Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Dante's 7th circle of hell

Ok so that might be a slight exaggeration. Oh wait a minute, you guys have no idea what I'm talking about right? Let me introduce you to the dress I've made for my friend S~. Ain't she pretty?

This is a modified version of a dress I've made for myself several times. In my case there are 4 darts in it which allows the material to accommodate the girls. The actual pattern has only the pleats at the neckline in it which works for S~. Instead of making the 8 gore skirt that is on the pattern S~ wanted a full circle skirt. So I learnt how to grade patterns and made it 4 sizes smaller. I then took it in where necessary. The shoulder seams on this pattern do not go together how the instructions say I don't care what the pattern people may have to say about this. With a bit of fiddling I managed to sew the neatest shoulder seams I have done to date though.

I messed up the circle by following dodgy instructions for a half circle (the skirt is made of 2 halves) which left me with a waist measurement double the size it should be. Ah well, better too big than too small. I gathered it onto the waistband. I made a placket-type-facing thing so the zip could extend into the skirt where there was no seam. I spent about an hour pinning in the zip and still managed to miss parts of the lining when sewing it (s'ok I'll slip stitch those when I'm done with the rest). I put in a hook and eye like you're supposed to. I did a messed up hong kong finish on the waist seam. Basically I've done lots of things like you should be I never bother with for my own stuff (will do in future though) and learnt stuff to boot.

Just spent the last 20 mins trying to sort out the tension as it had gone all kinds of wrong. With a bit of help from Google and the manual I figured it out.

No matter what I do the side seams do not all meet up on this pattern. I've made 4 incarnations of it now an not one of them has all 3 lining up!

And now we're on today (Thursday). I took the dress round to S~ yesterday and to my slight disappointment it wasn't quite right. I know, professional seamstresses don't fit things perfectly after 1 fitting so why should I? Anyhoo it was too big rather than too small which is always preferable. I stuck some giant safety pins in it to fit it but forgot to get her to take it off and turn it inside out. No matter. When I got home i simple drew chalk lines down the fold on the inside, unpinned it and then matched the chalk marks when re-pinning it. Now to alter the dress correctly I would have course need to unpick the whole thing virtually and make the adjustments. I'm sure you can understand why I didn't. I is a mighty shame though as doing it the quick and easy way does mean I have ruined the major neatness I had going on. It still looks pretty good though. After I had taken it in I ironed the excess to the back and then slip stitched it flat. So it still looks pretty neat. From the outside it looks pretty perfect down one seam but there is an extra seam line visible on the other side. However you would only notice it if you were looking. All in all this is the piece I am most proud of. S~ gave me kudos for the zippage and was pleased with the gathered waistline. She also really liked the neckline and said it felt really comfortable. Considering I went at it with a reckless abandon that makes me feel quite good.

Now the title of the post comes from hemming the darn skirt. Man there was a lot of skirt!!! I'd like to say a big thanks to Gertie for her fabulous video tutorial for a narrow hem on a circle skirt. Yes it involved twice as much sewing than I really wanted to do but it was so worth it. Look at this beauty. Not a wrinkle or twist in sight!

* Just to let you know this is an on going post that was started on Tuesday so it might seem a bit sketchy time wise

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