Are you bored with my baby knits yet? I thought today might be a good time to interject some variety and do a sewing post, lest you forget I sew at all.
With all the time we spent away from home during the summer season, I didn't have many opportunities to sit down in front of my machine and concentrate. And, for me, when it comes to sewing, concentration and time are crucial elements of success. Sewing has never seemed to come as easily to me as knitting does, and despite my efforts, I'm constantly running up against wall. But this dress... this dress may have been my break-through project.
I started sewing on a whim. I had other partial projects going that deserved attention, but I wanted something fresh and new. I indulged. I dipped into my pattern collection, pulled a piece of fabric from the stash, and started to work. I'm typically a stickler for the "RULES": I always finish my raw edges, I always line, I always use facings, I always hand finish my hems, etc... On this particular evening, I went against the grain. My pattern was a size larger than I would typically sew, but instead of grading it, I decided I would cut true to the pattern and use french seams. It was my first foray, and Ooo Lala, J'adore! In fact, I don't think I've ever constructed a garment that looks so completely clean and beautiful interiorly.
It didn't stop there. I neatly folded my neck and arm facings and placed them back in the envelop; instead, I used a double wide bias binding to finish the neck and sleeve edges. It was great. There were no fussy, hard to match weird angles, no corners to cut, and it turned under and lay flat beautifully. When it came time to hem, I threw caution to the wind and finished with bias tape. This dress came together in ~4hrs work; an all-time personal best (by at least 2x).
Of course, there will always be certain projects that require lining. And, I'm sure I'll run into instances when I'll need my facings. I also, likely, will not stop properly finishing my hem lines. BUT, dang, dang it feels good to be a gangster, sometimes.
I'm overjoyed with the way this dress came together. My only point of dissatisfaction is that I wasn't able to pattern-match the skirt pieces. It was unavoidable. The fabric was vintage yardage (more on that later), and I needed to make-do if I wanted to make anything at all.
Even in the midst of my rebellion, I took time to carefully match my measurements with the amount of allowance I was taking from the seams. I could have used an extra inch off the bust; perhaps, a smidge more from the waist, but, there are no major fit issues. And, the zip up the rear, is probably the most expertly executed lapped zipper I've done, if I do say.
Pattern: Simplicity 3397 view 1
Fabric: Vintage Cotton/linen (according to the burn test)
Notions: "18 zipper, Double wide Bias Binding, Bias Binding
I think that about sums it up. I leave you with twirling photos, because I can't help myself.
9/12/2012 02:17:18 am
This is a gorgeous dress! I've mainly been sewing for my children the last couple of years, but look forward to the day I'll have enough time to sew for myself. I feel like it's getting close. I love how you broke the rules and got fabulous results!
OMG!!! The dress is PERFECT!!!! The only sewing I do is either knitting bags (and often those are really awful, but my knitting doesn't care) or Jammies for the grands.....and believe me, they don't care either. (I've also done jammie bottoms for me----and I don't care!!!....getting the gist of my sewing abilities????)
9/12/2012 04:39:14 am
Love your pictures. Especially the very perfect spinning picture at the end! I'm not great at matching sewing patterns with the the right material, but you seem to have a knack for it!
9/12/2012 06:09:33 am
I adore it!! Like you, I fell in love with French seams immediately - seams are so much prettier now :) And I also eliminate facings whenever possible, too! Your fabric is stunning, and I love the little black belt and black bias tape along the bottom. Pairing with yellow shoes is brilliant! Love all of it!
9/12/2012 08:49:52 am
It's beautiful! Very expertly done!
So many great references in this post, heehee. I just adore your photos in this post, your personality really shines through and that dress is absolutely perfect for you! And four hours! You have serious skills missy! I truly cannot wait to see what you have to show us next!
9/13/2012 02:54:16 am
I love your ADORABLE gangsta dress, LOL! =) Great job!
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