It turns out that not only does sewing cheer me up and take my mind off things when I’m down, but for once taking photos for the blog actually made me feel better too!
The other day I was feeling a bit blue about the fact that I’m slowly growing to the size of a whale, or small house (yes, I know I have a lot more growing to do yet – let’s just blame the hormones on this occasion!). The last thing I wanted to be doing was taking photos of me. So in order to try and get myself out of this mindset, I sat myself down and explained to me that I have a new dress to show everyone – a dress that I’m actually quite proud of. I also pointed out to me that if I am going to be turning in to a small house there is really no better reason than because you have a little person inside you. It is far better to be growing in to a small house for this reason than because you ate too many chips. So I then put myself in the shower, had another quick talk with myself (in my head you realise, I wasn’t just walking round the house mumbling away), did my hair and make-up, and got the camera set up.
Lo and behold, when I was ready and in my new New Look 6000 dress I felt much better about things. And here is the finished article!
I think I like this dress more than anything I have made so far. Not just because of the style, which is quite simple but sophisticated with a bit of a retro feel, but because I was able to put quite a lot of what I have learnt over the last few months in to practice. I was also able to see where I went wrong, and how to do it differently next time.
As I mentioned in my last post on the dress, after a little chat with Handmade Jane we decided that making this fitted dress out of a double knit (which is stretchy), should work even though I’m pregnant. I ended up getting really heavy jersey from Saeed’s Fabric’s as it was only £2 a metre as opposed to £8.99 a metre for double knit from the internet. I decided if I loved the dress enough to make another one then maybe I could splash out on the more expensive fabric later! Buying the cheaper fabric did mean I was restricted to black, but you can’t really go wrong with a black dress can you.
So, fabric bought and washed I decided again to cut out the dress in the biggest size to accommodate my bust and bump. Rather than make a toile I made the alterations either to the pattern before cutting, or directly on the final dress itself. And quite a few alterations I had to make! I think my mistake was that I forgot to account for the ease that had been added to the pattern for woven fabrics, and I didn’t need as much because I was using a stretchy fabric. I could have made the dress a couple of sizes smaller and it would still have had room for growth really.
I only worked that out after it was all cut and made though, so on I went with the many adjustments that were needed. Firstly the bust darts were down round my ankles! So they had to be moved up, and A LOT of excess fabric had to be removed either at the back seam or by making the darts bigger. This isn’t a problem at the moment as I can let them out as my tummy grows.
I also had to take the shoulders in a lot, which I did both on the pattern before cutting out the fabric, and then on the dress itself. It’s the same problem I keep coming up against due to my funny proportions, so next time I think I may have to bite the bullet, make a garment to my shoulder and normal body size, and then do a dreaded full bust adjustment!
By the time I got to the lovely collar everything was a bit mismatched so I adapted the collar to fit in a slightly different way at the back. I didn’t need to put in a zip because I can get the dress on and off fine as the fabric is stretchy. I also didn’t have to line it or do any of the facings due to the fabric (thanks Jane for pointing all of this out to me before I started!).
The beautiful brooch was a 30th birthday present from a friend! The pattern calls for a button, so I’m just waiting until the right button finds me before adding it.
And one final picture of me, the dress and the bump. And yes, I do realise looking at these photos that the bump isn’t as big as it is in my imagination