Saturday, 14 September 2013

The dress of Doh! and Uh-oh's...

So you're probably wondering how I am getting on with my fabulous 40s Fall for Cotton dress?
Well, there has been sewing going on since the muslins, but it has not always gone according to plans, or expectations.

It all started with an epic laundry fail. I suddenly realised I had to pre-treat my fabrics, so in the machine they went. I figured since the cotton voile and the baby cord would live the remainder of their lives as siamese twins, I let them get to know each other in the washing machine. Uhm.

When the cycle was done and I went to pull out all those 9 yards of cotton, I didn't quite recognize the voile... It was supposed to come out in all it's powder pink glory, but instead it was this blue/grey/lavender-ish non color. Gah!
The corderoy was fine (thank you Universal Sewing Goddess!) but clearly had not been getting on with it's new friend, and bled on it beyond recognition.

The lining color of Blah.

So, the thread I had bought for sewing the lining was not anywhere near matching anymore, and I didn't have that shitty non-color thread in my stash either. So I did a face-palm, and got on with the dress.

The cutting went swell, no boo-boo's (as I know of at this point), but it was a pain to handle and iron that 6 yard long piece of fabric in my tiny "dining room studio"(Yes, I bought extra :))
If you are now thinking "-Eew.. sewing and eating in the same space!" , don't worry. There has not been possible to fit a plate of food anywhere in this room for over 6 months.

Sewn up bodice.
(Crazy grid fabric)

Interfaced yoke. Good girl, Siri :)

So now my bodice is sewed up, after some Doh's. The yoke was a bit of a pain, because the fabric had some weird stretch, not to mention the seam being that curvy! I actually had the brain to use fusible interfacing on the bias cut yoke pieces to avoid them behaving like monkeys. It also gives a little more structure to the bodice front which is nice. Problem was the bodice front pieces did stretch and I had to redo it a couple of times to get rid of puckers and wrinkles.
When I finally had the yoke down and looking good, joined on the back piece and sewn the side seams, I read the pattern instructions. I noticed a little text mentioning shoulder pads. Uh oh.

Totally forgot about those... I do remember tracing the pieces from the original, but in all my muslin-enthusiasm, they didn't even cross my mind. Once.
The text clearly stated: "Make shoulder pads before the dress is fitted, and always use pads when fitting the dress." Oh c*ck..!
I have rather strong prominent shoulders, so I am not sure I would like them to look more "pointy". However, I do think this dress would look good with abit more structure on the shoulder area, because looking at my muslin shot with the sleeve attached, it looks a little droopy. So plan now; make pads, insert in bodice, hope for good result. Gulp.

I have also decided on sleeve-length and ended on the 3/4 sleeve. I sewed them up, but now I think it needs some contrast. The grid pattern is so messy, and the cuff kind of disappears despite being on the bias. So I have been thinking maybe I should get some solid corderoy for the cuff. What'cha think??

This needs something...

I am now pondering how to line the thing. Never lined a dress before, but I think I will manage :) I have sewn the bodice lining, with new self-drafted front pieces because of the yoke. I figured it would be stupid to do the yoke on the lining too and add bulk where the seams are.
Sleeves will not be lined, and now I am wondering if I should skip the skirt lining too. I am really afraid of bunching, but I will just have to try it out.

This dress really is a lot of work! I don't get how people manage to sew an entire dress in a day. Makes me really respect experienced seamstresses even more! You rock!


  1. Oh no! Laundry mishaps happen to me a lot too! I don't seem to learn. I love the bias yoke! It keeps the yoke from being lost. Good job!

    1. Thanks Kathy! Bias did the trick ;)
      I am usually really pro with laundry, but the minute you plan to post it on-line, of course it goes wrong! Sod's law...
      But I am happy despite, it could have been much worse!

  2. The sleeve looks fine to me.

    And I fear that you *will* need a skirt lining. From what I remember about wearing corduroy dresses as a kid in the 1970s, it sticks to tights like they are best buddies. So it's either a case of lining it, or having to wear a slip with it.

  3. Yes, BeĆ” I fear that too... I know corderoy sticks like crazy, but cotton voile sticks too :/ at least if I wear tights. The best thing would probably be to line with something slippery, but since it needs to be cotton...well I don't really know. Wearing a slip does solve a lot though :) I will most likely line the whole thing with voile, and replace it after the challenge if it doesn't work.