Goodness! Has it been more than two months since the last post? Yikes.
Since taking the workshop ASG Chicago offered with Sarah Veblen I was trying to put everything I learned to practice by sewing for a little trip across the pond (as they say) to watch some tennis. Almost everything I packed I made, but specifically for the trip I was able to crank out a pair of pants and top (sorry, no photos of those) and a tri-color blue dress.
My goal for the trip was to finish at least one nice dress for dinners out. At the workshop, Sarah gave me the idea to create a single-color, block dress and challenge myself by working with silk dupioni. On the last day of class I was able to find three complementary colors at Vogue Fabrics with the help of Liz H. (Thank you, Liz!) For a person who loves cottons, working with silk dupioni was a challenge. I did hand wash the fabric in cold water, lightly wrung it, and then let it hang try. Keeping it out of the washing machine spin cycle, allowed the fabric to keep its shine and avoid dulling. I have to admit that I was not prepared for how quickly the silk unravels. Stay-stitching, underlining, and then a lining will hopefully make this a dress I can wear again and again.
Back to where it started. Taking the McCall’s pattern M2401 that I worked on with Sarah during the class, I made final adjustments at home and a test dress. . . a test dress in brown eyelet with peachy flesh-toned Bemberg lining. (If anyone from ASG Chicago recognizes the brown eyelet that is because I bought it at a previous fashion show fabric sale. Thanks for putting it up for sale because I love it.) The brown eyelet and peachy flesh-toned lining was a gutsy combination for me because I was worried about feeling a little, well, nude. So if you’re thinking eyelet, check out the Summer 2012 SewStylish issue and “Show Off the Underlining” by Stephani L. Miller.
From the McCall’s original pattern, and five muslins later, we: increased the fish-eye darts in the front and back (making them a little taller and little larger); increased the size of the bust dart; added shoulder darts in the back; took in the seams above the waist but widen the hips; redrew the should seams to match my actual body line; changed the sleeve pattern from one piece to two pieces as well as added a slight curve at the top of the sleeve to account for my fuller arms; add a slight curve at the top of the back seam to account for a little roundness in my back; and then we (Sarah) drew a few neckline options for me. I would have been happy with a crew neckline, but have been won over by a wider, deeper neck. (Sorry, Sarah, I couldn’t take the plunge for the sweetheart neckline.)
Some of the changes we made can be found in Sarah’s book The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. I still have a few more adjustments to do now that I’ve made and worn the dress a few times, such as taking in the sides seams more. I’m also looking forward to significant changes, which would include: add pockets, separate the dress into a skirt and top, add a collar, and convert to top into a jacket. Lots to do with just one pattern.
So, when I’m pants are back from the cleaners I’ll take a photo because I used another tip from Sarah. . .back seam zipper . . .but I made mine an exposed back seam zipper. Peachy nude lining with an eyelet? An exposed zipper? What’s next?