Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Lessons in Sewing

Sooooo,  today I would like to share with you a dress that has taught me a couple of lessons.

This is my second version of McCalls 6696, the first version of which can be found here.

This is made from a viscose print which I bought from Boyes last year, and then it sat in my stash box for a while while I figured out what I wanted to do with it.  Then, a couple of weeks before my holiday in December, when I was suffering insomnia, I decided one night that I would like to make it into a shirt dress for my holidays.  Sooo, I cut it out.  I wanted short sleeves, but I didn't have quite enough fabric so decided to do without.  In hindsight, I should have cut the narrow skirt and then I would have had the fabric for the sleeves, but we live and learn don't we.

Anyway, after cutting it out, I then ran out of time to actually sew the dress before my holidays, and as it was winter and cold when we got back, it stayed in my to sew pile for quite some time . . . . 

I did pick it up now and again.  I think in about March I interfaced the relevant areas, and then I got distracted again and it sat in the to sew pile again for a while.  I finally picked it up again a couple of weeks ago, after I had finished the girls' dresses (which can be found here and here), it being the first time in aaaaages  I had had the time to sew something for myself.

However, in the meantime (since cutting out to sewing) I had lost some weight - five inches around my waist, two off my basoomas and two off my hips - and obviously, the dress was now humongous.  

So, Lesson 1 - don't leave it so long between cutting and sewing, and if you do don't lose weight in that time - it causes problems.  I took the dress in at the armsyces but couldn't be bothered to do the same anywhere else, so it is quite loose fitting, but that is probably good on warm days.

And Lesson 2 - don't cut when you're tired.  You end up with wonky pattern pieces and no fabric left to re-cut.  In this instance I had to make the best of a bad job, and my waistband is certainly wonky.  Other seams may be too but I've decided not to look too closely.

Lesson 3 - bright ideas are not usually a good idea.  On this occasion, I decided that I had learned from my previous make of this dress and wasn't too happy with the large amount of hand sewing involved.  So, I decided this time to top stitch where hand sewing would usually have been involved and call it a design feature.  This did not work out as planned - My topstitching, as careful and neat as I was being, did not always catch the other side (this could be due to Lesson 2), so I still ended up hand stitch to secure these areas.

Lesson 4 - refer to previous blog posts.  Once again, I had issues with the collar band on this one.  I was putting this down to my dodgy cutting (See Lesson 2), but then I re-read my last post and realised I had the same problem then.  Must remember this for next time.

Not so much a lesson but worth a note is that when I was sewing the fabric, I noticed little tiny patches of pink.  Barely noticeable to someone who does not notice these things generally, but I figured I might have left the fabric next to some pink fabric for too long and the colour had leaked somehow.  Anyway, after a wash or too, when I was ironing the dress (and it does need ironing, much to my annoyance), I noticed more pink.  I have therefore concluded that the navy on the fabric has leaked a little and although looks blue, is made from a pinkish pigment (not unheard of).  To be fair, not much I could have done about this, as I pre-wash all my fabric, and it will just be one of those things, but worth considering on this type of fabric maybe?

Positives about this dress:
  1. despite all the negatives above, I still love it
  2. have you seen the colour match on those buttons . . . . inspired, particularly as I didn't have the fabric with me when I purchased the buttons.  I also seem to have twice the number of buttons I'm sure I paid for, so I have loads left they may be going towards a button down blouse.  I'm thinking plain white with the teal buttons for a pop of colour.  I think I have found the pattern I want to use, but all suggestions (and for the fabric too) greatly appreciated.
  3. it is a nice coolish dress on warm days.  I should maybe have put weights in the hem though, it has been so windy round here of late.
  4. tropical print . . . 'nuff said
  5. I may actually pay attention to the lessons outlined in this post now.
Looking back at these photos, I now realise that I could take a bit of length off the bodice.  It does seem to sit a lot lower than my waist, but it doesn't feel like that when I wear it.  Hmmm....

Anyway, I am now on with the new Sew Over It Rosie dress for a Christening and a Wedding I have coming up this month.  It is nearly finished, so I will (hopefully) share that with you next week.  I am also on with some knitting projects which I will share with you when finished, but they seem to take me loads more time that sewing does.

In the meantime . . . .

Happy Crafting!


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