specific to my local shop.  It was $2.00 per metre, and I used 2 metres of 150 wide.  I thought this was the right sort of price for a mainly sewing therapy dress.  When you have distractions, you can muck things up and create a wadder.  So I factored that into the equation.

Back Closure:


As rayon was thin and the dress is quite weighty, I braced the button closure by supporting it with a smaller button on the underside:




Inside seams were finished with overlocking.  Hems were turned up an inch, with a quarter inch also turned under, and stitched: 



I used a piece of ivory lawn for the front pocket pieces - this lies against the front of the dress, and if I used a piece of the patterned fabric, it would show through. The ivory does not show much at all:




And the back godet insert:




Okay, that's the detail, now the dress:







Well, I think this is a pretty nice dress.  I am not sure where I will wear it, because life in Newcastle is fairly basic.  But there are occasions when I need a very hot weather dress that looks dressy.   So I feel happy having this in the wardrobe for a just in case event.  I hate last minute makes - far too stressful.

As for cost for this just in case dress - Pattern was on a 3 for $10.00 sale - $3.34.  Rayon cost $4.00. Lawn and interfacing, $1.00.  Buttons $1.20.  Thread and needle allowance, $4.00.  $13.54.

Oh, and the bit of old sheet for the muslin, I will allow $2.00, as I do buy these from the Op Shop, so they are a cost of making this dress.

So, Total, $15.54.  Plus therapeutic benefits.  And the relief factor of having a just in case dress in the wardrobe.


Well, I am ready, are you....

That's it for this week,  next week will bring more drain drama, I am sure.  I hope they get fixed soon.

And I hope life is simpler in your part of the woods at the moment...

All for now,

Sarah Liz

43 comments:

  1. This is a lovely dress Sarah Liz. Your pattern alterations have worked out very well and the dress fits and suits you perfectly. Hope your drain problems are resolved sooner rather than later.

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  2. A beautiful dress - well done!

    All the best with the drains.

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  3. Glad it helped distract you. And have something else planned for Tuesday when you are stuck with it again? Lovely dress. The Godot rather than split is a great idea.

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    1. Thank you Louise - I believe in the power of distractions.

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  4. What a lovely dress! I think it's a pity to put it away in your closet instead of wearing it. If Newcastle life is too casual to wear a pretty dress I say it's time to break the rules! Wouldn't it brighten up your paper work day in the office?

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    1. Thank you Marianne - in the office I tend to be in and out as quickly as possible:). I will wear the dress when I can, but believe me, no-one would really notice around here, it is not that sort of place!

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  5. That is so gorgeous! In fact, so gorgeous, I might need to make something similar for myself!

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    1. Thank you - and it really is quick and simple. Just check with a muslin first to make sure it suits you.

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  6. Such a sweet dress. I love the houndstooth fabric and the godet is a nice touch. Hope your drains drama is sorted soon.

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    1. Thank you Kathy - yes, the dress is a classic - and drains sorted out yesterday.

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  7. This dress is a winner - both elegant, and cool for Summer days. Your alterations, especially the godet, raise the bar on a really lovely pattern. I love it! What a great way to raise the spirits, when the awful drain saga goes on. I do hope it is resolved very soon, Sarah Liz.

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    1. Thank you Patricia - yes, I have needed a dress like this "on standby"for ages. Drains now fixed, as you know.

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  8. Love the dress. I hope your drain repairs are completed soon!

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  9. That's a smashing dress on you! I think you will wear this a lot. It's a great fit and as a nice easy distraction with bonus therapy at the same time. Aren't drains a drag!

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    1. Thank you - and yes, drains that work, great, not so great otherwise :)

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  10. Great looking dress; love the fabric.

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  11. OMG, that is perfection on you! Make more :-) Good luck on the drain situation and keep me posted.

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    1. Thank you Mary - yes, to my surprise, the dress really worked nicely on me:). Drains fixed yesterday.

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  12. Love the dress - very classy. I think with flats or sandals it looks great for everyday wear, but would certainly be dressed up with heels.

    We are under snow right now - so I feel for you over the water issues. Our area was flooded last year - we managed to stay dry, but houses across the road from us had the basements flooded. I'm hoping you get your drains fixed very soon.

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    1. Thank you -mostly I wear flats, and even in the evening you can get away with them nowadays, especially in hot weather. Floods are awful,we had one some years back. Snow is very tedious to live with.

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  13. I love this dress! The houndstooth is great, and the godet is really inspired; I like how the pattern & shape interact. It's very pretty on you, I agree, you should find a way to wear it soon :)

    And good luck with the stressful drains situation. I find that kind of thing terribly anxiety-causing, I hope it gets fixed soon.

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    1. Thank you - and yes, anxiety raised, but luckily (or maybe not luckily) I have had plenty of experience with tradespeople now, and know how to manage my anxiety during their operations :)

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  14. Sorry to hear about your on going saga! Finger crossed that they will find the drains. On the plus side, so glad you got to do some sewing to take your mind off the issue, and the dress is a stunner. You look fantastic in the dress.

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    1. Thank you Diane - and drains are found and fixed.

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  15. I love your "just in case" dress. The houndstooth is just perfect for this pattern. And happy you had this sew to distract you..
    Sending prayers they find your problem soon, and get it corrected.. So sorry.

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    1. Thank you Judy - yes, this fabric was a lucky find. Thank you for your prayers, they worked this week :)

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  16. What an absolutely wonderful dress! Love your idea of adding a godet instead of a slit at the back. Might just have to copy you at some point in time.

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    1. Thank you Irene - and please do copy :)

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  17. What a beatiful dress. :) It looks so effortless to wear to - I see how this could be a nice "dressy" dress when needed, but also easy to toss on and look put together for any day use.

    Sorry to hear about your drain problems. :(

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    1. Thank you Heather - yes, I like easy to wear dresses, I feel uncomfortable in anything too tight.

      Drains now fixed :)

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  18. Beautiful dress! I'm so glad you include back pictures, because the back is so lovely too with the button closure and godet and you matched the print perfectly! The dress seems a good marriage of fabric choice to pattern and looks so lovely on you.

    And I am so sorry the drain drama continues. I cannot imagine how stressful it must be to contend with daily plumbing issues for so long. So hope all is put back to normal soon.

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    1. Thank you Lisa - yes I worked hard at getting the pattern to line up - rayon is very slippery, so I had to pin along the fold, lay out the pattern and pin the other side before laying out the pattern.

      And as you know by now, the drains have been fixed.

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  19. My goodness - my heart goes out to you. I would hate that mess and the huge inconvenience. It really makes you appreciate having running water and an orderly life. Hope the phones are back up too. Anyway your dress looks wonderful. A pity you could not wear it more often. The recent pattern sale at Spotlight was fantastic. I bought 6 .

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    1. Thank you Janine - yes, I have to admit to liking an orderly life, but luckily I am fairly stoic (country upbringing) and could manage reasonably well. But I am much happier now the drains are fixed, it feels like holidays! I agree, the sale was wonderful, I bought a few patterns as well.

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  20. I can see you have been busy in my absence! What a great wardrobe piece. This would look lovely on cooler days with a blazer too. Great choice of fabric print and very "in" right now x

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  21. Your alterations resulted in a lovely dress and I'm sure you will find somewhere to wear it.

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  22. Love the dress Sarah. Sorry to hear about the drain situation. Sounds like a big frustrating mess. Hope it gets sorted out soon.

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