Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hot Summer!

After an on-again, off-again winter, and a spring that never happened, summer finally came to Ontario in a BIG way.  This has been an exceptionally hot and dry and humid July.  Recently I had to go to Fabricland (our version of Joanne's, I guess) for thread and red satin cord (for that Santa stocking I posted last time).  I got the thread, forgot the cord, and walked out with 1.5m of fiery hot smocked polyester.

My idea was simple.  To recreate this dress.  Four years ago?! I love this dress still, and get lots of compliments.  I figured once I cut the length down, that portion will be enough for the top part.  I started with that--cutting the bottom length off.  Then I decided to use the free Sorbetto pattern by Colette. I printed it out, taped it together and got it cut out.  As I was laying it on my fabric, I thought...mmm...I chose the size for my 44" bust, but really, that's not 22"+22", it's more like 20" + 24", I wonder if the front piece is going to fit me! I measured the pattern piece, and with the pleat not folded in, the front piece measured 25" (I think).  I opted to not sew the pleat!  I also took a little wedge out of the front strap, shortening the armhole by about 1/2".  I cut it out, sewed it together and to the smocked portion of the fabric and tried it on.

For larger pictures, just click on one, and it should take you to the Blogger picture viewer.

It wasn't right.  Somehow, the front was not really long enough, and the smocked portion was too long, and since it was a smidge smaller than it should have been, it clung to my muffin top.  I pulled up the bottom to a better fit, and marked it.  I decided to make the darts a bit shorter and narrower to get a bit more length in the top portion, and use a narrower seam allowance. I also unpicked the first row of smocking--where I was joining the top and smocking--to reduce the gathering  and hope it blended in with the top better.  I think I also unpicked the first row that showed.  The fabric still gathers into the seam, but it's not as dramatic so it's still smoother under my bust.

The fit isn't perfect still.  Now there is a bit of gaping on the armholes, and it rides up a bit under my bust, but I just keep tugging it down.  I'm not going to get all fussy with it.  Maybe try a different bra next time.  It's longer and less full than the original inspiration, but that's okay.  The big issue is that it's polyester, and clings to me!! 

I did a rolled edge for the bottom of the skirt, and it was fun playing with the colours in the serger to get it just right.  It's done in orange and looks great.  I toyed with doing that around the neck and arms too, but felt it might look a little unfinished.  Instead, I took my scrap from cutting the top pieces, found the bias in a section that still had the bottom selvage, started making 1" lines from the widest portion.  My rotary cutter is dull, my scissors were pretty dull, so this process was aggravating!  Then I sewed all the pieces together, alternating shorter and longer pieces. 

Then, it was time to use my bias binding tool and iron.  Well.  It didn't take long to conclude that was a waste of time.  I ditched the iron and just started sewing the binding on, as per the Sorbetto instructions.  It actually went a lot better than I expected, though I wish it was a bit wider.  I was worried about not having enough of the binding, but it was amazing how much it made just from the left over piece!!  And, I was even able to plan out each edge so that the seams of the tape were at the start or shoulder seam spots, with having just a little bit of waste from doing so.

Now, all I need is a little cotton slip.  And time to make the next one, in blues.....with a different top design....

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