Friday, February 25, 2011

Get Creative 1007 Retro Dress - Finished

So, it's finally finished. This pattern range was put out by Spotlight but a few years ago they cleared them all out for approx $1, so I picked up the few designs they had left.

According to the size info, even the size 14 is too small for me. Checking the finished measurements, I thought 14 would be fine.

I blue tacked it onto Dot and it seemed ok - nothing stood out as far too small. I made the petite adjustment at the waist and knew I'd want to lengthen it so that it came to just under my knee.

Last year I had to have an emergency trip to my Mother's to help her move house and declutter. My Mother was one of those people that would buy fabric thinking she'd make something but it just never happened - she didn't even like sewing! Anyway, I am now the proud owner of quite a bit of vintage fabric (30 - 50 years old) - she did actually realise some time in the 80's that she didn't sew and stopped buying (fabric, anyway). A lot of this fabric has really interesting weaves, not like the plain weave that seems to be all you can get these days unless you're paying $$$. It's a shame that Mum's taste isn't quite to my taste or else I'd have ended up with a lot more - ah well.

So, this fabric is Mum's favourite from the stash I got from her. It's definately not my style but it's fresh and bright, so I thought a Summer shift would suit (yep, it's another 'wearable' muslin).

See the old zipper? When I was about 8 yrs old, the big old department store in our town went out of business. In the last two days they auctioned off all of the contents of the store. In these days Mum & Dad were still under the impression that she'd start sewing up a storm at any minute, so they bought oodles of bags full of sewing notions for $2-$5 each. Zips, braids, trims, ribbons, bias, buttons, you name it. I've got quite the zip and button collection now too. Mum and I recently came across all of the braids & trims but between us we seem to have lost them ......... ah well.

I think this is a cotton but it's quite a thick one and you can see the slubby texture. It was a nightmare to cut with my horrible shears - the cutting of this dress prompted me to do a little research on shears and now I am the proud owner of a pair of Gingher 8 1/2" Dressmaking Shears.

<- There's the fabric with all of the pattern pieces laid out - not a lot of wiggle room on those sides! At this point I wasn't sure if I'd do facings or bias, so didn't bother to cut the facings (in the end I decided on facings).

Getting rid of some of the fullness at
the centre front seam

So, I sewed it all up - far too roomy on the sides. I ended up taking it in down to just below the waist.

Not only was it too roomy down the sides but the front bowed out way too much for my liking - taking 2cm from the centre seam of each front piece at the bottom and tapering to 0 at the top fixed that.

Side seam wierdness
When I redrew the new side seams I just eyeballed it - not hard to sketch a straight line right? Man oh man did I have some problems - enough that I actually put the dress away for a week or so. The side seams were hanging in weird ways and I couldn't figure it out. When I finally laid it out and put a ruler to the sideseams I discovered that they were so far from being a straight A-line it wasn't funny. Redrew the lines (using a ruler this time), resewed, side seam weirdness gone! If I'd only just done it the right way to start with!

Bad zipper insertion
I also messed up the zip insertion - I thought I had the right foot but I was thinking of Mum's. I meant to go back and fix it but forgot until I'd attached the neck facing. Not relishing all that unpicking I thought putting a tab over it would cover it up. As it turns out, unpicking and resewing would have been quicker - so typical of me, the bodge job ends up taking more time than doing it the right way the first time!

Tab to cover the dodgy zip.

I sewed the zip in in green to match the topstitching on the front.

Topstitching on front

One other thing - I meant to put side seam pockets in this dress. I even wrote it on the instructions in red marker. Of course that would have been useful if I'd actually bothered to use the instructions! Now, I think it's probably too fitted where the pockets would be for them to be of much use - could always try on side I suppose and just see (due to the thickness of the fabric I'd only use one piece, sewn directly to the front side piece).

Finished!! Actually, maybe that hem could come down a smidge. (I don't know why I'm standing like a trucker in that first pic)

Pattern Description:
Misses' / Miss Petite Dress in two lengths, sleeveless & short sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Sort of .... I made some deliberate changes. I would have expected it to be less voluminous in the skirt and slimmer fitting down to the waist looking at the pattern pic.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The few that I looked at seemed to be.

Fabric Used:
Vintage cotton that is quite heavy and has a slubby texture.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
According to the sizing info, even the 14 in this would have been too small for me. As it was I ended up taking in the sides down to just past the waist until it was approx a size 10.

Petite adjustment to raise the waist line.

Added length so that it came to just under my knee (I should have added more to give myself a deeper hem).

I wish I'd remembered to do a sway back adjustment - it's not as bad as it could be but it could be better.

I also wish I'd done a small FBA to give me a bit more room and drop the under bust seam 1cm so that it really is under my bust.

I added a tab across the top of the zip at the back because i messed it up and forgot to fix it until after I'd put the facings in.

The front of the skirt seemed to sit out too much, so I took 2cm off the centre front seam on each front piece and tapered to zero at the waist.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I might with the modifications I wish I'd made and didn't. I also think it would be better in a fabric that isn't as stiff as the one I used.

Easy to sew and easy to wear.

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