Posts Tagged clear elastic

The Dress that Nearly broke the Camel’s Back….

…Or mine anyway!Dress pattern

It should have been so easy!  It was a pattern that came free with a sewing magazine that I picked up a while back on a trip to the U.K.  I like the shape with the darts back and front and, who knows, I might even get around to making the jacket one day.  The fabric was bought locally in France  – a rare event – and was reasonably priced but a good quality cotton.

What could go wrong?

Well, almost everything as it happened.

It started off well with lovely neat french seams and I even managed a perfectly acceptable invisible zip insertion but then I decided I didn’t like the facing around the neck.  It made the neckline seem stiff and seemed to be pulling the top of the dress out of shape.   That’s when it all started to go horribly wrong.  Pear shaped, in fact.

Nightmare Dress (2)

I took off the facing and replaced it with bias binding.  Then I didn’t like the way the binding had gone on and, anyway, it turned out that it wasn’t just the facing pulling it out of shape there were other issues too.

Nightmare Dress (3)

The darts were pulling on both back and front.  Crosswise and downwards.  The back was pulling tight either side of the zip.

In some places, it was too big – around the neck for instance and in others, it was too small but only on one side.

Basically, it didn’t fit me.

This trauma was a while ago now – I’ve only just been able to bring myself to blog about it – so I can’t even remember the amount of different fitting issues there were with this dress and the more I messed around with it, the worse it got and the more I hated it.

Nightmare Dress (1)

 

So I decided, on this occasion, to admit defeat and might give it another go in the Spring (‘perhaps the silly cat will make a muslin next time’ I hear you say!!) but, in the meantime, the fabric has already come in useful here and there and will continue to do so as it’s that sort of fabric – a good blender.

Anvil Block

To get back on that horse  sewing machine before I got too depressed I decided to make an old favourite – Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater dress – which (almost) never fails me and found this knit fabric that I bought in Toulouse before my fabric fast began.  It sort of reminds me of a splodgy impressionist painting.

ProcessSkaterDress (3)

This time I remembered the clear elastic at the waist – my favourite Lady Skater dress (below) has to be pulled down over my body like putting sausagemeat in a skin because I forgot the elastic last time and just used twill tape to stabilize.  Never again.  But it is my favourite so I persevere and hope I never have an accident and have to be taken to hospital wearing this dress because they will have to cut me out of it.

Lady Skater Grey & White (3)

ProcessSkaterDress (1)

Clear elastic – a complete pain to attach but worth it – trust me!

ProcessSkaterDress (2)

The Lady Skater shows you a nice easy way to attach the neckband to the dress – only one shoulder is sewn up – and although you need lots of pins and risk your overlocker’s blade every inch or so (or is that just me?)  the results are nice and neat and you feel a little glow of pride (probably also just me.)

ProcessSkaterDress (4)

So now I’m back on the sewing horse again but I’m in knitting mode at the moment – with a bit of patchwork thrown in – so, although I’m going to make one of these in plain purple for Mlle. T. the Younger, after that I might not be sewing any more clothes until next year.  Although I never say never. Unless it’s something like ‘I’m never (knowingly) going to eat an anchovy again’ or ‘I’m never going on a sea cruise because I know I’ll get hideously sea sick and I don’t think I’d like the onboard entertainment’.

LadySkaterImpressionist (2)

Do you persevere with projects that go horribly wrong or do you always try to put it right?

 

 

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Just One More Shade of Grey

I know I said that, after my two ‘shades of grey’ quilts, I would be moving on to something more colourful but I’ll just get this out of the way first.

Also, I know I said I had sworn off making dresses for a while but I went upstairs to my workroom yesterday, couldn’t remember why and, before I knew it, decided to make a dress.  As I’m sure happens to all of you from time to time.   A Lady Skater dress to be precise, several of which I have made before because it is such a good, easy pattern and because I like the style and fit on me and because I had put the radiator on in my workroom for the reason I couldn’t remember and didn’t want to waste the electricity.

Lady Skater Grey & White (3)

I apologise for the headless shot but there are three reasons for this

1) I meant to use a mannequin but, at the last minute (see next reason), I couldn’t and hadn’t done anything with my face or hair since getting out of bed

                                       2)  I couldn’t get the dress on the mannequin

                                       3) I don’t like having my photograph taken anyway.

Lady Skater Grey & White (1)Before I tell you why I couldn’t get the dress on the mannequin, I wanted to point out the good things like the neck laying nice and flat and the really nice fabric so that you don’t think I’m quite such a numpty when I ‘fess up.

As I said, I’ve made this dress several times before for me and for both my Madamoiselles.  I meant to make notes but didn’t.  This time I have.  I must have a shorter waist than this pattern is designed for because the seam at the waist is one or even two inches lower than mine.  No matter, I call it a ‘dropped waist’ dress and feel it makes my torso look slightly longer than it is – however, I will remember to adapt the pattern next time so I don’t have to make those excuses!  It is quite a short dress and, in order to avoid having to take up a fiddly miniscule hem next time I need to remember to add some length before cutting so as to avoid flashing too much knee on a breezy day.

However, the really stupid thing I did – and it really was stupid – was to put twill tape around the bottom of the bodice pieces instead of clear elastic.  Oops!  I hate clear elastic and so does my overlocker which is what I used to put this dress together apart from doing the top stitching which I do on my ordinary machine with a double needle.  So I used twill tape to stabilise the shoulders which is fine but they don’t need to stretch.  Whereas, having no zips, the rest of the dress does.  I have to perform wriggles and squiggles and all sorts of contortions my yoga teacher would be proud of in order to get the static waist over ‘the girls’ and down to where it should be.  None of my mannequins were able to oblige.  So, you got me.

Lady Skater Grey and White

 

…or most of me anyway.

You can find the Pattern here

The fabric was from this seller who has loads of lovely stretch and knit fabrics.

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