So all that whining I've done lately about not having time to sew...
Well, I managed to make two dresses last week. Two! I can't believe it. I was determined. Friends of ours got married over the weekend and I needed something for the rehearsal dinner, as well as the wedding. There's nothing like the fear of shopping for a dress to make one sew, right? This is the first dress I made, the one I wore to the rehearsal dinner.
This particular dress was already planned out in my mind. Do you remember the muslin that I gave up on a while ago? This is actually the dress I had in mind when I started that project. The fabric is cotton seersucker. I used a McCall's pattern from 1986. Doesn't really look like it's from the 80's, does it? I'm not really sure what made me buy it. I've never really been a fan of circle skirts on my own person. But I liked the idea of having a fitted bodice with a full back paired with a circle skirt. I guess I thought I'd give circle skirts another shot. And I really liked the button front and subtle sweetheart neckline.
I could not, for the life of me, picture what would happen to stripes in a circle skirt when I first started this dress. I googled it. And looking back on it, there were good pictures. I just couldn't visualize it. Anyway, just in case you are wondering how stripes will fall when you cut a full circle skirt...
Of course if you rotated the pattern piece, the stripes would fall vertically in front and horizontally on the sides.
The dress was super comfortable to wear. I was very happy with the fabric choice. Unfortunately, the fit was not the best, at least from behind. I'm not really sure what happened. I know my muslin didn't have major back issues like this. Could be that the seersucker was a much stiffer fabric. There is very little drape and some mechanical stretch. I also could have stuffed up the fit with my lining job. The pattern didn't originally call for a lining. It had those awful facings. I scrapped the facings and lined the whole dress with muslin. I did put a waist stay in, which I'm glad. I think it definitely helped with the weight of the full circle skirt. I cut the skirt lining a lot shorter than the shell, mainly because I didn't have a lot of muslin to work with. It kind of acted as a petticoat. I think it gives the skirt a little more fluff.
It was a fun dress to wear, even though I wasn't totally comfortable with the silhouette. There was a part of me that felt slightly costume-y. And, yikes, that back view looks pretty rough. I put in two neck darts to help with the fit. And some of those wrinkles in the photo are from the awkward way I'm standing. I shove my shoulders back when I take photos. In real life, I tend to hunch over.
And yes, there's one pocket. One. I know that's a little ridiculous. I was planning on having two, but I could not figure out how to put in the other one around the side zip. I know there's a way, but I had a deadline. So I left one pocket in. I figured one is better than none.
Look at that stripe matching! ;)
I made button holes, but in the end I didn't cut them open. I just stitched the buttons on through both pieces. I was worried about gaping.
I'm so happy with the finish on this dress, I just wish the darn back fit better! I think I'm coming to grips with the fact that I need to draft my own bodice block. That it may be totally necessary for me. I had back fit issues on the second dress I made also. Actually, I always have back fit issues when I make dresses. Not so much with tops and blouses. Any idea why that could be? I suspect the fact that I've been ignoring that I might need a slight swayback adjustment may have something to do with it.
Obligatory full circle shot.
Has anyone out there drafted their own bodice block? Any good resources? I've been reading through Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear. I think I'm going to start there.