I am much more keen to write about today's outfit, as it is new. I made this dress about 10 days ago, and it is the first garment sewn for myself for nearly 6 weeks. I am really pleased with it.
The pattern is Vogue 8593, which I had previously made in a t shirt version for my travel wardrobe. This gave me the opportunity to alter the shoulder line, and to discover that I don't need a FBA for this pattern (yay). I was a tiny bit concerned about fit, as the fabric has only just enough stretch to meet the guideline on the envelope, so gave myself generous seam allowances, which fortunately I did not need (I have left them in just in case I am fatter next winter).
The fabric is a poly/rayon/lycra woven from Kerryn's fabric world $24 per metre.It is quite thick and spongy, almost trouser weight. I don't usually buy poly blends, but I really love the colour of this fabric, and had been meaning to make a winter dress from it since I bought it last year.
These are the alterations I made to the the dress -
, shorten above the waist,increased backside room, removal of wedge at the small of the back, taking in at the waist. I had already made a square shoulder adjustment and widened the sleeve head and biceps region for my t shirt. For the long sleeves of the dress I also shortened the upper sleeve so that the dart would hit at my elbow.
I must have peculiar arms, as this made the forearm section too short - I had to add a faux binding so that the sleeves would hit my wrist (this works if I don't bend my elbow, hmmm). Usually I shorten the sleeve at the hem, so I am suddenly thinking my elbow has been in the wrong part of the sleeve for the last 20 years or so of sewing.
Of course the interest in this dress is the neck pleating.
This pleats were a little tricky to manage. The poly content of my fabric practically guaranteed that the facing would roll out during wear. I understitched the facing (which I did not interface), then added plenty of judicious hand stitching under all the pleats and at the shoulder seams so that the neckline would stay put. This was the most fiddly part of the dress. The only tweaking to the fit was taking in the side seams a little, and raising the hem to my knee length, which is a normal adjustment for me. I pegged the skirt a little, and used an invisible zip because I wanted to, but made no design changes to the pattern.
I have been wanting to make this dress since I saw Carol's. It is very pleasing to make myself something I really want, rather than need. I won't get much wear from it this year, as the weather is warming, but it will be nice to have an almost new dress for next winter.
Thanks to RuthieK, who advised me to fiddle with the neckline (she had much better advice, but fiddle is what I did), I will not need to retire yesterday's dress. I used some of the stretch woven remnants from today's dress to bind the neckline of my silk jersey dress, stretching the binding slightly as I sewed, and it now seems much more stable at crucial points.