Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Japanese print dress


Attempt #2 at this post. I apologize to the earlier readers who could not see the photographs. No, I did not take them down, they were just invisible to everyone except me for some mysterious reason of Picasa or Blogger. I do not think I did anything differently from previous posts, but hope these photos via an alternative route are showing up now.



I finally finished this dress, but not the earlier test version. I don't think it has ever taken me so long to put in 2 zips and do a couple of hems. I am blaming the end of year school events (I finished off a sock at senior speech night last night).



Although I love the print, it is a real departure for me. I tend to wear very plain neutrals, with occasional florals and small inconspicuous prints (ie rather dowdy when I miss classic). I wore this dress to work in the shop today and have already received compliments, very nice, but I think the dress might be wearing me. I will see if I get used to it. I keep reminding myself that I live in Queensland, and this is rather a tame print for the local dress style.


Vicki suggested dark piping. You can see here that I have used a deep purple for the trim. It is a silk cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics, and really too nice for mere piping, but I only stole a little bit (on the bias) from my yardage. It is the perfect colour IMO, and has a little sheen that I like. I hope I am not cursing myself in a few months when I go to make up something from the purple.


I used a tab for the button, inspired by this smart finish on QuiltSewSue's skirt. I do not have much success with wearing hooks and eyes, they dig in, so I usually use a small button and a thread loop to finish the tops of invisible zips, but I think this tab looks better from the outside.


I can now show you the machine embroidered hem on my lovely olive green cotton voile lining (Oh Sew Fabrics, Noosaville). I have used a blind hem for the outer fabric, and you can see this here too, but only if you look closely. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Inspired by Mary Nanna, I will attempt a cost analysis of my Japanese print dress
1. Japanese Fabric - around 11 hours of knitting horrible scratchy icky green scarves - $11,000 :))) and cheap at the price. More realistically, $0. A gift.
2. 1.5m of cotton voile lining, $12 per metre, about $18, but I have large scraps
3. Piping from silk cotton fabric at ? -I can't remember the exchange rate at the time, nor am I exactly sure how much fabric I used, + DMC perle cotton for the insides - maybe $5 all up, but I have a lot of piping left over
4. Very old pattern used frequently before, so must be free by now $0
5. Button from my button tin of left over/retrieved from worn out garments fastenings - $0
6. 2 reels of 100m gutermann poly thread, around $6. This bit always surprises me, but I don't like cheap thread.
7. Invisible zip, $3

$32 to make up my beautiful present into a lined dress.

I am pleased that this is less expensive than a dress from the shops (probably still less expensive even if I included the retail cost of 1.5m or so of Japanese print) - unless I count labour. I am never sure if sewing really does save me money, I think you have to like doing it, or the labour would make it really, really expensive. Minimum adult casual wage is around $18 per hour in Australia. (I just looked it up,$14.31 x 1.25 for casual workers, $17.89 per hour) I am sure I enjoyed making this dress at a higher rate than that, so I am in credit. It makes up for the horrible knitting :). Next time I will just count cost of materials, all the other costs are too tricky for me.

10 comments:

Mary Nanna said...

It is quite fascinating to read how much something costs to sew! I do get a thrill out of being able to make things way cheaper than you can buy them - but you have to enjoy the process because otherwise your labour would be slave labour.

My computer cannot read any of your images on this post.. meep :( so I have no idea what you dress looks like but I bet it's lovely.

lsaspacey said...

I can't see any images either. Did you take them out?

Sue said...

I am having trouble seeing the photos too but will check back later to see if they are up. Glad you were able to use the tab - I like it and have used it again since that first time. Much more comfortable thatn hooks & eyes.

KID, MD said...

Ooh, I came back hoping the pics would work, and my patience was rewarded! The dress is beautiful! The print is lovely, and the colors are perfect for you.

ejvc said...

I can see the photos and I think the dress fits perfectly. I know what you mean about the print -- I think we have a similar style and I would also feel a little nervous wearing such a bold thing. But it's actually lovely. The lining and piping are great, and I will now steal your idea for the machine-embroidered hem on the lining. Yes, why not? And the tab is a lovely extra touch too.

$32 eh? Very interesting. Now you have to figure a cost-per-wearing!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful dress! It looks great on you. I like the piping and lining too. I don't save moeny by sewing but I like to think of my sewing as custom work, and that's beyond price. Besides, it's good for your mental health

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love that print!

I don't think sewing saves me money. Each individual garment costs less than it would have to buy, but (1) the value of unused stash is, um, very large, and (2) I have way more clothes than I would have bought.

Carol said...

I love this dress and I am planning to use the button technique on a dress I have planned for this weekend. I dislike hooks and eyes immensely. I hope this encourages you to wear more prints like this because it looks wonderful on you.

Gail said...

You couldn't buy a dress of this quality under $250, so don't fret about the cost of using quality thread. Great dress btw.

Vicki said...

I am a bit late coming back to see how it went. I think it looks fabulous on you. The colours suit you and are tame for Qld ;)) Love the lining treatment too!