I could have sworn it was only a couple of days since I last posted, but apparently it's just over a week. How time flies!
I have a new dress to share with you today, my contribution to Oonapalooza. Although it doesn't reach Oona's dizzy heights of awesomeness, it's quite different to what I normally wear and the fabric is pretty amazing.
I had originally planned a maxi dress, but then fell in love with Papercut Patterns Midsummer Nights Dream dress. I did lengthen the skirt a few inches, but it didn't feel as if it was going to be right as a maxi. It's more of a midi dress.
Having made a muslin of the bodice I very nearly abandoned this pattern as I really couldn't see how I was going to make it work. However after some careful thought while driving to work one morning (which incidentally made me miss my junction!) I decided I really wanted to sort it out.
The problems I had with the bodice is that it doesn't appear to be cut for people with boobs. When I made it up as per the instructions I had a huge amount of gaping around the front armhole and nowhere near enough coverage there. On my muslin I pinched out quite a large dart which improved matters no end, but it still didn't seem to give enough coverage.
On my second muslin (I never make more than one muslin - it just shows you how much I wanted this dress!) I added about 3/4 of an inch to the front armhole to give more coverage, and also moved the position of the straps outwards, so they fell more in line with where my bra straps sit. This made things feel a lot more secure.
When I made the bodice up in my fashion fabric - which is some sort of poly crepe de chine that was only £5 a metre from my local fabric store - I decided I wanted to line it. I cut matching bodice pieces from some lightweight black lining I had left over from another project, and instead of binding the top edges of the bodice with bias tape I sewed them right sides together then turned them out and pressed as normal.
The armholes are bound as per the pattern instructions, and instead of a dart in the armhole I loosely pleated the fabric for a softer drape that echoes the pleats at the waist.
I had to shorten the bodice by about an inch, and as the front bodice pieces and the skirt are both on the bias at the waist seam I stabilised the waist with some clear lingerie elastic. It doesn't pull it in much, but it stops it stretching out.
I had a bit of trouble with the hem, and actually had to cut my first attempt at a rolled hem off. The first attempt was machine sewn using this method, and puckered terribly on the back of the hem where the edge was on the straight grain. On the second attempt I used my rolled hem foot, and by taking things VERY slowly I managed a passable attempt. It's not perfect by any means, but I don't suppose many people will be crawling around on the floor looking too closely!
I wore this for the first time on Tuesday evening, when we went out to dinner for our wedding anniversary and I felt very glamorous and dare I say it - just a little bit Oona-like!