Friday, 26 July 2013

Hawthorn Dress

My Hawthorn dress was finished this afternoon, and as it's a nice day, I thought I'd take some photos of it in the garden.  I'm getting a bit tired looking at that roll-top desk, but there's plenty of room at it, even if the light isn't very good.  But I'm going to try and take more of an effort with my photos.
 


Anyway, back to the dress.  The fabric is cotton poplin from Textile Express.  It's called Floral Cherries, and is £5.50 per metre.  I bought 4 metres, but only used 3 metres.
 
I really wanted to make it with the short sleeves from Version 1, but I was having trouble with the fit.  I made a toile, but the sleeves felt too tight under the arms.  So I had a look in Fit For Real People, and also googled it.  I found this article on Threads Magazine's website which made a lot of sense. 
 
 
I had originally made a size 0 at the shoulders because I have a narrow back, and graded out to a size 4 at the underarms.  This was still too wide across the back, so I took 1 inch of the centre back, which looked fine on my toile, but was too tight at the underarm once the sleeves were in.  So I made a size 4 toile taking 3/4 inch off the centre back, and raising the bottom of the armscye 1/4 inch.  Then I cut a size 6 sleeve (for luck), and it worked!  I was afraid it might be a bit too wide across the centre back, but as you can see in the below photo, it fits perfectly!


This is totally beside the point, but look at my hair!  I dyed it myself last Saturday.  I hadn't dyed my own hair for years, I always go to the hairdressers but the red dye fades so quickly, and I can't afford to go every four weeks.  I love how it turned out, and it wasn't as big a faff as I thought it would be, although my bath did look like a crime scene at one point!  Anyway, back to the dress (again)...


I absolutely love the collar, and my buttons are flower shaped with a mother of pearl look.


 
I did have a bit of a disaster though.  I was finishing the edge of the facing on my overlocker, and below left is what happened to the neckline curve.  I know; it looks like the dog ate it - and I don't even have a dog!  So as soon as that happened, I went onto ebay and found some seam binding here.  This stuff is great, it's really easy to use: just fold it in half, iron it, pin it around the edge of the fabric and stitch in place.  Plus, I think it looks nicer than the overlocked edge.

 
I'm always amazed at how quickly other folks can make a garment, then I realise how many alterations I have to make, so I thought I do a list of my mods for this:
  • Size 4 at shoulders, graded out to size 6 at waist - then taken in considerably at the waist because it was too big (when will I learn!).
  • FBA of 1/2 inch.
  • Bodice shortened by 2 cm.
  • 3/4 inch removed from centre back.
  • Used the length for the largest size for the skirt.
  • Shortened the sleeves by 1.5 inches as on the sewalong.
  • Put pockets in the side seams of the skirt.

I've been off work this week on leave, so have been making this and also tackling my alteration pile (one and a half things to go!).  Here's my top tip for taking on the alteration pile.  Take aforementioned pile, and place everything over the back of the chair at your sewing machine.  Every time you sit down at your machine all the garments will fall on the floor.  This will get really old really quickly, therefore sparing you on to actually do said alterations. :)
 
Have a great weekend,
 
Lynne

20 comments:

  1. Wow, this dress is terrific! The alterations you made obviously really worked as it fits very well. i have used lace seam bimding on a few projects and find, especially in thin fabric or on the off chance that you'll see the inside, it looks far superior to overlocking. I just used it for a 1920s dress I made with a hi-low hem (where you might see the inside at the back) and like the effect a lot. Although havn't blogged the dress just yet.

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    1. Thank you! I'd never used seam binding before, and it was so easy, and I really like the finish it gives. It's just a pity that it's not so easy to get hold of in the UK.

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  2. Your dress is lovely, I love the fabric you choose!

    I also prefer seam binding over overlocked edges. Alas, seam binding is not available my country so I have to get it from the US, with the shipping fee it can be quite pricey, so i don't buy it on a regular basis.

    And I'm also impressed with how fast other sewists make their garments. I feel like such a slow sewer. But with my current health it's not possible to work faster. And I feel better when I take my time to make a garment. Lots of basting and hand sewing ecc.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels that they're a slow sewer, and I like to take my time too. I'd only make stupid mistakes if I didn't.

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  3. Beautiful dress - love your motivational technique for tackling your alterations pile! :)

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    1. Thank you! One thing fell off the back of the chair this morning!

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  4. I am just amazed at how you are able to adapt the pattern to make it fit you so well. I love the details on this dress.

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    1. Thank you! All the adaptations are thanks to Fit For Real People. That book is brilliant.

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  5. Beautiful dress, I love the fabric.

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  6. This is lovely on you - there are so many great versions popping up but this one is fabulous!

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  7. Gorgeous dress Lynne. Then again all your creations are wonderful. You certainly have a good eye for what style and fabric suits your body shape.

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  8. Oh, such a gorgeous dress! The fit is beautiful on you too - the time you take to do the modifications definitely pays off :) The fabric is perfect, and looks so lovely with your hair!
    I'll have to try that motivational technique - I LOATHE mending...

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  9. Thank you! I've only one thing left in the alteration pile, and I'm feeling a bit smug! ;)

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  10. This is really, really cute! I love it on you! Your hair looks great, too!

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  11. This is one of my favorite versions of this pattern! Your fabric is perfect and it's so nicely made. Your hair looks great too!

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.