I finally found some time to tackle the backlog of blog pictures. A mammoth session with six garments finally photographed. I can't say they are great photos (they never are with me, and I keep telling myself I must do something about this, but then, I remind myself that really, I am not interested in this aspect of sewing at all, because it is not sewing, if that makes sense. But I like to show you what I have made, and I know lots of you like to see a pattern made up, especially if you are considering making it), especially as I took lots at once, which was just so boring!
I know you have been waiting for this dress to appear on my blog. Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 1314:
This dress is designed for stretch knits only, and has about a one third stretch, if you get my meaning. My knit was a lot firmer than this, and I don't think a stretch knit would do me much justice, as it would just cling to the wrong places with me. I'm small, but I do have a tummy, so a firmer knit is better for my tummy area. It's a princess seamed garment, with an invisible zip at the back and a seam at the waist area in the front and back panel. And the seams are curved in quite a flattering shape, as I later found out.
As for size, I chose size 12, with size 10 shoulders. I made a quick muslin of the dress out of old t-shirts - I keep them for this purpose. Although the waist should be higher, according to the sketch and the pattern marking, I decided to go with where it was as it was and see what happened. Not that I was lazy, of course. And this strategy worked well as the dress looks okay and the waist seam looks fine. I lengthened the dress by 2.75 inches and added a split at the back. I raised the neckline at the front and back - more at the front, less at the back. When I was sewing the garment, I eased the back neckline into the facing to help it sit nicely. I seamed the armhole/sleeve with a 3/8 inch seam, as it looked as though the 5/8 was going to be too high on my shoulder.
The fabric was a polyester/cotton knit, with a Lacoste look. I had been wondering what to make with it, and this sporty but still classic dress was the perfect choice. I thought the fabric would be easy to work with, but it was a pain to sew. Not any of my machines or needles liked it, but I ploughed on regardless. I chose to sew the seams first, which was just as well, because the overlocker hated the fabric, and skipped stitches, but that doesn't matter. You have to really go searching for the imperfections inside, and really, I don't think I encourage people to look inside my clothes. What's in there is my business! But I don't mind showing you some features.
The zip - I don't have a special foot, but you can get by with the ordinary zipper foot on an industrial machine - you have to really work at unfolding the zip a bit, but it is doable:
You can also see the waistline seam in the back, and the curved seams of the panels. I actually matched the waist seams well when I inserted the zip - not easy on a knit. I also had to use a black zip, so it was quite important that it went in well. I thought black toned better with the very saturated blue I was using. The blue invisible zips at Spotlight are a strange colour and just looked wrong with this fabric.
And the back, inside, I managed to get those facings exactly even and everything looking neat. The instructions were good:
Beat in mind I was working with quite a thick knit, so I was pleased with the zipper insertion.
And the front seam curve, also shows the waistline seam across the front panel:
I made the dress as per the instructions and it went together simply and easily - excepting my battles with the fabric which really was a tough sort of knit to deal with. Strangely, it feels okay on.
I took heaps of pictures of this dress, but only a handful turned out. Self timed photos are just so awkward as you never know quite what you have until you load them into the computer. So, I have found the best - so you can only guess how bad the others where! Eyes shut, scowling, out of focus, too dark, etc etc.
Well, that is hardly my best photo - no smile, poor posture and sticking my tummy out!
The back and side views are better:
Well, I do like this dress, and although some aspects could be tweaked, this is a very wearable new addition to my wardrobe. Smart, able to be worn as a transitional garment as well as on cooler summer day,s and best of all, wash and wear.
I think this dress would look stunning in a stretch cotton sateen. Maybe one day. And I certainly would not want to make it in anything stretchier or clingier (is that a word?) as that just would not suit me.
Well, I will finish with my opening photo, because my posture is so much better and shows the dress to be much more flattering. And I am smiling.
But that will be the subject of next weeks blog post. Which means I am back to regular blogging and commenting from this week. Things are settling down a bit. Hooray :)
That's it for now, take care everyone, and see you all next week,