Saturday, 7 January 2012

UFO MkII - someone else's UFO

Inspired as I was by Marina's challenge, I also had another project that was fit to include.

My auntie, one of Australia's top embroiderers, had given up on this dress (I'm not sure why) and given the pieces to my mum, who then gave them to me.

My auntie is now in her eighties and maybe one or 2 sizes above me.  I don't know what the original project was to be - but it was a very loose fitting shift with french darts and simple lines.  The fabric falls beautifully, and feels like a soft linen, but a burn test indicated it's some kind of poly blend, (easy care!) and has an open weave.

The project included facings that were already made up.

But of course once I made up the dress the way I wanted it I had to change the shape of them, thus:

The pieces were all the fabric I had to work with.  I decided to attempt to copy another shift dress I own: a vintage crepe shift that my mum had in the early 1970s - simple and flattering.  I didn't do all that well with it, and because this fabric doesn't actually fall the same way as crepe, what ended up happening was I made up the dress, then altered the hell out of it.

It was kind of cool though, Auntie Pat had overcast all the seam allowances and where I could keep them I did.  I finished my own cut seam allowances with a line of stitching and pinking (with my brand new pinking shears!)

The facings were all interfaced.  When I made it up, the armhole facings were far too stiff for my liking, so I took them out, removed the interfacing, and put them back in again.  This was a pretty confident move, as I had already clipped & pinked those armhole seam allowances.  I was amazed that it worked out OK and thrilled that it had the desired effect of making a softer line.

I've styled it with a belt as it really needed it (unlike the dress I was intending to copy from).

Here's the back (the fit of which is not perfect, but will learn from it!):

It kind of has a Tiffany & Co colour to it, don't you think?

Actually, you can see here it's a couple of shades deeper than Tiffany blue, but close!  Lovely things come in Tiffany packages!

Overall, happy with this one as it's something I can definitely add to my office wardrobe!

UFO complete! The "Don't take shortcuts!" dress


And, as soon as I completed it, the weather got too warm to wear it - so I'll take the credit for that too.

Aaaaaaanyway.  Finished a bit over a week ago, but then I took out the zipper and reinserted it for the millionth time and I think that was worth it.  This dress is a cautionary tale about taking shortcuts in sewing.  The photos don't show up all the errors in a glaring way, but see if you can see them anyway.

I mentioned in the original post how the sizing of this dress was a bit generous.  As I was making it I thought if I took it in at the sides I'd have to first undo a lot of the insert, including the handsewing, so genius that I am I took it in at the back, hacking away at it.  As a result, I'm not happy with the dress.  It's a shame, because the pattern is great and it should be a really flattering outfit.  I'm tempted to purchase the same fabric again and re-make it again from scratch, before making it up in some more expensive fabric that I have earmarked for this project.  But then again, maybe it really is OK.  I am still learning after all.  And this was a great learning process. 

Here's the back view - see if you can see the worst errors:

All in all it is still a nice dress I think, and one I can wear to work.  If you're interested, it's V8409 using Sophia doubleknit fabric. 

I'm grateful to Marina for being the catalyst and inspiration for me finishing this dress after getting a bit despondent about it.  I'm also grateful to Gretchen for being the creative muse - I probably would never have discovered or tried this pattern if it weren't for having seen her version when she did it.