I've previously used this fabric for the lining of this dress
(which I wear all the freaking time, by the way). I knew I wanted to make something special with what was left of it, and this is the result. I'm really pleased with it, I already have plans to wear it to friends' weddings later in the year, before it makes the occasional winter daywear appearance over a long-sleeved black jersey tunic. I get a bit excited thinking about my cold-weather wardrobe.
Is that weird?
So in the past, I've used commercial patterns or existing patterns to help me make a garment. This time, I was a little more ambitious and used the basic bodice slopers from the back of a book called "How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns" by Lee Hollahan. It's a pretty useful book.
I traced out the slopers, created toile #1, converted the darts into princess line seams (I love the fit you get with these), created toile #2, altered the neckline and improved the fit for toile #3, then extended the bodice panels to create a full length dress for toile #4, and took my final pattern from toile #5. Or something like that. Old bedsheets and good old Dora (the dress form) were very
helpful in this process.
Then, last Monday, it was time to cut. I had intended to spend a couple of hours working on it then do some "proper" work, but seven hours later I had a finished dress and no bank holiday daylight left. Oops.
There's facing around the neckline and bias binding to finish the armholes. All the horizontal edges were overlocked before sewing. The binding, facing and hem are all finished by hand so there's no visible stitches when the dress is worn. I knew I didn't want to line this dress, so for inspiration I kept referring to a collection of vintage dresses a friend gave me. (Most of them are homemade 50s beauties
In the left side seam is a concealed zip -- it's slightly faulty, it was taken from another garment as it seemed to be broken but days later I discovered it actually still works, it just needs a gentle hand! By some awesome coincidence it was the perfect colour and length for this dress, meaning that I didn't have to spend a single penny to make it. Yay! Unfortunately this was the most frustrating part of the construction. I don't struggle with concealed zips on my industrial machine at work, but the foot on my domestic machine at home is tricky to line up properly. I still haven't finished the bottom end of it properly, but shh, no one needs to know...
I added my label and a little bit of skull trim to the facing, mostly so I could identify the back of the garment quicker
And there we have it! It's much less detailed than previous garments I've made despite the fact that I'm an embellishment junkie, but that's because I just wanted the fabric to shine. The One Thing I would change is the back - ideally the back skirt panels would be wider so that it would drape more like the front, but I just didn't have enough fabric to bulk it out any more. But nevermind!
Thanks for looking! Questions, C&C are all welcome