Well hello there, it’s been awhile hasn’t it? As you can tell, it has been a few months since my last post and a long time since my last sewn garment. Well there is a reason for that but that story is for another time. But for now, this post is about my lastest project, Simplicity 8013.
Awhile back when having a wander through Spotlight, for what I can’t remember, I decided to check out the patterns and as soon as I saw this pattern, I knew I wanted to make it up; I just loved the look of it.
But unbeknownst to me, I had no idea what was in store for me. None whatsoever.
It was also around the time that #SydneyFrocktails was announced, so I thought that this would be a perfect occasion to wear this.
I don’t get to go to that many occasions to really dress up in a nice girly frock. I would have loved to have made the long one, but really.. so I went with the short view with the bell sleeves (view A).
And when out with some of the Sydney Spoolettes shopping for fabric, I found the perfect fabric; flowers and butterflies in mauves and pinks. In chiffon. Which is very, very slippery. And frays like hell. Did I mention it was slippery?
Oh I forgot to mention, that for the short view, I needed 7.5 metres along with 3.5 metres of lining! That’s a lot of fabric let me tell you.
So after pulling the pattern out, I proceeded with tracing the pieces for the bodice so I could make a toile for it, which I eventually did 3 of. Even though I made them to the pattern sizing (my bust is 106cm and the pattern was for 107cm), the first one was just too small.
I went up the next size with the second one and this was pretty much bang on for the shoulders and side seams but way too big in the bust. After a panic rush to my sewing instructors place one night, we took the side dart out and took a lot out of the bewbs. A small bust adjustment of sorts was performed and from this muslin I made the third one. As usual Meredith nailed it; fitted perfectly.
Being small busted, fitting crossover tops can be quite tricky. I will definitely being utilising this pattern as a block for the bodice for future similiar dresses.
This is where the fun began. As I was working with silk and chiffon, I had to cut all the pieces out on the flat and not doubled up. This meant that in the end I had to cut out 25 pieces. The pattern pieces that were to be cut on the fold, I traced and attached the other side to the pattern so it was one whole piece. I also researched what would be the best way to cut this out so that there would be minimal movement of the fabric.
The popular one and the one that the “industry” use is cutting the fabric between two pieces of paper with the pattern on the top sheet of paper. It also meant SHOCK HORROR, using your fabric scissors on paper.
This worked a treat. I only had two pieces that were slightly skewed and that was due to the fact that when I was cutting them out, the fabric fell off the table and slightly pulled them; these were corrected with no real issues. And I can tell you trying to pin 4 layers makes your fingers really hurt after awhile.
The only real issue I had was working with such a great length of fabric, and not having a really long table. I eventually got into a groove though and worked my way down. I just followed the pattern placement as per the pattern and repeated this 4 times.
Once the pattern had been cut out I sorted it all into the relevant pieces and attached little tags to them, so I knew exactly what was what etc. I then sewed up all the lining pieces, both the bodice and the skirt (bar the hem)and then ironed these all up and put them aside.
The skirt was next and with this I french seamed it; all 7 pieces of it. I then sewed up the bodice to the lining, then the added the sleeves. The bands on these are a bit weird as I had to gather a lot of fabric (see above picture) into the band which has kind of made it like its padded. I ended up hand sewing part of this on instead of machine sewing it as I know I wouldn’t catch the other side of the band. I love the sleeves as they are great big bell sleeves with lots of fabric.
Next was attaching the lining and the skirt to the bodice and again lots of gathering. This pretty much went on with no dramas. The invisible zip was next. Meredith said not to worry too much about lining up the waistline as it would be covered by the sash. Being a big baster of all things slippery, I basted the lining to the dress fabric on the seam line and I put in the most perfect invisible zip. OMG it is beautiful. Just saying.
Now this dress needed to be finished for Saturday night and I wasn’t finished by Friday. So a mad dash was made to finish it off on the Saturday, whilst also having to go to the hairdresser. By Saturday morning I had the sash, the hem, buttons on the sleeves and put on thread chain for the buttons, with no clue on how to do these.
After having breakfast with hubbie and sending him out for the day, I promptly got into it. The sash went together with no issue. Next the hem. Easy.. I had a chalk hemmer on a stand; just need to stand in front of it and squeeze the bally thing and bob’s your uncle.
Except the damn thing broke before I could puff any chalk. Scream!!!! Mad text to Meredith telling her of the situation and that I am just going to have to eye ball it. She suggested that I leave the hem uneven as it will add to the floatiness of the dress – good plan.
So I managed to hem both skirts with just about 15 minutes before the hair appointment and on my return I put on the sleeve buttons and learned how to make a thread chain loop using this video.
A good iron and then got ready and had 1/2 an hour to spare. We had a shocking storm that afternoon, so I couldn’t get any decent photos (so bad that my car got hail damage whilst at the hairdresser).
Apart from cutting out the fabric and the fitting of the bodice, this dress was quite easy to put together. Oh there are some no so good bits that you would only see if you got close and these only happened as I ran out of time.
I would have no problem or issue using this type of fabric again for another project. By using my walking foot, and basting most of it before actually sewing really helped. And cutting the fabric between paper made such a difference. Having cut out other slippery fabric and not using paper, you can see the difference.
I did go through a stack of paper when cutting it but that has gone to the recycling bin. I got a couple of rolls of brown paper from Officeworks at different widths.
Oh and the night? What a blast. Best night I have had in ages. 70 wonderful sewers in one room with gorgeous outfits.. what more could you ask for. I was lucky enough to win a Genoa Tote by Blogless Anna which will be my next make – how lucky was I?