My Wednesday sewing buddy was having a clear out of her fabric cupboard and unearthed some fairly thin stripy jersey fabric which I commandeered to make pull on pyjama pants (or slob around pants as they are known in our house) for me and one of my Madamoiselles. There was still loads left so I thought it might make a light and easy to wear (not to mention free) summer dress and remembered the pattern by Deer and Doe – ‘Reglisse’ – which I have made before and is a versatile and comfy dress although it uses a lot of fabric as it is cut on the bias and the neckline and hem are finished with more than 4 metres of bias tape.
My tips for how not to make a dress are these:
1. Use totally different fabric from that recommended so that the instructions don’t match what you are having to do in real life.
2. Use stripy fabric in order to make life more difficult
3. When cutting out and trying to match stripes completely forget that the dress has darts and that these must be taken into consideration
4. Use thin jersey fabric with edges that roll so that the overlocker does all sorts of weird things with the seams
5. Don’t bother to match the stripes that will be visible across the front and back bodices. After all the tie will hide the front mismatch and nobody looks at your back anyway and, if they do, you won’t see them sniggering.
6. If you notice a tiny hole in the fabric, ignore it. Perhaps a tiny fairy seamstress will appear during the night and fix it for you.
7. Get the right and wrong sides of the fabric confused and have to redo one sleeve.
However, even having followed all these tips and more, by some miracle, I did actually produce a wearable dress.
Some good things I did: –
By using a jersey fabric I avoided having to cut the dress on the bias and so didn’t need so much fabric. I cut the back and front bodice pieces on the fold instead of in two pieces each which avoided the seam down the centre and the matching difficulties. As this is a stretch fabric I remembered to stabilise the shoulder seams with clear elastic tape. I fixed the tiny pinhole in the fabric by ironing a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing on the wrong side to prevent it getting any bigger. I decided, on several occasions, against throwing the whole thing in the bin.
Concentrating on my jaunty rear view pose, surely only the mean spirited among you would notice the fact that the waistband is plain at the front and has a stripe through it at the back. Not to mention the stripes on the sleeves don’t match.
and, Oh look! One side of the bodice doesn’t match (although the other does – honest!) and the armscye is too deep (though that is a bit of a ‘thing’ with this particular pattern).
Having just bought a 25m roll of Liberty Lookalike bias tape, the fact that it has red in it was a good enough reason to use it to finish the neckline rather than going out and buying some plain white or red – by this stage I was past caring. However, I drew the line at using it for the hem and finished that with a double needle stitch instead.
As it happens, my younger Madamoiselle has her eye on this dress and I did actually make it in her size but she won’t model for me unless I engage in strong arm tactics and/or bribery – and even then only from the shoulders down – so you got me again.
This blue and white version was the first Reglisse I made when I didn’t ‘go maverick’ and I probably get more compliments on this than anything else I’ve made. The fabric was one euro a metre in the local market and I daresay it has never seen a shred of natural fibre nor an ethical workplace in its life. I’m sorry about that – I stumbled and fell but am only human.
Next time I will make it in my size and pay for some decent fabric – although 3 metres is a lot. It’s probably worth it though to save having to faff with buttons and zips and such. I am getting very lazy in that regard.
Have you ever felt like ditching a project halfway through? Or even after you’ve finished it? It can’t just be me can it?