This is the first project of the second book. It was hard to choose one, there are so many interesting patterns in this book. But I decided to start with something simple and wearable. There’s a series for patterns that show how to alter the neckline by altering the facing. Marianna already showed one of them on a dress. An interesting concept, changing the outside by shaping from within.
Drafting and cutting
Drafting was easy, this is a quick one. The pic above shows all there is to it. I used my own slopers. I took the opportunity to draft a low V back as well, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Cutting was a bit tricky, I discovered my fabric was only 110 cm wide (43″). I had two metres and the book recommends that you cut the bodice on the bias. And I wanted a half circle skirt. With some puzzling it worked out, I even managed to get a facing for the back out of it as well.
The book does not always mention what kind of fabric to use. To me it looked like the fabric should have some weight to get a nice fold. I had found this beautiful quilting cotton at the shop the week before, but at 21,95 per metre it was way over my budget. Fortunately there was a one day 50% off sale going on. Lucky me!
The sewing process went nice and smooth for most of the day. I took my time even though I had to finish the dress the same day. I staystitched all the bias cut edges of the bodice, necklines and skirt right after cutting. I payed attention to the pattern an finishing the seams. I didn’t have to get my seam ripper out until the very end, when I messed up the blind zip. It was funny, because it happenend right when I thought ‘hey, I haven’t messed up one stitch yet’ and also ‘I don’t understand why people don’t use blind zips all the time, they’re not hard to put in at all’. HAH. Well now I know not to think these things until after I’m finished. Usually I would have stopped sewing before that point, but I wanted to finish it today.
Although I’m happy with the dress, it’s obvious that this magic is done by an apprentice. It’s just a bit messy, the fold is there but there’s some more bulgeing going on on the other side. I don’t know where that excess fabric comes from, I thought I’d followed the diagram. So I thought this would be an easy one, and for drafting and sewing it was. It’s just that the magic is not accomplished as easily. I should have stopped and taken a step back to really look at what was going on at the neckline, instead of thinking it would sort itself out. Ah well. I learned and tried some new things, like the V back and using a bias cut bodice. And I practiced the Ann approach, which is still working very well. Right now I’m very tired of all this work in one day, so my opinion of this dress is no quite clear and might change. Is there some magic or is it just a messy cowl? I’d love to know what you think!