My anticipated 2 hours of dress-making morphed into slightly longer. The dress is made up of 4 rectangles which you’d think would be quick and simple, but as an unknown russian knitting blogger quoted by the ever-excellent carmela once said – “it is the precision and mastery of the details that make the difference between a beautiful garment and granny’s vest”. This was one of the best things I’ve ever read about making a wearable garment. I often think back to it.
This dress could have looked completely dreadful, but I was rather hoping it wouldn’t.
There were a couple of unexpected challenges:
+ cutting giant rectangles without pattern pieces and ensuring you don’t end up with a parallelogram (or even worse, a trapezium). I’m thankful for the sisal rug, a t-square and the retractable tape measure from the toolbox.
+ the fabric was quite textured, slippery and had a slight stretch, so cutting and sewing evenly was rather laborious.
+ pockets were never going to be realistic in this fabric (see above), so I abandoned that idea quite early on.
The overlocker (serger) was absolutely genius and made for stellar finished edges. I really need to investigate how to properly use it – there’s an instructional DVD and booklet which I’ve cheerfully ignored (as I’ve mostly cheerfully ignored the overlocker). Another project for the endless list.
Save for the pockets I mostly stuck to the plan. I realised mid-way through that no matter how simple the elements of the dress are, to make this you need to have a pretty solid understanding of the process of garment construction. I think I often under-estimate my skills and knowledge (in most areas). I mean, it’s not a blazer or a wedding dress, but you need to know what bits to sew when.
On with the pix.
dimensions – my “pattern”
cutting on the rug
The precision and mastery of detail had me pinning and then basting everything. The basting was time-consuming but made for a much more even seam – especially with the slippy fabric.
basting and tools – that tape-measure was amazingly helpful
inside – elastic casing
inside – adjustable elastic waist
twins! side by side comparison
After all that I was pretty pleased with the result.
ACTION SHOT! too many bags
It was a very hot day and I was expecting to cook because it’s definitely 1000% synthetic. I was pleasantly surprised to be reasonably cool – I suspect the loose fit helped with that.
I ran into JackieChan (our very zany IT Manager) in the lift on the way in to SML, we exchanged greetings and he commented “hey, nice dress” and I kept it all casual with a “thanks, I made it on the weekend”. He responded with a “no way! that’s awesome! are you joking? that’s awesome! you’re joking right? No way!” and called his amazement out to colleagues when we got into the office. Gratifying!
I do think though that I’ll save it for evenings and holidays – it’s a little too shiny for a casual office.