I think I went through an animal print buying phase as I have about 4 prints in black and browns that I have recently cut into and am in the process of making since, hello, minimal thread changing. Maybe I’ll say it was a subconscious decision to join Jungle January. Anyway, here is the first of them.
I’m not quite sure why at the moment I am making things with splits in them as I have been sewing them partially closed or completely closed anyway, must be the other features that I’m really drawn to. I used Vogue 8899, view A. It’s a lined, pullover, sleeveless dress, loose-fitting bodice with insets, elastic waist and side front slits.
I used a polychiffon 4615 in a green colourway, although looks more brown even to the naked eye, 150cm wide. It’s 100% polyester and a pain to cut but sewed up quite easily. For the lining I used a pongee 100% polyester cream lining. I followed the instructions as written for the order of the bodice construction however because my chiffon was sheer I used the lining as underlining as I think doing french seams at the gathers and the bodice insert would have been near impossible. I serged all the seams to give a nice clean finish. I was a little surprised though that the gathers around the triangle insert were not as pronounced as on the pattern envelope on the front and non existent on the back but I think that’s because the triangle cut out stretched out and became the same length as the seam even though I stay stitched it.
I assembled the skirt fabric using french seams and attached to the lining at the waist. I did completely sew up the splits but I think the volume of the skirt conceals them anyway unless in motion – lots of swish factor.
I left the dress to hang for a couple of days before hemming with a rolled narrow hem on both layers. Here is the oh my god moment, at the final press on the hem I noticed a cut in the fabric, I was almost in tears after being so meticulous about everything.
Initially I was going to mend it with light interfacing but that would have changed the drape of the fabric and possibly have been visible so I ended up cutting off that part of the hem and re-hemming.
It’s not that noticeable due to the full skirt but I’m still so annoyed as it’s such a careless error. Lucky I was able to mend it in this case.
I remembered this time to adjust my armholes by cutting off 2cm from the underarm. Due to the fact my construction was different to the instructions, I sewed up my side seams and overlocked them and then trimmed the armhole to what was comfortable. I finished them off with some bought bias tape and top stitched which matched the finish of the neckline which was turned twice as per the instructions to make a narrow hem. With visible topstitching it makes me wonder how best to match thread with fabric? I initially was going to use black to sew this dress together but decided on the cream in the end, especially as my lining is cream. From what I have read it is best to use the thread closest to the background colour and which blends in more. Do you have a fail proof method of deciding what colour to use or are you not as fussy?
Overall the dress went together really easily and I think if it was made up in a non-transparent, thicker fabric it would be extra quick as you could eliminate the lining all together except for the triangle insert for stability. I may make this again but it has to go to the end of the sewing line.