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The Great Thing(s) About Sewing

I’m a little wrinkly because I took this photo about midnight last night
Pattern Review of BWOF 11/2007 #106

Fit
You know, I would never ever buy this dress style at a store. Because it’s so slim cut, it would never fit me at my waist and be big enough at my lower thigh. I have this new theory that people can wear anything, as long as it fits correctly. With this design, I traced a 38, graded out to a 40 at the thighs, and added an additional inch to give me 39ish inches at the thighs.


It probably could have some excess taken out from the front waist, but with the extra breathing room, I didn’t have to wear Spanx or suck in all night.

I see in the photo that I could have made a narrow shoulder adjustment. But, I think it’s fine for this.

Construction
If I had a bottle of champagne right now, I would toast Marji.

IY Marji.

Marji suggested I underline the bodice with black silk organza and use a lapped zipper rather than an invisible zipper. The organza would provide some coverage for the sheer fabric and more importantly give strength and support to the delicate silk.

I was in such a hurry I didn’t take any construction photos. Sorry :(.

But, I cut a one inch seam allowance on the entire dress because I wanted some wiggle room if I needed to make an alteration. She suggested the following technique so the dress would be ‘finished’ inside. I matched each organza to chiffon piece and sewed a 3/8 allowance and turned it inside out so that the neck, shoulder and side seams were all finished and I still had 5/8 allowance to work with.


Since it was now neatly finished, the facings and underarm bias are eliminated.


For the neck and shoulder ruffles, I did a rolled hem on my serger. The pattern calls for finishing this with a zig-zag. The rolled hem is *fine* but I like Margie’s suggestion of doing a narrow hem. But, my narrow hem foot and I had a bad break up and we haven’t made up yet and I was running out of time.


Personally, I would make the neck ruffle bigger if I were to make it again. It’s also much wider than the line drawing leads you to believe. You’ll also need to understitch all the ruffles to prevent them from turning out.

The zipper
Well, I’ve never ever put in a lapped zipper before. I totally understood why I should. An invisible zipper is hard on fabric and can break (which has happened to me).

So, I moved the zipper to the side and used the January 08 Threads article on lapped zippers (another great Marji suggestion).

I got mine in on the first shot. I’m also going to tell you I seriously said a small prayer before I started. I got it in 30 minutes before I needed to leave the house. But, it was in! It’s not the neatest application, but for a first go round, I’m thrilled.


Remembering this fiasco, I reinforced the zipper and hip line with fusible knit interfacing.


I wanted to do a blind hem with my new machine, but I couldn’t find the manual and I’ve never done one before. So, I did hand sew the hem. Hate hand sewing.


I kept the key hole of the original design and used one of those solitaire earring looking buttons from Joann. The first button’s stone fell out when I was buttoning it closed. As did the second button’s stone when I was leaving. The third button decided to stay in, but will be replaced before I wear it again. See how nicely finished the back is?


Overall, I am THRILLED with the ease of which this dress came together. It really is something you can put together on short notice.

I am more in awe and very thankful for the help and kindness of others. It amazes me how willing people are to help and show you things that you didn’t know.


Oh, did I mention total cost of dress is about $20?? 1.25 yards of satin was $15 and the silk from the stash was about $4 I think.

You’ll also notice I’m wearing all the same accessories from the ball in December. I’m not kidding. Any fancy dress I make from now one must match these purple shoes! I need to get my money’s worth…

I’m so glad I sew!