Holiday Clothes Part 1
I've read, followed and took gratuitous advice over the years from Stitchers' Guild but only recently have I started to join in, share and reply. There is an absolutely overwhelming amount of information on this sewing forum but the links, personal communication and support have been invaluable recently - mostly from Ann Rowley's Chanel jacket make. However, RuthieK started a new thread the other day about boiled wool and it reminded me about a dress I made for Christmas two years ago - before I started blogging. I can't, therefore, display "work in progress" pics but I can show you the final item and a few details. I didn't wear this dress at all last year, so bringing it out again this year almost made it feel like new.
Fabric is not quite white but a pale ivory and I was concerned that it was too thick for a dress preferring to be made into a coat or jacket. But for a winter dress it turned out fine. The boiled wool was purchased at my local fabric shop - Craftswoman Fabrics - and cost an arm and an leg per metre! There's 2m used here.
The pattern, I think, is McCall's 2401 - an easy, very basic dress with neck and sleeve variations. I wanted the v.expensive fabric to do the talking here, not the design. I like this simple dress as it has no cut-in-half waistline and can be as fitted or relaxed as you want. I made the V neck style but lengthened sleeves to 3/4 length.
Have I told you how much I love 3/4 sleeves? Shows off bangles and bling; don't have to push up when washing dishes and covers the upper arm - perfect in my book.
When making this dress, I seem to remember that it kept growing as I was sewing. I darted the fronts and back and then made bigger darts. With a bulky fabric, such big darts were not not going to be as svelte as I had envisaged. To over come the bulk, I sliced the darts open to within a hair's breadth of the ends and then topstitched the excess flat. This sort of created a design feature, while doing what I really wanted - smooth lines.
Boiled wool doesn't fray or unravel - a blessing but it does seem to stretch while working it. The neckline gapped and sagged when I kept trying the dress on, so there was nothing left to do but make more darts. I added four along the back edge, two long and two short and seemed to do the trick. If I remember correctly, there wasn't that much to take in, just enough to make the fit better.The dress is fully lined in a slightly stretchy lining. For such a bulky fabric, it was see-through when worn and I still wear a slip underneath too.
Mince pie, anyone? (My Mum made these ones!)
The dress is still growing BTW. I love my food as evidenced by my womanly figure, and the frock fully accommodated my increasing midriff as the day progressed.
Come to that, neither did I.