After making a dress for one of my daughters where the pattern matched everywhere but on the back and my suggestion that she walk backwards all the time fell on deaf ears, I got a bit dispirited. Even though some of you kindly assured me it must have been the fabric that was at fault and how it didn’t matter because hardly any ready to wear stuff is pattern matched I still lost the will to ‘dressmake’ – (made up verb).
I even got proof through the mail when I ordered a cheap and cheeful (though organic!) dress in an online sale and the first thing I spotted was the back seam wasn’t matched. What’ s more – the side seams don’t match either so that made me feel a bit better because mine do.
These are the colour and design of the tiles I want when I have my family bathroom re-done – if the builder ever comes back to me with a quote that is.
But I digress.
To get back on that horse I thought I’d make something nice and simple which would be bound to turn out right. I used some very nice quality spotty jersey that I bought on my jaunt to Walthamstow Market when I was in the U.K. recently and, although I had not yet made up this particular pattern, I know that Tilly and the Buttons patterns can usually be relied upon and I’ve made up several of her knit patterns before so I was confident.
Et voila! This is the ‘Agnes’ pattern minus the fancy sleeves and neckline.
The creases on the right shoulder are due to the tortuous way I’m standing and the others due to the fact that I had denim shorts on and all the thick seams on them are showing through the lovely jersey. I knew they would but I couldn’t be bothered to change. What can I say?
A great pattern with variations in sleeve length and also a ruched sleeve option and lightly ruched front at the neckline. I might well make the version with the ruching at the neckline for Mlle. Tialys the Younger but, correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t this type of sleeve used to called a ‘leg of mutton’ sleeve.
I am definitely not Tilly’s target audience but I won’t be taking the risk of having ageist insults flung at me due to a reckless sleeve decision. My ruched sleeve days are long behind me and I’m trying to avoid the mutton ones.
As promised in my last post, here is a stunning shot of my roots that I didn’t realise needed doing quite so badly until I saw this photo. Hairdresser visit now accomplished.
Minerva Crafts were having a sale with New Look patterns at half price and I spotted a couple of lengths of fabric I fancied so, newly confident, I filled my trolley.
This is New Look 6393 and I bought it because I like the simple shape for summer but with the princess seams giving it a lovely fit and drape.
Before you say anything, I made absolutely no attempt at all to match the pattern because it is a big, splashy one and I would have needed quite a bit more fabric to accomplish a match on all those princess seams. So even though this lovely cotton with a slight stretch was also in the same sale at just £3.99 a metre I only ordered 2m and let it do its own thing, pattern -wise.. My head is missing because my daughter wouldn’t get out of bed to take the photo so I had to set up the tripod and I couldn’t work out how to convert the tripod to support the camera in portrait mode.
Then she got out of bed but I was cross by then – can you tell? – and had to force a smile.
The dress is constructed with neck facing and interfacing and bias binding around the arms. I don’t like facing much – it just annoys me – so I decided to go ‘maverick’ and line the bodice with the same fabric which was a stretch as I only had 2m of it to start with. Anyway, usually when I go ‘off piste’ disaster ensues but I was grimly determined and all went well until I wondered how I was going to turn it the right way with the seams ending up on the inside. I found quite a few tutorials on how to do this when the back is in two pieces – where there is going to be a central zip – but this has front and back central pieces cut on the fold. I panicked just a little bit. Then I found this tutorial from Blithe Stitches which I just couldn’t envisage working at first but I just went with it and, like magic, you pull a sausage fabric through the fabric bun and there you have a beautifully constructed lined bodice. You’ll have to look at the tutorial to appreciate the food references.
It isn’t a totally perfect fit – though almost. The back gapes a little at the top, one of the shoulder straps could be tighter and the armholes could be a little less deep (although they’re not so bad when I’m not doing my pair of scissors impression) and the waistline needs to go up as at 5’2″ and a bit, I’m a short arse (I had to take 5 inches off the length.)
I think I need to cut one size smaller at the back neck and shoulders and shorten the waist by an inch at least. Somebody more accomplished than me will tell me if that’s what’s required.
By and large though, I’m happy with it and think I’ve redeemed myself enough to get my dressmaking confidence back again. I even faced my nemesis ‘The Zip’ and inserted one correctly in the side seam on the second attempt.
You may notice that, by some miracle of coincidence – I’ve already told you I took no notice of the pattern at all – the back centre bodice and skirt panels almost do match. The mysteries of pattern matching continue to confuse and confound.